Corpus Christi College education roadshow

The Pelican sundial erected in 1581 by Charles Turnbull in the Corpus Christi College front quad

The Pelican sundial erected in 1581 by Charles Turnbull in the Corpus Christi College front quad

On Thursday 1st June 11am-2pm why not pop into Corpus Christi College to see the University’s learning technologists – and:

  • Experience virtual reality (VR);
  • Hear how technologies like VR are already in use in the University; and
  • Try a touchscreen computer with a difference!

All University members are welcome!

The College’s IT manager has worked with Dr Xavier Laurent, Technology Enhanced Learning group (Academic IT Services), to put on this roadshow in the seminar room of Corpus Christi College. More information is available on the Digital Education Strategy website including a poster to print and display, where you can also find lots of ideas for digital tools and techniques to add to your learning or teaching.

A computer model from the Cabinet project of The Pelican Sundial erected in 1581 by Charles Turnbull in the front quad of Corpus Christi College

A computer model (which you can navigate in a myriad of ways in the Cabinet project) of The Pelican Sundial

Academic and student explore the touchscreen TV capability using a blood cell visualisation model

Using the touchscreen TV to explore a blood cell visualisation model

On 1st June Xavier will be using the VR kit from the Bodleian Libraries to show you e.g. the Computational Biology Research Group’s collaborative exploration of the potential of VR to visualise and manipulate fluorescence microscopy data. You can chat with Xavier about other technologies for learning and teaching. What about the brand-new portable touchscreen TV technology for teaching with interactive models? You can see those from Cabinet: Digital Transformation of Teaching through Objects. E.g. the amazing visualisation of the Pelican sundial erected in 1581 by Charles Turnbull in the Corpus Christi College front quad.

“Why demo touchscreen technology? …It’s straightforward to use, and has great applications for teaching and research.”
Steve and Xavier, the learning technologists

Please do pop in and see Xavier and tell your friends and colleagues about this event. You do not need to teach or study at Corpus Christi College to join us on 1st June.

Talk to us at the event, and for more in-depth help please book your FREE consultation with the University’s learning technologists, based in Academic IT Services’ Technology-Enhanced Learning group, who can help you with ideas and approaches that are changing teaching and learning – online, face-to-face, or both. Our experience and work are integral to spreading the word about the Digital Education Strategy, and the unofficial mantra “Pedagogy first!” informs all we do.


Image credits:

  • The Pelican sundial by Alun Edwards
  • Other photos: Steve Burholt, Xavier Laurent
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Crowdfunding: Lest We Forget

Logo for Lest We Forget with a symbolic shape like a red poppy replacing the letter 'o'This summer, Oxford University is launching ‘Lest We Forget’, a new community-based initiative to preserve materials held by the public dating from the First World War.

Lest We Forget builds on the success of Academic IT’s The Great War Archive in 2008, a mass-digitisation project that attracted the direct submission of over 6,500 items (now freely available online). This time we want to go even further and rescue the many remaining traces of the war in attics, drawers and cupboards in homes across the UK still waiting to be uncovered.

With the loss of all veterans of 1914-1918, and the rapid fading of those years from living memory, this campaign provides one final effort to ensure that as much material as possible is saved for posterity before it’s too late. These centenary years have provided an important impetus for a renewed interest in the generation that fought the conflict, but we want to ensure that memory lives on beyond 2018.

Training local volunteers in archival recording skills, the Lest We Forget initiative seeks to actively engage communities nationwide in the digital preservation of documents, photographs, and memorabilia. Local schools, care homes and community groups will be invited to partake in dedicated training events and take a lead in collection days for members of the public to share family collections.

Every item collected will then be published in 2018 on a free-to-use online database for children, scholars and the wider public alike to promote understanding of the Great War, further historical research, and secure the stories of those who lived through it.

However, the University cannot achieve this alone: on 1st June 2017, our crowdfunding site will go live as we aim to raise the £80,000 required for training days, outreach activities, and equipment. Please help us to spread the word by following us on @OxfordLWF on Facebook and @WW1Centenary on Twitter, and sharing our posts about #ww1CollectionDay with colleagues, friends and family.

Every donation is another step closer to ensuring that the sacrifices of this war are not forgotten.

Collage of family photos from the First World War with the University of Oxford logo

Lest We Forget – Oxford University’s Community-based crowd-sourcing initiative to digitally preserve the memory of the First World War.

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Don’t waste time on social media

Photo of workshop attendees doing an exercise in a seminar room of the University of Loughborough in London

Answering an exercise about purposeful social media, at the University of Loughborough in London

Loughborough University’s multi-award-winning digital comms team led a workshop Purposeful Social Media for Education and Skills Communicators on 17th May. Here Alun Edwards, service delivery manager for Public Engagement and Outreach, reports back from this event run by the CIPR Education and Skills Group. And how do you try not to waste your time on social media? Well, the judges’ comments on a recent award for the University of Loughborough’s social media work says it all:

‘Their breadth of media choice and ability to do it all on such a low budget was very creative. This appears to be a well considered campaign with a strong brand tie-in.’

How should we do the same?

At the workshop I met colleagues from MSD, Social Sciences and PAD. We all found there examples of two-way engagement and preparing a campaign. What I took away (from what was actually more a ‘101 – social media strategy for admissions’) is how to empower staff to engage using social media during a live event. For example, we were recommended to use Trello for content planning like assigning tasks and managing a timeline. I have used Trello for management tasks for years, but never for a social media campaign:

‘All this preparation frees us up to be more creative on the day!’ – Jonathan Walters, Web and Digital Manager, Loughborough University 

And how will I do the same?

Current social media campaigns which I am assisting the University with include:

  • #OxTalent2017: to demonstrate the hard work by all the entrants, but especially the winners so that we reinforce what is great about the University. My style is always very visual, but I was prompted to plan how to capture content during the event that could be used to feed future campaigns, not least the Digital Education Strategy.
  • Lest We Forget: the University is launching a brand new project in June 2017 to save the stories of the First World War. Follow us on our journey now on Facebook, and at #ww1CollectionDay.
A photo of British tommies in a studio with the social media campaign hashtag #ww1CollectionDay

One last effort. Let’s save the stories of war #ww1CollectionDay

Two-way engagement

Academic IT has long been an advocate of two-way engagement. Our history was recorded in the Jisc report by Chris Batt Consulting, Digitisation, Curation and Two-Way Engagement (2009), and our subsequent work in RunCoCo: How to Run a Community Collection Online (2011), a report which presents a simple A, B, C of advice for projects and groups who aim to ‘crowdsource’ with sustainable success:

  • Aim for Two-way engagement;
  • Be part of your community;
  • Challenge your assumptions.
Screenshot of Twitter from Eric Stoller et al about Generation Z

Reactions on Twitter to ThinkWithGoogle report on Generation Z

Social media is just another channel for two-way engagement, and something we have been involved in since before 2007.  The workshop emphasised for PR and communications professionals the power and flexibility of social and digital engagement:

  • Ways of designing and deploying a coherent social media strategy;
  • Choosing the right platform mix (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others);
  • Planning and creating content;
  • Developing different aims/uses for different channels;
  • Engaging with influencer networks;
  • Social monitoring, metrics and evaluation; and
  • How your social media strategy fits in with the overall communications, PR and stakeholder engagement strategy.

I found at this workshop ammunition to reinforce my belief that everyone should be using online platforms (mobile especially) to engage with stakeholders, staff, students. I found inspiration to add to: e.g.


Image credits:
Seminar: Jonathan Walters (from Twitter), Web and Digital Manager at Loughborough University
text

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#oxtalent2017: a record year for entries

Entries for this year’s OxTALENT competition closed last Friday night, and we’re delighted to announce a record haul of 87: 10 more than last year’s record! Once again, the research posters category attracted the greatest number of entries, but we had a good spread across the other five categories, with digital media and data visualisation making a good showing. In a year which has seen a major consultation around the Digital Education Strategy we have received creative and thoughtfully designed examples of technology enhanced learning. And difficult choices also face the judges in the outreach & widening participation and public engagement categories.

The judges are deliberating this week, but their decisions will remain under wraps until the awards ceremony on 14th June. We’ll publish the details as the awards are announced and will issue a special News from Academic IT alert the next day.

#oxtalent2017


Image credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Posted in Community collections, Educational media, Engage, IT innovation, News, Research support, Social media, Teaching and learning | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Book your FREE consultation with the University’s learning technologists

We can help you with ideas and approaches that are changing teaching and learning – online, face-to-face, or both. And, on Thursday lunchtimes you can visit our Digital Education drop-in sessions at the Mathematical Institute and in Corpus Christi College. Our experience and work are integral to spreading the word about the Digital Education Strategy, and the unofficial mantra “Pedagogy first!” informs all we do.

Talk to us, and book your FREE consultation with the University’s learning technologists, based in Academic IT Services’ Technology-Enhanced Learning group.

Roadshows

Students look at their devices, slogan reads Book your FREE consultation

Our learning technologists support the University’s Digital Education Strategy with free consultations

On Thursday lunchtimes you can hear how virtual reality (VR) is being used. Steve Taylor (Computational Biology Research Group) will be showing his collaborative exploration of the potential of VR to visualise and manipulate fluorescence microscopy data. You can also try out brand-new portable touchscreen TV technology to demonstrate interactive models, and chat to Steve and Xavier about other technologies for learning and teaching. Come along and talk to the Technology Enhanced Learning group (Academic IT Services) at:

  • 11am-2pm, Thursday 18th May in the mezzanine space of the Mathematical Institute, in the Andrew Wiles Building.
  • 11am-2pm, Thursday 1st June in the seminar room of Corpus Christi College.
Academic and student explore the touchscreen TV capability using a blood cell visualisation model

Using the touchscreen TV to explore a blood cell visualisation model

Please do pop in and see us and tell your friends and colleagues about this event. You do not need to be based in those buildings to join us on these dates.

“Why demo touchscreen technology? …It’s straightforward to use, and has great applications for teaching and research.”
Steve and Xavier, the learning technologists

More information is available on the Digital Education Strategy website including a poster to print and display, where you can also find lots of ideas for digital tools and techniques to add to your learning or teaching.

Last term, the learning technologists held four roadshows (see Technology on tour: coming soon to your department, 31st January). In Maths and Social Sciences Steve and Xavier engaged with 90 staff and students. In general the split has been about 60% students, 40% academics, (sometimes fewer academics).

Lessons learnt from last term and next steps:

Digital Education Strategy banner of a student holding a tablet computer in front of a chalkboard

Flipped Classrooms, just one of the techniques our experts can advise on

The majority who attended the roadshows were students, partly due to the location near lecture theatres in the Mathematical Institute.

VR was a great hook. However, it tended to overshadow other technologies and methodologies that the team wanted to promote as part of the Digital Education Strategy. At this term’s roadshows we are using touch-screen technology to demonstrate interactive models.

However several staff did ask for a mailing list or group that could answer questions about VR

“Is VR being used for teaching at Oxford? Who’s doing it?”

“Are there opportunities for collaboration?”

VR special interest group

Xavier, Ylva, and others from the University delivered an Engage workshop on VR last term. Encouraged by the interest shown we have set up a new special interest group. The aim is to bring together those interested in the use of AR and VR for education, research and outreach. The inaugural meeting will take place some time this term, offering interested parties an opportunity to discuss the scope of the group and its proposed activities. To be notified about the forthcoming meeting, please contact Ylva.


Image credits:

  • Digital Education Strategy poster based on work by the University Design Studio using an image sourced from iStock
  • Other photos: Steve Burholt, Xavier Laurent
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Dr Dai Jenkins: Head of Research Computing and Support Services

Dr Peggy McCready, Director of Academic IT, writes:

I am pleased to announce that Dr David (Dai) Jenkins has joined Academic IT as the Head of Research Computing and Support Services. This is a newly formed group that brings together the Advanced Research Computing and Research Support teams. In this role, Dai will be responsible for working closely with key stakeholders across the University to advance services in the areas of high performance computing and research data management.

Dai brings a wealth of expertise in the delivery of supercomputing and research information services and is well positioned to take on this role, having previously served as the interim Head of Research Computing for University College, London. There he led a diverse team that included application specialists, analysts and system administrators, after working as a senior project manager and programme manager for Research IT and Data Centre projects within IT Change and Project Delivery services.

Prior to working for UCL, Dai served as a Senior Portfolio Manager for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council where he was responsible for the management of external service contracts relating to hardware, research facilities, user support functions and research software support.

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Steve Burholt: Support and Consultancy Manager for Technology Enhanced Learning

Dr Peggy McCready, Director of Academic IT, writes:

I am pleased to announce that Steve Burholt will serve as the Support and Consultancy Manager for Technology Enhanced Learning. Steve will lead a team of specialists who provide advice, consultancy and support in the use of technology to enhance teaching, learning and outreach activities. In addition to supporting the University’s VLE (WebLearn), the Technology Enhanced Learning team will be leading the evaluation and application of technology to further educational objectives: e.g., computer-based exams and the flipped classroom model for teaching, which has proved beneficial to the student learning experience. This team also plays a significant role in supporting the aims of the University’s Digital Education Strategy (2016-2020).

Steve has been working for the University of Oxford since April 2015 and previously served as a learning technologist on the WebLearn Improved Student Experience (WISE) project, which focused on improving the design and content of around 20 WebLearn sites. Steve reports to Kate Lindsay, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning.

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Creating a survey and need a little help? Contact our new advisory service

Academic IT is currently developing a new service, Survey Design & Tools, to provide advice and guidance for researchers and other University staff who need to run a survey. We can help you to decide which tool to use according not only to the type of survey and intended audience, but also to the data protection and information security implications that you’ll need to consider if collecting personal data.

If you’ve already designed your survey, we can give your questions a ‘sanity check’, to make sure that you’ve avoided common pitfalls such as asking two things at once or providing answer choices that don’t match the question.

The service is co-managed by Meriel Patrick (Research Support) and Liz Masterman (Technology Enhanced Learning). We’ll be building our web presence shortly, but in the meantime you can contact us through researchsupport@it.ox.ac.uk.

We also run a termly lunchtime session entitled Survey design: Overview of tools and good practice. This gives an introduction to the tools available for running online surveys. It also features guidance on the data security implications to be considered when choosing a tool and tips for designing effective questions. The session may be of particular benefit to people who are already planning to run a survey, but it will also be of value to those with an interest in this method of data collection.

The next session will be on Friday 5th May from 12.30-1.30. Book a place.


Image credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nick Young via The Blue Diamond Gallery

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Seminar: Developing digital literacy by mapping controversies: Revealing echo chambers and the machinery of the internet

Academic IT has links with the  Learning and New Technologies Research Group in the Department of Education. The group organises a programme of research seminars with invited speakers; the next one is on Tuesday 9th May:

Developing digital literacy by mapping controversies: Revealing echo chambers and the machinery of the internet

Dr Thomas Hillman,
Learning and IT Group, Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg

May 9th: 16:00-17:30
Seminar Room D, Department of Education, 15 Norham Gardens

This talk will discuss ways that engaging students in a process of systematic mapping of online socio-scientific controversies, such as fracking and vaccines, can help to reveal the actors, structures and machinery at play as controversial issues are performed on the Internet. It will be based on work from a classroom intervention project that aims to investigate what it means to learn about science and engage with issues of technoscientific innovation in a world that relies heavily on digitized information. Scientific findings, arguments and claims from different fields are available through digital media raising issues of concern and controversy that are not only part of science-in-the-making but also generative of new dilemmas in the lives of citizens. The project introduces to classrooms and investigates a digital method where rather than browsing the web in an unstructured fashion to gain information about a particular controversial issue, students use tools to track their online movements as they search for information and then graph or map the resulting network of interacting actors. This invites students to engage with the complexity of issues as they are performed online, to investigate the relationships between actors of differing viewpoints, and to reflect on the technologies of the internet and their role in how controversies are performed.

Thomas Hillman is Associate Professor of Information Technology and Learning at the University of Gothenburg. With a background in the design of products and environments for learning, his research investigates the ongoing reconfiguration of technology for learning in both formal and informal settings with a focus on the mutually constitutive relationship between the development of technologies and the transformation of epistemic practices. Thomas’ work to understand the role of tools in learning processes draws on sociocultural perspectives on learning, interaction and development, and on socio-material ways of conceptualizing the relationship between technology and use.

In recent years, Thomas’ work has focused on the blurring boundaries between online and offline activities in many aspects of contemporary life. Much of his research relies on extensive use of video-recordings and digital records of the ways people interact with technologies and Thomas works to adapt and develop methods and tools for gaining access to and making sense of these activities.

He is currently a visiting fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute where he is investigating ways to identify and unpack trajectories of epistemic development in online activities over time through the combination of micro level interaction analysis and ethnographic approaches with computational approaches.


Image credit: The Echo Chamber by Hugh Macleod. Photo CC BY-SA 2.0 Tara Hunt via Flickr

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Sign up to the new termly Education IT Programme update

Sarah Argles, Senior Communications Officer, Education IT Programme writes:

The new Education IT Programme Update is an informative termly publication covering the Academic IT and Student Systems projects within the remit of the Education IT Programme.

Academic IT project updates in the first issue include:

  • VLE Review – shaping the future of WebLearn
  • Online Reading Lists – finding a suitable application
  • Turnitin and iThenticate Review – looking at support for plagiarism awareness and tools for detection

Recently completed projects and initiatives are also outlined, such as the work for the Digital Education Strategy communication and consultation.

You can receive the termly update in two ways:

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