National Learning at Work Day

National Learning at Work Day is on May 23rd 2013. What will you learn?

Every year, the Campaign for Learning sets a theme for Learning at Work Day to highlight an important aspect or aspects of workplace learning and development. We then suggest ideas and approaches and produce downloadable graphics and promotional posters linked to the theme. As an organiser, you can use this theme or choose another theme if this works better for your particular context and objectives for the day.

This year’s theme is ‘Many Ways to Learn’.

It focuses on:

  • how learning and development can happen in various ways and the benefits to businesses and managers of maximising the opportunities for employees to learn by cultivating and supporting different types of learning at work
  • the benefits of supporting employees to become more self-directed and able to manage their own learning, so they recognise and value the range of ways they can learn at work, from classroom-based training to web research
  • the impact on employees’ motivation when they understand their own learning preferences and how they can develop their learning skills
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Tell us what you want

Due to very high demand for courses IT Services have developed an on-line repository of our course resources ITLP Portfolio and  enhanced our courses booking system to add better searching and sign up.

Using the ‘express interest in this course’ feature tells us which courses we should run again and ensures that you will be the amongst the first to know.

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Digital.Humanities@Oxford Summer School 2013

The Digital.Humanities@Oxford Summer School (DHOXSS) is an annual training event taking place this year on 8 – 12 July 2013 at the University of Oxford for researchers, project managers, research assistants, and students of Digital Humanities. DHOXSS delegates are introduced to a range of topics including the creation, management, analysis, modelling, visualization, or publication of digital data for the humanities. Each delegate follows one of our 5-day workshops and supplements this with guest lectures by experts in their fields. There are a limited number of bursaries available for University of Oxford DPhils and Early-Career Researchers.

There are a variety of evening events including a peer-reviewed poster session to give delegates a chance to demonstrate their work to the other delegates and speakers. The Thursday evening sees an elegant drinks reception and three-course banquet at the historic Queen’s College Oxford.

DHOXSS is a collaboration for Digital.Humanities@Oxford between the University of Oxford’s IT Services, the Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC), the Bodleian Libraries, and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.

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Beginners IT – An introduction to the world of computing

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If you don’t have computing experience it can be quite daunting to take the first steps in gaining the skills. New computer users appreciate being given sympathetic help and advice from professional trainers.

The IT Learning Programme has organised an experienced teacher to deliver an introduction to computing, including: the first steps in using a computer; using the internet and email; how to keep safe on-line. For a full course description please look at Beginners IT – An introduction to the world of computing.

We hope that the skills gained can then be built on by attending the IT courses offered by the IT Learning Programme. More details of the IT programme are in the Course catalogue

Interested?

Contact us or call us on (2)73200 (option 2) for an informal chat about the course.

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Learning about Social Media at Oxford

“I feel much more equipped now to talk about how to move about in the social media world. Basically before I knew and used Facebook, LinkedIn and a bit of Twitter – but now I feel like I can use and strategize with more tools, thereby expanding my network and making the information I (and others) produce more accessible and visually pleasing.”

The demand for training and expertise in the use of social media and communication technologies for academic practice has grown over the past few years, to support  public engagement and outreach activities, as well as the progression of an academic career through a powerful online presence and social networking.

The University of Oxford offers a number of training courses in the use of social media and supporting digital technologies.  In an effort to pull together training provision and offer a co-ordinated and visible path for University members to develop their skills and knowledge, a team from IT Services and the Bodleian Libraries developed Engage: Social Media Michaelmas (http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/itlp/engage).

Running over Michaelmas Term 2012 (October-December), the Engage programme offered a full term of events to explore different social media tools and strategies for use in an academic setting. The approach was two-fold with both offline and online pathways that learners could follow or dip into to suit their own needs.

The  schedule offered over 50 courses, workshops and talks. Courses were pulled together from existing series, such as those provided by the University IT Learning Programme, and supplemented with new training workshops. Highlights included:

  • Wikipedia: sharing your expertise with the public
  • Twitter for Academia
  • Online presence (introductory and advanced workshops)
  • LinkedIn – Designing your academic profile
  • Facebook Pages that work
  • Security and privacy online: Social media

A lunchtime seminar series was launched by Professor Marcus Du Sautoy (Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, University of Oxford) and invited guest speakers from within the University and beyond shared their success stories and lessons. Titles included:

  • Blogging the truth in health research
  • Podcasting in teaching and learning
  • Social media and building alumni relations
  • Crowdsourcing digital image collections
  • History in real time with Twitter
  • Using social media to disseminate your research

The aim of the series was to inspire attendees to experiment and try new things with social media tools, and feedback from attendees was positive:

[it was] good to hear someone else’s experience of working with social media and then be able to discuss issues around it in a free and open discussion.

[it was] fascinating and good that these were observations from someone who is really doing it.

Events within the Engage programme attracted over 740 bookings, and the lunchtime seminars were turned into a series of Creative Commons licensed podcasts that has seen 419 downloads from iTunesU and 623 visits to the University’s podcast site (http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/engage-social-media-talks). [1] A number of these talks were also written up as case studies and added to the IT Service’s Case Studies in Innovative Practice site (http://blogs.it.ox.ac.uk/ltg-casestudies/category/innovative-practice/).

Discussion of social media’s place in the University setting is on-going, but the excellent exemplars of uptake this programme saw means that the departments involved in Engage will be hosting their own award for excellence and innovation later in the year, providing a platform for those who have run with the programme to showcase their achievements to the University.


[1] Statistics gathered between 14/10/12 – 91/01/13

[2] 23 Things for Research is inspired by the first 23 Things Oxford and based on the original 23 Things program which ran at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006. In the same spirit, the 23 Things for Research programme was released under Creative Commons as an Open Educational Resource, enabling global reuse.

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Learning Technology

We provide learning technology courses to members of the University. Topics cover all aspects of information technology and its use in education. Our departmental and faculty inductions and seminars are tailored towards the needs of each discipline.

You can browse the IT Learning Programme course schedule either through our A-Z listing, or using the list of Upcoming courses. Our course calendar is available to download as a PDF document.

Our courses run throughout the academic year. Most courses consist of a series of short talks with demonstrations, followed by practical exercises.

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Massive Online Open Courses

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are the latest addition to higher education, and quite possibly the most significant of them all. They represent a new generation of online education, freely accessible on the internet and geared towards very large student numbers.

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Learning is easy over breakfast

New members of Oxford University staff are warmly invited to join us for breakfast at IT Services, Banbury Road. Over croissants and coffee, we will introduce you to the many important services that are available to you for your work or research. There will also be a chance to chat to IT staff and other newcomers.  Feedback from our guests at Breakfast at IT Services highlights the importance of face to face events to engage with users.

  • Welcome to IT Breakfast so useful, it is such a brilliant idea and I love the proactive way you advertise what you do to make our life easier so thank you
  • Understanding the range of services and training available and seeing how approachable and friendly everyone was.
  • The opportunity to ask follow-up questions. some of the info I could have found online myself, but asking it is always easier (and in some times quicker).
  • Meeting other people new to the University
  • The engagement with staff while we had breakfast.
  • Chance to talk 1-2-1
  • Post-presentation networking
  • Information about IT learning courses, IT resources and services at Oxford.
  • Overview of backing up and virus protection- I assumed this was already in place but good to be told I had to check it.
  • Talking to the IT staff afterwards. I had a number of questions that covered a range of services and got them all answered in about 10 minutes..
  • Getting to chat to staff over coffee about my specific enquiries.
  • Booklet with courses in, seeing the venue where workshops will be held.
  • A good overall introduction to the IT Services within the University. The future courses to be held in the training rooms would be most useful. Excel Spreadsheets in particular.
  • Visiting the IT department and meeting staff.
  • Useful introductory talk and programme of future courses Thank you
  • The introduction to TSM, and the courses available for booking
  • Meeting members of IT Services
  • Overview of services available and where to go to find information/get help
  • Picking up some flyers at the end about training and social media.
  • Speaking to one of the team in the breakfast room as we had specific questions about setting up some filming and a blog.
  • The discussion with the various members of staff over breakfast
  • Information about what courses are available and how to find the information
  • Very good introduction. Right level of communication
  • The networking afterwards
  • Raised my awareness of all the IT services available to me and how to make the most of them. Also reassuring how engaged and approachable the IT team are.
  • I got a good overview of what was on offer and how it is organised. The backup facility is probably the most useful.
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Developing Study and Research Skills

Studying at postgraduate level often requires the development of new study and research skills, and if you have not studied for some time, you may also need to revisit and refresh skills you acquired at undergraduate level or on other postgraduate courses. Your requirements will differ according to your subject discipline and your own background and study practices but the key areas you will need to consider tackling include:

  • Time management
  • Using online search engines (and particularly SOLO, the main library search engine for Oxford University)
  • Managing computer files and data bases
  • Managing and presenting references and bibliographies (including using an online referencing system such as RefWorks or EndNote)
  • Reading critically and effectively
  • Taking notes effectively
  • Using statistical and modelling techniques
  • Planning a research project
  • Writing a research proposal
  • Planning and conducting a survey
  • Planning and writing a dissertation or thesis
  • Developing an academic writing style
  • Giving presentations (including the use of PowerPoint)
  • Preparing for a Doctoral or Master’s viva

Developing the study and research skills needed at postgraduate level takes time and effort. Some need to be acquired at the start of your programme while others are best developed over a longer period. Guidance and assistance will be supplied on your course programme, by your tutors or your supervisor, and in your course handbook. Your Faculty or Department may also provide guidance on its website or run training courses and workshops. The Bodleian Libraries Group runs workshops in finding, using and referencing library resources. The Oxford University IT  Services run a wide range of skills workshops for postgraduate and other students.

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Integrate good ICT practice into your work

Around 4200 people attended our courses this year; with 1343 people attending 3 or more courses. 3060 people turned up to our special events and inductions.

The IT Learning Programme (ITLP)  enables all members of the University to integrate good ICT practice into their work, and in doing so we take account of the diversity of learning styles, expectations and previous skill levels that exist. The small team of experienced teachers, event organisers and administrators have the following responsibilities:

  • Delivering an open programme of IT related courses that benefit all members of the University.
  • Providing closed courses for specific University groups.
  • Organising courses delivered by external experts, both as part of our open programme and as closed courses.
  • Supporting services offered by OUCS to the rest of the University by way of short, specially developed courses.
  • Promoting the use of technology in teaching and learning by dissemination of best practice.
  • Providing post-course support to course participants.
  • Sharing our experience of teaching room design and provisioning with other departments around the University.
  • Organising and hosting learning events in our fully equipped training rooms for local, national and international audiences.

During the course of the year 2011-12 we presented 562 open sessions (1589 teaching hours, 3809 distinct individuals) covering 199 topics, and 55 closed sessions (217 teaching hours, 749 distinct individuals) covering 52 topics.

The figures below show the demand by individuals for the areas of the programme broken down by course category and organisational area.

Breakdown of course demand by course category and organisational area
Humanities MPLS Med Sci. Social Sci. Acad. Serv. Colleges Cont. Edu. UAS External Total
Communication & Collaboration 153 174 276 260 76 113 35 218 8 1313
Data Analysis 146 201 572 817 84 223 56 139 35 2273
Document Preparation 279 188 494 433 62 143 63 98 22 1782
IT services 30 66 75 53 21 58 7 123 3 436
Multimedia 142 175 207 217 79 106 21 105 52 1104
Pre/Post course support 19 33 45 50 8 38 3 42 2 240
Programming 49 446 366 226 27 119 14 74 28 1349
Research Studies 475 255 314 480 135 115 131 56 83 2044
Web Technologies 79 67 96 132 62 64 14 84 45 643
Total 1372 1605 2445 2668 554 979 344 939 278 11184

MPLS = Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences; Med Sci. = Medical Sciences; Social Sci. = Social Sciences; Acad. Serv. = Academic Services; Cont. Edu. = Continuing Education; UAS = University Administration.

We try to ensure that we address the IT learning needs of all members of the University. The chart below shows the demand by role, together with the previous two year’s data for comparison:

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