Around Campus: Video Enhanced Reflective Feedback (VERP)

video.fwThe departments of Music, Social Anthropology and the School of Management (as a result of a successful Teaching Development Fund application) are working jointly on a project to build student confidence through video-enhanced reflective feedback. The methodology involves videoing a group performance (Music); role-play exercise (Social Anthropology) or group presentation (Management). The resulting video is then edited by the tutor into small fragments which highlight strong points. These smaller clips are then used as part of tutor-mediated feedback between the tutor and the student(s) concerned. A workshop in August with an external consultant will give staff the appropriate grounding in the VERP methodology; and a relatively small amount of technical training will be required.

For further information on the project, please contact Dr Jane Pettegree, and look out for her blog post reflecting on the first run of VERP in November!

 

Top Ten Tweets for Tuesday

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Here is a selection of our favourite tweets and retweets from the TEL_St_A Twitter feed this week – just in case you missed them!

 Tweet  Tweeted by
“My teaching is in the comments” – bit.ly/1Hm1N7E good points on systems, content v dialogue bit.ly/1L4U9ip #edtech @tel_st_a
Yes! Here’s nearly 50 examples collated by@Jisc of effective practice in support of the
#digitalstudentexperience t.co/pDF7aKMNIy
@sallyheroes
It’s every digital citizen’s job to THINK. t.co/dDyo7plrjo @edutopia
Digital students are different – really? Is what “I want” and “I expect” the same as “what I really need”? #edtech http://bit.ly/1FqKumm @tel_st_a
@rbancroft: Berkeley to Stop Adding Lecture Videos to YouTube, Citing Budget Cuts t.co/e5Z4ja4GPI via@chronicle @sheilmcn
More “problems” with #YikYak? First death threats wapo.st/1cr36Im, now cheating on exams: bit.ly/1EXnMSD #edtech #socialmedia @tel_st_a
Can Google search data predict an election victory? The story behind the story: t.co/ICWWvFmUed (spoiler: no) @undertheraedar
The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment goes beyond the #LMS to support new models of learning: t.co/v0r65qPpv0 @educause
 Is the ‘closed’ mindset of the Open Educational Resources community its own worst enemy? t.co/E3uI25MlXi @DonaldClark
Can police learn from #bigdata t.co/TotmJeajb3 “if it’s at the low end, 50 percent to 70 percent, then let’s not divert people to it” @dazybelle

 

Top Ten Tweets for Thursday

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Here is a selection of our favourite tweets and retweets from the TEL_St_A Twitter feed this week – just in case you missed them!

 Tweet  Tweeted by
My post on sentiment analysis and the UK General Election bit.ly/1dNroMW #GE15 @mia_out
“The role of students in pedagogical research projects: Subjects, participants, partners, consultants?” @YSJADD bit.ly/1AE4Wuy @philvincent
Free course content anyone can download and import into their own #Moodle courses
t.co/mExOeb68UE via @moodlenet #edtech #OER
@moodle
When professors tweet. US context – conflict between academic freedom, “civility” and provocation.
bit.ly/1IdkEEQ via @AcademeBlog
@tel_st_a
Challenges and pressures of reading online, and some strategies (using @Pocket) to manage these:
bit.ly/1EQiO8V #edtech
@tel_st_a
Inspirational (?) quotes for our students writing their #thesis @PhDForum @GradElitism
t.co/mSxgorO1vo
@StAndrewsBSRC
Great post in response to RIN’s assertion that technology is killing map-reading skills.
bit.ly/1PoT3PO
@cbthomson
Let’s ban PowerPoint in lectures – it makes students more stupid and professors more boring’
t.co/PkW4HGaMn6 (via @bent_meier)
@jisc
@StADoRep PP is just a tool, but not originally designed for teaching and can be used well or badly.
A goodworkman doesn’t blame his tools!
@tel_st_a
Good response to this http://bit.ly/1DPhDnH by @samkinsley bit.ly/1zMKpcw @tel_st_a
Five Fables app, based on research by our own Ian Johnson and Chris Jones has won best app at @CelticMediaFest! More: t.co/ObAZblaUtY @staenglish

 

Workshop > Data Visualization in the Humanities

events.fwThe Library, as part of its Digital Humanities remit, hosted a workshop on Data Visualization in the Humanities led by external presenter Mia Ridge.

Mia began by outlining the historical development of visualization – starting with examples such as John Snow’s Cholera Map (1854), Florence Nightingale’s Petal Charts (1858) and Minard’s map of Napoleon’s Russian campaign of 1812 (1869); and highlighting the power of the visualization in enabling the viewer to understand data easily on multiple axes at the same time. She then moved on to show more recent types of visualization – mashups, infographics, text analysis, visualizing images and video and network visualizations.

Visualization needs to be approached carefully, with proper consideration given to audience and purpose. For example, will your visualization be a product, or a process – will it be used to explain, or explore your dataset?

Some risks of visualizations were highlighted to help contextualize their use:

  • Over-emphasis of one aspect of the data may de-emphasise another, for example, Beck’s tube map of 1951 emphasises connections but de-emphasises geographical proximity.
  • Some visualization tools and softwares may have inherent bias built into them depending on what audience they were designed for. The algorithms used may not be transparent, for example with Google’s N-gram tool.
  • Visualizing “sentiment” analysis is not an exact science. Current algorithms can work with words, but take no account of tone or register (or even emojis!).  For an example of “sentiment” analysis, see the Twitter visualization of the Olympics in 2012.

As well as the time to get hands-on with and evaluate various visualization tools, it was great to see and hear about the work already being done in this area by colleagues around the University, for example Kathryn Rudy from the School of Art History – and of course the exciting digital humanities projects taking place in the Library.

For more information on digital humanities at St Andrews, contact Dr Alice Crawford in the Library – or catch up with her blog.

Event > Learning & Teaching Open Forum, University of St Andrews

events.fwWednesday afternoon saw the second of this year’s biannual Learning & Teaching Open Forums at the University of St Andrews. The theme for the afternoon was Inspiring Learning through Research-led Teaching. Opening remarks by Proctor, Professor Lorna Milne, set the scene for three interesting presentations by academics on their approaches, and two presentations by students undertaking the Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme over the summer vacation. Professor Milne indicated that much of the literature around research-led teaching focuses on the separation of these and how this has become institutionalised practice. In reality, however, they were interdependent – as the good practice about to be highlighted would show.

Paula Miles from the School of Psychology & Neuroscience outlined an approach being used in Level 1 classes to try and make the link between lectures (theory) and labwork (practice) more explicit and relevant. Instead of being given datasets to work with and analyse, which resulted in quite passive learning, a “Citizen Science” method was taken whereby students were asked to design their own study (gaining insight into the challenges this presents); to collect and analyse their own data; and conclude from it. Although the effects of this on performance had been neutral, student grumbles about a disconnect between teaching and research had diminished, and, critically, students had reported enjoying the classes more.

Professor Frances Andrews from the School of History outlined three ways that research was being integrated with teaching within the School. Firstly, within discrete modules, research was integrated either based on research content, or on research methodologies. She gave two examples of this: a module run by a colleague around specific research content had led to the publication of a student textbook; and a module focusing on specific methodologies had led to a research publication. Prof. Andrews then talked about research around modules and how students should be encouraged to attend both internal PG seminars, and workshops with external, perhaps international, speakers. Field trips could also play a role in sparking enthusiasm for research, and gaining an understanding the research process. The third method was through gaining an appreciation of research through actually doing it – UG research projects leading to Masters and potentially PhDs.

Dr Shiona Chillas from the School of Management talked about how students do not understand how the work they do at University and the skills they acquire are relevant to their future careers, either in academia or in the workforce. In the School they are attempting to highlight the employability value of research activity through a core module on research proposals in Junior Honours. Students are asked to critique an existing piece of research – and then to see how easy or difficult it is to design their own research project. Both the process of doing this, and the outputs are of much more explicit value to employers.

Student contributors Sam Mills and Amy Sheader then presented enthusiastically on the work they will be doing over the summer on their Laidlaw Internships. Sam will be curating and creating a digital database of artefacts relating to pre-cinema moving image technology – and hopes to gain insight into the research process, helping to confirm his future direction of travel. Amy will be working on a Physics project on “optical tweezers” (manipulating tiny particles by exerting extremely small forces via a highly focused laser beam). She hopes to be able to make a connection between lecture material on the topic and the research she is undertaking – and to gain valuable transferable skills.

Themes which came out of discussion throughout the event were:

  • We need to move away from teaching research outcomes to teaching research processes.
  • Student choice in the process is key.
  • Students who lack confidence need to have time spent with them, be supported through small group teaching, and be scaffolded through the different stages of the research process.
  • Research is presented through teaching as a narrative of success – involvement in the research process can help students understand the power of failure.
As Amy summed it up, “you learn the most when things are going terribly wrong“.

Top Ten Tweets for Thursday

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Here is a selection of our favourite tweets and retweets from the TEL_St_A Twitter feed this week – just in case you missed them!

 Tweet  Tweeted by
What does Facebook know about you? Find out by accessing your ‘Digital Shadow’ – digitalshadow.com @tel_st_a
Citations are not enough” – because popular media presence influences practitioners more, argued here- bit.ly/1Ne0SvW  @tel_st_a
7 surprising dark secrets you may not know about TED talks t.co/wsvcWesM6Y  @DonaldClark
Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 | @scoopit t.co/YQCjMu4vpW  @OzMark17
New from Library blog: Open Access and content mining t.co/WYNcs4aaZN  @StAndrewsUniLib
Very exciting – Teaching in a Digital Age is now available to download and read t.co/LOkEUpaFFz #GCUBlend  @sheilmcn
Excellent post on the use of Cogi – an audio capture app that even goes back in time to record – can’t wait to try! bit.ly/1btqwMA @SussexTEL
Interesting read on VLE minimum standards – preventing dissatisfaction rather than leading to dissatisfaction? bit.ly/1Qi02NQ @reedyreedles
The question you dread being asked in the pub – so what exactly IS an instructional designer? bit.ly/1bts35t  @tel_st_a
Handwritten notes involve active listening, note-taking on a device is just transcribing. Interesting study from UCLA bit.ly/1klFvcB  @tel_st_a
Actually not just another list, but some useful Google tips for book lovers: bit.ly/1Ja0UlK  @tel_st_a

 

Digital Identity

community.fwMight your attitude towards the online environment in general be affecting your attitude towards teaching online? Think of phrases like ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’ and also consider ‘digital divide’. Do you identify more with natives or immigrants? Many people see the difference as being something which is defined by age – but is this necessarily the case? (Marc Prensky, the originator of the phrase ‘digital native’ changed his thinking between 2001 and 2011).

Consider the resources below – do you have an online identity? If you do, is it conscious (i.e. do you deliberately adopt a different persona online) or subconscious? Or do you have multiple identities for different purposes? If you do, are these more explicit online than any different identities you may adopt in face-to-face interactions?

Enacting Digital Identity (Cronin, 2012)
Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? (Krotoski, Guardian, 2012)
Future Identities (Government Office of Science, 2013)

What can your students pick up about you from how you interact online (through email, social media or online teaching tools)? Do you think their impressions would be more accurate than what they can tell from the shoes we wear, or the clothes we wear, or the photos we like to take? Who is you, the online individual?!