Staff Support for Digital Assessment and Feedback

As part of the University’s commitment to improving assessment and feedback practice, the following drop-in CPD sessions will be presented by the Academic Development team this month:

  • Thursday, January 11:  Introduction to Online Submission
  • Tuesday, January 16: Introduction to using Rubrics & Quickmarks
  • Thursday, January 25: Digital Feedback with Turnitin Feedback Studio
  • Tuesday, January 30: Getting started with Audio Feedback

All sessions will take place from 1pm to 2pm in room H116 of the William Harley building.

Guides to Digital Assessment are available under the Staff Help Tab in GCULearn, and directly from the Digital Assessment Padlet wall.

A series of workshop sessions will also be offered to departments in line with the roll-out of the new laptops. 

New laptops and Windows 10

The new Windows 10 laptops and peripherals will be distributed by IS on a departmental basis between January and May. To support staff as they receive their new laptops, the IS Training team has created a series of online help resources.

For those who need additional support, the team will host the following lunchtime drop-in sessions from 1pm to 2pm in room H023 (IT Training Room):

  • Monday, January 15: Windows 10 Laptop Support Session
  • Monday, January 22: Windows 10 Laptop Support Session
  • Monday, January 29: Windows 10 Laptop Support Session

These sessions will provide hardware and peripherals guidance, and operating system assistance. Staff attending these sessions should bring their new laptops with them.

For more information, please contact Professor Linda Creanor, Academic Quality and Development:


Christmas Collabo-break – 12 Apps of Christmas #GSBS12Apps

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 12.35.14

Missed the session? Catch up with the recording here.

Join us next at 11 am next Wednesday, 6 December, for a special Christmas collabo-break session. Johnny Briggs (Learning Technologist) GSBS will be sharing an overview of the GSBS 12 Apps of Christmas event.

Everyday from 1 December the team will be sharing an app that can help with some aspect of learning and teaching.  We may even get a preview of some of the apps still to be revealed.

You can find out more by joining the 12 Apps of Christmas community in GCULearn. Watch the video below for all the details.

You can join the session by following this link, and as usual the session will be recorded and you will be able to catch up here.

(click on the image to watch the video)


Evolving Carpe Diem #sedaconf

GCU has a long standing history with the Carpe Diem learning design methodology.  GCU was one of the original pilot institutions Professor Gilly Salmon worked with as she was developing the process.  It is now a cornerstone for our approach to learning design. Like a number of other institutions, we have developed and modified the process to suit our context.

Over the past year we have been in discussions with a number of colleagues at other institutions where we have shared our different experiences and approaches. One of the first outputs of these discussions was a joint workshop, Evolving Carpe Diem, with Julie Usher, University of Northampton, at this year’s SEDA conference in Cardiff.  Unfortunately Linda and I couldn’t make it to Cardiff in person, but we did join remotely via Collaborate Ultra.

However, just in case the technology gods weren’t on side we, in true Blue Peter fashion, prepared a short intro video and narrated slides, links below.  Many thanks to Julie for running such a great session at the conference and to everyone who participated.

Next Collabo-break session: Digital Assessment and Feedback, 22 November

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 11.39.12

Our next online Collabo-break session will take place on Wednesday 22 November at 12.30.

Professor Linda Creanor will be leading the session which will focus on the new University Digital Assessment Policy. Linda will be giving an overview of the developments, support and University level targets for the next academic year.

There is no need to register just click on this link to join the session.   Before you do please ensure that you use either the Google Chrome or Firefox browsers and have a look at this quick overview guide.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the session, it will be recorded and available via edShare.

You can also access related policies, guides, and resources on Assessment and Feedback here.


Guest post: New, open, staff digital learning guides

The GSBS Learning Technologists have recently published a set of online guides focused on a number of digital learning tools including GCULearn, Turnitin Feedback Studio and Collaborate Ultra. All of the guides are available for anyone to access via edShare (links at the end of this post). Elizabeth McGlone, Learning Technologist, explains more in this guest post.

It was great to get another learning technologist on board in our team in June this year – not least because it immediately killed two birds with one stone!  Simultaneously, we had another resource to support a staff of around 160 – which can be challenging when there’s only two of you – but also a whole new skill set!  Another resource meant more opportunity to be proactive in investigating new technologies.  I had briefly explored flipsnack while looking for an online flipbook solution but had never had the time to experiment with it, so it was timely and resourceful when my new colleague took the opportunity to do this.

Supporting our staff happens through individual face to face support as new technologies can understandably be daunting and our kinesthetic learners are supported as a group in a lab setting.  However the time consumed in offering this support can often mean that there is no time to create physical training resources that would both suit the more independent learner and act as a learning consolidation resource following face to face learning.  A new team member with a background in design meant we had the opportunity over the summer to create staff user guides using his bespoke template incorporating a GSBS blended learning branding.

We were able to launch these guides at our GSBS Digital Assessment Event in September and having them printed as a glossy brochure made them so desirable that all available copies were commandeered on the day!  We now have guides ranging from the setting up of digital assessments and online marking using Turnitin Feedback Studio, as well as guides to enhance the delivery of blended learning using collaborative tools such as wikis, blogs and podcasts.  We will continue to build and develop these at quieter periods in the academic year!staff_guide_mock-up

Not only do we offer the guides as a physical hard copy that can be taken away from training sessions but using the aforementioned flipsnack software means they can also be viewed as online digital flipbooks, with an additional option to download as PDFs for storing offline.  The guides are stored in edShare as open educational resources so that we can embed them within our Better Blended Learning Community in GCULearn , and also share them with the rest of the university community and the world.

So, now we have this dynamic online software to support staff learning new technologies, are we making our own physical contributions to staff redundant?  While endeavouring to develop the digital capabilities in the staff we support, we use technology.  But technology doesn’t replace people, people enable the advancement, innovation and success of technology which in turn supports successful learning and teaching.  These guides are just another part of the support we continue to offer to our colleagues within the school, university and beyond.






Thinking about joining things up with ThingLink

I am always looking for simple ways to present or perhaps represent content, links and well “stuff” in general.   Over the last couple of months I’ve been having a play with Thinglink.

Thinglink is an web based application that allows users to enhance images and videos with hyperlinked content.  So you can take an image, and then “tag” it, to create hotspots which link to related resources/additional information. For example if you had a map you could tag specific buildings/parks and provide links to related resources and additional information like this.  In a similar vein, I can imagine an interactive guide to a lab/specialist equipment.

I have used it to enhanced a diagram illustrating the work of our department which is now part of our website.  More recently, I’ve used it to create a more visual, interactive guide to some support resources for the Collaborate Ultra web conferencing system.

There’s also the ability to tag videos and create 360 videos, but you have to pay for that level. Just now I am finding the free to use version more than adequate for my needs.  The subscription version also includes more sophisticated “education” specific functions, like setting up groups.  However, I don’t really have a need to do that just now.

The finished resources can be easily shared on line and also embedded in GCULearn.  So, another little tool to think  if you have an image that you would like to enhance or have a some related web links that you would like to contextualise. Or you might think about getting students to use it to create some digital artefacts.

If you have any thoughts or have used Thinglink,  we’d love to hear them in  the comments.


Collabo-break session 1 recording now available

Many thanks to Allan Thomson (SHLS)  for leading our first Collabo-break session today.  As well as giving a really useful overview of how to set up and use the system, Allan provided some great advice and ideas on based on his  very positive experiences of integrating it into his teaching.

You can view the session directly here, or download it from edShare.

Our next session will be in November – watch this space for more details.


Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 11.39.12

Join us for a “collabo-break”, 12 October

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 11.39.12

We are delighted that Allan Thomson (Lecturer, Podiatry) is going to take the lead in our inaugural online “collabo-break”next Thursday (12 October) at 12.30pm. Alan will be sharing  how he is using the Collaborate Ultra web conferencing system with his on campus and distance students and when students are on placement.

These sessions are the successor to our face to face coffee club meetings and we will be using Collaborate Ultra, so you can join us from anywhere.  If you can’t make the session we’ll be sharing a recording very shortly afterwards via edShare.

This is the first of series of online sessions to share practice and also to provide an opportunity for staff to experience the Collaborate Ultra web conferencing system which is now fully integrated into GCULearn.

To join the session simply click on this link.

NB To get the best user experience of Collaborate Ultra, take a few minutes before the session starts to ensure that you have the most up to date version of either the Chrome or Firefox web browsers,  and that you have headphones/mic/speakers so you can hear and contribute to the session.  More information and guidance about using Collaborate Ultra is available here.


Quick Guides to setting up and using Collaborate Ultra in GCULearn

The Collaborate Ultra web conferencing system is now fully integrated into GCULearn. That means that all teaching staff attached to modules can easily set up  and run online web conferences within their modules.

To help get you started we’ve produced two new quick start guides which take you through the step up process in GCU Learn and give a quick overview of the main features and functions of the Collaborate Ultra Interface.

Click on the image below to access an interactive version with guidance.

Collated assessment and feedback policy and guidance

Following our last posts on collated resources and guidance for curriculum/module design and GCU Learn, we how have another collection of collated resources around assessment and feedback. This guide includes GCU policies, including our new Digital Assessment Policy, guides for Turnitin and GCULearn.

You can view the resource in full screen by clicking on the arrow  Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 10.17.53 icon at the top right hand side of the wall or by following this link.

Made with Padlet