East Midlands Learning Technologists

East Midlands Learning Technologists' Group, supported by ALT

EMLT December 2015 meeting round-up

Harbourview parkThe Winter EMLT event took place on the Wednesday the 9th December at De Montfort University Leicester with sponsorship for the event from Wyver Solutions Ltd for catering. At the beginning of the session we also asked participants to contribute to a Padlet wall with a review of EMLT activities in 2015 and suggestions for EMLT activities in 2016. This is still open to contributions and can be found at http://padlet.com/laurahollinshea/emlt2015.

Introduction to ‘art of assessment’ – Rob Weale, De Montfort University

We started our series of presentations off with Rob Weale discussing the theme of the day ‘the art of assessment’. A link to the recording of the presentation is available here.

Using Micro Assessment to Scaffold a Flipped Learning Programme in Midwifery – Kirstie Coolin, Liz Hilton, University of Nottingham

Our second presentation looked at the work the University of Nottingham have been doing on flipping midwife training. The opportunity to incorporate the flipped learning model into the delivery of this BSc came about as a result of the introduction of a new curriculum where delivery was scheduled for September 2015. The nursing courses are already 50% blended and academic staff wanted to make the most of face-to-face lecturers and it felt this approach might help them to do this. This approach provided a big change to staff and students challenging them to work in new ways.

The design of the course started with focusing on the outcomes from face-to-face sessions and worked backwards to establish what students would need to bring to these session and then design a series of online activities for students to complete prior to attendance. The activities included videos, short-answer questions and reflective activities delivered using the Moodle lessons tool and the analytics to see student engagement. They are looking to see if there is a way of pulling information from this tool to see where the analytics show students who haven’t engaged. Focus groups were run with students to talk about the use of Moodle and the flipped learning experience. Students provided good feedback about their experience and as a result the academic has not had to repeat content in face-to-face sessions. One of the refinements being made as a result of student feedback is to provide guidance on the amount of time each activity will take at the start of the activity so students can better plan their workload

Transforming GCSE Maths with digital assessment – Jay Ashcroft, LearnMaker

Our third presentation looked at the use of the assessment workload within GCSE Maths teaching. Utilising an iPad app to record assessments and provide feedback to students about their assessments. A number of benefits were identified including reduced marking time and increased student interactions.  Here is a link to the slides for the presentation and a write up of the case study discussed within the presentation can be found at http://learnmaker.co.uk/broadgreen-international-school

Jisc Assessment Resources – Keith Jenkins, Jisc

Our fourth presentation before the break was from Keith Jenkins, Account Manager at Jisc, talking about the different resources and projects related to assessment. A recording of the presentation is available here.

Presentations delivered as part of the Online ALT Winter Conference

Two of the presentations delivered during the event were live streamed to the ALT Winter Conference.

Taking the leap – helping Historians to start marking online – Catherine Leyland, University of Leicester

The first presentation was from Catherine Leyland from the University of Leicester looking at getting historians to take the leap and start marking online. Unfortunately the sound quality on the first presentation was not great but Catherine has re-recorded this for us and the recording is available at https://youtu.be/FVRUt5ewz3U

E-assessment & Feedback @DMU – Richard Vallance, De Montfort University

The second presentation came from Richard Vallance, DMU who talks about the process he is taking of developing and implementing an e-assessment and e-feedback policy.

This presentation was recorded in Blackboard Collaborate and can be found at 13:30 within the session (ignore the first part as this was the first recording where the audio was bad).

Four years on from institution wide eSubmission and feedback – Laura Hollinshead, University of Derby

The final presentation on assessment delivered during the event was from Laura Hollinshead who talked about the rollout of electronic submission and marking across the institution and how this has become established within practices. She also covered the further development of assessment and feedback processes now being promoted. A recording of the presentation is available here.

ELESIG Presentation – Rob Howe, University of Northampton

The final presentation of the event was from Rob Howe the chair of the ELESIG Regional Group for the Midlands. Rob talked about the work of the group and how members of EMLT can get involved in joining this community of practice via the Ning site. Slides for Rob’s presentation are available here.

A big thank you to all attendees and we look forward to seeing you at our next event in 2016.

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Spring EMLT Meeting – Round-Up

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084223-2I hope you have all had a good Easter. Before all the egg eating began over the weekend, we had the Spring EMLT meeting at the University of Derby. We had a good turn out and started the event off with some Easter treats and floppy crisps.

We then took part in some speed networking, where everyone sat in rows and had 3 minutes to talk to someone they had not met before. It was a little hard to hear with all the noise, but hopefully everyone got to meet some new people and form some useful connections.

A brief introduction on digital literacy was given at the beginning fo the sessions to help set the scene, providing a definition, the seven elements of digital literacy and a useful development framework from Jisc.

We then had three presentations from people within the room focusing on the development of digital literacies.

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084103Martin Cooke (Freelance Learning Technologist) – FOMO are you missing out? Technology for well being

Martin talked about how important it is to reflect upon the way in which we are using technology and to sometimes step back, turn the technology off and take a break from all the noise.

You can find Martin’s slides at:


Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084102Stathis Konstantinidis (Assistant Professor of eLearning and Health Informatics, University of Nottingham) – Fostering IT Skills Competences of the healthcare workforce of EU and USA

Stathis talked about the work he has been doing, helping four of the European partners of the University of Nottingham to carry out a SWOT analysis of programmes for their provision of IT skills. Some of the key conclusions from the work, looked towards MOOC’s and Open Education Resources as possible tools to help provide a sustainable , cost-effective and efficient lifelong learning model.

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084101Elaine Swift (Digital Practice Manager, Nottingham Trent University) – Scoping Digital Literacy Support at an institutional level

Elaine talked about the work she has been doing at Nottingham Trent looking at how to embed digital literacy as a core competency across a variety of different roles within the institution. Having put together a framework and set of principles for supporting digital practices Elaine and her team are now working in partnership with academic schools to scope a set of specialist competencies for different subject areas.

The next activity saw us getting creative in groups, drawing our idea of a digitally literate person. There were a number of different interpretations, which I hope you can see in the below images (sorry about the reflections!). We had a prize for the winner. Can you guess which one won?

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084059-2 Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084059-3 Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084100-1 Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084100

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084059Our final activity was to work in groups to plan a workshop  to develop a digital capability. The groups were asked to choose a technology or practice which fitted into one of the seven elements of digital literacy from Jisc. We had some great ideas which can be seen in the Google Documents used to during the session.

Thank you all for coming, I hope you enjoyed the day and that we shall see you next time in June/July at Loughborough University.

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084223

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Autumn 2014 meeting announced!

Mind the gap image

Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc

Not long until our next meeting!!

Our autumn meeting of the East Midlands Learning Technologists’ group for 2014 is due to take place on the 22nd of October at Loughborough College and the theme is ‘Mind the Gap! Mainstreaming and supporting innovation‘ – and we’d like to hear your stories of how you discovered innovation, how you shared it, how you helped to change practice… or how you took a small innovative idea and made it big. As ever… we need you!!

Call for presentations

We’d love to have some PechaKucha presentations from our community – 6 minute presentations with images – where you tell us about how you got over that awkward gap between a great idea and the reality of getting it into the mainstream. Small scale, large scale, online, offline, formal or informal learning… give us a taste of your experience and some food for thought. We’re interested in presentations from across the learning spectrum – whether that’s Higher Education, Further Education, Schools, local government or the private sector, we’d like to hear from you.

Closing date for submitting presentation ideas is 5pm on Friday 26th September 2014 and we’ll confirm presenters during the first week of October. So, to submit your ideas, head to the submission form (http://goo.gl/ccVuye) and fill out the details.

Event details

Date: 22nd October 2014

Time: 1pm to 4pm with a buffet lunch from 12pm

Venue: Loughborough College, Radmoor Rd, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3BT

Cost: Free (hooray for free!)

Booking here: http://emltautumn14.eventbrite.co.uk – it’s password protected – just head to our JiscMail list to get the password (and prove you’re not a robot!)

Food and drink will be available on arrival. There will be chance for networking over a buffet lunch, interesting presentations from our community and the chance for discussion with the meeting ending no later than 4pm. The cost, as ever, is free… so if you can get yourself to Loughborough on the afternoon of the 22nd of October, then it would be great to see you there!

A map for the campus can be found on the Loughborough College website but can also be downloaded from this link too:

Roll on October!


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EMLT Meeting – Summer 2014 – BOOK NOW!

Photo Credit: Kevin Conor Keller via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Kevin Conor Keller via Compfight cc

Summer is (almost!) here and it’s time for another East Midlands Learning Technologists’ meeting!  The venue, date and time is set… so… we’ll hopefully see plenty of you at the University of Nottingham on July 8th from 12pm for lunch with the meeting starting at 1pm.

The theme for the meeting is…

‘Open All Hours’

… all about openness, flexible delivery and shifting boundaries in education… and we need you!

Call for presentations

We’d like to have some PechaKucha presentations from our community – 6 minute presentations with images – where you tell us about ‘open’.  Whether that’s involvement in production of Open Educational Resource, working on MOOCs, how you’re exploring informal / formal learning in your work, research or legal / policy in the area of openness as stories of the difference an open mindset is making in the curriculum across disciplines / institutions – we’d love to hear about them and help disseminate your work across our region / nationally.

Closing date for submitting ideas is 5pm on Friday 13th June 2014… submit your ideas using this form: http://goo.gl/B0LQod


Sounds like you want to come along?  Excellent!

Date:                     8th July 2014

Time:                    1pm to 4pm with a buffet lunch from 12pm

Venue:                 B46, The Dearing Building, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham, NG8 1BB

Cost:                      Free (we love things that are free!)

To book head to http://emltsummer14.eventbrite.co.uk where you’ll need to enter the password to get in… this is: em1t  (emlt with the L replaced by a number 1) and then click on Register.

A map for the campus can be found on their website but can be downloaded from this link too:

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sharedresources/documents/mapjubileecampus.pdf.  There is parking available, you just need to use the visitor parking where 4 hours parking will cost £4:00.

We’re really looking forward to seeing as many of you there as can make it… so sign up… encourage others to attend… tweet about it… and help make it a really useful event for us all!  Our hashtag is #emlt so help us spread the word!!

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Our Spring 2014 EMLT meeting – Video killed the radio star

So, another meeting has come and gone.  There was cake, there were cups of tea, there was chatting and there were ideas.  Lots of lovely ideas!  All held at the University of Derby on the 2nd of April 2014.

Video killed the radio star

If in doubt, draw your own illustration!

The theme for the meeting was ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ (which obviously meant that *that* song got stuck in my head for the whole time I was organising the meeting!).  We wanted to explore what digital video creativity looked like in all of its forms.  From the small scale of designing learning activities with video to institutional systems and new ways of ‘doing’.  We had several terrific presentations on the theme and a healthy discussion about what value video might have in education as well as coming up with a list of tips for good practice which everyone had the chance to contribute to.

Following a lovely buffet, the first presentation of the day came from Simon Birkett, Technology Enhanced Learning Manager at the University of Derby.

He spoke on ‘Learning Space Design – Digital Innovation and Creativity’ and talked us through the changes which have been happening to learning spaces at Derby.  Transforming the way people think about even things like furniture – moving from the ‘furniture on wheels is a health and safety issue’ mindset to the ‘where are the wheels, how can we make the space flexible’ has been a challenging one, but the images Simon shared clearly showed how it could impact on the way in which students could work together.  The joined up thinking and investment seemed to be strong messages which came across from his presentation and provided plenty of food for thought!

Following Simon’s presentation, we moved on to the PechaKucha sessions.  We were very fortunate to have colleagues from across our region presenting on a range of topics – and all of whom did a fabulous job of keeping to time!  No easy feat when it comes to PechaKucha-style presenting.

First up for the PechaKucha’s was Rob Higson from the University of Derby – presenting on ‘Engaging our fashion programme through video’.

He shared some of the work he and a colleague at the university have been doing in working with an academic to integrate video into her teaching practice with fashion students.  From instructional videos to video feedback to students as creators of their own videos for critique – it was great to see.  They were using iPads with the Panopto app to capture the video and it showed just how one good idea could flow into another and another… and ultimately change practice.

Next up, the brilliantly titled ‘Putting Lipstick on a Pig’ from Charles Shields, University of Loughborough.

Charles shared the reality of lecture capture at scale – points of resistance that he’d experienced and, more importantly, how they were handled.  Apart from needing a prize for his presentation title, he gave everyone lots of food for thought and the opportunity to reflect on their own experience of supporting lecture capture.

Following on from Charles was Matt Howcroft, University of Derby who shared ‘Creating a great video learning resource’.

With his beautifully visual presentation took everyone through the value that video could add and what approaches might work in learning and teaching.  Great stuff from Matt!!

Nikodem Miranowicz from the University of Nottingham followed with ‘Video synced interactive web visualisations’.

He shared an approach whereby video could be synced with data visualisations using javascript libraries.  Seeing examples of the visualisations in action was inspiring stuff – and while the code might have gone over my head, it definitely didn’t go over everyone’s and I know his presentation will have got people’s brains whirring with possibility!

Our penultimate presentation was from Hannah Davies, University of Derby, who shared her presentation ‘Multiple perspectives through video’.

Another beautifully constructed presentation and it was excellent to see some video examples of the work that Hannah and the media team at the University of Derby have been putting together.  Working to support careers and employability is a hot topic across institutions – from FE to HE, private to public sector – and Hannah showed that getting out there and making real connections for learners with video is a powerful tool.

Last up was Dr Stuart Jolly from Nottingham Trent University.  Stuart’s presentation was on ’20-ish ideas for using video in learning and teaching’ and he’d put together a video of all of his examples which was superb.  We’ll write them up with Stuart and post them on the blog later – his work showed how video can play such an active part in students’ learning.  From supporting the creation of learning communities, to building in opportunities for review and reflection to helping with critical analysis and personalising feedback.  Stuart’s video is well worth a watch!

Phew!  Lots and lots of ideas – and inspiring stuff from our brilliant community.  What a fantastic region this is for great ideas!

We always have the opportunity to go round the room to see if there are any other ideas, projects or connections people would like to make… and as ever, there were.  It helps get the conversations going for when we break for a cuppa and more cake… and there’s always a point during the afternoon where I take a moment to listen to the buzz of the room and appreciate what a strong community it is that we’re forming.  Brilliant!

Once we were fortified with more cake, tea and biccies, it was time for a demonstration of Box of Broadcasts from David Hopkins, University of Leicester.  David showed us just how easy Box of Broadcasts is to use and gave us the chance to consider its potential at our own institutions.  Because we have colleagues from several different institutions represented, David’s demo allowed us to talk more broadly about issues connected with overseas students and licensing, with the potential for tagging and retrieval of video, creation of playlists, easy embedding of clips as well as the reality of supporting a service like that.

And finally – in what was a packed programme! – we all worked together on putting together some collaborative documents.  I’ll share them as separate blog posts another day.  Essentially, we had three main areas to contribute to:

  1. What’s the point of video in the curriculum?
  2. What value does it add to learning?
  3. What best practice hints and tips have we got?

There were points that made me go ‘ah, not just me then’, points that made me go ‘hadn’t thought of that’, and points that just made me laugh!  Especially the ones about finger food and porridge!!  That’s the beauty of our group… we get to chat informally with our peers about the reality of our professional experiences.  Highs, lows, warts and all.  The shiny stuff is for conferences… our group is about our shared reality.    Talking of a shared professional experience, we are offering the opportunity for CMALT mentoring across the region, which I briefly mentioned at the end, and if anyone would like to talk to me further about it, please drop me an email to s.horrigan@derby.ac.uk.

Phewie!!!  Excellent to see old friends, meet new colleagues and strengthen our network.  Thanks to all who came and contributed in any way.

Our next meeting will probably be at the University of Nottingham in early July and we’ll be on the look out for presentation ideas around early June… so please keep an eye out for our call for presentations.


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EMLT Meeting at De Montfort University, December 11th 2013

Winter morning

Welcome and overview of meeting

Sarah Horrigan opened the event with a quote from Martin Weller (2013) about openness.

“Openness has been successful in being accepted as an approach in higher education and widely adopted as standard practice.  In this sense it has been victorious, but this can be seen as only the first stage in a longer, ongoing battle around the nature that openness should take.  There are now more nuanced and detailed areas to be addressed, like a number of battles on different fronts.  After the initial success of openness as a general ethos then the question becomes not ‘do you want to be open?’ but rather ‘what type of openness do you want?’.  Determining the nature of openness in a range of contexts so that it retains its key benefits as an approach is the next major focus for the open education movement.

Open approaches complement the ethos of higher education, and also provide the means to produce innovation in a range of its central practices.  Such innovation is both necessary and desirable to maintain the role and function of universities as they adapt.  It is essential therefore that institutions and practitioners within higher education have ownership of these changes and an appreciation of what openness means.  To allow others to dictate what form these open practices should take will be to abdicate responsibility for the future of education itself.” (Weller, 2013)

Weller, M. (2013), The battle for open – a perspective. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, available from http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/article/2013-15/pdf, date accessed 13th December 2013

PechaKucha presentations

We then had some PechaKucha presentations from EMLT members.

Martin Cooke (Jisc RSC East Midlands) – Balabolka

Watch Martin’s presentation about the free text-to-speech tool Balabolka.



Lucy Atkins (De Montfort University) – Digilit Survey Results

Having presented on the development of the framework and survey at the July EMLT meeting, Lucy presented the findings of the DigiLit Leicester Survey for 2013.

Lucy’s slides can be seen at http://www.slideshare.net/lucyjca1304/digilit-pecha-kucha


Mark Berthelemy (Wyver Solutions Ltd) – Sustainable Open Education

Talked about the need to consider whether Open Education is a sustainable model. He proposes that without a sustainable business model these initiatives will disappear once funding for them stops. He looks at the Manager Tools site as a potential model for others to explore.

Mark’s slides can be seen at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1keEwIGgLtiW3wuf5rKzkM8sJzPlgWghqb_8_CQN8An4/edit?usp=sharing

Mark explores this further in a blog post on the EMLT website https://eastmidslt.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/sustainable-open-education/


Rob Weale (De Montfort University) – Sharing Practice via online case studies

This presentation will give an overview of how good practice in the use of learning technologies is openly shared via an online ‘Commons’. The site provides links to online case studies which use text summaries, videos, and audio to help articulate what was done.

Rob’s slides can be seen at



Round the room round-up

We asked the room whether there was anything that they wanted to share with the other attendees.

Calls for information/participation

  • Implementation of tools to support HEAR (Rachel Challen, Loughborough College) – Rachel is looking to start the process of putting a tool in place to help with the HEAR system and would like to hear from anyone who has experience of this to give her an idea of where to start.

  • Lecture Capture – (Charles Shields, Loughborough University) – Charles is interested in hearing from others who have or are looking to roll out Lecture Capture across the institution. They are looking at implementing an opt out system.

  • New Build Projects (Charles Shields, Loughborough University) – Loughborough University is looking to build a new facility at the Olympic Park in London, Charles is interested in hearing from those with experience of new build projects or designing learning spaces to effectively integrate learning technology.

  • Digital Literacy (Sarah Horrigan, University of Derby) – Sarah has recently been visiting a number of universities to talk to them about their digital literacy initiatives for both staff and students.

  • Digital Literacy Project in FE – (Geraldine Murphy, Loughborough College) Looking for FE tutors to contribute to the project by completing an online survey. Contact geraldine.murphy@mail.bcu.ac.uk.

  • Bring your own device (Jon Tyler, De Montfort University) – Interested in hearing from anyone currently looking at the support for Bring Your Own Device approaches to learning technology.



  • Web Editor (Online Learning Editor) (Hannah Stanley-Scott, University of Derby (Online Learning)) – to be advertised soon.

Interesting Projects / News

  • Mini moocs (Duncan Greenhill, University of Leicester) – Duncan has recently been working on a project looking at mini moocs for biological sciences. They are aimed at A Level students and help them to get an idea of what it would be like to study at the university.

  • Award Winner!! (Lucy Atkins, De Montfort University) – DigiLit Leicester Project is one of the five winners of the Reclaim Open Learning Innovation Contest – more about this can be found on the DigiLit blog http://lccdigilit.our.dmu.ac.uk/2013/09/16/the-award-winning-digilit-leicester-project/

If I have missed anything, please add it as a comment on the blog post.

‘Thinking about openness’ – workshop

As part of the meeting we had a discussion about openness and sought to discuss the following three questions.

1. What are some of the benefits of ‘open educational practice’ from our perspective as learning technologists (these can be general and/or organisational/institutional)?

  • Simpler – don’t have to worry about authentication

  • Saves us from re-inventing the wheel – makes it easier

  • Don’t have to make the same mistakes as others

  • EMLT as space in which we can be open about failure / the reality of learning – smaller versions of ‘open’ can be useful

  • The process of being open – healthy learning community which is transparent

  • Easier for the learner – can use the tools they are used to using, e.g. Google etc.

  • Education as a collaborative pursuit – helps working together

  • Efficiency gains / economies of scale

  • Prove capability

  • Can help to build networks, social media as open publishing platform (beware of protectionist barriers)

  • Good for informal sharing

  • Marketing – institutional, organisational or corporation using open educational practices as a marketing device.  Also on an individual level – the individual as a ‘brand’.

  • Openness is a mindset?

  • Can draw on sources of talent etc – especially within this group – develop own skills

2. What are some of the barriers to ‘open educational practice’?

  • Licensing restrictions

  • Knowing where to find openly licensed resources which you can build on

  • Others not working in an open manner – can conflict with an intention to be open

  • High stakes areas can make open difficult, e.g. research areas can be very closely protected

  • Plagiarism

  • Openness is not valued by the system – what is the value of academic / professional blogging if it is not professionally validated in some way? The value can be personal but the organisation can struggle to relate that to itself.

  • Openness is a cultural / mindset issue

  • Quality – confidence in the quality of resources / how does the resource represent the institution or employer?

  • The environment in which you operate can be a barrier, e.g. being frank and honest in a fully public environment may not be appropriate.

  • Openness is potentially a huge game changer – the money has to be found from somewhere.

  • Does open = free?  Can it?

  • Is open inclusive?  Does everyone want to work in that way?  Can they?  Do they have the tools that will enable them to work in that manner?

  • No budget for ‘open’

  • Legal issues – can it be published openly?  Do organisations facilitate open publication?

  • Ethical issues – especially using visual content and permissions haven’t been sought.

  • Issues of ownership – who owns open?

  • Control of resources – people can be quite closed / competitive

3. How can we as learning technologists help to overcome some of the barriers to open educational practices?

  • Opening discussions with colleagues – highlighting gaps in policy and aiming for clarification etc

  • Leading by example – share openly and talk about real examples

  • Incentivise it – give people a reason to share their work.  Help open practitioners feel that what they’re doing has value within their community.

  • Work out what matters and frame open educational practices around that issue.

  • Provide support for those who need additional help – de-grey the grey areas (especially copyright!)

  • Make language accessible

  • Provide a suitable platform, e.g. iTunes, WordPress etc – and provide support for whatever it is that you choose

  • Create opportunities to be open such as networking opportunities.  It is an organisational / cultural thing – if that’s open, it feeds through to everyone within that organisation

  • People like talking to people – help create those points of personal contact.

  • Flattery – help people celebrate and recognise the quality of what they’ve done – it then becomes their idea to share with others

  • Link open with something of benefit to the organisation, e.g. share your Moodle courses with others and we’ll provide free CPD for you

  • Support the use of tools and technologies which facilitate openness – basics, case studies, step-by-step instructions, examples, openness to technologies that are open (outside core tech of institution) – provide mechanisms by which the tools of open can be accessed

  • Tap into support resources which already exist externally / openly

  • Challenge the status quo

  • Amplify the voices that matter… ‘you said we did’… meeting student expectations.  Getting the student voices into case studies etc, finding ways to connect the right people

  • Tell stories

Wrap-up and next meeting details

We finished the meeting by asking attendees for potential themes for the next event

  • Increasing participation at a distance

  • Lecture Capture

  • Student generated content with Audio and Video

  • Bring your Own Device

Thank you to De Montfort University for hosting and a special thank you to Rob Weale for organising things at DMU and Richard Hall for funding the yummy food.

The University of Derby has kindly offered to host the next meeting in March or April.

We look forward to seeing you there.

The EMLT Steering Group

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EMLT meeting at ALT-C, September 11th 2013

Image of foggy trees for Autumn EMLT meeting report

A foggy day in September in the East Midlands

Apologies for the delay in writing something up for our last meeting – September some how whizzed by and suddenly we’re part of the way through October!

So, our meeting at ALT-C (the annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology) took place on the 11th of September at the fantastic venue of the University of Nottingham.  We had attendees from all over our region which was great to see and the fact that people came who weren’t attending the conference itself but had made a special effort to come along anyway was much appreciated and helped add to a positive buzz for our group.  Thank you!

Other than sharing sweets and biccies (food is always good / fun at our meetings!), it was good to catch-up with friendly faces from across the East Midlands.  As a group we talked about the role that special interest groups might play and some main issues were identified which we all felt were worth further exploration:

  • sharing tools and innovation
  • training / staff development
  • partnerships with students / understand the learners’ perspective
  • CMALT / FHEA mentoring
  • classroom technology
  • regional benchmarking
  • openness / MOOCs.

The overriding message was that everyone valued the regional nature of the group and this was what we wanted to build on.  We all felt that active themes for our meetings were more important than SIGs, because the meetings could be themed where collaborative partnerships / connections could be made and followed up after the event rather than splitting into sub-groups ahead of a meeting.  The suggestion that a register of experts was needed was made and this is a fantastic idea.  We have so many skills and so much experience in such a range of sectors in our region that we’d all love to be able to tap into our own network’s expertise and use our ‘local’ location to get together.  We’ll try to pull pulling it together in the next few months – so keep your eyes peeled for that!  Another terrific suggestion was the idea of us acting as critical friends for one another as well as building on collaborative relationships across our region – so at the next meeting we’ll be having some pecha kucha sessions where ideas can be shared and feedback given as well as the usual opportunity for networking.

I also asked who would be interested in writing for this blog as I’m keen that we let everyone know about the innovative and exciting work that’s going on in the East Midlands.  I had plenty of volunteers but we could always do with more… and if you’re interested in writing on topics related to learning technology and you’re based in the East Midlands… then please get in touch using the Google form we’ve set up.  I’ll try to get in touch with all volunteers in the next few weeks with further details!

I’m already looking forward to our next meeting which we’ll announce the details of shortly, but it’ll probably be on a Wednesday afternoon during the first couple of weeks of December.


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