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Technology-Enhanced Learning Symposium

Glyndŵr University Wrexham – Technology-Enhanced Learning Symposium

6th March 2013

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The recent publishing of the videos of the presentations from the technology-enhance learning symposium at Glyndwr University (http://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/video/TEL/symposium2013/) gave me cause to reflect on what was a really superb event.

Organising conferences or symposia is not something I normally enjoy; persuading people that they really do have something interesting to say or that their work is really innovative can be challenging but this time I very quickly got a group of willing volunteers. What was most pleasing was the fact that speakers came from across the university from subject areas as diverse as engineering to therapeutic child care, from nursing to early years. Not only that, their talks revealed how different technologies are being used to support students.

The symposium also attracted two excellent external speakers; Sian Murphy, Training and Development Technology Designer for Virgin Media, opened the symposium with a presentation on how Virgin Media are using their learning platform to facilitate professional development. Our other external speaker, Lis Parcell from RSC/JISC gave a fascinating talk on the challenges and opportunities of Open Education Resources (OERs).

First up of the internal speakers was Mike Bellis from nursing. Mike has been using audio feedback for some time now and he took us through both the process of producing the audio files and the benefits he believes this form of feedback has for both tutor and student.

Our next speaker was Barrie Birmingham from engineering. Barrie and colleagues has been using ‘quizes’ within Moodle to help students check progress and to re-enforce learning.

Liz Sheen, Early Childhood Studies, who has considerable experience of online and blended learning programmes, explained her approaches and how online is quite a different learning environment to the physical classroom.

In an intriguingly entitled talk ‘A stich in virtual time: creative threaded discussions’ Viv Dacre (therapeutic child care) explained her approach to facilitating forum debates and how she uses questioning to stimulate student online conversations.

Our final presentation came from two speakers, Alicia Owen (VLE technologist) and Kirstie Edwards(Business & Management) who are both using screencasting. Alicia spoke about her use of this to provide training materials for both tutors and students whilst Kirstie uses screencasting to provide student feedback.

There was overwhelming enthusiasm from the 50+ attendees for the presentations with one person concluding ‘The best e-learning conference I have attended’.

There is just one problem – now they want another symposium next year; volunteers anyone?

Posted by Clive Buckley