ILIaD activity in the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences

8199615826_039878c5d1As the ILIaD contact for Natural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Southampton, I co-ordinate a range of our activities with the Faculty. Having an Earth Sciences background means I’m frequently attached to specific projects that might benefit from more specialist knowledge. Here’s a round up of what’s been happening (or is planned) for this Academic year…

Staff development
iSolutions and ILIaD co-hosted sessions on using Panopto for Biology staff, and using Questionmark Perception for OES staff in September. We have another Panopto session scheduled for OES staff down at the NOC campus in December. See the event page for more details.

Professor David Read (Chemistry, and 1 of 5 ILIaD Fellows) is producing a short case study regarding his use of Turnitin to provide more detailed feedback to students in efficient timeframes. Professor Steve Roberts (OES) is producing a case study about his use of computer-aided assessment, specifically Questionmark Perception. Both case studies will be available via ILIaD’s new Blended Learning course for UoS staff. To register your interest in the course, complete this short form. Could you contribute a case study about what you do? Please contact me!

MOOCs
Exploring our Oceans was the second MOOC developed by the University of Southampton in 2014. It completed its 3rd run on the 11th of October this year. Over the the course of 3 runs we have attracted over 25,000 people to sign up, retaining approximately 50% of those onto the start of the course. Highlights included: showcasing research by OES staff; learners sharing their new-found knowledge and describing how the course had impacted them personally; a live link-up with the InnerSpace Centre; and an excellent team of postgraduate facilitators (whose work was particularly valued by learners). You can see Professor Rachel Mills and Dr Jon Copley (along with some of the ‘Shipwrecks’ MOOC team) talking about the impact of the MOOC in this 6 minute video. Follow my blog for future posts about some of the free tools we used in the course and how you could use them to enhance your teaching with undergraduates at the University.

Module enhancements
I’m working with academics on enhancing some Blackboard modules for OES students. At least one module is currently undergoing a complete redesign, which includes developing a virtual field trip, several interactive images for students, and a change to the assessment structure. Blackboard can be much more than a repository for lecture notes, but it can be hard to find the time to develop a module more fully. I can work with staff to choose the right tools, spend time implementing them, and then provide a comprehensive handover so that the academic feels confident in maintaining a new-look module. As a result of the ILIaD Excellence in Blackboard Awards, the learning design team has had access to innovative and excellent modules across all of the faculties, and we can share that experience with academic teams.

Outreach developments
Both myself and the Media Team Manager, Stephan Caspar, are exploring options with OES Colleagues for expanding the Discover Oceanography schools’ engagement initiative.

E-Sign-in for UG lab classes
I am scoping various solutions used across the university for alternatives to paper-based registers for practical classes. Once the scoping is complete, there will be a clearer picture of the pros and cons of different methods, and hopefully a scalable and viable university-wide solution will emerge.

Did you know…?
Staff can register as Affiliates of ILIaD or apply to become an Associate. The Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences currently has 6 Associates. Are you enthusiastic about technology enhanced learning? Please join our growing community of practice.

photo credit: 121031105057-Moray_Garden_Dahab.jpg via photopin (license)

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