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E-Learning Newsletter – May 2017

1 June 2017 Posted in: News By: Manoj Singh

Final call: E-Learning Annual Event – Wednesday 14th June

iloveqmplus banner sliderJoin us at our annual summer event on Wednesday 14th June at 14:00. Some of the things we’ll be presenting at this event are –

  • Some of the great projects that have been undertaken under our E-Learning Production scheme
  • Upcoming initiatives in online exams and mobile learning
  • The highlights of our annual QMplus upgrade including the new user interface design
  • The new features coming in our Q-Review upgrade
  • Changes to QMplus Hub, including its place in the upcoming launch of the QMUL model

It’s an opportunity to chat to colleagues from across the institution who are engaged in e-learning, while enjoying a drink and canapés. Please let us know that you’re coming by registering via Eventbrite. We look forward to seeing you there.

Important dates

We will be upgrading several of our e-learning applications over the coming months, this is just a brief reminder of the important dates:

  • On 13th June we will be upgrading QMplus Hub, our group working and e-portfolio system. This will introduce a number of improvements and new features.
  • The annual upgrade of our online learning environment, QMplus, will take place between 10th and 12th July. You can find further details on our QMplus upgrade page.
  • Our lecture recording system, Q-Review, will also be undergoing an upgrade during the week of the 7th August, bringing an improvement in the service and some new features. You can find more information on our Q-Review upgrade page.

A first peek at the new look QMplus

This summer QMplus is undergoing a major overhaul to the way it looks, the first complete re-working of the design since we launched it in September 2012.

Over the past 6 months we have been listening to what you like and don’t like about QMplus and we have been working more closely with focus groups of students, academics and administrators around Queen Mary to test ideas and first impressions of the new functionality in the new look QMplus.

Some of the highlights of the new design are:

  1. A fresh new colour palette
  2. A streamlined home page
  3. A great new user dashboard with customisable widgets
  4. New module and landing page formats

Read our article to find out more about these exiting new features and to see what they look like.

Case Study: Enhanced online learning environment for science practical teaching

Laboratory work is an essential component of any science degree in higher education. This is to meet the demand to produce skilled graduates for industry and highly competent workers for research laboratories. Dr Zarbakhsh created a series of short videos to enhance ‘hands-on’ laboratory training for Chemistry undergraduates in a coherent and professional manner as part of a wider process of learning and also to reinforce the importance of professional conducts for working in a safe laboratory environment. This pilot study was carried out with second year undergraduate chemistry students. Read More.

Featured tool: Easy content creation with Articulate Rise

Articulate Rise is a web-based application which provides a really simple way to produce e-learning content. It was demonstrated at the recent E-Learning Showcase event in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, generating significant interest in its capabilities. This article provides an overview of the tool and provides information on how staff at QMUL can get access to it.

Learner engagement with computer-based testing

High-stakes computer-based testing is growing in importance within UK higher education. Research conducted on students’ attitudes towards and experiences of computer-based testing have primarily focused on investigating the differential impact of computer-based versus pen-and-paper assessments on student achievement and the relationship between individual differences including gender, race, socio-economic status, digital literacy, computer anxiety and performance on computer-based assessments. Only a smaller number of studies have investigated students’ attitudes towards computer-based assessment. This study attempts to explore the postgraduate student experience with computer-based assessment and the findings have informed the development of a framework for Learner Engagement with e-Assessment Practices (LEe-AP). Read more.

Registration for the ALT Annual Conference 2017 is now open

The Association of Learning Technologists (ALT) annual conference is one of the major learning technology events in the UK. This year the conference theme is “Beyond islands of innovation – how learning technology became the new norm(al)”. It takes place at the University of Liverpool from 5th to 7th September. See the conference website for more information.

Staff development opportunities

We have a Getting Started with QMplus workshop running on Wednesday 7th June from 14.00-16.00. Please see our online booking system to book a place.

After this we will not have any further scheduled workshops in June. With upgrades to several of our e-learning applications coming over the summer, we are planning a variety of different mechanisms for helping staff to prepare for next year. We are in close communication with staff who have an e-learning responsibility in all Schools and Institutes and are working with them to ensure that staff are aware of the changes coming and the opportunities that our upgraded systems offer for teaching in the next academic year. All staff are also welcome at our summer event on 14th June when we’ll be talking about some of the changes happening over the summer.

We continue to run drop-in sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 1-2pm in the E-Learning Studio. Please feel free to pop in with any questions you might have.

If you’d like to discuss something in more detail, we also continue to offer our Book a Learning Technologist service.

Also, we are happy to run bespoke sessions for groups of individuals on any e-learning topic. Get in touch with us on elearning@qmul.ac.uk.

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