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The Blogs are related to ULCC or other events attended.

ALT Conference 2016

ALT winners 2007-20016

ALT conference 2016 – ALT Awards

We are proud sponsors and exhibitors of the ALT Conference 2016 for another year.

Toby Yeung ALT Conference 2016

This years conference was the 10th year of running. Which focused on the themes of connecting, collaboration and creating.

Our own Toby Yeung was giving the awards out with two  Key Note representers to some great winners. Overall winners were Daniel Scott from Barnsley College and Learning Technology and Innovation team, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Key Messages

A number of key messages came from the ALT Conference 2016:

This included that Learning Analytics are unique and personal, whilst data use rights and benefits were at the forefront of everyone’s mind. JISC got several commended mentions on how they have supported universities in particular in understanding data.

Another area was the level of reflection that everyone as professionals using learning technology has started to adopt. Gathering feedback and improving on our own performance is equally as important as empowering others in use of learning technology tools.

I also liked the focus on copyright within courses and the level of risk associated with both the tools we use and the content we reuse. This started an interesting discussion that the main responsibilities for the tools are the the university service owners whilst it is the course authors responsibility to make sure they use correct content.

Finally a growing trend within institutions has been to put the user experience first on the tools that are used and developed. This appears to be a growing trend in both software development and in curriculum design, of which I hope to see a continuing growth.



Moodle Moot MOOTIEUK16

Moodle Moot

It was fantastic to see Moodle Moot mootieuk16 come back to London, after a four year break.This was the first UK IE Moodle Moot that was officially supported by Moodle HQ, and this shown by the sheer amount of HQ presenters.

There were a number of takeaways that I took from the 3 day event that are listed below.

One Page Assignment

Moodle HQ presented that they are working on better grading and feedback user experiences. This has included working on a new prototype that allows for inline comments and grading on the same page. A prototype of this is available from the  site (screenshot below).

One Page Assignment

This won’t be available right away but will be released in a future version of Moodle. This is welcomed news as it looks like it could rival some of the functionality offered by both Canvas Speed Grader and Turnitin Grademark.

External System Integrations

Moodle HQ have prioritised working on a number of external integration tools and hope to be releasing better Google Apps integration in the future, alongside the existing Office365 integration’s. This is great news and will align Moodle with it’s competitors.

Mobile Learning

Moodle HQ also mentioned ongoing work on the Moodle Mobile App and recent efforts to make sure more activity and resource types available offline. This includes book, file, folder, label, page, grades, completion, scorm, forum, assign and quiz alongside others. A full list of features is available here:

User Experience

Moodle HQ are concentrating on improving the user experience in a number of areas. One direct move they are making is that from Moodle 3.1, the default theme will have no blocks. This should directly improve the ability for users to navigate around a site and concentrate on course content. It should also be noted that the way blocks display content on pages may also be rewritten in the future to stop the ‘cluttered’ interfaces that sometimes appear on sites. This need was echoed by Florearm’s presentation about Home Learning College, and how they spoke about a number of plugins to remove the Moodle feel to Moodle. This included, a custom course format, a resume button, progress bars, book visuals and quiz layouts.

Another move that has been made is to include the ability to have clean or human readable URL’s in core from Moodle 3.1 (MDL-28030). This is a great move and will help with not only the user experience but also with reporting on use.

Moodle Academy

Moodle HQ announced that a new Moodle based Mooc platform called Moodle Academy will be released in the next few months. A number of universities have been involved in early piloting including Dublin City University, and it will be opened up to a wider audience.

Moodle Schools

Moodle HQ also announced that they will be offering a schools focused service that allows a skinned version of Moodle specifically for schools at a flat fee. This is not intended to be a competitor for Moodle Partners who host large complex setups for customers but a way for the small educational establishment to have a standard Moodle install (with no support) available to them with higher limits than the current Moodle Cloud free setup.

Grades and Feedback

Jess Gramp from UCL presented about further work they have done on their ‘My Feedback’ report that is available in the Moodle Plugins repository:

This plugin allows grades and feedback to be viewed across courses for a particular student. A number of universities mentioned they are / were developing similar plugins such as Queen Mary University and University of Strathclyde. Queen Mary University noted that theirs was focusing on benchmarking students against their peers whilst Strathclyde followed a similar mode to UCL.

It appeared to be a interesting topic for a large portion of the audience wanting a more holistic way for students and instructors to see grades and feedback.

Moodle Mobile App Voting

Gavin Henrick used the Moodle Mobile App within most of his presentations to deliver a vote based activity. This worked really well, especially for those who had already downloaded and logged into the App prior to the conference. Users would up the app, go to the appropriate course and click a choice activity then their choice. Gavin then had a live poll (via web services) the votes into his PowerPoint slides.

Moodle Competency Framework

Moodle HQ mentioned that a new competency framework has been created that will allow institutions to use competencies within their courses. This is particularly useful for vocational based education such as Further Education courses. More information is available here:

Learning Analytics Specification

Moodle HQ has been working on a specification for creating a Learning Analytics API for Moodle. This started from the output of a US Moodle Moot workshop and has grown into a wider specification for development.

This is particularly useful as it allows a standardised API to be used across Moodle as a consistent source of data.

For more information please see:

There were many other worthy mentions but these were my main takes.

ALTC – Assocation of Learning Technology Conference 2015

ALTC is the conference for those involved with learning technology. This year sees us at the University of Manchester, which seems befitting given one of the fathers of computing was based here and it is modern computing that is so heavily bound to e-learning. Combining practitioners, educators, technologists and e-learning experts – it’s a great array of those looking at the new frontiers of e-learning and learning technology in general.

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Learning Technologist of the Year Award 2015

ULCC are happy to announce that we will be sponsoring the Association for Learning Technology Learning Technologist of the Year Award 2015.

The Awards celebrate and reward excellent practice and outstanding achievement in the learning technology field and to promote intelligent use of Learning Technology on a national scale. The Awards are open to individuals and teams based anywhere in the world.

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ALT Annual Conference 2015 – Submission Deadline Extended

Last week we received  the below email from the organisers of the annual ALT conference regarding the extension of their submission deadline.  The conference for learning technologists is held over three days every September, providing a valuable and practical forum for practitioners, researchers, managers and policy-makers from education and industry to solve problems, explore, reflect, influence and learn.

We hope you find the below email useful.

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To App, or not to App – that is the question.

Mobile Applications conference – Centre of Distance Education 2012

#Mobapp2012 - Senate House20th September, Senate House, University of London

With the Apple Map App hitting the news, the CDE event was very topical.  A very interesting and thought-provoking day with a mixed bag of presentations from a variety of service providers and universities exploring mobile apps for education.  Summed up by one presenter who said of the subject; ‘[this is] no longer a choice, but essential for learning providers who wish to lead’.  He’s probably right, but can’t help feeling there is a great big bandwagon to jump on, and cautious of the many other technologies that precede this and end up on the scrapheap of wonderful things that nobody uses.  For me, the most abiding question from the day was whether or not there was an equal case for this type of development in post-16 or adult education.  Clearly a good case for students living and studying at universities, but does it translate to FE? Actually, I think it does.  Particularly cool, but probably not for FE, was the ‘Launderette’ app that told when a washing machine would be free; welcomed by parents of university students I’m sure! Or the need for a campus maps for most ACL or FE student are probably not necessary, but there are plenty of apps that would be extremely useful.

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