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Pros pic 1

How do we attract more students? How do we market beyond our physical location if we don’t have a budget for camera gear, editing software, and the small fact that we have very limited technical know-how? Well the answer is that there are a vast number of online options that are simple to use and either free, or very cost effective.


The first marketing video we made was created using ClipChamp online

2018-04-20 (4)

We recorded a multiple short clips on a variety of smartphones, laptops and personal digital cameras. These could be easily uploaded onto the website and then compiled into a sequence that flowed well. We had full editing capability and were able to cut the clips, add subtitles or titles and insert text between the clips. The finished video could then be downloaded as an mp4 file and then uploaded onto YouTube and Facebook and be shared by our staff and students. The resulting audience we could reach was so much larger than we anticipated.


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This year began with quite a challenge for us at Annesbrook Leadership College. We launched a small campus in Pukekohe, Auckland but had no available local tutor. This meant we had to source an effective solution to teach those learners from our classrooms in Nelson via the internet. The major issue here was that we had no budget for video conferencing hardware and none of us on staff had ever used anything other than Skype before.

Having researched a variety of options, we decided to try Zoom ( for these reasons:

  • It was free for our students to download
  • It can be used across all devices (PC, tablet, smartphone)
  • It operates on all platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)
  • We didn’t need to buy new hardware as we could use our own laptops.
  • It is really cost effective for one Pro license

The result has been excellent. We did have some teething issues to begin with around sound and integrating the remote students with the students in the classroom, however it only took us two sessions to resolve this and it is now working really well. One of the major benefits to the students is they can log in from home if they cannot get to class, which has been a wonderful solution to two of our learners who have babies. Another great feature is the recording function. We can record the classes and upload the video, or audio only file for students to watch/listen again.


Posted by & filed under #CMALTcMOOC, CMALT, SOTEL.

Collaboration and communication are key attributes for educators and our graduates. Laurillard et al., (2013) emphasise the benefits of collaborative curriculum design and the role of modelling collaboration and communication skills to our students. Weaver et al., (2012) also argue for the value of collaborative research to improve teaching practice. The fourth core area of a CMALT portfolio requires CMALT candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in communication through evidence and reflection upon working with others.

Use the Project Bank to share examples of how you collaborate with your peers – this could be an interactive Google Map of research presentations or a team project, a G+ Community, a social media hashtag, a Twitter ‘Moment’ of a collaborative event, etc… Also a reminder to create an ORCID profile and share it with the #CMALTcMOOC G+ Community if you have not yet done so at

For example, you can find a collection of ORCIDs from the ASCILITE Mobile Learning Special Interest Group at

You can also find example collaborative SOTEL research clusters at

We will schedule another group G+ Hangout for a live discussion this Thursday for UK participants and Friday morning 10:30am for NZ/AU participants – the archived Hangouts on YouTube are another form of evidence of “Collaboration”!


In your CMALT portfolio: Evidence statements could describe the way in which your work involves collaboration, for example through participation in a team or acting as an interface to other groups.

Relevant evidence would include reflection on collaborations with others, reports outlining your activity within a team process, how you have brokered support for a particular initiative (for example from a technical or legal support service) or how you have worked with others to solve problems.Where your evidence involved collaboration, please acknowledge the contribution of others. You may also chose to discuss how you select appropriate forms of communication.Think how some of the tools we have explored throughout #cmaltcmooc could be used to provide evidence of communication and collaboration – for example a collaborative Vyclone video of you and your peers discussing an issue relevant to a course, or an archived Google Plus Hangout On Air with a guest lecturer or a working group, etc…


Laurillard, D., Charlton, P., Craft, B., Dimakopoulos, D., Ljubojevic, D., Magoulas, G., . . . Whittlestone, K. (2013). A constructionist learning environment for teachers to model learning designs. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(1), 15-30. Retrieved from doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00458.x

Weaver, D., Robbie, D., Kokonis, S., & Miceli, L. (2012). Collaborative scholarship as a means of improving both university teaching practice and research capability. International Journal for Academic Development, 18(3), 237-250. doi:10.1080/1360144x.2012.718993

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After my MA in Education Studies on language teaching and blended learning, I taught French in the UK for five years, progressing from assistant to Head of Department in my first place of work, and being involved in the selection and implementation of a basic VLE in my second job in a reputable French language centre. These five years provided me with a solid experience in pedagogy, with the added benefit of experiencing teaching, learning and assessment from the design, delivery and support perspective.

In 2015 I joined the Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI) team at the LSE as an Assistant Learning Technologist, where I have been working since.

On a day to day basis I support academic and professional services staff in the use of learning technologies such as the VLE (Moodle) as well as collaboration, content creation and social media tools.

I coordinate the team’s Learning and Development programme which I redesigned, and my tasks range from scheduling and delivering sessions, organising masterclasses and talks with subject matter experts from the learning technology and academic development community and assessing quality.

I also coordinate the team’s grant scheme. As part of this responsibility, I promote the call each year, liaise with potential applicants, meet them to discuss their project ideas, allocate Senior Learning Technologists to support them, organise the Committee’s review meeting and administer the successful projects (including evaluation and dissemination). I also lead some on some of the small scale projects in collaboration with successful academics and support my colleagues in others.

In addition to these tasks, I am also heavily involved in the implementation of the School’s teaching and learning spaces strategy. I work with colleagues from LTI as well as many other stakeholders in the design and (re)development of spaces (classrooms and informal learning spaces) and lead on the evaluation of their impact on teaching and learning, managing two research assistants who collect and analyse data, and co-writing up evaluation reports with my senior colleague.
Why am I completing the CMALT accreditation?

This seems like the obvious next step to me. So far I have built my career as a learning technologist mostly on my experience and the skills and knowledge that I developed as a result. Building a CMALT portfolio will allow me to reflect on as well as formalise this experience. Although my MA in Education was focused on blended learning, at the time this mainly meant working on Virtual Learning Environments, and we did not get to explore in much details other educational technologies and underpinning pedagogical approaches. I believe that CMALT will bridge that gap in my knowledge and experience.

How does it relate to my future career aspirations?

I see ALT as a reference when it comes to everything learning technology. Attending the annual conference and other events as well as networking with ALT members throughout the UK and in my local group have definitely helped me develop professionally. Building my portfolio will prove a very beneficial CPD exercise.

On a more practical level, it seems to me that CMALT has become, along with fellowship from the HEA, the most desirable qualification when applying for a job in learning technology!

Posted by & filed under ABL, ABL Practitioner Stories, active learning, assessment design, assessment tools, Case Studies (All), Case Studies: Health & Society, peer asssessment.

In this video Mark Allenby, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, discusses how peer assessments have provided an opportunity for active learning with his first year BA in Social Work students and reflects on why he will be increasingly using peer assessments in his teaching at Waterside.

Mark introduced peer assessments as formative activities within his 17/18 module SWK1049 – Skills for Practice – using the NILE tool Self and Peer Assessments, in order to help scaffold his students’ learning for their forthcoming assessments.

VIDEO – Mark Allenby reflects on NILE Self and Peer Assessments

Working with Learning Technologist Richard Byles, he has been documenting his students’ feedback using the digital post-it tool, Padlet, and by recording video feedback with student Angell O’Callaghan.

The majority of feedback for the activity was very positive, with many wishing to practice further. Students also identified areas where the activity could be improved. Comments included:

“I would like to use this more often throughout my degree.”

“It was very useful and I liked the autonomy. It was helpful to read others’ work.”

“It was good to take other’s interview skills on board and use them myself, helping me better and develop my own interview skills.”

“Scoring as a Yes/No or a 1/2 doesn’t give a lot of scope.”

“The process (of submitting) was somewhat convoluted but this may be due to it being a new activity.”

Mark says that “peer-feedback is a tool that fits perfectly with the move to ABL, as students are collaboratively engaged in evaluating their own progress towards goals that they have chosen for themselves”. In conclusion, he advocates that staff try the tool for themselves in ‘low risk’ formative activities with students and explain to them the benefits of peer assessments.

For more information on using Self and Peer Assessments please read the FAQ – How do I set up a Self and Peer Assessment in NILE? or contact the Learn Technology team:

Posted by & filed under #CMALTcMOOC, CMALT, SOTEL, The Wider Context.

This weeks suggested activity includes a Blog post or VODCast discussing legislation, policies and standards, and exploring the wider impact of Altmetrics and SOTEL.

We will discuss these issues later in the week in a Webinar.


Create and share via the Project Bank a Blog post as an embedded audio PODCast or VODCast (Video PODCast) discussing legislation, policies and standards that impact upon the use of educational technologies.

Comment and provide feedback to other participants Blog posts on the wider context.

You could use an audio or video streaming mobile App to create and share either an audio PODCast, or video via YouTube, Vimeo, or Periscope for example to create and share a VODCast. There are several simple video capture and sharing Apps that you could use on your Phone, such as Clips on iPhone, or Adobe Premier Clip for iOS and Android.

In exploring the wider context CMALT candidates should demonstrate their awareness of and engagement with wider issues that inform their practice.

Candidates must cover at least one legislative area and either a second legislative area or a policy area. That is you need to cover a minimum of two areas, at least one of which must be legislative.

a) Understanding and engaging with legislation, policies and standards

Statements here should show how relevant legislation, has influenced your work. You are not expected to have expert knowledge of all of these areas, but are expected to be aware of how they relate to your current practice. These issues will vary depending upon the country and Government policy.

In the UK you would be expected to demonstrate how you work within the context of relevant legislation such as:

  • Accessibility including special educational needs
  • Intellectual property (IPR)
  • Freedom of Information (if you work for a public body)
  • Data protection.
  • Child protection
  • Anti-discrimination law
  • Points Based Immigration System (PBIS)
  • Other related examplesIn your country there may be different requirements, and you should indicate this in your portfolio. It is suggested that you pick at least two areas to discuss. In New Zealand see the Government HE strategies and policies website:



b) Policy

You are not obliged to address this area so long as you have addressed at least two legislative areas. Examples of policy issues you may address include:

  • Policies and strategies (national or institutional)
  • Technical standards
  • Professional codes of practiceYou might also be expected to engage with institutional policies and, where appropriate, national policies and evidence of some of this should be provided. The kinds of evidence that would support this would include minutes of meetings with legal advisers, documentation showing how legal issues have influenced work (such as reports or data protection forms), justifications for modifications to a course to reflect new policies or a record of how technical standards have been taken into account during system development.

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“Don’t you wonder sometimes
‘Bout sound and vision”

I’ve always looked up to David Bowie for his originality and individuality and now I can safely say that we have something in common- we both have been wondering about sound and vision.


I don’t need to look too far back in my WordPress posts to find my reflections on using the Voice Thread recording tool within the Blackboard suite of tools. Last year I had used Voice Thread for an online assessment asking students to record an audio reflection on the implications of their learning on their future decision-making. I gave my feedback in audio form too.

It was a real mixed experience. It was challenging for some students to navigate what I had thought was relatively straightforward technology but at the back end there were some glaring limitations. The tool loads super slow for larger classes (I had 150 students) plus there is no timed release of grader feedback. This latter point is a particular irk of mine as ethically I want to release all grades to all students simultaneously. However, I’m also mindful of the need for students to develop speaking /audio skills given this is the way most will communicate in practice. Who ever met a nurse that only communicated by writing everything down? Of course, they talk and listen a lot!

I don’t want to repeat all my previous blog post – but I guess I am writing here, while trying to work out why I am persevering with this tool, especially this semester with around 200 students. It is all rather like childbirth – “Never again” at the time but the bad memories soon forgotten. Having spent a lot of today setting up Voice Thread for this semester’s students some of the frustration has returned.

With thanks to the learning technologist I have been able to address the loading issue by allocating students to smaller groups, but then in class today they asked what are the groups for, how do I know what group I am in, etc. In reality it is all behind the scenes work that they don’t need to worry about but when you are encouraging critical thinking, it is perhaps to be expected and for many, the smallest technological issue can suddenly seem a huge barrier.

I think incorporating sound/audio/voice is really important. Many students see that too:

“I liked the use of mixed media in the assignments. Recording audio samples and putting them into our portfolios was challenging but a useful and practical skill… very in touch and relevant” (Student, Sem 2 2017)

It is good to feel challenged – both as a teacher and as a learner. Having vision means that sometimes the harder road needs to be taken. Having the students respond in written form would have taken almost no time at all to set up. Students would have been very familiar with what to do and grading would have been straightforward. By adding sound to the assessment I am adding what some may argue are unnecessary extra burdens for myself and students alike. Yes, some will moan, and at times I will too, but to learn and to grow means we must challenge ourselves and sometimes take the harder route. 

All there is to do now is wait for my students to submit, hope all my set up has been successful and the majority of them see benefit in trying something different.

“I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision”

Songwriters: David Bowie- Sound and Vision lyrics © O/B/O Apra Amcos





Posted by & filed under LearnTech News, NILE, NILE standards, Quality.

NILE is integrated into the Active Blended Learning (ABL) process at The University of Northampton and we need to ensure that it is being used effectively by staff in order to provide a quality student experience.

Building on the guidance which was initially produced in January 2012, the  framework has now been updated to cover the minimum standards which are expected on a NILE site. This was approved at University SEC on 28th February, 2018 and is subsequently being used as the basis for the new NILE templates which have been developed for the 2018/19 academic year.

Posted by & filed under CMALT, SOTEL.

This week’s suggested activities include:

  • An invitation to participate in a survey exploring the Scholarship Of Technology Enhanced Learning (SOTEL).
  • Collaborate with your peers on an assessment design via (for example) Google Docs and get some peer feedback via sharing an assessment design outline as a week 3 Project Bank example.
  • An invitation to participate in the weekly #CMALTcMOOC Webinar  – see the G+ Community for the Webinar link later in the week.

Create and share a new assessment design around student generated content for integration into your teaching practice. Share this assessment project via the Project Bank for peer feedback, and rate another participants assessment project.

This should include evidence of:

a) An understanding of teaching, learning and/or assessment processes

b) An understanding of your target learners

Reflect on this process on your WordPress Blog. For more info on what is recommended for this section of a CMALT portfolio see the notes at:

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In this section of my CMALT portfolio I discuss my understanding and use of learning technology, including the use of technology to enhance learning and teaching, the development or deployment of technology to support teaching, training or learning.  These are discussed under three main headings – constraints and benefits, technical knowledge, and deployment of learning technologies.

Constraints and Benefits

The benefits of learning technologies seem clear to me as I have used digital technologies and online education resources for my own learning and self-development, namely the use of Twitter, podcasts, Facebook and online education sites or blogs.  Mobile devices and digital technologies mean that educational resources are able to be portable and easily accessible, and learning can be asynchronous, allowing students to learn at a time and pace that is right for them (Nickson & Cadogan, 2014).

I am new to university teaching, so I am still looking at incorporating these better into the delivery of my course.  Currently I have inherited existing content that is PowerPoint based and very static in delivery.  Moving forward I would like to transition to having weekly lecture notes as blog posts online, which would remain an easily accessible, live and dynamic resource that can be read ahead of classroom times.  It would mean that students could revise content as often as they like via a mobile friendly platform.  The benefit of this could be facilitating a ‘flipped classroom’ leaving face-to-face sessions to provide clarification and facilitated peer-group discussion, or other interactive group-based learning (Nickson & Cadogan, 2014).  Redeveloping the content in this way takes time though, and I’m finding it a challenging thing to do with all the other demands of a busy semester.

I am aware that although students are very familiar with mobile devices and social media, but these are often only used in a very limited social context.  I see the challenge as either adapting content to a format that can be share through the platforms that students already use socially or try to get students on board with using digital technology better suited to deliver the content that is to be shared, but which they may not be familiar with.  The benefit of delivering content through popular platforms that students use socially may be that it is easier to transition to an alternative delivery of content, and it may also help them to build professional literacy around technology use.  There is however likely to be a lot of variation in levels of understanding and use of technology amongst my classes of 70-80 students.  There is not a great deal of time available in a single semester to help students develop their use and understanding, in addition to the core course content and assessments.


Technical Knowledge

While still working for St John New Zealand, I moved into an education tutor role within the clinical development team in 2014.  I was responsible for delivery of the internal ‘Paramedic’ course to a class of twelve students from all around the Northland, Auckland, and Hauraki/Coromandel regions.  Students would come together for three separate classroom blocks of four days, with around 6 weeks in-between time doing online discussion, assignments, and self-directed learning.  I created a private Facebook group for the class as a way of not only keeping a form of social contact with the group when they were all separated, but also as a way to share relevant content and material to assist their learning and to try to encourage dialogue.

ILS 007
St John ILS 007 Paramedic Course Facebook group – Auckland 2014


During this same period I was approached by the Clinical Audit and Research Manager and Research Fellow who were aware of my use of online educational material and wanted me to put together a regular update of educational content to help clinicians whose main role was office based, but wanted to keep up to date with their clinical practice.  Originally the idea was just to send out an email to the national office team with a few links to free open access content.  I chose to do this as a word document with a short description and hyperlinks that was sent as an email attachment.  This was popular amongst the national office group, and the decision was made to produce it in a format that was accessible by the whole organisation nationally.  I kept it as a PDF document, but as well as hyperlinks I added in QR codes to help people to access the material, and this monthly update has been uploaded onto the St John staff website ‘The Hub’ for the past three years.  Because of ease in printing and sharing PDF documents, it has been picked up by a nurse educator in another part of the country who contacted me after a doctor shared one of the documents with her.  I now email copies to her directly which are shared on education boards in her ED and ICU/Acute care units, and have been included in the quarterly “Critical Comment” from the New Zealand Critical Care Nurses College.


In an attempt to expand my familiarity around digital learning technology I attend The Teaching Course in Melbourne in 2015.  This was a five day course looking at the use of technology and social media in medical education.  It was facilitated by medical educators active in the use of digital learning technologies and explored the use of Twitter, blogs, podcasts, personal learning networks, and presentation skills.  In my previous role I didn’t have the freedom to incorporate these tools, but now in my new teaching role I have the scope to actively explore the use of these further.

I have spoken a number of times and facilitated workshops on the use of social media and online resources for medical education.  When giving talks, I’ve used Twitter with the conference hashtag to tweet slides from my presentation to emphasis key points.


Currently I am helping to develop the social media use of the Paramedicine department to engage students within the programme, but also to engage with colleagues globally.  Currently we are doing this through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  I have also started a WordPress blog as part of the #CMALTcMOOC portfolio, and I want to develop this into a blog I can use for teaching in my courses.


Deployment of Learning Technologies

I have also been part of a group called the ‘EMS Wolfpack’ that is active through Twitter and Facebook through the hashtag #EMSwolfpack in forming virtual networks for professional contacts and also as a virtual support network.  We have facilitated panel discussions at Student Paramedic Australasia New Zealand (SPANZ) conference over the past two years, encouraging paramedic students to use social media for professional networking and support.


I have spoken to paramedic students about the use of social media for educational and professional use, and encouraged them to use Twitter to connect with other health professionals and for their own development.  This has been embraced by more and more paramedic students both at AUT University and Whitireia Polytechnic.  AUT paramedic student Victoria Mulrennan was one of these students who embraced the Twitter and the opportunities it provided, which she talks about in a blog post.

Tales from dasSMACC conference in Berlin – AUT paramedic student Victoria Mulrennan


Using social media for the Paramedicine department is also a way to engage students in a positive way to model the use of social media in an appropriate way for professional use, rather than just a purely social context.

I’ve also been actively encouraging use of the Symplur Healthcare Project to register conference hashtags and track the engagement and reach of conferences and events I’ve been involved with.







Nickson, C. P., & Cadogan, M. (2014). Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26(1), 76-83. doi:doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12191