An enormous number of projects have been completed during the academic year 2012-13. Strategic Learning Environment projects and work have been underpinned by the Educational Technology Community, a network of educational technology and other professional services staff and academics from the centre and all schools, using a system of meetings and working groups. This method enabled the group to determine which projects to focus on, how to participate in the work and decision making processes, communicate, oversee and complete projects. Upgrading to Moodle 2 has been this year’s key institution wide project. There has also been significant progress made around the use of video, lecture capture, learning spaces, blogs and other educational technologies. Working hand-in-hand with academics and course leaders, these projects have made significant positive impact on curriculum design and the student experience across the university.
The major focus of this year has been in implementing an upgrade of Moodle. The system is now in use and inductions have been completed. The look and feel of Moodle has been significantly enhanced using the results of a user experience testing project in conjunction with our Human Computer Interaction Department. The upgrade represents months of testing, development and administration. City University has been working closely with Moodle to ensure updates are integrated into core code for all Moodle institutions to use and has been sharing our work externally through fora such as Moodlemoot. Work has also included repository explorations and improvement of how files are managed and uploaded by the system. A selection of plugins have been installed to integrate other technologies with Moodle. Substantial work has gone into archiving older modules, ensuring modules, student records and enrolments work well and SITS integration is managed in the new version of Moodle. The many new features and improved design of Moodle have been publicised in a range of vignettes on this blog.
Staff and students now have access to Edublogs for educational purposes. This blog has been migrated to Edublogs and a gateway blog, Edtech: Education and Technology, was created bringing together a range of City University education blogs.
The MILL was relocated to Goswell Place and staff and students can access this Mac lab as well as node chairs, pods, and write-on walls. Working groups and special interest groups have further fostered the use of video in education such as the use of narrative pedagogy in the nursing curriculum Shareville project or video blogs. Progress has also been made in relation to launching a new webinar service (Adobe Connect) and Video Platform (Kaltura).
Lecture capture is now available to record live sessions with links accessible via Moodle. This technology has been installed in larger rooms across the campus and should be available for academics to use shortly.
Learning Spaces champion academics from each school have worked with Learning Spaces Group to support PAF’s significant building programme in identifying requirements for different types of learning space, feeding back to architects and contributing to the planning of new spaces. Flexible learning spaces have been evaluated and the first swivel seating lecture theatre opened at the beginning of this term.
Educational Technology Guides
This work has been undertaken within the context of a Professional Service Review. The coming year will see significant change in the structure of the Educational Technology Team and way we provide our service. Meanwhile it is important to congratulate the team on the many achievements made in the past year and the significant impact they have made on the teaching and learning experience at City.