Thursday 28 April 2011

Lecture Capture: More Info Needed?

Lecture capture is quite a hot topic in HE these days and we recently had a showcase event in Bloomsbury to look at how some of the BLE member colleges are making use of it as well as hear from other universities.

In Bloomsbury the technology which has been adopted for this (especially at the RVC and LSHTM) is Echo360 (formerly known as Apreso). Echo can record a video stream of the lecturer, another video stream of whatever is shown on the big screen (this is usually used to record the steady advance of PowerPoint slides on the teaching PC, but can also capture a feed from a visualiser or DVD player), plus the audio of the lecturer (provided they speak into the mic).

The event included an especially useful presentation from Graham McElearney of Sheffield University, who discussed the intimidating copyright and IPR issues and implications of lecture capture but also offered frameworks from which to develop sound institutional policies. For more info from the event click here (BLE login required).

Another event was recently held by JISC Legal and recordings can be accessed here:

Upcoming events

Echo360 are holding a conference at the LSE on the 25th of May - for more information see

A platform-agnostic ALT event entitled "Lecture Capture - doing it well and at scale" is coming up at QMUL on 16 June, and will be covering:

  • Case studies of successful implementation including from the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy
  • Lecture recording in the sciences
  • AV issues when working at scale and solutions
  • Encouraging adoption
  • Pedagogic and learning design issues
  • Supporting teachers and students in their use of lecture capture
  • Institutional policies and obstacles
  • Lecture capture myths and misconceptions and how to tackle these
  • IPR/Copyright issues

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Turnitin Wednesdays

You have probably heard of 'Orange Wednesdays'. Now, I'll admit that a lot of people might be more easily enticed to a free trip to the cinema than a free webinar, but iParadigms UK, apparently undaunted, have taken a leaf out of Orange's book and have introduced a series of webinars on Wednesdays. (Before Orange take legal advice, I should point out that they haven't actually called them 'Turnitin Wednesdays'!)

Every Wednesday at 2 pm (UK time) they are running Introduction to Turnitin webinars -  sign-up is via this link.

Then following these at 3 pm, there is a series of webinars looking at various aspects of plagiarism prevention, with a pedagogical rather than technical emphasis. Upcoming sessions include:
(Please note these sessions are for teaching and support staff only.)

To give an idea of what these sessions involve, here are my recollections following a previous 'institutional policies and procedures' session a few weeks ago. 

One of the interesting aspects was the diversity of current practice amongst institutions represented. The widespread and growing adoption of Turnitin as the coursework submission tool used within VLEs seems to be a big driver for HEIs to reconsider their approaches. It seems clear that simply 'switching on Turnitin to catch the offenders' isn't best practice - consideration of how to make use of Turnitin with students in a formative way is urgently needed.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Elluminate in Bloomsbury - not just for ash clouds and snow days

In a previous post ('Don't let an ash cloud ruin your meeting') I suggested that virtual classrooms could be the way to go when faced with a natural disaster (or natural irritant) that prevents a class from meeting face to face as planned. And I have noticed during this winter's snowier periods that more staff members have taken this option up.

But of course, online meetings don't only have to be seen as a replacement for a face to face meeting that has been cancelled. At the recent Bloomsbury Elluminate Showcase, speakers from around Bloomsbury talked about how they are making use of Elluminate with  different groups of learners.

You can watch the recorded event via the magic of Elluminate (BLE members can also join a group in the BLE and/or sign up for some training on 14 March or 9 May).

It's also worth checking out these free ebooks from the Onlignment Blog, especially Live Online Learning – A facilitator’s guide.