I’ve been GASTA’d (Again) #ALTCSummit

After a full day of working behind the scences at the #ALTCSummit activities on Wednesday last week I also survived my second GASTA … and am now looking forward to my badge !

Honoured to be in the esteemed company of my fellow GO_GN Gastateers , Ada, Aras, Michael, Jo and Taskeen who all did an absolutely awesome job .. and of course we were all kept under control by the lovely Tom Farrelly and herded into position by my lovely ALT boss Maren Deepwell.

My ‘warm up’ act was strangely right at the end instead of first so by the time it got to me I was completely hyperactive but hey ho in for a penny in for a pound ..

Everyone else did their’s to time .. I just about got my last slide in before Tom kicked me out … It was such a giggle as expected. I managed to get across most of the stuff that I had hoped too but ended up screaming to the end in my usual breathless fashion… the recordings of the GASTA will be available openly in a few weeks but here are my slides in the meantime

What I did at #altcSummit

Quick collection of Wakelet Tweets ….


Debs Digital Creations

I needed to revisit an old padlet that I set up years ago earlier today so I was prompted to update it a little bit.

It basically is something that pulls together some of the digital creations that I have made over the years, not everything as I am so bad at remembering to update it but there are a fair few on there.

Some of these are better than others .. I really liked doing some of these though … I still need to try and update it with some other stuff but here it is in all it’s glory.

Made with Padlet

CPD Webinar : Aligning Microsoft Teams to group work and problem-based learning

I attended a webinar last week run by the lovely Dr Linda Kaye as part of the #digilearn series. Linda gave us a scenario to consider where by students have complained that in their group work, some students are not pulling their weight and asked if we came across this in our own work to which the majority responded with a resounding ‘YES’

Practical Example

Linda explained how her students were given this topic to undertake as individual and group work culminating in a joint presentation at the end .

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She assigns students to groups and sets these up on teams where they have specific team based tutorial discussions to enable them to work together. Students capture details using the ‘Conversations’ Tab. Meeting Notes from Face 2 Face meetings can be stored and shared Files made available in preparation for the presentation. Students manage the file storage themselves etc


She also uses Teams to get students to evaluate the module and their experiences of it such as asking for them to submit details of what they think other team members contribution was . Contributions were assessed using the following rubric.

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Advantages of this approach allows corroboration using Teams platform itself.

Linda felt that Teams helped with providing a meaningful context and environment where work could be undertaken. Having their own chanel gave them their own space and it was visible from the point of view that Linda could see what was happening in terms of progress outside the usual tutorial process. Linda was able to intervene if they were going off track but also track contributions and engagement in real time. Linda reflected that she need to explain exactly what her role as tutor is right up front and ensure that students understand this before the discussions started.


Linda felt that Teams allowed streamlining of resources and visibility of others learning thus allowing them to reflect on their own learning. It encourages lots of peer to peer support – Linda only had 1 email query for this assignment !

She was able to see evidence of the students project management skills and this also helped with verification for second marking etc. It makes things very transparent and clear including the emphasis on the process of undertaking the assignment and the focus on them taking ownership of their own learning resources. Using Teams in this way enabled more student led learning. Linda pointed out that the success of the case study may have also been down to the fact that there was a 50% individual mark

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Linda explained that students generally found it helpful and impactful in terms of motivation and overall group work (n= 21 students at Level 6) . They recognised that their knowledge was expanded through working with others.

Student Feedback

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My Reflections

This was a really interesting webinar for me to attend in a number of ways. I loved how Linda interwove the student perspective throughout her presentation. Thumbs up to #digilearn Sector for arranging it.

Interestingly Linda faced logistical issues in terms of making sure that students had access to Teams ( which they didn’t automatically) but these were all solved with the IT Department. Also really interesting to note that students didn’t really need any help with using teams and seemed to find it quite intuitive. Some groups did have alternative channels that they were already using like Whatsapp etc so their Teams area looked a bit sparse but this was resolved by taking screen shots of the whatsapp interactions and uploading them to the Teams space.

I’m still not a huge fan of Teams though and I think this stems from many challenges with using Teams across institutions – it doesn’t seem to play well across sites in my limited experience of using it. When I did the a webinar the other day for #digilearn sector I had to sign in using my student ID as we use it at Lancaster and despite trying to sort out a seperate ID it just struggled, once I was in with my Student Account it was ok though. Although it now means I have bits and pieces of notifications all over the place. I find it all gets a bit confusing and have found that other platforms that do similar things has worked better for me. However, it does have some interesting features and I definitely got the impression from Linda’s presentation that it seemed to work well enough ( I wonder if only involving a single institution was the key factor here….)


Find out more about Linda’s work

Find out more about #DigiLearn Sector Community

Sign up for #Digilearn Sector Community

Podcast for Teaching in Higher Ed #248

Apparently, the podcast that I did for Teaching in Higher Education with the wonderful Bonni Stachowiak has now aired… @bonni208


I haven’t listened to it all back yet as I find the sound of my own voice quite horrifying …  god, I can talk such a lot of drivel especially when I’m nervous … I feel should apologise right now for going on about nothing in particular and just ‘get my coat’ …

Bonni, however, was as professional and brilliant as ever and it was an absolute privilege and honour to be invited to be a guest on her show …

I did manage to get in a few extra plugs and recommendations towards the end for some absolutely amazingly brilliant people who Bonni may like to have as a guest on her show … and who will no doubt deliver a much more interesting and probably better-executed podcast interview than I did …

( I think I was only supposed to give three or so recommendations  but I seem to have mentioned about twenty – see the links on the website – oops :))





How can I make my online delivery more engaging?

via How can I make my online delivery more engaging?

TLC BannerI just took part in this fab webinar today by the folks at Teaching and Learning Conversation #TLCwebinars – Matthew Thorpe @mattthorpey86 and Steve Williams @ste_3po – really, really enjoyed it…  there is always something new to learn isn’t there!

Really happy to see some familiar names on the participant list and its always good to make some new friends .. Matthew and Steve did such a good job of facilitating the session with about 60 participants … it used Adobe Connect which is something I have used before but not used the breakout group function so it was  really helpful.  I loved the slides that they used – sort of reminded me of comic book super hero type stuff ….



Use of External Tools within the Webinar

Matt and Steve used Mentimeter to get us to contribute to producing a word cloud of words that indicate how useful webinars can be. I’ve seen Mentimeter before but in a conference and workshop setting – I thought it was so cool to use it in a webinar format. I shall be trying that out! They also used the screen share facility to show Tweetdeck of the #tlcwebinar tweets so that was a really useful tip.

Results of the mentimeter on webinar delivery

The participants also shared loads of good ideas in the chat so hopefully, that will be captured too – I will go back through it when it is released and see if I can pick out one or two ideas to share more widely in case people don’t have the time to watch the whole webinar …

Breakout Group Activity

The breakout group activity we were given split us randomly into groups and then we had to draw an animal and then guess what it was and then share this back to the main group for everyone to guess. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t read the instructions properly and just got carried away with scribbling … (seemingly others actually managed to do the task properly though )

Funnily enough this served as a useful reminder that you need to be really clear when giving instructions ( as mentioned by Rod) and that it might be a good idea to keep the instructions in view when you move into groups – just in case people like me try and ignore them in over excitement to start using the whiteboard !

There were some great artistic fishes, cats, mice and cows being shared and quite a few combinations of animals …   I can lay claim to the weird looking Bumble Bee and the Grumpy Cat

I loved some of the descriptions that people came up with – I think my favourites were ‘Dwabbit’ from Lee Fallin and ‘Confused Bunny’ from Kate W … well it made me laugh anyway …

I’m really interested in how to use breakout group facilities as it’s something I have only dabbled with briefly so always on the lookout for more info!   We are about to pilot  Blackboard Collaborate at Swansea so am on the hunt for best practice …  If you have used breakout groups using webinar software please do get in touch!

Update : Webinar Recording

Here is the link to the webinar recording 

Contribute to a TLC Conversation

Oh and I seemed to have volunteered myself and the lovely Emma Gillespie to do a future TLC Webinar – maybe using Flipgrid which I am super keen to experiment with … how cool is that !

If you want to contribute to a TLC Conversation you can put forward an idea here …




#BYOD4L Day 5 Creativity and Celebrating Reflections

BYOD4l Image

Well, this is the second time I have written this blog post as for some reason WordPress decided it didn’t want to save my ramblings as ususal … anyhow.. I’ve managed to rescue some of it and have added some more rambles …

I just wanted to say (again ) that although  #BYOD4L is over for another year, the community itself however is still very much alive and kicking !

Friday proved to be yet another fab exchange of ideas in our tweetchat.

I must admit though that I found it quite challenging at times trying to facilitate between posting the Questions and juggling the Tasks. I had to resort quite a few times to asking Alex and the rest of the lovely #BYOD4L team which one we were supposed to be on !

The wonderful community that is #BYOD4l embraced the whole thing as usual and contributed and shared so many ideas , images and resources in such a creative way … Check these fab ones out from the lovely Suzanne, Neil and Kerry 🙂

Scott did us a couple of his fab visualisations too of the various exchanges showing the range of our community .. if you want to see more of Scotts clever stuff like this check out his blog

There were so many things that I was inspired by that are simply too many to mention but a key ‘moment’ if you pardon the pun was when my lovely colleague Chris Jobling gave an impromptu ‘how to’ session on how to use Twitter Moments … and in true fashion modelling what he talks about he has made a moment … I’ve embedded it here as its brill 🙂 I will be experimenting with moments very soon ! In the meantime … enjoy this one Chris prepared earlier …

There is also a storify of the tweet chat available ( although of course this wont be available for ever…)