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…)

#BYOD4l 2018 Day 4 Collaborating and Community

In celebration of the fact that we have the collaborating and community theme going on today, I did a periscope this morning …. aided by my lovely roomie Rhian…we just did a very quick hello but I thought I would share some thoughts … so

a couple of quick reflections from me …

Save to Camera Roll Settings

I forgot to change my settings to autosave the video to my camera roll ( it will disappear from Persicope after 24hrs) I’ve now done this for the next one …

Periscope settings.jpg

As a workaround though, I used this helpful link that I found online http://www.downloadperiscopevideos.com/ which allowed me to copy and paste my periscope URL link ( which I found by searching for my name on  Persiscope TV on my PC ) into a box and then click a button to magically download the file. I then uploaded that resulting file to my You Tube account ..  ( there may be an easier way ! )

Send out a tweet beforehand …

I did however remember to send out a tweet ( but only just ) to let people know


Read some stuff

I wish I had read this really helpful article from Donna Moritz ( @sociallysorted) before I did it … I’ve also found this other good article from Mike Paul (pikemalltech.com) that has some tips for educators using Periscope.


Periscope is kinda cool with a buddy aka my lovely pal Rhian Ellis(@rhianellis3 ‏)

I may not make this evening’s tweetchat, in full but I will be back tomorrow ! Happy Collaborating ….

#BYOD4L Jan 2017 – My Reflections


Ok,  reflecting on my experiences with #BYOD4L ( which by my calculation was only last week and yet it feels like a month has gone by already …)  I am a bit torn between missing all the buzz and communciation and feeling thankful for the return to normality ( in a good way of course ..) so that I can try and reflect on it !

So, my experience of facilitating #BYOD4L this time around was on the whole great. I got the opportunity to work with some awesome people again and make some new contacts in the process.  My padlet that I made for the week is here … My only regret is that I don’t feel I did as much as wanted to so I hope that the stuff that I did do was also helpful to other people ( it was certainly helpful to me)


I feel we worked really well as a team …. we had a twitter backchannel and then Chris Jobling set up a new Google Spaces account for us to use but I must confess although I was excited to use that at first I did find that I reverted to the tried and trusted twitter group more often than not. I think perhaps it is better to stick to one backchannel for organisation ? Maybe ?  We also had a Google Hangout to plan the week before the kick off so that was really useful. Everyone in the team is so supportive and if something goes wrong there is always someone that comes to the rescue.  It was really nice meeting new people during the week and getting their take on how the week was progressing as first timer. It was really useful to remind myself of how I felt when I did #BYOD4L initially and how overwhelming it can be. That said personally I have always found that someone could always help me out and find my way out of my confusion !

I took part in most of the Tweetchats and facilitated the Collaboration Tweet Chat with Rebecca Jackson @chasing_ling on Day Four that was great fun. I have definitely found a new friend in Rebecca .. we also collaborated on a joint response to one of the scenarios using a Google Doc.  This is still a work in progress at this moment in time …

My colleague from Swansea Chris Jobling @cpjobling and I also did a live periscope for the Collaborating Day and collaborated with others in the community to develop a padlet of collaborating resources – you can find the recording of the periscope and other links on my padlet

The final day was a chance to work with the #CreativeHE community for the Creating Day – I really enjoyed that as I have been missing being able to do the both of them … Even my daughter wanted to join in with all the fun and games …

All the tweet chats were storified and links can be found on the main #BYOD4L Web page.


I got to use some great new tools this week :  including Sutori (  a tool I used to tell my story about #BYOD4L experiences) Videoscribe ( a really cool way to do white board animation type stuff) , Podbean, ( a tool for podcasts)  Mentimeter ( this is a fab interactive presentation tool that you can do great collaborative visual word cloud things)  and Symbaloo ( a sort of curated set of tiles for tools).

See now I have just wandered off to find the links  to all the lovely new tools that I got to use  … (see what usually happens is I get distracted and end up not coming back .. lightbulb moment …  make sure you dont get distracted and stick to one thing at a time ! maybe thats another reason why they always stay in draft …..)

Anyhow the one I really played the most with was VideoScribe – I had great fun with this … some of the things I created are below  ….



I also used Biteable to make a quick video  ( which I have used before ) which I also had fun with :

Plan of Action

I think I would like to try and get a bit more organised and perhaps revamp my blog.  I’d also like to curate some of the tools and resources that I use in a slightly more helpful way. I missed the curating day so I will definitely be revisiting this and trying to get some tips.

All in all it was a great week, fast and chaotic at times but thoroughly enjoyable . I’ll definitely be back for more …


And Finally …. I’m wondering if there is a sixth C ? C for Cats perhaps ?