Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘Moodle

iPod in handOur colleague Andrew Checkley E-Learning Manger at Croydon College has been developing a Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) course with his Learning Resources (LRC) team which he talked about at the March 16 London FE Moodle Roundtable event. The course is on academic writing. Find out more about it on their E-Learning blog post.

As well as using material from the LRC on the course Andrew found some useful research material on the State Library of Victoria’s website. The resource covers:

 

  • working out what question you are trying to answer
  • finding the information
  • choosing the resources you use
  • making and organising notes
  • presenting your material
  • reflecting on your work.

There’s also some handy material on writing essays too which covers:

  • identifying the essay question
  • using quotations
  • writing
  • editing.

Plus there are tips on study skills:

  • stress management
  • dealing with exams.

Last but not least at this time of the year many of our students are doing GCSE examinations in English and maths so this BBC Bitesize app available on Android and iOS will help you. The app has flashcards which will help you revise and covers numerous GCSE subjects.

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Office 365 and MoodleOur LRC Manager has started using Jing to create a short video on how to set up Office 365 on your Moodle account. Drat and double drat! The video was great but because it relies on Flash it doesn’t work on iPads! As a result she went back to Phil Bradley’s recommendation for Ice Cream Apps in CILIP Update November 2015 and used the screen recorder to make a Windows friendly version. She asked our IT Technician for advice on getting the format of the file compatible with Office 365 so she could load the video onto Office 365’s Video area and so thanks to him she’s converted it to an MP4 file using Zamzar and then uploaded onto the video area. It’s a free piece of kit. Since then she has created two more videos showing:

Having watched Alistair McNought’s two sessions on the CILIP blog post Supporting Library Users with Hidden Disabilities from the Conference of the same name at the University of Portsmouth she’s now created transcripts for the videos to help anyone with disabilities. The transcripts can be used with screen readers like Read&Write or NaturalReader.

iPad standingThis week we’ve been digesting all of our data for our Self-Assessment Report (SAR). You may be scratching your head wondering what it is! Basically it’s a review of the impact of what we do on our students. We produce one every six months and this one is looking back at 2014/15. Part of the process is to identify our strengths and weaknesses as well so we can flag up improvements for the next academic year which go into our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) for 2015/16.

Here are our some of our highlights from 2014/15:

Increased audovisual material for learners to borrow by 7%.
Introduced iPads into the classroom for learners to boost their digital skills – included reading apps.
Increased use of eresources by 47.2% – getting more learners used to ereading material and building digital skills.
Improved Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) material – embedded videos to reinforce induction content, new Reading for Pleasure section to encourage reader development and apps to help to hone information/digital literacy skills.
Greater promotion of reading – National Libraries Day, more Six Book Challenge completers, World Book Night and Reading for Pleasure Moodle VLE block.
Extra refresher/consolidation sessions on information literacy skills eg referencing.
Rolled out dyslexic friendly labeling for books to help navigate our material – based on the International Libraries Association Federation (IFLA) Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dyslexia.

Moodle 2.9 HillcroftWe’re delighted we’ve had a successful upgrade to Moodle 2.9 for our Virtual Learning Environment and we’ve integrated it with Office 365 for Business over the summer.

Our LRC Manager has already given it a whirl and it’s really easy to attach your OneDrive for Business files if you’re creating a course or if you are a learner uploading an assignment document. Another added benefit is if you directly link your file as a shortcut to OneDrive you eliminate the file downloading  which clutters up your network drive!

We’ve also got Single Sign On for Moodle and Office 365 working with Shibboleth. This means the number of passwords are reduced for our students and so it’s easier to login at college and off site.

Ebook record on catalogue with direct linkOur LRC Manager has migrated all of our ebooks on Dawsonera and our eresources to Shibboleth. Now more than 160 ebooks on on the library Heritage catalogue have direct links to Dawsonera on them. Here’s an example of what it looks like. So if a student searches the catalogue they are merely one click away from the ebook. Again this has reduced the number of different usernames and passwords for accessing eresources for accounts which the LRC needed to create as each set of course students got access to ebooks.

 

 

We are looking at making our FAQs on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) available for listening. It will still be available in text format too, but hearing our LRC team explain things makes things more personal. We answer common questions about LRC services, resources and equipment.

We’re trying out AudioBoom which is a service where you can listen and create audio files/podcasts. It is fun and easy to use.

Alongside listening straight from the VLE. You will be able to follow our podcast posts by visiting us on https://audioboom.com/HillcroftLRC. Everything we publish will also be tweeted out on our Twitter feed @HillcroftLRC.

Let us know what you think of having more to listen on your courses.

Screen with VLELast week we launched our new design for our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Moodle. Our designers at Overt created it using their Overt Quick Metro design.

The new look for the VLE was a collaboration between teaching and learning staff and students. Both the students and staff wanted a cleaner more modern feel that made it easy to navigate the site. Students wanted all the regular things they use to be easily accessible from one place.This includes their email, courses they are registered on, My Learning Space (MLS) their electronic Individual Learning Plan (eILP), BKSB and course feedback forms. These are now under the My Learning Room area.

We’ve incorporated a new accessibility toolbar as over 45% of our learners have a declared disability. The toolbar is a Moodle block which has readback features, allows them to change the font size, background colours and use overlays.

The LRC Manager has created a course template to make course creation easier and bring together essential course material that students wanted together eg aims and objectives, scheme of work, assessment and course handbook through consulting with colleagues Angela Rideau Elearning Coordinator from Barnet Southgate and Rod Kain LRC Manager at NewVic colleges via Kav Dev Senior Advisor at RSC London. She’s also created a guide to help students and staff understand the new design, get hints and tips on creating material eg sizing images to fit the new course grid blocks and a style guide.

This week the LRC team started revamping the LRC pages. It’s been a great chance to use the training we had from Dave Foord at A6 Training using Moodle Books and embedding videos.

 


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