Category Archives: News

AKO | LEARN Upgrade: A new version of Moodle is on the way!

Moodle 4 was created using feedback from educators and learners, and fixes many of the issues present in the current iteration of Moodle. Some of the big changes include: 

  • A new, clean layout with tabbed navigation 
  • Timeline view for learners, which shows a summary of important tasks to more easily visualise deadlines 
  • Collapsible and expandable content blocks throughout courses 
  • A course index, allowing users to quickly navigate to any section or activity in the course  
  • Smoother and easier drag-and-drop functionality for course creation 
  • Improved screen-reader accessibility options 
  • Generatable reports on a variety of topics 
  • The ability to save and reuse feedback on assessments. 

Additionally, Moodle 4 contains many other improvements for a variety of functions. If you would like to learn more, below are some videos on specific topics: 

Site navigation: Find your way around 

Moodle now hosts a visual indicator showing which content in a course has not been completed. This reduces the likelihood of a student missing an activity.  

Facilitation: Course Editing 

Editing has been streamlined with a simple ‘edit’ toggle that can be activated to manage any course content. A new feature allows course facilitators to send an optional notification to students alerting them of the addition of new course content or a substantial change to existing content.  

Quizzes: Question Bank 

The question bank has been updated with many new functions, including the ability to perform bulk actions on questions, comment on questions, and see question usage and visual statistics. 

Assessments: Assignment 

Assignments now have several new features, including a timing option and a separate section for assignment instructions.  

Activity tracking: Activity Completion 

Activities will now display any necessary student actions under a ‘to do’ header, making it easy to see what is required for course completion. Additionally, colour is used to convey activity completion, with colour indicators turning green when an activity is finished.  

While we’re looking forward to seeing all the positive changes of upgrading to Moodle 4, there is still quite a bit of work to be done before we upgrade to this new version. UC’s Moodle 4 upgrade is currently planned for December 2022. As this date grows closer, we’ll be sharing more Moodle 4 resources, hosting demonstrations and organising feedback workshops. 

If you have any unanswered questions around Moodle 4, contact the Moodle 4 transition team. We can be reached via: 

Pablo Taylor
Poutoko | Educational Technology team lead, Ohu Hoahoa Ako | Learning Design and Technology pablo.taylor@canterbury.ac.nz 

Daniel Grossman
Kairuruku Pūtere | Project Coordinator, Ako Anamata| Future Learning & Development daniel.grossman@canterbury.ac.nz 

 

Tips for Accessible Course Design

It is estimated that between 20-25% of students at the University have some form of visible or invisible disability (University of Canterbury, 2022). Given the number of students living with disabilities, it is essential that we create inclusive and accessible spaces at UC. One of the ways this could be done, is to focus on creating an accessible online space.  

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a longstanding framework for proactively designing accessible instructional materials across all learning environments (CAST, 2018). UDL, also known as design for all or inclusive design, consists of three guiding principles:  

  1. multiple means of presentation 
  2. action and expression, and  
  3. representation (CAST, 2018).  

These principles encourage academics to use accessible materials, delivery methods, and assessment strategies from the outset of the course. Below are a few tips you can use to make your AKO | LEARN site more inclusive and accessible to students: 

  • Have a clear, consistent and logical AKO | LEARN course layout. This includes following a consistent weekly or topic layout that will be easy for students to follow.  
  • Put key information in an easily accessible location, e.g., create a section for assessment information and assessment.  
  • Create accessible Word documents, PowerPoints and PDFs. Scanned documents cannot be processed by screen readers. Contact the library for support.   
  • Use descriptive hyperlinks when linking to a resource and avoid click here, More and Read more or adding the full hyperlink. E.g., AKO | LEARN vs. https://learn.canterbury.ac.nz/my/  
  • Use headings/paragraphs style available in AKO | LEARN. Headings allow readers to browse content by topical groups and provides context for users working through lengthy content. 

References: 

CAST. (2018). The UDL Guidelines. Retrieved from CAST: https://udlguidelines.cast.org/ 

Inclusive and Accessible Course Design. (2022). Retrieved from Victoria University of Wellington | Te Herenga Waka: https://learning.vicinnovate.ac.nz/accessible-course-design.html 

University of Canterbury. (2022). Te Ratonga Whaikaha|Student Accessibility Service. Retrieved from University of Canterbury: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/accessibility/# 

Tips and Tricks for Using Zoom

  1. Use the AKO |  LEARN Tool for Creating Zoom Tutorials

It is best to use the AKO | LEARN tool for creating Zoom tutorials for a variety of reasons. One of these is having the Zoom logo automatically being placed next to the link on the Learn page:

 

 

Another reason is that when you use the AKO | LEARN tool many of the default settings are those that you would typically want for a tutorial – which saves time.

  1. Creating Co-Hosts for Zoom Tutorials

When you are creating a Zoom tutorial don’t forget to create some co-hosts for the session just in case you are not able to host the session.

For example, if the course has two (2) lecturers and four (4) tutors, making all six (6) of these people co-hosts would allow any of them to run any of the sessions if the designated person was not able to. When logging into Zoom, make sure you are using the correct account (e.g. work vs. personal) to make sure you have the right access.

  1. Adding a mobile feed to your labs/demonstrations

Are you facilitating a hands-on demonstration and struggling to engage remote learners? Adding a mobile video feed alongside your laptop webcam feed can boost the interaction and engagement for learners that aren’t there to see it in person. Check out the eLearning Help for Staff section here:

https://learn.canterbury.ac.nz/mod/book/view.php?id=2023847&chapterid=15827

  1. Using a Kahoot! Quiz to See Where Students Are

If you have students joining a Zoom session, consider using a Kahoot! Quiz (or similar) at the start of the session that includes a question that asks the students what their location is.

For example, if you are doing a live streamed lecture with some of the students attending in person, include a question in a quiz at the start of the lecture that is like this:

Where are you?

  1. In the lecture in front of you
  2. Somewhere else at UC
  3. Somewhere else in Christchurch
  4. Somewhere else in New Zealand
  5. Country A
  6. Country B
  7. Somewhere else on planet earth
  8. On another planet

The responses will give you a sense of where people are, and for students that are not present in person it is acknowledging their presence

  1. Show and Tell Sessions in Zoom Tutorials

An issue experienced by many people is students not turning on their cameras in Zoom based tutorials. On technique that can work is having a “show and tell” time at the start of the session where students are asked to do or show something on camera.

This doesn’t need to be content related, with some examples including “wear a (silly) hat” and “show me your pet”.

Ako Anamata: EdTalk on November 9

Ako Anamata | Future Learning and Development is excited to invite UC staff to the next instalment of our monthly Ako Anamata: EdTalks – which this month will be given by Prof Ben Kennedy & Dr Jonathan Davidson; and Dr Brad Hurren, Georgia Williams & George Haswell.

Date: Tuesday 9 November
Venue: University of Canterbury Club (Ilam Homestead)
Time: 4pm – 6pm

The session includes:

  • 4.00pm: Welcome and introduction – Brad Hurren, Kaiwhakawhanake Akoranga | Academic Developer (Ako Anamata | FL&D)
  • 4.05pm: DLTP Scholar Presentation – Online and face to face, best of both worlds? Using a MOOC with bicultural and interactive 3d elements for a flipped, blended teaching environment – Prof Ben Kennedy (Te Kura Aronukurangi | School of Earth & Environment) and Dr Jonathan Davidson (Te Kura Aronukurangi | School of Earth & Environment)
  • 4.35pm: Development of a targeted academic and wellbeing orientation for new UC students – Brad Hurren, Georgia Williams & George Haswell
  • 4.55pm: Close, followed by networking with colleagues

Please note that due to the current COVID-19 Alert Level 2, there are safety measures in place at the Ilam Homestead. These are:

  • This event will be treated as a private function;
  • Please wear face coverings when arriving at the venue, and when using the bathrooms;
  • For this event, only the upstairs bar will be staffed and contains the same selection as the downstairs bar – however no tap beers will be available;
  • Purchases can be only be made by card – no cash.

DLTP Scholar Presentation – Online and face to face, best of both worlds? Using a MOOC with bicultural and interactive 3d elements for a flipped, blended teaching environment

The Covid 19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need for more flexible and future-focused education. This project will build a team across the university to support course transformations towards resilient blended, flipped and courses using MOOCs. This team will develop a methodology that is applicable across the university to create innovative online experiences that enhance learning in face-to-face settings. Specifically, we will create innovative ways to deliver and assess flexible content via virtual fieldtrips and virtual lab environments but within current UC and EDx platforms.

In this presentation we will focus on Geol 336 Volcanology and Magmatic systems course that underwent some course transformation in 2011 (Kennedy et al., 2012). We are currently measuring baseline data on student motivation and learning strategies (MSLQ) (Pintrich, 1991), and conducting student reflections and questionnaires. We have spent our first year of DLTP transforming and aligning our prize nominated EdX MOOC with content for our third year volcanology course and laboratory sessions. We will showcase the results of our bicultural consultation, 3D interactive elements and authentic assessments. The plan is to use the MOOC and workshops to replace lectures, and better prepare for the lab and field and future careers. The MOOC will contain elements of online labs and virtual fieldtrips and specific assessments around bicultural competencies and science communication, providing an experience resilient to sudden changes in teaching constraints (e.g. social distancing or lockdown obligations). Following the transformation in 2021/2 we will remeasure teaching and learning for the instructor and students.

The big challenge is how we can change the habits of students to do the necessary online learning before coming to workshops and labs. This issue will be huge to the whole university as learning becomes more flexible, we need to foster new study habits and learning strategies. We hope to generate some discussion around this.

DLTP monthly talks

Our DLTP (Distributed Leadership in Teaching Programme) Scholars have been successful in applying for the opportunity to secure both time and funding to explore and showcase their interests in teaching and learning. More information on the DLTP can be found here.

These monthly talks provide an exciting opportunity for DLTP scholars to showcase their work, as well as to give you a brief update on what’s happening in the wider teaching and learning areas at UC. The Ako Anamata: EdTalk is also time for colleagues and friends to get together and network in an informal setting. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information on the DLTP please contact Dr Brad Hurren.

Ako Anmata: EdTalk on 12 October

Ako Anamata | Future Learning and Development is excited to invite UC staff to the next instalment of our monthly Ako Anamata: EdTalks – which this month will be given by Prof Catherine Moran and Assoc Prof Jane Abbiss.

Date: Tuesday 12 October
Venue: University of Canterbury Club (Ilam Homestead)
Time: 4pm – 6pm

The session includes:

  • 4.00pm: Welcome and introduction – Dr Brad Hurren, Kaiwhakawhanake Akoranga | Academic Developer (Ako Anamata | FL&D)
  •  4.05pm: Updates from the DVCA Office – Professor Catherine Moran, Tumu Tuarua Akoranga | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic
  • 4.20pm: DLTP Scholar Presentation – Practice-oriented teaching and assessment: Finding relevance and enhancing scholarship – Assoc Prof Jane Abbiss, Ahonuku | Associate Professor (Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora | Education, Health & Human Development)
  • 4.55pm: Close, followed by networking with colleagues

 Please note that due to the current COVID-19 Alert Level 2, there are safety measures in place at the Ilam Homestead. These are:

  • This event will be treated as a private function;
  • Please wear face coverings when arriving at the venue, and when using the bathrooms;
  • For this event, only the upstairs bar will be staffed and contains the same selection as the downstairs bar, however no tap beers will be available;
  • Purchases can be only be made by card – no cash

 DLTP Scholar Presentation – Practice-oriented teaching and assessment: Finding relevance and enhancing scholarship

One of the challenges in tertiary teaching within professional programmes is to ensure the relevance of teaching and learning while also ensuring high levels of academic scholarship. As an integral part of teaching and learning, assessment needs to be relevant, authentic and based in the scholarship of the field or discipline. This project focuses on assessment as an aspect of tertiary teaching, in particular the possibilities for authentic, practice-oriented assessment in campus-based initial teacher education courses (as opposed to assessment of practice demonstrated during an internship). The starting point is one-year teacher education programmes in the School of Teacher Education, but questions of relevance and authenticity in assessment go beyond professional programmes; authentic assessment may be a goal in non-professional as well as professional programmes.

In this talk, Jane will address the idea of practice-oriented assessment and introduce the DLTP project. Assessment examples will be shared along with learning to date in relation to different forms of practice-oriented assessment, the challenges of undertaking this type of assessment, and suggestions for engaging in authentic assessment within university courses. There will be an opportunity for colleagues to share their own assessment experiences and ideas.

 DLTP monthly talks
Our DLTP (Distributed Leadership in Teaching Programme) Scholars have been successful in applying for the opportunity to secure both time and funding to explore and showcase their interests in teaching and learning. More information on the DLTP can be found here.

These monthly talks provide an exciting opportunity for DLTP scholars to showcase their work, as well as to give you a brief update on what’s happening in the wider teaching and learning areas at UC. The Ako Anamata: EdTalk is also time for colleagues and friends to get together and network in an informal setting. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information on the DLTP please contact Dr Brad Hurren.

Ako Anamata: EdTalk on August 10

Ako Anamata | Future Learning and Development is excited to invite UC staff to the next instalment of our monthly Ako Anamata: EdTalks – which this month will be given by Dr Carmen Weaver from Ako Anamata and Dr Matthew Hughes from the College of Engineering.

Date: Tuesday 10 August
Venue: University of Canterbury Club (Ilam Homestead)
Time: 4pm – 6pm

The session includes:

  • 4.00pm: Welcome and Introduction– Dr Brad Hurren, Kaiwhakawhanake Akoranga | Academic Developer (Ako Anamata | FL&D)
  • 4.05pm: An Update on the AKO|LEARN Upgrade Project – Dr Carmen Weaver, Poutoko | Team Leader (Ako Anamata | FL&D)
  • 4.20pm: DLTP Scholar Presentation – Humanitarian Engineering: Flourishing in the Anthropocene – Dr Matthew Hughes, Pūkenga Matua | Senior Lecturer (Civil & Natural Resources Engineering)
  • 4.55pm: Close, followed by networking with colleagues

AKO|LEARN upgrade project

In conjunction with representatives from across the university, Future Learning and Development will be upgrading and redesigning the Learning Management System (LMS), AKO | LEARN. The need for this work is guided by:

  • Adherence to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines
  • Response to student feedback (need for consistency)
  • The support of te taiao ako (the learning environment)
  • A need to address accessibility concerns and possible upcoming legislation
  • A clear framework to allow for quality assurance of courses, and
  • A need for consistent data from the LMS to better support students

We look forward to sharing current progress and the continued conversation over the coming months.

DLTP Scholar Presentation – Humanitarian Engineering: Flourishing in the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene is a new geological age characterised by industrial civilisation’s rapid expansion, accelerating from the 1950s, to consume and transform ecosystems and landscapes, a development marked indelibly in Earth’s biodiversity and rock record that will persist for aeons. Despite significant improvements in human wellbeing in recent centuries, the benefits of global development have been unequal, and consequent environmental degradation threatens to undermine progress. This project contends that Humanitarian Engineering is a useful transdisciplinary approach to support human flourishing in the Anthropocene. One definition of Humanitarian Engineering is “the artful drawing on science to direct the resources of nature with active compassion directed toward meeting the basic needs of all — especially the powerless, poor, or otherwise marginalised”. This project is developing a collaborative teaching programme to support and expand the delivery of Humanitarian Engineering based on: acknowledgement of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and mana whenua, harnessing established iwi relationships, and acknowledging Te Ao Māori and Mātauranga Māori in weaving new understanding; reciprocal, resilient and sustainable partnerships with Pasifika communities; essential conceptual and theoretical approaches to development; deeply considered ethical frameworks; meaningful and demonstrably beneficial community engagements; and recognition of social-cultural and geopolitical dynamics in a COVID-19 world.

This presentation will give an overview of the project, but the intention is to provoke discussion with attendees on how to approach inclusive pedagogies, how to meaningfully engage students on potentially controversial topics, and how to ensure students harness and maintain their humanitarian instincts in the face of civilisational risks.

DLTP monthly talks
Our DLTP (Distributed Leadership in Teaching Programme) Scholars have been successful in applying for the opportunity to secure both time and funding to explore their interests in teaching and learning. More information on the DLTP can be found here.

These monthly talks provide an exciting opportunity for DLTP scholars to showcase their work, as well as to give you a brief update on what’s happening in the wider teaching and learning areas at UC. The Ako Anamata: EdTalk is also time for colleagues and friends to get together and network in an informal setting. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information contact Dr Brad Hurren.

Join us for the next Ako Anamata: EdTalk on 13 July

Te Ako Anamata | Future Learning and Development is excited to invite UC staff to the next instalment of our monthly Ako Anamata: EdTalks, which will be given by Dr Rosie Cameron from the College of Engineering.

Date: Tuesday 13 July
Venue: University of Canterbury Club (Ilam Homestead)
Time: 4pm – 6pm

The session includes:

  • 4.00pm: Welcome and introduction– Dr Brad Hurren, Kaiwhakawhanake Akoranga | Academic Developer
  • 4.05pm: An update from the Vice-Chancellor – Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Tumu Whakarae | Vice-Chancellor
  • 4.20pm: Key presentation – Adaptive Learning Technologies in MATH101 – Dr Rosie Cameron, Pūkenga | Lecturer
  • 4.55pm: Close, followed by networking with colleagues

Key Presentation – Adaptive Learning Technologies in MATH101

Over recent years, the cohort of students in MATH101 has included many students who lack the foundational mathematics skills that they need to succeed in the course. Many students also have low mathematics self-efficacy and are apprehensive about studying mathematics.

The initial stage of the project will be to explore different tools and teaching methods that have potential application to a redesigned MATH101. One such tool is adaptive learning which provides students with targeted remediation and automated support. This provides them with the opportunity to master initial, prerequisite content and then build on these acquired skills as they encounter content that is more complex. It also gives students experience of success in mathematics learning which will hopefully improve their self-efficacy and confidence.

DLTP monthly talks
Our DLTP (Distributed Leadership in Teaching Programme) Scholars have been successful in applying for the opportunity to secure both time and funding to explore their interests in teaching and learning. More information on the DLTP can be found here.

These monthly talks provide an exciting opportunity for DLTP scholars to showcase their work, as well as to give you a brief update on what’s happening in the wider teaching and learning areas at UC. The Ako Anamata: EdTalk is also time for colleagues and friends to get together and network in an informal setting. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information contact Dr Brad Hurren.

Ako Anamata: EdTalk

We are excited to announce that the first Ako Anamata: EdTalk will be given by Associate Professors Cheryl Brown and Sara Tolbert, who are two of our 2021 DLTP Scholars.

Principles and Praxis for Pedagogies of Care in a Postdigital University

Date: Tuesday 15 June
Venue: University of Canterbury Club (Ilam Homestead)
Time:  4pm – 6pm (talk will begin at 4.15pm)

 In addition to this talk from Cheryl and Sara, we will also hear updates and insights from Prof Catherine Moran (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic) regarding the exciting work being done in the DVCA office.

Echo360 Pop-up Resource Center for Instructors

In Echo360, you are now presented with a new pop-up resource designed to help get you oriented with the Echo360 platform.  When you are in your library, you will see a question mark icon.  If you click on this your will see 4 options.:

  • Announcements – What’s New in Echo360
  • Webinars – Current and Past Echo360 Webinars
  • Walkthroughs – A step by Step Guide to Echo360s most common features
  • Documentation – Search for Help Articles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions about this please contact the Learning Design & Technology Team or log an Assyst request.

Café Style Workshops

The Academic Development Team are planning to run Café Style Workshops over the coming months.

The plan is that these workshops will be held in cafés (dates and times to be arranged) where we will get a chance to share our experiences of what has worked and not worked in a number of different areas. It may be that after a first workshop relating to a topic, the participants choose to continue meeting into the future.

Suggested topics at this stage are:

  • Technology for engaging students in large lectures
  • Designing effective assessments that are not invigilated exams or tests
  • Engaging distance students in synchronous face-face lectures
  • Creating communities of learners amongst distance students
  • What did we change for delivery during lockdown that we have continued with and why?

If you are interested in any of these topics or have any other suggestions, please contact Trevor Nesbit via trevor.nesbit@canterbury.ac.nz so that we can starting putting them in place.