Operational Issues Part B

In this section I am going to cover the wide variety of technology I use in the UWS as my role of an elearning developer, this will demonstrate my technical knowledge. I will also demonstrate my application of recommending suitable technology for the task at hand and my capacity to use the technology effectively within our VLE and externally.

Demonstration of technical knowledge, instructional design and staff development

In January 2014 UWS upgraded to Moodle 2.5, this is our VLE and is where the staff’s online modules are hosted. I support the academic staff with general Moodle queries on a daily basis and aid in enhancing the instructional design and interactivity within their online modules in collaboration with them. The ADDIE process is used when developing and collaborating with the staff member(s) on their Moodle module development, more information can be found in the evidence document called the 3R’s process. In an effort to prepare myself for the upgrade to Moodle 2.5 I enrolled in a 4 week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) September 2013.This proved beneficial as I gained experience of using Moodle 2.5 and engaging with other Moodle practitioners from across the globe. I successfully passed the courses requirements and was awarded two open badges.

Demonstration of technical knowledge

I use the Adobe elearning suite to develop interactive and engaging media for online modules in collaboration with academic staff and Subject Matter Experts. In an effort to maintain my skillet and align it with my career I undertook and passed Adobe Certified Associate exams in both Flash and Photoshop.

In an effort to learn more about Gamification I undertook and passed a ten week online course delivered by Coursera. The work I produced was peer assessed by fellow attendees, and there was weekly quizzes and final exam to assess if I had absorbed the course content. This course not only gave insight into how Gamificaiton can be applied to professional environments but it also reinforced to me how Gamification could be utilised within the modules I am developing as well.  

Examples of my flash, Photoshop and Dreamweaver work can be found in my CMALT portfolio specialist section.

Application of appropriate technology fit for purpose

One of the lecturers required an effective method for staff and student engagement online via an environment similar to Facebook. I recommended Yammer for this purpose as secure groups can be easily built and the flow of conversation is similar to Facebook. This allowed for conversation and collaboration between students. Yammer is now being used not only in the lecturers Moodle module, but the overarching programme module as well. Other lecturers in different schools within UWS are now beginning to use Yammer, which I am advising them on.

Staff development and support

I use Camtasia Relay and Studio to produce tutorial videos for staff and provide tuition on how to use this software. I find this a more effective medium to convey information relating to software or learning technology as I can provide explanation through both video and audio. There’s the added benefit of being able to distribute the videos I produce to all staff in the institution through our VLE and media server Helix.

Utilising technology to enhance the staff experience and exchange of good practice and knowledge

Since November 2012 I have been involved in developing a live streaming service for the staff at UWS. The purpose of this service was to ensure staff were not excluded from key events and if required people external to the university could also watch these events. This also opened up the scope for external speakers to participate and deliver lectures or presentations. The team I’m part of have successfully streamed 4 UWS events, and due to the positive response from staff more events are to be streamed.

When I am involved in delivering a streaming event to staff my role is to;

  • set up and the computer and software, along with the audio and video equipment
  • monitor the online room where the session is being held,
  • monitor the audio
  • liaise with staff and ensure we have a suitable venue
  • Provide user documentation on how to log in etc..

My role in developing the streaming service focused on:

  • Investigating which software we should use to stream the video and audio through
  • Developing a suite of audio and video equipment that can easily be transported and setup by members of the eteam and eventually staff
  • Develop user documentation/tutorials
  • Investigate which software can be used to remote access the presenters machine

I was also involved in developing an award winning case study with RSC Jisc Scotland. This contains all the activities I was involved in along with the challenges we encountered and overcame. It also means people can now access the good practice and knowledge that was gained during the development of this service.

The service will be passed over to staff, I have written up all the documentation required for them to set up the equipment and software themselves.

Reflective comment

In reflection, whilst it is important to learn and use a wide variety of learning software and technology a balance has to be found. I have found that some software packages do much the same job as each other; i.e. Evernote and OneNote offer much the same functionality. This can be problematic when trying to offer solutions to members of staff as I have found too much choice can overwhelm the members of staff. Therefore it is important to work with members of staff and aid them in choosing a suitable solution that suits the requirements. This benefits both developer and staff as they can both focus on using software and technology effectively as opposed to a lot inefficiently. This could result in the student missing out due to poorly developed materials and activities.

It is important we share our lessons learned and knowledge, to facilitate good practice within elearning. I found this when communicating with other attendees/learners in the Gamification course I attended online; I would often post useful links to website and resources. This resulted in knowledge transfer between the learners.  I am also pleased that the Streaming case study I was involved in producing can now be found online and is hopefully informing other people within the industry about our service and the lessons learned.

3R's handout

3Rs handout.pdf

343.9KB | Thursday, 29 August 2013 | Details

Click here to view the two OnlineOpen Badges I was awarded


Posted by Greg Walters (77770933) on 27 January 2014, 9:00 PM

Adobe Certified Assocaite Qualifications

Rich Media Using Flash.pdf

319.1KB | Thursday, 29 August 2013 | Details

Visual Communication Photoshop 6.pdf

319.3KB | Thursday, 29 August 2013 | Details

Click here to view Jisc Live Streaming case study

My contribution for this was to be interviewed by a Jisc representative (John MaGuire) and provide insight into my experience, the challenges we encountered and overcame. I also provided a sample video of one of our streaming events for the case study and provided several images of the equipment we used.

This case study won the Business Systems and technology category in the RSC Jisc iTech 2014 awards

Click here to view my Gamification certificate

Posted by Greg Walters (77770933) on 23 July 2014, 9:49 AM