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June, 2011


    June 17, 2011 by Robin Englebright

    The champ-curriculum@jiscmail list was setup at the turn of the century to help folk in FE get their analytical engines aligned.  It continues to be first port of call for information advice and guidance . 

    If you know anyone who supports the use of ILT in FE and who might benefit from joining the list please let me know.

    This is what the FE community are discussing…in alphabetical order….

    Champs list summary  May2011,100 posts from 50 individuals. There are currently 599 members. 

    Advantages & Disadvantages of eAssessment
    The list discussed the main advantages of eAssessment:
    -The teacher cannot lose what is handed in (easily).
    -Comments are legible.
    -Enables plagiarism detection software to be used, such as TurnitIn, or even simple Google searching.
    -The learner can prove they handed something in, and can do that from anywhere.
    -audio feedback, inserted in text or as attachment is much quicker than written feedback, easy to personalise. Works best if recorded using an template prompt list to ensure all points are covered. Suggested recording tools: Audacity (Free Open Source) or MyPodcast recorder.


    -Useful for clarity when Verifying, allowing open decisions to be made.
    -Screencast technology works well for providing narrated annotated feedback into docs (Jing, ScreenR etc)
    -Issues with varied formats, and increasingly sophisticated home equipment outpacing capabilities of institutional kit to read submissions.
    -On screen marking may not be as natural as paper and pen, and requires a change of workflow to include comment upload… and becasue students can read the feedback, it actually has to make sense.
    -Students are still often required to undertake a handwritten paper exam as summative assessment, so need to spend some time practicing.
    It’s also worth highlighting the recent JISC publication, effective assessment in the digital age, and the resources created around the events. 
    Chopping a YouTube Video then embedding into PowerPoint. provides a way of highlighting a specific section of a YouTube video which can be embedded in Powerpoint. Dave Foord produced a screencast explaining how to do this: The embedding is easier and bypasses issues Blackboard has with iframes.
    To add video to and existing YouTube clip requires another tack, either upload the new video to YouTube and use the editor .An alternative method would be to download the clips using something like video download helper edit using your favourite FLV capable tool, though clips will have been compressed already, so quality may degenerate.
    AVC will also capture the clip but can be as an AVI or WMV, which allows use of Moviemaker or i-Movie.
    It should be remembered that whilst all things may be technically possible, there may be copyright implications, if working on Video that is not your own, TubeChop avoids these issues.
    Document cameras.
    The list was asked for suggestions for a document camera on a gooseneck that could also cope with close up Hair and Beauty recording- facials, massages. Both Promethean and Smart board offerings received favourable comments. 
    Also noted the HUE HD webcam on gooseneck,
    The list was asked to comment on their experiences with eILPs:
    Experience of e-Tracker has been mixed, with issues over duplicate entries of data for teachers/tutors uncertainty over the benefit from the data they are required to enter on the ILPs.
    VITAL has an eILP built into the system, is easy to use and  can report on eILP group activity.
    The ILP developed by ULCC  has been quite popular with the learners and the staff. Good for target setting and end of term/year reports. Designed to sit inside Moodle and connected to MIS system to track attendance etc.
    A case study on ePLP is available on the Excellence Gateway
    ProMonitor was reported to work well, and link to Unit-E and Bromcom, though reportedly clunky and it requiring quite a bit of staff training. 
    Instances of in the North West (RSC have details)
    Equality and Diversity Impact Assesment for Moodle
    The list discussed the value of undertaking an Equality and Diversity assessment as part of a Moodle roll out. 
    Equality Impact Assessments (EIA’s) are now considered to be requirements for policies and procedures in many areas of college provision, and these are increasingly being used as evidence in inspections.    
    The EIA can be used to document that a VLE has been analysed against the different EIA requirements specifically learning difficulties/disabilities and how the accessibility has been enhanced through peripherals, additional software, change of theme etc, then this is evidence that the provider can utilise in inspections/audits as required.  
    The review can act as a focus to identify staff development requirements.
    Where issues are identified with provision they can be addressed.
    For many years JISC Techdis has argued that simply having a VLE and having content on it is a major step forward in terms of accessibility and inclusion – access to resources any time, any place. As people learn how to change font size and colour or use free text to speech tools, the VLE  becomes a primary assistive technology tool. As staff move beyond passive documents and start to use interactive learning resources (whether Word, HotPotatoes, Xerte, eXe) the VLE becomes a central tool of inclusive good practice. A good example is Southampton city College 
    Techdis have senior manager briefing “e-learning as an accessibility investment” and self-assessment resource shows how to assess the potential impact on accessibility and inclusion.
    Good coaching practice
    There are videos on the LSIS site regarding coaching practice, and also on
    High Court upholds the Digital Economy Act 
    A briefing on the Digital Economy Act has been prepared by the SCA:
    Launch of two new resources – supporting and sustaining innovation
    Supporting and sustaining innovation through good practice:
    JISC infoNet is pleased to announce the launch of two new resources from  the JISC Curriculum Design and Delivery programmes ( and
    Sustaining and Embedding Innovations – Good Practice Guide:
    Critical Friends: Effective Practice Guide:
    New Leap2A site launched Pe-portfolio interoperability, at its very best.


    The list discussed IT budgets, which varied wildly from institution to institution. RSC London IT Survey of London colleges in 2009 showed average IT spend at around 5% of the college income. 
    Depreciation of kit varied, from 3 – 5 years.

    The list discussed the use of JING [] the collaboration tool, it is flexible, and can support assessment and feedback:- student emails work, teacher opens it, opens Jing,annotates and narrates feedback, saves to screencast AND locally for audit purposes, sends student screencast link.  It can be installed across a network.Upgrades are
    regular and fiddly individual history is not saved (hence the need to keep a local copy).  It also works in Xerte.
    Screenr, was suggested as an alternative, it is easy, pushes to YouTube and can be viewed on an iPhone.
    The output from the free jing version won’t play on iPhone and the file must be downloaded and sent to YouTube. 
    Another alternative is camstudio which is free and can be run from a memory stick or installed on computers, although output options are either large avi files or flash files.
    Adobe’s Capitvate supports annotation and allows the screencast to be edited.
    Dave Foord highlighted a blog post on privacy concerns when using for feedback.  
    Useful tutorial on using Jing:

    JISC Techdis launches accessible IT practice support programme 
    The Accessible IT Practice Support Programme ( surfaces TECHDIS resources. A flyer to use in promotions within institutions:
    The programme can lead to City & Guilds ITQ accreditation and provides an ideal platform for raising awareness of inclusion issues at the same time as developing the skills to create more inclusive teaching and learning environments. 
    QR Code Resume 
    An example of using QR codes in a CV:
    Read Write Gold
    A planned upgrade to Win 7 from XP means Read Write Gold will no longer work. Alternatives were sought that support reading the on-screen text out loud and allow recording to be saved as an mp3 and also a text prediction facility.
    My Study Bar has text read back and also the ability to save as an MP3 file.  Text prediction is available via LetMeType.  
    Some colleges policies block use of USB drive apps making it awkward to use AccessApps/MystudyBar. It may be useful to pick out a few of the apps and make them available on the network.
    Windows 7 offers a range of excellent accessibility options (Ease of Access Centre) such as a an on-screen keyboard with word prediction, accurate Speech Recognition, and a range of features to customise the Windows environment to suit individual preferences.
    ‘Windows 7 Ease of Access Guide’ from Craig’s e-Inclusion blog:
    The default synthetic voice on Windows 7 is Microsoft Anna, which is better than her predecessors but of course not as good as
    commercial voices. Cereproc which is based in Edinburgh, offer quality voices starting from £10.99 per single user licence:
    One of the advantages of Office 2010 is that you can customise the Ribbon and add customised tabs. For example, it is possible to create a ‘Literacy Support’ tab which contains a range of appropriate Word features enabling the learner to get quick access to, such as AutoText, Full Screen Reading, Phonetic Guide etc. A combination of MyStudyBar alongside the FX Toolbar: provides a fair free alternative to RWG.  with a complete list of the software and guides.
    Resource Portal Software
    The list was asked for suggestions around creating a resource portal. Examples of systems can be found in case studies on the Excellence Gateway:  &
    Other advice highlighted two main difficulties with content repositories. Firstly, getting people to deposit at all, and to add metadata when they do.  Secondly, ensuring that quality control, if you use it, is done in a timely fashion. A good open source platform would be DSpace and EPrints.
    MoLeFE can be used as a portal,

    Webinar and Videoconferencing
    The list was asked for suggestions regarding webinar solutions:
    The videoconferencing service page specifies the sectors in education:
    Info related to desktop and a report about using skype from VTAS (a bit old
    but skype review may be of interest in terms of how useful for WBL for webconference)
    The JISC SWEET project is investigating the use of BBB:
    Xerte LO – xerte possibilities for psychology and sociology 
    An Xerte LO used in one of regular Techdis training sessions subverts the Audio
    slideshow to create an interactive psychology experiment online and exemplifies statistical sampling which didn’t get
    into the earlier stats session at the beginning of the year. A link to the recording of the session can be found at:


    June 16, 2011 by Robin Englebright

    Following the March champs list summary, I have received a correction from John Savage:

    “Southampton University have a Moodle benchmarking scheme. It automatically rates, aggregates, reports and awards medals. You can easily customise the algorithm to meet whatever criteria you want to use:
    This was actually developed by VLE developer Mike Wilson at Southampton City College.Communications from indicate that the Bronze, Silver and Gold benchmarking was discussed at a recent Moodle moot and there are plans for it to be developed as part of Moodle 2.0.
    In the spirit of OSS Southampton City College are happy to share the code.

    Excellent work.

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