jisc rsc wm newsletter
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DESCRIPTIONIssue 7 of the RSC WM Newsletter
As another academic year gets underway, the RSC West Midlands is pleased to announce that our funding has been extended to August 2012. Over the next year, a number of changes to RSC operations will enable us to operate more effectively and effi ciently as a unifi ed service across the UK. Practical measures such as improved customer relationship management systems, a new website (fi nd out more on page 8) and marketing and communications procedures will be implemented from Autumn 2011. Looking at the bigger picture, outcomes of the recent HEFCE review of the JISC will start to emerge over the next few months. The implications of which are unlikely to have a major impact on RSC services until Summer 2012. Naturally, we will keep learning providers up to date as things develop.
The RSC team have been busy over the summer, completing operational planning. A number of key objectives are detailed in this newsletter.
Our regional priorities for 2011-12 are E-safety, Learner Voice, Strategic Development and Technology for Learning.
These are in addition to national priorities which, working in tandem with other JISC Advance services, will enable us to provide support for Business Processes, Shared Services, Procurement, Network Management, Digital Literacy and Staff Development.
A number of learning providers have benefi tted from our e-learning progress review service, which helps to evaluate your organisations e-learning maturity. This year, we are also offering individual components of the service. For example, if your organisation would like assistance in evaluating its use of mobile devices in teaching and learning or guidance in developing an e-safety policy, we can arrange to discuss this with appropriate staff and provide a short report. More details of this service can be found on page 3.
Additionally, we will run our annual events programme and continue to provide advice and guidance.
We look forward to supporting you during this academic year.
Greg VivashRSC West Midlands Manager
Whats New for 2011-12
RSCNewsletter Issue 7 Autumn/Winter
1. Whats new for 2011-122. Good Practice From Our Region - Excellence Gateway Case Studies Show Impact3. Case Study: Plaigiarism Detection and Deterrence - Mini Reviews to Improve Organisational Effi ciency4. RSC Equipment Loan Update - New Service - RSC Assist5.RSC WM Launches Tablet Project - Totara Open Source Distribution of Moodle6. Microsoft Sharepoint on a Budget - Improve your Videos in 4 Easy Steps 7. Useful Apps for Education - Educations Bright New GeM8. Forthcoming Events - Assessing Your LRCs Impact - New Look RSC Website
a bi-annual update from the Regional Support Centre West Midlands
Excellence Gateway Case Studies Show Impact of
Latest e-Learning Good Practice from
Since the last issue of our newsletter, a further 3 case studies from the region have been published on the Excellence Gateway:
Solihull College: Using technology to support the detection and deterrence of plagiarism
Burton and South Derbyshire College: Independent ILT review changes attitudes and drives progress
South Worcestershire College: Custom built e-ILP gets staff and learners on track.
To read these case studies in full, and view more examples from our region, visit http://qurl.com/n32mj
Do you have an e-learning project that has made an impact on your staff, learners, or your organisation? If so, we want to hear from you. Please contact Kirsty Hill Information Offi cer by e-mail: email@example.com
The Excellence Gateway currently contains over 320 examples of good practice in e-learning from across England. Recently, you may have noticed some subtle changes to the latest case studies that have been published.
One of the key aims of the case studies is to equip other learning providers with suffi cient information to inspire their own practice, and help them to replicate the practice in their own organisation. Each case study now includes a section entitled lessons learned which outlines the successes and diffi culties encountered, the sustainability and the transferability of the project.
E-learning case studies also now focus more on the impact that the technology has had on the organisation and specifi cally, include evidence that demonstrates impact. Typical examples of evidence include quantitative data such as statistics and/or qualitative information such as quotes from staff and students and inspection results.
RSC E-learning adviser Allen Crawford-Thomas says, Measuring impact is something that we are increasingly asked to advise on by our learning providers. Due to the current economic climate, learning providers are required to demonstrate value for money and show what difference technology has made to their organisation.
There are numerous ways to measure the impact that technology has had on teaching and learning and organisational effectiveness;
Course retention rates - has there been a signifi cant increase since the adoption of technology?Assignment quality - has the students work improved? Cost savings - how has the technology helped to save the organisation money?Time savings - has there been a reduction in the number of hours spent on a particular task?Satisfaction levels - are staff and students happier/more confi dent? How can this be quantifi ed?
Allen adds, There are tools available to help you measure impact - for example, the statistics within your VLE will show how many visitors each course area receives. You could also look at student satisfaction surveys, college SAR information or even consider a data dashboard which retrieves information from your existing systems and displays the data in a visual, easy to read format.
For more information on how the RSC can help you measure the impact of technology in your organisation, contact Allen by e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Case study: Using technology to support the detection and
deterrence of plagiarism
The emphasis for online learning has never been greater. With electronic resources readily accessible at the touch of a button, students sometimes rely too heavily on such materials resulting in plagiarised or incorrectly referenced assignments.
Instances of plaigiarism had become more frequent at Solihull College. To address this, the college took a blended approach. Firstly, by purchasing a license for Turnitin, an internet-based plagiarism detection service. It features a comprehensive bank of webpages, student papers and publications which tutors can compare against their own students submitted assignments for suspected instances of plagiarism. Turnitin was integrated with the colleges VLE, Moodle, to give the students a greater sense of ownership and to feel more engaged in the process of uploading their own work.
Turnitin proved a useful tool for exposing poor information management skills amongst some students early on in draft submission situations. This enabled the students to refl ect on their research practice and, with tutor support, apply the appropriate referencing conventions.
Using Turnitin was just part of the approach however that the college took. Paul Dyson, ILT Development Manager at the college says,We wanted to educate the students by showing them how to correctly reference their assignments and improve their citation skills, which we hoped would lessen our concerns. The Colleges Library team, led by Graeme Muirhead, was instrumental in resolving this by offering library-led research skills sessions as a standard entitlement for all full-time and signifi cant part-time students.
As part of the Turnitin submission process, both the tutors and the students see an originality report which exposes instances of non original work. This shocked some
of the students when they recieved assignment feedback and helped them to understand the issues with plaigiarism. It gave tutors the opportunity to advise students on how to correctly reference their work.
Since adopting Turnitin, the tutors involved in the pilot have noticed signifi cant improvements in their learners citation and referencing skills. It has also resulted in a quicker marking process.
After six months of using Turnitin, students reported the impact that Turnitin had on their studies through a wider Moodle impact survey. When asked the question, Has your use of the e-library and Turnitin within Moodle improved your ability to fi nd, fi lter and reference information? 50% of respondents claimed that it had made a difference. Staff have reported that they have seen stark changes in learner practices.
Paul advises other learning providers who may be considering Turnitin or a similar plagiarism detection tool:
Turnitin is a really useful tool for detecting plagiarism, however, it cant be used in isolation. It must be used alongside a research/information skills support programme. Its important to applaud what has been done but also ensure the learners know what they need to do in order to improve.
To read the full case study, visit http://bit.ly/oOZus3
For more information about plagiarism detection and support from the Regional Support Centre, contact Christa Appleton, our HE Co-ordinator: christa.Appleton@rsc-wm.ac.uk
Mini Reviews to Improve
Organisational Effi ciency
RSC West Midlands is offering a new series of reviews to help learning providers assess their organisational effectiveness in a number of key areas.
In addition to the e-Learning Progress Review, we now offer mini reviews in the following areas;
E-safety Green IT Accessibility Helpdesk Learning Spaces Teaching and Learning
The reviews are an independent, impartial e