Thursday, 20 November 2014

From Administrator to Presenter

From administrator to presenter

Staff may remember that I used to run family history workshops at the University, so I am not new to presenting, even though my day job is Senior Secretary in the Centre for Learning and Teaching, where I am more used to supporting academics in my team when they present at meetings or conferences.

In the last three years I have become an author in my spare time and regularly visit writing conferences to further my craft attending useful sessions such as ‘What editors want’, ‘The ethics of having a pen name’ and ‘Powerful blog post writing’.

I finally felt experienced enough to propose my own session at a conference I attended in Manchester recently. The workshop was entitled: ‘Collaborating with a co-author – the way to make or break a friendship’ for which I used my experience in collaborating with a Finnish writer on a novel. (The brainstorming we did to create our novel was so exhilarating I would recommend everyone do it at least once in their lives. The downside included different writing styles, eg, one of us being a quicker writer than the other).

 One could probably tell that I worked at a University as I explained my three learning objectives to the participants. Those being to discuss the pros and cons of collaborating, to have a speed collaboration exercise (speed dating with a difference - this was to give delegates the opportunity to see how the people work differently), and to look at some hints and tips. And then there was the conclusion – whether it made or broke my friendship! (We are still friends despite threatening strangulation on more than one occasion – and I am sure she felt the same way about me).

The session went very well and the speed collaboration exercise, in particular, was terrific. There was a great buzz with animated expressions, some earnest discussions, and lots of laughter. Feedback comments included, ‘thought-provoking’, ‘thoroughly enjoyable’, ‘you are a born teacher’ – although the latter was from a friend, so she may be slightly biased. What was interesting, though, was that three people said it put them off ever collaborating. Clearly I emphasised the negatives more than the positives – a note to myself for the next time I run this workshop.

Deb Chapman
Senior Secretary

Friday, 7 November 2014

Video Note Taking made easy.

On occasions we might ask students to watch a video and take notes on the content for discussion later. This is perhaps a major component of flipped learning, where students access video content and bring notes for discussion to the class.

There are  a number of challenges associated with this:

  • The notes and the video are separate from each other.
  • It is difficult to match the comments to particular parts of the video.
  • Sharing the notes and the video together.
  • Storing the notes and the video for future reference.
  • Reviewing the notes and finding specific points in the video.
However there is a solution:

Video Notes is a tool for synchronising typed notes with a video.

The service integrates with your Leeds Beckett Google Drive account where it stores all of your notes and video links for future reference.

You can also share the video and notes with others for viewing or editing and so it can be a great way to collaborate with note taking.

One of the best features is that the notes are linked to specific timecode points in the video, so if you have a note at 1min 24 secs and you click on that note it will take you to 1min 24 seconds in the video.

Below is a step by step guide to using Video Notes:

  1. Start by going here:
  2. Once in there click on "Connect with Google Drive" 
  3. If you are already logged in to Google you will go straight to the Video Notes page, otherwise log in with your Leeds Beckett email address and password.
  4. Once logged in, the video notes screen will appear (see below for annotated image).
  5. On the screen you will have a box to paste the video URL, a space where the video plays and area for notes.
  6. You can alter the playback of the video (faster or slower depending on how quickly you can type).
  7. The notes save automatically (a message in the top right of the screen tells you that all is saved.
  8. The notes get saved to a folder in your Google Drive called "" and once in that folder you will see all of your notes.
  9. To re-open a note, double click on it. You will get an overlay message saying that a preview isn't available. This is ok, just click on the link in the connect apps area to open the note back up.
  10. Have fun. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Dr David Killick attends International Conference on Learning and Teaching, IAFOR

Very stimulating IAFOR conference in Osaka. This was one of the most international conferences on learning and teaching which I have attended for some time. Delegates from such diverse places as Egypt, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan, Qatar, Taiwan, and, naturally, Japan. The range of work going on internationally is fantastic to see, and offered some very different perspectives on some key issues, including branch campuses and curriculum internationalisation.

My own workshop attracted a good range of participants - and their critiques of outcomes based approaches were insightful and gave me much to reflect on. I have just arrived in Kobe, and have the luxury of a National Holiday tomorrow - hopefully the rain will stop and the sun come out. While here I look forward to pursuing some research into conceptualisations of learning and teaching among Japanese academics, thanks to the organisation of a friend at Kobe University, before moving on to present at a QS-APPLE conference in Taipei next week. For now - I must check if my washing is ready to take out of the machine.