iLearn. Sigh. #justaskbev

Dear Bev,

In my department we have a letter-grade-only mandate for assessment results. I’m at a loss as to how to set this up in my iLearn unit without having to manually enter letter grades. Is there a way the iLearn Gradebook can only show letter grades to students even though I’m marking with numerical values?

Yours,
Magic Marker


Dear Magic Marker,

You’re in luck! There is a magic solution!

There are three levels of settings for the Grade Display Type:

  1. Grade Item level
  2. Grade Category level
  3. Unit Grade Settings level

1. Grade Item level

Tools > Unit Administration > Gradebook Setup

a) Select a grade item, click ‘Edit’ and select ‘Settings’:

iLearn Gradebook Setup view (click to enlarge)

 

b) From the drop-down menu for the Grade display type select Letter:

iLearn Grade Item Settings for Grade Display Type (click to enlarge)

 

2. Grade Category level

Tools > Unit Administration > Gradebook Setup

a) Select a grade category, click Edit and select Settings:

iLearn Gradebook Setup view (click to enlarge)

b) Under the Category total section, click Show more… to reveal the Grade Display Item. From the drop-down menu for the Grade display type select Letter:

iLearn Grade Category Settings, Category Total section (click to enlarge)

 

3. Unit Grade Settings level

Tools > Unit Administration > Gradebook Setup > Setup (tab) > Unit Grade Settings

a) Under the Category Item Settings section, from the drop-down menu for the Grade display type select Letter:

iLearn Gradebook Setup, Unit Grade Settings (click to enlarge)

 

Staff View vs. Student View

Now, if you enter numerical values into the Gradebook (either manually into a column or automatically via Turnitin GradeMark / Feedback Studio):

For example:

Test Student 0: 79/100 (presentation), 92/100 (written)

Test Student 1: 72/100 (presentation), 67/100 (written)

iLearn Gradebook – staff view (click to enlarge)

 

Test Student 0 sees the letter grade, HD, displayed:

iLearn Gradebook Test Student 0 view (click to enlarge)

 

while Test Student 1 sees the letter grade, Cr, displayed:

iLearn Gradebook Test Student 1 view (click to enlarge))

So there you have it, Magic Marker!

If you need back up, give us a shout: ilearn.help@mq.edu.au or read the iLearn Gradebook guide.

Teacher of the week: Carol Newall

Dr Carol Newall is a lecturer in Early Childhood Education in the Department of Educational Studies.

 

I work in child development and educational psychology. Most of the time, I scare children as part of my research program. The children typically enjoy our studies because, well, being scared can be quite fun, especially in our studies. It allows us to track how fear develops and diminishes in children, which can inform the treatment and prevention of anxiety disorders early in life. Aside from my persona as an evil scientist who scares children for a living, I also work in the area of STEM education for girls, and trying to get girls to become interested and engaged in areas that they typically shy away from like coding, robotics, and engineering. 


Mostly though, I’m a mother to two rascally but wonderful children – Ava (aged 7) and Tom (aged 2). The best part of my day is being able to interact with them, watch them grow, and listen to all the thoughts they have about the world and recent discoveries. Nothing makes me laugh more than hanging out with my kids, except maybe hanging out my husband ( Dr John Newall, Lecturer in Audiology at Macquarie University).   

 

1. What are your main teaching commitments?

I convene one moderately large undergraduate unit in child development, and a smaller postgraduate unit in the same area. So I lecture, tutor, convene and mark – all the grass-root level teaching responsibilities and tasks required for our units. 
 
2. What’s the biggest challenge you face as a university teacher?

The biggest challenge is trying to ensure that the teaching role does not turn into an administrative role so that I don’t spend most of my time holding my students’ hands through processes they need to learn for themselves (e.g., finding their tutorial rooms, deciding whether to ask for an extension, finding information on iLearn) instead of actually teaching. It makes me a hard task-master but I believe that if we are to truly prepare our graduates to be workforce-ready, we need to encourage them to be independent and confident learners who can make critical decisions for themselves (e.g., whether to attend a tutorial or not). 
 
3. What has helped you improve your teaching most and why?

It’s not a specific technique that I’ve implemented. It’s purely a logistical one. I’m able to improve teaching when I can retain and develop a unit over several years. It’s not possible to improve a unit if you only convene it for one year. However, if you convene a unit over several years, you start to collect more reliable data on what works and what doesn’t work. It also allows you to experiment and take risks with new technologies and techniques with more confidence and expertise because you have everything else under control. So I would say that one of the simplest ways to improve teaching across the university is to give conveners the time to get to know their units first and then the resources to develop their units. 
 
4. What’s been your most memorable moment in teaching? 

Every time a student asks a remarkably insightful question in class. I remember giving a lecture on gender, and a student raising her  hand to inquire about whether gender preferences in toys would be diminished if the child had an older sibling of a different gender. A very simple intuitive question, but one that could be expanded into a full doctoral thesis. I’m in teaching because I learn so much when I’m teaching. I get a jolt of joy in class when my students stump me with a question I can’t answer. It means I’m pushed to learn new things, and my students are developing inquiring minds absolutely vital to their profession. 
 

5. Who is your favourite music band? Why?

The Wiggles. Sure, some people say that Kashmir by Led Zeppelin is the best rock song of all time. They’ve got nothing on Do the Propeller. If you count the number of people who have danced to Wiggles versus any of the leading bands today or yesterday, I’m pretty sure the Wiggles will be far more influential. The Wiggles by the way, hail from my department, Educational Studies (formerly Institute of Early Childhood), at Macquarie University. Why are they my favourite band? They encourage children to dance and sing, learn vocabulary through simple action sequence, and they are great advocates of early childhood education. 

Teacher of the week: Catherine McMahon

Associate Professor Cath McMahon – Linguistics

I am a clinician, educator and researcher and value all three elements in my role. I am the Director of Audiology and the Director of the newly formed Centre for Implementation of Hearing Research (I-HeaR) and have been at Macquarie University for 14 years – spanning the majority of my career! I currently chair the Faculty of Human Science MQ Health Leadership and Steering committees to align our Faculty with Macquarie University’s Health Science Centre, because I strongly believe in the vision upon which MQ Health was designed “to be a world-class university health sciences centre, integrating clinical care, learning and research to improve lives.” I also believe that Macquarie has the right ecosystem spanning clinical service delivery, health and healthcare research – social science research – clinical trials units and excellent clinical programs across a range of key areas of health and education that can make a difference to our society.

I have two young kids (4 and 6 years) who are both now at school but who make occasional appearances in my office! Like many others across the teams of Audiology and Hearing Research, juggling all of these many commitments is a challenge but I am surrounded by really amazing people – including academics, clinical educators, professional staff and students – that tend to normalise the challenge and who provide truly valued collective support across our discipline.

Q: What are your main teaching commitments?

It is probably fair to say that in the past couple of years, I have spent more time working on educational strategy to support the development of strong clinical skills and in developing new skills in educational design than the time I have had with face-to-face teaching.

To foster integration across all clinical disciplines within MQ Health – the new brand for Macquarie University’s Health Sciences Centre – I led a L&T grant last year with Catherine Dean (Director of Physiotherapy) and Sherrie Love (a highly committed and expert educational designer) to develop Interprofessional Education in Healthcare (IpEdHC) online modules in generic areas of healthcare – eg person-centred care; cultural competency; teamwork; regulatory, ethical and legal frameworks in healthcare. This was undertaken so that all students across all professional healthcare programs at Macquarie could develop a shared understanding of what it is to be a healthcare professional. Specifically, these modules aim to foster a common language, drive a culture of multidisciplinary teamwork, and facilitate the development of solutions to complex clinical problems that requires collective expertise. I continue to oversee this project – eight modules have now been rolled out and we will evaluate these at the end of the year.

I co-convene one unit and teach on 3 units in the Master of Clinical Audiology program. However, together with John Newall (program convener) and inspired by my previous experience of online education design, we obtained an MQSIS L&T grant for 2017 to redesign the theoretical units of the Master of Clinical Audiology program into a blended learning module. These will be supported with well-considered personas to more effectively reflect the broader effects of hearing loss on the individual, their family and the community. This ambitious project also includes the development of a new computer simulation to facilitate the development of rehabilitation skills in Audiology. Ultimately, this aims to increase student engagement, facilitate and expedite the development of clinical skills along the novice to expert continuum, and to deliver a more uniform and professional look and feel to the program. John and I work with an incredible team of audiology academic and clinical educators – Mridula Sharma, Jorg Buchholz, Rebecca Kim, Rebecca Bull, Yee-Foong Stone, Chevelle Krummins, Phil Nakad, Alisa Gourlie (and others!) that have embraced the educational design challenge despite the cost of time and energy across our team. We are also fortunate to work with two amazing educational designers – Beverley Miles and Mark Parry – that make the process of flipping easier than it might be otherwise.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you face as a university teacher?

Ensuring that our educational design meets the needs of our teaching and the expectations of our students. There is so much really good educational design that exists outside of universities. Personally, I felt that it was time to embrace this for our program. There is a lot of new educational design software that opens up possibilities for us to delve into the area of high quality educational design. I am learning that anyone can be creative…even me. 

Q: What has helped you improve your teaching most and why?

Quality feedback from students and peers and incorporating aspects of educational design from other unrelated fields or areas where I personally engaged strongly with educational design. Being open to feedback and to learning new skills are key elements of improving in any area. However, hearing what students are saying can be challenging. Given that evaluation of teaching and learning is a necessary part of being an educator, every day you teach, you are opening yourself up to criticism and judgement. That is daunting but worth overcoming for the ultimate benefits.

Q: What has been your most memorable moment in teaching?

I always love to see how students start to balance the profession-specific information that they receive with who they believe they will be as a clinician. This balances their own beliefs and values with the information that they assimilate over the two year program. However, one of my most memorable moments is when a former (really, really challenging) student bumped into me at a conference and thanked me for what I had taught and instilled in him as a student. At the time, without the context of the professional / clinical environment that he would ultimately enter into, he had thought that what I was teaching was irrelevant and was not shy in telling me so in front of other classmates.

Q: What is your favourite book. Why?

I have several books that I love. I am currently reading “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. It is about a young French girl who has deteriorating eyesight and full blindness by age 6. The author writes about how Marie-Laure LeBlanc’s father spends hours with her facilitating the development of her independence to manoeuvre through the streets of Paris, in part by allowing her to fail while he walks by her side. He scaffolds her learning by designing a wooden scale model of the neighbourhood for her to memorise through touch. It makes me reflect on the importance of family in mitigating the disability that an impairment can have. It also makes me reflect on parenting and that allowing your child to fail can be just as important in defining the person that they are as their successes.

Assessment Policy FAQ’s

Your questions about the assessment policy       answered…….

Q: What’s the difference between marking criteria/standards and rubrics?

A: Marking criteria/standards describe distinct levels of quality, achievement or performance. A rubric is defined in the MQ assessment policy as “a brief outline of the assessment criteria.”  Rubrics therefore outline the properties or characteristics used to judge the quality of performance.

It is important to be aware that the definition of a rubric used in Turnitin and much of the literature differs from that used in the assessment policy.   Turnitin refers to a rubric as a set of descriptors or standards.

What we should be looking at instead is the MQ assessment policy statement which has the following statements:

5.1.1    Assessment is made by reference to explicit and pre-determined criteria and standards that reflect the learning outcomes and not by reference to the achievement of other students.

5.6.2    There should be an explicit and logical alignment between learning outcomes, assessment tasks, the task criteria, feedback and the grades associated with different levels or standards of performance.

5.6.3    Assessments should also be reliable, that is, they should consistently and accurately measure learning. This involves making judgements about student learning that are based on a shared understanding of standards of learning and should not be dependent on the individual teacher, location or time of assessment.

Q: How should grade descriptors be aligned with marking scales?

A: The assessment policy states that “Unit convenors may develop criteria and standards for specific assessment tasks, but these must be aligned with the generic grading descriptors provided in schedule 1 of the policy”.  It also requires that criteria and marking processes are transparent to students.

Q:  Can we collapse grade descriptors in marking scales from the 5 in the grading schedule (F, P, Cr, D, HD) to 4 or less eg unsatisfactory, proficient, advanced, outstanding?

A: This is allowed. In his recent workshopEngaging Students with Feedback’,  Mitch Parsell suggested using 4 categories for qualitative rubrics.

Q: Can we create additional categories e.g. not evident, developing, adequate, advanced, excellent?

A: Yes, this is possible but you would need to consider whether this is making things unnecessarily complex and whether the performance expectations are transparent for students.  The descriptors you use still need to align with the generic grade descriptors provided in Schedule 1 of the policy.  For example, “not evident” and “developing” would align with a fail grade. “Adequate” aligns with a pass.

Q: Is it possible to have marking scales with NO descriptors in the cells?

A: No because students need guidance on what the different levels of performance against each criteria look like.

Q: How do we treat competency criteria such as ‘Applied APA referencing procedures” or “uses appropriate structure and language features”?

A: These are threshold’s achieved/not achieved. As an example, this is what Mitch Parsell uses:

Ethical Conduct Appropriate referencing style used consistently No consistent referencing system used

Q: Is it possible to demonstrate High Distinction or Distinction performance against competency criteria?

A: No, it makes no sense.

Q: Is it possible to demonstrate High Distinction or Distinction performance in a task that requires replication or description of knowledge as the highest level of cognitive demand?

A: No, it makes no sense.

Q: How should we grade these competencies? What are the implications for the design of marking scales in Turnitin?

A: Click here to see an example of a marking scale.

 

Article prepared by Rod Lane – Department of Educational Studies

Join the ECR network

You are invited to join the new Faculty of Human Sciences ECR Network, a series of monthly meetings that will focus on developing and enacting a 3-5 year research and career development plan.

We are seeking expressions of interest to join the network so that we can determine the level of interest. Please send a short email introducing yourself by 28 March to agnes.bosanquet@mq.edu.au

Our kick-off event will be a talk by A/Prof Andy Barron on “Developing your 5-year research plan” on 29 March, 12-1pm, Senate Room, Lincoln Building.

Further information on the network can be found below or feel free to contact your Department ECR representative: Titia Benders, Celia Harris, Yeshe Colliver and Monique Crane.

BACKGROUND: Based on feedback, this initiative is replacing the one-day ECR Networking events held by the Faculty in previous years.

FOR WHOM: This network is open to all who consider themselves ‘early career’ in the Faculty of Human Sciences whatever your current role or status.

AIM: The aim of the network is to support professional development by discussing and bringing into action career planning, mentoring, and coaching.

FORMAT: The series will consist of university-wide workshops, bi-monthly meetings, small group meetings, and individual activities (max. 1 event/month). Specific topics will focus on developing and enacting a 3-5 year plan in the core areas of scholarship from the new Promotions policy: Discovery, Integration, Teaching, Application, Leadership and Citizenship. It will draw on expertise from across the University to share valuable resources for career building in these areas.

FIRST ACTIVITY:

Topic:  Developing your 5-year research plan

When: Wednesday 29th March 2017

Time: 12pm – 1pm

Location: Senate Room, C8A 310, Lincoln Building

Chair: Prof. David Coutts, Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Science

Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Andy Barron,  ARC Future Fellow, Biological Sciences

Dr Iain Hay: Teacher of the week

 Iain Hay joined Macquarie University at the end of 2016  as Director of Professional Learning and Engagement  in the Department of Educational Studies.Iain’s role is to scope and identify opportunities and provide support for the delivery and development of high quality learning and teaching in the Department of Educational Studies professional experience program for teacher education.

His responsibilities include:

  • leading and developing the Department’s Hub Schools project
  • identifying and developing collaborative school-based research in the area of professional experience
  • identifying and developing Professional Learning opportunities to support teachers in schools and early childhood centres
  • furthering engagement opportunities and developing relationships with key stakeholders through events such as seminars, workshops and networking functions.

 Iain’s background includes over 20 years as a school teacher across early childhood, primary and middle schools as well as extensive experience as a professional development and adult educator. His research interests cover: Student Welfare, Development and Services; Leadership, Higher and Adult Education; and Social Justice & Equity in Education.

 1. What are your main teaching commitments?
I teach across professional experience units, with a focus on assessment, evaluation and reporting. I also work on teacher identity formation and educational policy analysis. With teaching interests in teacher professional learning; and student diversity/wellbeing.
2. What’s the biggest challenge you face as a university teacher?
Supporting my students to think beyond the traditional – getting them to value the researcher practitioner binary as a means to inform their own teaching practices. Another challenge is to continue engaging digital natives who exist in a highly connected world to communicate with each other in ‘real-world’ contexts.
3. What has helped you improve your teaching most and why?
Receiving a VC’s Teaching Excellence Award (at my previous institution), the funds allowed me to spend time with colleagues at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) – University of Toronto. I was able to look at the approaches they employ to enhance teacher education students levels of engagement in professional practice with a variety partner schools in Toronto. An outcome of this has been the development of an international comparative study of initial teacher education professional practices in Canada, Australia, USA and UK.
4. What’s been your most memorable moment in teaching? 
There have been many over the years, some that stand out such as seeing those struggling students successfully course completing and getting to graduation; to teaching a Master of Education core subject on Educational Research Methodology at Harbin Normal University in far northern China in the middle of winter with daily temperatures averaging -30C and surviving! But what was most memorable was understanding that quality pedagogy is transferable across cultures, time zones, and climate.
5. Who is your favourite music band? Why?
I will show may age here, anything from the 70s and 80s – obviously the Star Man himself David Bowe, but also the Pet Shop Boys because I believe that they clearly demonstrate longevity and that their style of music remains current in a time that other artists seem to come and go with regularity.

Top 5 facts about the Live Stream lectures pilot in Psychology

Everything you need to know about the Live Stream lectures pilot in less than 3 minutes:

(1) The Project

The Echo360 Active Learning Platform‘s live streaming utility affords students with flexible learning options.

It supports capacity for students to engage through a variety of tools:

  • question and answer
  • private notes
  • bookmark important content
  • flag confusing content.
Student View of tools in the Active Learning Platform
Student tools in the Echo360 Active Learning Platform

While lecturers can design tasks with a range of interactive slides that require active student input:

  • multiple choice
  • short answer
  • image quiz
  • ordered list
  • numerical.
Overview of the five interactive slide types
Echo360 Active Learning Platform Interactive Slide content types

Additionally, convenors have access to an analytics dashboard. Here, data captured (i.e. the number of questions, flagged content, views, and private notes word count, etc.) is displayed visually.

(2) Practice Makes Perfect

The Faculty Learning and Teaching Support team ran a practice live stream on February 23rd for the first-year PSYC104 cohort.

Approximately 60 students connected for the 20 minute practice and submitted 42 questions.

Graphic showing non-linear connections between ten people

Interestingly, many practice participants became active responders and supporters to their peers during the Week 1 PSYC104 live stream lecture Q and A.

(3) The Pilot

The pilot officially kicked off last week (Week 1) to great success in five Psychology units: PSYC104, PSY246, PSY247, PSY234 and PSYC332.

The Faculty Learning and Teaching Support Team, and the PSYC104 PAL leader, supported the PSYC104 lecturers by tending to the technical and content questions, respectively.

Photograph of PSYC104 lecture in the Macquarie Theatre
PSYC104 Week 1, Session 1, 2017 lecture in Macquarie Theatre

Students have shown overwhelming enthusiasm for the Q and A tool, which has been utilised during live streams, most prominently between peers.

But the community of inquiry does not stop when the lecture does! After the live lecture, the Q and A exchange continues between students, and lecturers are also joining in to clarify points of confusion in the lecture content.

The Q and A tool is evidently facilitating further peer exchanges and learning.

(4) FAQs

The most common technical issue has been the Flash update. The sticky point being enabling Flash in your browser. These issues are addressed in the Active Learning Platform Student Guide.

Students have also enquired about:

  • How do I unflag?
    It’s easy. Simply click the flag icon again.
    Note: there’s no on-screen notification.
  • Can I pause the live stream?
    Lecturers are presenting live:

    The character, general Maximus Decimus Meridius, in Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000) movie yelling 'Are you not entertained?'
    Russell Crowe as general Maximus Decimus Meridius in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator movie (2000)

    Lecture recordings can be accessed through the Echo box in your iLearn unit a few hours after the live stream ends. 

(5) Analytics Revealed

The Active Learning Platform dashboard displays analytics for the  unit teaching team to interpret, reflect on, and alter future learning activities.

In the example below, we can see that in the Week 1 PSYC104 live stream there was a peak in students’ private notes at the 48 minute mark. When reviewing the recorded lecture footage we see that Colin Wastell was discussing the fundamental concepts of research and the need to provide empirical evidence.

Graph showing peaks in Notes word count during the Week 1 PSYC104 Lecture
Echo360 Active Learning Platform Analytics Dashboard

What is most curious is that a very similar trend in private note spikes occurred across all the Psychology live stream units in Week 1:

  • PSY246 at the 1:26:00 mark
    Addressing approaches to the study of cognition, specifically the strengths and weaknesses of different methods
  • PSY247 at the 1:22:00 mark
    Discussing methods
  • PSY234 at the 0:31:00 mark
    Exploring how the scientific approach is better than common sense

A gif of the characters Phoebe and Chandler from the 90's TV show Friends exclaiming 'Wow!'

Psychology students, across all levels, are prioritising information about the research methods and epistemologies they need to participate in their discipline.

This prompts some questions – Will this trend:

  • continue across the semester?
  • extend across the faculty?
  • appear in other disciplines across campus?

Only time will tell!

Stay tuned for more adventures of the Echo360 Active Learning Platform and Live Stream analytics!

(UPDATE) Student Survey Results

Student Survey: 148 participants; 95% agree the live stream is easy to access; 80% agree it is an enjoyable learning experience; 78% would recommend it; 82% want it in more units; the majority connected to the live stream from home, on a laptop using wifi.
Student Survey Results infographic

Learning 2020

Ownership | Value | Connection

Learning 2020 is the Faculty of Human Sciences Learning and Teaching framework guiding us toward the year 2020. It aims to create an environment of shared ownership for learning, rich in connections, where learning and teaching is highly valued.

The focus for 2017 is on assessment and feedback.

Full details of the plan can be found here:

http://bit.ly/Learning2020

Lecture Live Streaming for Psychology

This year, Psychology lectures will be offered both on-campus and live streamed!

  • Video streaming allows you to watch lectures live from your own device wherever you are, whilst also being able to participate and interact as if you were in the theatre.
  • When the lecture commences, simply log in to iLearn and click on the link to enter the live stream. You can use any browser or device and can watch the video from wherever in the world there is sufficient network coverage. If you don’t have your own device, you are welcome to use Macquarie’s computers.

You can log into view the live stream from anywhere with reliable internet access.

It’s easy to do:

  1. Log into your iLearn unit a few minutes before the lecture is due to start.
  2. Click on the Active Learning Platform link at the top of the screen.
  3. You will see a timer counting down the minutes until the start of the lecture.
  4. Sit back and enjoy the lecture!

     Watch the instructional video at the bottom of this post.

What to do if you have questions or problems?

TIPS

  • Note that a typical 1-hour live stream consumes an average 1GB of data. Please be aware of your internet data allowances and caps. For best experience connect via strong and stable WiFi connection or wired connection. Experience may vary if using a cellular data connection.
  • Unfortunately, Android devices are not supported for live streaming. Android devices can, however, playback recordings.
  • Recordings of the live stream will available via the ‘Echo Recordings’ link in iLearn. Please allow up to 2 hours from the conclusion of the lecture for the recording to become available.

Why create a Welcome Video?

How can you, as a convenor make students feel more positive about your unit and reduce student questions before the start of session?

95.7% of Macquarie students, surveyed in 2015, indicated that watching a welcome video, in which the lecturer introduces themselves and the unit content, would make them feel more positive about taking the unit. Unit convenors at Macquarie have also indicated that introductory videos are a useful tool for connecting with students before the unit starts and a means for reducing student questions before start of session:

Convenor A: My unit is a fully-online unit, so I think the most valuable was the introductory video – students could put a face to the name etc.

 Convenor B: I think that the visual exposure to the people teaching in the unit is valuable to students and also getting to know what the unit is going to be like

 Convenor C: I think that having the introductory video “set the scene” reduced the questions before the beginning of session. The ability to touch base with students and communicate the aims of the unit was great.

 As more and more students develop a first impression of a unit via iLearn sites, rather than via a face-to-face lecture, the question of how to greet students online becomes increasingly important.

Key take-aways:

  • reduce questions before start of session
  • students feel more positive about taking the unit
  • fosters greater connection between staff and students
  • establish expectations about unit and aims early on

 Need more convincing?

Research findings outside Macquarie University have also highlighted the positive and long-term effects of early connection with students through introductory or welcome videos. Reasons for this include:

  • Establish a sense of community from the first few weeks of your course. (Stott and Mozer, 2016)
  • A sense of belonging within higher education is a critical factor determining future retention rates of a course (O’Keeffe, 2013). A feeling of such belonging can emerge for a student from a relationship with a single key person (such as a Course Convenor or Professor) within a higher education institution (Adamopoulos, 2013).
  • Higher levels of students’ satisfaction with their university life, through early establishment of a warm, welcoming environment, as well as demonstration of care and acceptance of all learners, is associated with and related to higher teaching evaluations (O’Keeffe, 2013).

If you would like to create a short welcome video for students’ connection, retention and positive course evaluation, follow these 5 simple steps:

5 easy steps to create your unit’s Welcome Video

 STEP 1. Scripting

  • What do I want to say to my students in 2-3 minutes?
  • Why am I saying it? (credentials/passion about the topic)
  • Transcript (see our template with tips )

STEP 2.  Set-up recording

Choose an approach:

  1. DIY
  2. FoHS Studios (contact your Faculty Learning Designer)
  3. LIH Ed Media Studios (contact your Faculty Learning Designer)

STEP 3: Make Video / Production Tips

STEP 4: Editing

  •  Tips for making a video using Windows Movie Maker
  •  Tips for making a video using iMovie
  •  If you’re using FoHS Studios or LIH Ed Media Studios (your faculty’s Learning Designer will guide you through editing)

STEP 5: Uploading

  •  Upload to iLearn and embed (See the Embedding Video and Audio Quick Guide)

Article written by Susanne Pratt and Natal’ya Galliott (Faculty Learning Designers)