Have you had a good semester? Make a teaching award nomination!

December 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

EUSA apples

The Edinburgh University Student Association teaching awards scheme is now taking nominations for this year – you can nominate for:

So if you’re enjoying the programme and think we’re doing a good job, please consider nominating us – it means a lot! There’s more info on the EUSA site here.

IDGBL past and present World of Warcraft Christmas battleground: Monday 15 December, 8pm

December 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Current IDGBLers on the battlefieldHello everyone

This is a random and rather last-minute idea some of us in the games-based learning course had… we’re going to have a programme-wide, past and present IDGBL event in World of Warcraft.

On Monday 15 December at 8pm (UK time) we’re going to team up, get on Skype and tackle a battleground together.  We’ll be on our Alliance characters on the Thunderhorn realm, EU.  So if you want to come help take down the Horde, or, more likely, die lots of times and have a laugh then:

  1. Email me (clara.oshea@ed.ac.uk) and let me know your WoW name and Skype contact (I’m clara_oshea)
  2. Make sure you’ve updated your WoW software (there’s been an expansion this year, so there maybe lots of patches to download)
  3. Double check your computer can still run Skype and WoW
  4. Have your character at level 20 (or up to level 29 and capped if you have a full account).  The pvp battlefields are clumped in groups of ten levels, e.g. 10-19, 20-29 etc).
  5. Bring your headset!

I don’t know if we have any WoW players on the programme that haven’t done IDGBL, but if we do, please come along! The more, the merrier!

If you haven’t played for a while, or never done pvp, don’t fret – we’ll have a nice chat about what’s going to happen before we jump into the action. And it really is for the laughs and not the glory :)


happy holidays… but before you go… 3 things

December 10, 2014 in announcements

hello everyone – well done to those who are finishing up courses and final assignments from this semester! And a warm welcome to those who are starting on the programme in January. And to everyone else, all of whom I’m sure have earned some time off from whatever you’ve been busy doing. From all of the team, happy holidays, when they come.

Three things to let you know about:

1. if you haven’t yet enrolled for your January course, please do so! You can find the enrolment form here: https://www.moodle.is.ed.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=131

2. Google Glass competition: Throughout January, the University would like to hear people’s ideas for using Google Glass – make a 3-minute video and you might have a chance to showcase your ideas to the University, or even to Google HQ. More info here: http://glass.ed.ac.uk

3. Teaching award nominations open: nominations for EUSA Teaching Awards have now been launched for 2014-15. There are eight categories designed to recognise and reward teachers  who are committed to creating a collaborative, innovative and vibrant learning and teaching environment at the University. If you would like to learn more or to nominate one of your teachers, courses or supervisors, all the info you need is here: www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/teachingawards

a note from Graduation, 28 November

December 2, 2014 in events

Our 2014 graduation ceremony was held on 28 November, with graduates and team members celebrating in McEwen Hall in Edinburgh, and virtually in Second Life. It was a wonderful event, with many friends and family members joining in.

Those attending in McEwen Hall got to see the virtual graduation up on the big screen:

Virtual Graduation on the big screen. Photo by Douglas Robertson

Virtual Graduation on the big screen. Photo by Douglas Robertson

And graduates in the Hall and in Second Life heard their names called out by our Head of School (and fellow Digital Education participant!) Rowena Arshad:

(video courtesy of fabulous alumnus and colleague Austin Tate – full blog post)

Some fireworks:

Fireworks over virtual graduation

Here are tweets from some of our newest graduates:


One especially lovely new feature was the dissertation trees, designed by Marshall Dozier. Each of the baubles contains the abstract for one of our 2014 graduate’s dissertations. You can visit yourself any time to enjoy these. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Vue/209/39/28


Dissertation tree, Digital Education 2014

Thanks to everyone who was involved in making the event such a wonderful success. Too many to list! But special thanks to Fiona Hale, Marshall Dozier, Andy Pryde, Stuart Nicol, and the University’s registry for making virtual graduation and live graduation work together so seamlessly.

Above all, thank you to our FANTASTIC 2014 graduates for their many invaluable contributions to the Digital Education programme over the years – don’t be strangers!

Invitation to a Learning Analytics Online Consultation Event

November 20, 2014 in events

Monday 8 December, 6pm UK time, Collaborate


Wednesday 10 December, 9am UK time, Collaborate

Information Services (IS) here at the University is exploring ways of making available to students, some data about their activity inside the central Virtual Learning Environments Learn and Moodle. IS are especially interested in ensuring that the data presented is useful for students, as feedback on their activity in the context of their peers and the particular course requirements. You can see some more information about these projects at http://edin.ac/11BrGAF

Wilma Alexander (who some of you may know from Course Design) and some of her colleagues and the Digital Education team would like to invite all students on the MSc Digital Education to participate in a user study based on their work so far, through an online discussion session using Collaborate.

Both our VLE systems have to hold some data about activity as part of the system functionality, but in Moodle very little is systematically available to staff, and even less to students. IS have set up some plug-in tools which extract selected activity data, and this user study session (repeated twice, at the times listed above) will be focused around exploring anonymised visualisations from these tools, and discussing some of the following questions:

  • What might these visualisations convey to individuals about their performance and engagement on courses?
  • What impact might having accesss to such visualisations have on student behaviour? Should institutions collect and share this information with students? Should they use it to do other things, such as model student behaviour, or feed into wider activity analysis including e.g. library activity and demographic data?

If you are interested in this topic and are able to participate in one of the online sessions, please email Wilma Alexander from the Technology Enhanced Learning team - wilma.alexander@ed.ac.uk - to sign up.