Audio/video feedback – what is it and why might I want to use it with my students?

I first started writing about the benefits of audio feedback back in Dec 2014…The power of voice – Providing audio feedback to students….six years on, I’ve taken a fresh look at some more recent research.

The majority of the feedback students receive on summative assessments is written, in this post I’d like to encourage you to explore why you might want to incorporate audio and video into your feedback strategies.  

Typically this sort of multi-media feedback includes audio only (a voice recording of feedback), a narrated screencast (where you have the students work displayed in the video, and you may or may not include your webcam with this), and a talking-head webcam video.  

Here are five reasons to give it a try:  

1.  Builds a closer relationship between students and their markers (Anson et al, 2016, Gould & Day, 2013, Mahoney et al, 2019, Henderson & Philips, 2015) 

With so much of our delivery being online this year, building a strong sense of community is more important than ever (Yang et al, 2017, Meyer et al, 2009) . Research has shown that one of the things students respond positively to with  audio and video feedback  is that it creates more of a connection with those delivering the feedback (Anson et al, 2016, Mahoney et al, 2019, Henderson & Philips, 2015), with students reporting that it made their tutors “more approachable” (Gould & Day, 2013).  

2. Audio and particularly talking head video feedback best suited for difficult and complex conversations (Anson et al, 2016, Borup et al 2011, Mahoney et al, 2019, Henderson & Philips, 2015) 

With written feedback students are faced with text without the context of the non-verbal clues of communication. Intonation, emphasis, facial expressions are all lost within written feedback, but can be used to soften the impact of negative feedback to a student by using a conversational tone (Anson et al, 2016).  

3. Improves students’ engagement with their feedback (Henderson & Philips, 2015,  Mahoney et al, 2019, Lunt & Curran, 2010)

 A common complaint around feedback is that student’s do not engage with it and in some cases, do not even read it (Boud & Molloy, 2013). Researchers have found that students overwhelmingly report a preference for video/audio feedback over written (Henderson & Philips, 2015) and that they felt that the feedback took on a more interactive and conversational approach (Anson et al, 2016).  

4. Student’s highly value personalised feedback ( Dawson et al, 2019, Goud & Day, 2013, Henderson & Philips, 2015, Ryan et al, 2019)

 Student’s value highly personalised feedback (Dawson et al, 2019, Goud & Day, 2013, Henderson & Philips, 2015, Ryan et al, 2019) , using audio and video feedback provides an efficient way of personalising feedback for students without increasing time spent on creating the feedback (see point 5).  

5. Research indicates it to be more time efficient (Brearley & Cullen, 2012, Henderson & Philips, 2015, Lunt & Curran, 2010)

 Although many staff report time as a reason not to engage with audio/video feedback, research has shown it is actually more time efficient than written feedback. For example, “the rule of thumb appears to be that one-minute of audio is equal to six minutes of writing” (Lunt & Curran, 2010: 761). To achieve this time benefit you need to commit to a relaxed, conversational tone and not worry about editing or re-recording.  

Top Tips:  

Decide why you want to use audio/video feedback and explain this to your students.  

Before introducing any new approach it’s always a good idea to consider why you are doing this? Once you have planned out your feedback approach, why not share that with your students? This will help them to understand why you are delivering feedback in this way and how it is beneficial to them.  Don’t forget to tell them where they will find their feedback and how they can access it!  

Practice using the technology.

You might need to contact your elearning team to set you up with a dummy student to do this in your VLE. However, you can also use your webcam, or screen capture software (see: 1minutecpd Record your screen for some free ones) or if you want to record audio clips, you can use “Voice Recorder” inbuilt on Microsoft machines or even a voice recorder on your phone. Just be make sure that when you are recording actual student feedback that you name the files carefully so it is easy for you to identify which belongs to which students.

Aim for a relaxed conversational tone  

Don’t worry if the cat walks in, it all adds to the personalised touch! Think of it as if you were giving face to face feedback to the students, if you stumble, just carry on, it doesn’t need to be perfect.  

You can add audio feedback to Turnitin or audio/video feedback to Moodle coursework  

If you are using Turnitin, then you can use the built in audio feedback tool to record up to 3 minutes of feedback per student . If you are marking in the Moodle coursework tool, then you can use the Kaltura plug in to record an audio, screencast or talking head feedback for your students  or if your institution does not have the Kaltura plug in enabled, you can use the options outlined above under Practice using the technology.


Anson, C. M., Dannels, D. P., Laboy, J. I., & Carneiro, L. (2016). Students’ perceptions of oral screencast responses to their writing: Exploring digitally mediated identities. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 30(3), 378–411. 

Brearley,F. Q. & Cullen, W.R. (2012) Providing Students with Formative Audio Feedback. Bioscience Education, Vol. 20, 22-36. DOI: 10.11120/beej.2012.20000022 

Borup, J., C. R. Graham, and A. Velasquez. 2011. “The Use of Asynchronous Video Communication to Improve Instructor Immediacy and Social Presence in a Blended Learning Environment.” In Blended Learning Across Disciplines: Models for Implementation, edited by A. Kitchenham, 38–57. Hershey: IGI Global. 

Boud, D., & Molloy, E. (2013). Rethinking models of feedback for learning: the challenge of design. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(6), 698–712. 

Dawson, P., Henderson, M., Mahoney, P., Phillips, M., Ryan, T., Boud, D., & Molloy, E. (2019). What makes for effective feedback: staff and student perspectives. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 44(1), 25–36. 

Gould, J., & Day, P. (2013). Hearing you loud and clear: student perspectives of audio feedback in higher education. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(5), 554–566. 

Henderson, M., & Phillips, M. (2015). Video-based feedback on student assessment: Scarily personal. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 31(1), 51–66. 

Lunt, T., & Curran, J. (2010). “Are you listening please?” The advantages of electronic audio feedback compared to written feedback. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(7), 759–769. 

Mahoney, P., Macfarlane, S., & Ajjawi, R. (2019). A qualitative synthesis of video feedback in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 24(2), 157–179. 

Meyer, K. A., Bruwelheide, J., & Poulin, R. (2009). Why They Stayed: Near-Perfect Retention in an Online Certification Program in Library Media. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(3), 129–145. 
Ryan, T., Henderson, M., & Phillips, M. (2019). Feedback modes matter: Comparing student perceptions of digital and non‐digital feedback modes in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(3), 1507–1523. 

Winstone, N. E., & Boud, D. (2020). The need to disentangle assessment and feedback in higher education. Studies in Higher Education. 

Winstone, N. (2019). Facilitating students’ use of feedback: Capturing and tracking impact using digital tools. In The Impact of Feedback in Higher Education: Improving Assessment Outcomes for Learners (pp. 225–242). Palgrave Macmillan.  

Yang, D., Baldwin, S., & Snelson, C. (2017). Persistence factors revealed: students’ reflections on completing a fully online program. Distance Education, 38(1), 23–36. 

Ryan, T., Henderson, M., & Phillips, M. (2019). Feedback modes matter: Comparing student perceptions of digital and non‐digital feedback modes in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(3), 1507–1523. 

Flipgrid – what is it and why might I want to use it with my students?

Flipgrid is a really quick and simple video creation platform that you can use with your students. You post a topic you’d like the students to respond to and you can control the length of the video replies and how students can respond to each other’s videos.

It’s a great platform for reflective blogging, asynchronous debates, discussions, presentations or performances.  There’s a wide range of activities you can use Flipgrid for and in this Take 5 blog we’re going to explore why you might want to give it a go.

  1. Increased Sense of Community

During online learning, and particularly the current emergency remote education  (Williamson et al, 2020) being delivered due to the pandemic, developing a sense of community is an important factor to student engagement and retention on  a course (Yang et al, 2017, Meyer et al, 2009).  Flipgrid provides tutors and staff with an easy means of posting short video responses to a task. By asking students to use Flipgrid to respond,  rather than a more traditional written forum, it provides students with a richer mode of communication (Stoszkowski et al, 2020), and a greater sense of connectedness (Johnson & Skarphol, 2018).

  1. May constructively align better to your learning outcomes

When you are deciding on the activities you would like your students to complete as part of the course, it’s useful to reflect on how well these activities constructively align to your learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the course. For example, if the assessment of your unit is a presentation, using flip-gird as a way for students to present their thoughts and ideas succinctly, gives them a more authentic way to develop the skills needed, then they would from exchanging ideas in a forum for example (Stoszkowski et al, 2020, Keiper et al, 2020 )

  1. Enables a more democratic debate

Flip-grid is also an effective way of making sure that everyone gets the chance to express their ideas/thoughts/reflections, without risk of the debate becoming dominated by stronger individuals in the group (Stoszkowski et al, 2020).

  1. Tasks can be carried out asynchronously

 Students report appreciating the asynchronous nature of a video debate, as it gives them the opportunity to formulate their ideas and reflect, before responding (Keiper et al, 2020) whilst also increasing the sense of being connected to peers in the classroom (Bartlett, 2018).  Students also fed back that they found watching the video debates more engaging and perceived them as less time consuming, than partaking in a forum discussion (Keiper et al, 2020).

  1. Other things to consider….

Some students may find the prospect of video sharing uncomfortable, or a source of anxiety, and although the research states that this was the experience of a small minority,  (Keiper et al, 2020) it is worth bearing in mind that you might experience resistance to the task from some students. As such if you do decide to deliver a task in this way we would recommend that you express how the skills developed in doing the activity link to the learning outcomes to the course and the rationale behind asking students to partake in this way, so they clearly see the value of participating. You might also set up your activity so that the students are working in smaller groups, which they may find less intimidating (Stoszkowski, 2018), this can be done within the settings in Flipgrid. 

Top Tips:

  • Give the students an easy ice-breaker style activity to give them a chance to play with the tool in a low risk environment.
  • Demonstrate to students how to use the Flipgrid boards so that they can share their voice without their face showing
  • Post a video response yourself first! It can be intimidating to be the first person to post a response, so if your students seem shy, record your own video first
  • Engage with the student responses, you can provide written or video replies
  • Be wary of enabling “likes” without considering potential impacts of this, research has shown that it can create a competitive element that can be counterproductive to encouraging engagement (Stoszkowski, 2018)

Sounds great! Where can I find out more?

You can find help on how to use Flipgrid within their help pages: Flipgrid: Getting Started


Bartlett, M. (2018). Using Flipgrid to Increase Students’ Connectedness in an Online Class. ELearn, 2018(12).

Johnson, M., & Skarphol, M. (2018). The Effects of Digital Portfolios and Flipgrid on Student Engagement and Communication in a Connected Learning Secondary Visual Arts Classroom. Masters of Arts in Education Action Research Papers.

Keiper, M. C., White, A., Carlson, C. D., & Lupinek, J. M. (2020). Student perceptions on the benefits of Flipgrid in a HyFlex learning environment. Journal of Education for Business, 1–9.

Meyer, K. A., Bruwelheide, J., & Poulin, R. (2009). Why They Stayed: Near-Perfect Retention in an Online Certification Program in Library Media. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(3), 129–145.

Stoszkowski, J. (2018). Using Flipgrid to develop social learning. Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, 11(2).

Stoszkowski, J., Hodgkinson, A., & Collins, D. (2020). Using Flipgrid to improve reflection: a collaborative online approach to coach development. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 1–12.

Williamson, B., Eynon, R., & Potter, J. (2020). Pandemic politics, pedagogies and practices: digital technologies and distance education during the coronavirus emergency. In Learning, Media and Technology (Vol. 45, Issue 2, pp. 107–114). Routledge.

Yang, D., Baldwin, S., & Snelson, C. (2017). Persistence factors revealed: students’ reflections on completing a fully online program. Distance Education, 38(1), 23–36.

Feedback a go go! Creating formative assessment opportunities

This past week I was involved in co-delivering a session on Creating Formative Assessment Opportunities, with the lovely people from our CELT department (Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching).  I found the session really useful and picked up some great tips on how to get the most out of formative assessments, so I’m going to share these with you now:

Plan, plan plan!

As with most things in life, planning and preparation are the key to success with formative assessments. We all know that students are very strategic with their approaches to learning and tend to put highest emphasis on those tasks with a clear link to the summative assessment, so why not work with this impulse.

When planning your assessment strategy, consider how well your formative tasks prepare your students for the content and mode of the summative assessment.

In other words, if you are asking your students to create a video, write an essay, develop a poster or do an exam for the summative assessment, do your formative assessment opportunities prepare them not only for the content being covered, but the actual form that the assessment takes place?

Try to view your Assessment Strategy across the programme as a whole. If your Level 6 students have not been asked to design an academic poster before they came to you, try to use their formative opportunity to help them to develop the skills, understanding and confidence to produce one in the summative task.

Equally important, from a learning technologist viewpoint, is to not assume that students will be confident with technology. Students come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, for some even the thought of submitting an assignment to Turnitin will create anxieties – ease this by providing a practice area for them to submit to or setting a formative assessment that involves submitting through Turnitin. Ensure that if your summative task involves working with unfamiliar technology that your students get the chance to have a practice and a play before hand.

Formative is fabulous but don’t forget your workload!

One of the most interesting discussions that we had on the day was between the tensions between providing valuable formative opportunities to students and the additional workload for staff involved in the marking and feedback.

One programme team had a brilliantly and carefully structured assessment strategy, where students were scaffolded towards the summative assessment piece, however as student numbers increased this level of support had become unsustainable, so the programme team were looking to explore methods that were less intensive on the staff.

Case Study:

Students’ summative assignment involved a written exam exploring detailed analysis of case studies. In preparation for this exam, the current formative assessment involved the students completing a single case study exam question and submitting this online. Staff would then provide personalised feedback to the student. The formative assessment was highly valued by students and had been demonstrated to show a significant improvement in students attainments if they completed the task.  However, teaching staff were increasingly finding that the amount of time needed to provide the feedback to students was unsustainable.


I discussed with the programme team the potential for using extended multiple-choice questions (EMCQ) as a replacement for the written exercise. The questions would present a case study, and the students would be required to pick the best response from a series of model answers. After completing the EMCQ students would have access to tailored feedback which would explore why (and why not) a choice was incorrect. This would give students a chance to be exposed to a wide range of feedback focusing on commonly made mistakes, as well as exposing them to a number of modelled correct responses. Although this approach would involve work and preparation up front, once completed could be shared each year and taken by the students as many times as they needed to help them get acquainted with the techniques.

Another useful solution reached that day was to consider the formative assessment across the programme and units as a whole. Each unit in the Level 6 programme conducted a final exam, the formative assignment for the assessment involved a formative exam for each unit. This produced a large amount of marking for the team. It was suggested instead that the units could share one formative exam with each supplying a question for the students to complete, dramatically reducing the marking involved, but still providing students with a formative experience of exams.

In summary, try to consider your assessment strategy as part of your whole programme planning. Identify how your formative assessments strategically align to your summative assessments. How do you formative assignments assist your students towards their summative assignment, in both mode and content? Consider both your workload and that of your student, can you make the formative assessment more accessible to you both without dramatically reducing how useful it is?

Featured image: “Gimmie an L! Gimmie an E! Gimmie a G! Gimmie an O! Yaaay!” by Asrar Makrani shared under a  (CC BY-ND 2.0) licence


Show yourself! Personalise your online feedback


One of the benefits of using digital submission tools like Turnitin, is that it helps to make your approaches to feedback consistent across marking teams and can also speed up the process, but the downside to this is that the feedback given can seem to lack your individual voice ( Grieve et al, 2015). Studies have shown that students are concerned about “depersonalisation” of feedback through online marking (Hast and Healy, 2016, p. 13), although more research is needed to explore what the impact of this might be.

Luckily there are ways to add more of yourself to your online feedback in both Moodle assignments and Turnitin. Below are some suggestions:


Quickmarks: Quickmarks are a great way to quickly add comments and feedback to students across a cohort, but can appear rigid and impersonal. Consider creating your own bank of Quickmark comments using your own tone and language. Don’t be afraid to write in the first person, and to address the student likewise. Grieve et al (2015) also found in their research that the students do value some positive praise in their feedback, even things like “nice writing” or “well researched” so consider creating a bank of positive messages you can slip into your more constructive feedback.

For help in creating your own bank of Quickmarks, check out this 1minuteCPD video guide: #397 Create customised Quickmark Sets

Audio feedback: Consider using the audio feedback tool when giving students some overall comments and feedback. Turnitin has an in-built audio recorder which enables you to record a three minute message to your students, research has shown that students respond extremely positively to audio feedback – check out my previous post: The power of voice – Providing audio feedback to students

Rubric: There isn’t much you can do to personalise a rubric, in itself it is designed to standardise feedback and marking. However, did you know what you can link your on-script comments and quickmarks to your rubric? The rubric shows how many comments have been added and gives you a way to give personalised feedback linked to different marking criteria. Clicking on the comments button on the rubric lists the comments linked to the rubric – see screenshots below.






In Moodle assignments there are fewer ‘built in’ personalisation options, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share more personalised feedback with your students.

PDF Annotator:  If your students are submitting PDF documents, then you can now annotate directly onto their work and save and return the annotated PDF to the students as feedback. It is quick and easy to do and helps you to add more directed, personalised feedback for the student. Here is a short video which shows you how: How to annotate student PDFs submitted to Moodle assignments

Annotate word documents: If most of your Moodle assignment submissions are in Word format, another option is to download all the files, add comments and annotate using the tools in Word. If you save the files using the same file names that Moodle gives them, you can re-upload all the files in bulk too. Not sure how to do this? Check out this video: How to annotate student submissions and return your feedback files in bulk (Moodle Assignments)

And…if some of the students have submitted documents as PDF instead of Word, check out how easy it is to convert them into Word documents! #19 Convert PDF to Word. Magic!

Record audio feedback: As mentioned above, audio feedback is very popular with students and research has shown it to be effective too. There’s lots of options you can use to record audio or video feedback for students, have a look at my previous post for more ideas: The power of voice – Providing audio feedback to students



Hast, M. and Healy, C., 2016. Higher education marking in the electronic age: Quantitative and qualitative student insight. Procedia-Social and behavioral sciences228, pp.11-15.

Grieve, R., Padgett, C.R. and Moffitt, R.L., 2016. Assignments 2.0: The role of social presence and computer attitudes in student preferences for online versus offline marking. The Internet and Higher Education28, pp.8-16.






A magic minute? Reflections on a year of 1minuteCPD

1 min CPD

2016, for me and a handful of colleagues, has been a year of micro-learning. At the end of 2015, myself and Cath Wasiuk were considering how we could engage academic colleagues with technology enhanced learning. At the time, we were both employed as Technology Enhanced Learning Advisors at Manchester Met (Cath has since moved up the road to take on a post at The University of Manchester). We were both undertaking a masters in Academic Practice, and as part of this had been researching barriers to staff engagement with CPD. I had also had a strong interest in “just in time” learning for a number of years and was interested in exploring how this approach could be utilised with our academics.

Time and time again

In the research papers we read, “time” was frequently cited as one of the major barriers to staff engagement with training (Singh and Hardaker, 2014; Kopcha, 2012).  Time is needed to learn new software, it is needed to attend training sessions and it is needed to experiment with new approaches to teaching. This, coupled with the fact that teaching is often seen as the poor relation to research, means that TEL training rarely gets top billing with academic staff….there are other demands on academic time that are shouting much more loudly.  Both Cath and I were not newbies to staff development, so this boded with our own conceptions of why staff were reluctant to engage with us…and also why we had spent the year running lunch-time workshops, recorded lunchtime webinars and trying to schedule longer sessions for the summer months where time seemed to be more flexible. However, these approaches still were not attracting staff in the numbers we had hoped for.

During a conversation over coffee we explored the rise in short and snappy approaches to self-improvement becoming crazes on the internet – for example, lean in 15 made famous by Joe Wicks or Go Highbrow, daily emails that follow short courses looking at bite sized tip-bits of knowledge.

What if we did something similar with our academics? How far could we take it?  Without conducting one jot of research we decided that 5 minutes would be too long and that we should try a minute. A minute seemed like a ideal length of time to fight back against the “no time” excuse, everyone can spare a minute right?

1 minute a day. Every day. For one whole year.

Timing is everything. This conversation happened on a cold and wet afternoon in mid-December. We were both readying ourselves for our Christmas break, however, we also recognised that January 1st would be the ideal time to launch our new initiative and encourage academic colleagues  to engage in a one year journey with us; 366 minutes (it’s a leap year) of technology enhanced learning training.

We had to get a wiggle on. We quickly agreed that this project would be open access, we knew that academics worldwide were time-poor, and as we were going to be investing the time into this project, why not share it?

We decided that we would try to focus the post on technology that was freely available or already on licence at Manchester Met. Each video would be kept to a minute long and accompanied by a short and snappy intro presenting the problem to which this video was the solution, and an open-source image to try and capture the essence of the post (a lack of budget has encouraged some creative interpretations of the posts into images).

We aimed to utilise freely available software to help us to host, organise and promote our project.  The blog is hosted on WordPress, which is super easy to use and has a very handy scheduling feature for projects like this one. We linked the blog up to twitter so that each time a post was released it would be tweeted automatically, and we set up a google drive to store spreadsheets and surveys to help us be more organised.

Our first ever post was published on 1st January 2016:

#1 Snip it!

We used twitter to help promote the blog and when we returned to work we included the week’s posts into our weekly faculty newsletters.  The initial interest in the project surprised us, and as it has grown, it has been a really remarkable journey for us all (see Meet the authors, to view the whole team)

As of Decemeber 2016, our 1minuteCPD blog has  over:

  • 12,507 visitors
  • 2066 followers through Twitter, WordPress and by email

The posts have been viewed from across the world (111 different countries), with our major views coming from the UK, the US and Australia:


Reflecting on the year

We started to gather feedback on 1minute CPD fairly early on in the journey.  We started off with a Google survey, which we followed up with some semi-structured interviews with staff. Finally, we recently took part in a Teaching and Learning Conversation webinar, where we received a huge amount of useful feedback (a recording of the session can be accessed here: 1MinuteCPD TLC  ).

In a very brief (executive!) summary, this is what we have learnt from our 1minuteCPD journey:

  1.  1minuteCPD is not the answer to everything, but it is the answer to something: There is something in a minute. the length of the posts is certainly the most popular feedback we received, people like that they are short, snappy and can be quickly digested. However, the majority will still need additional support and guidance to feel confident introducing a new tech to a class, but it does provide a good overview of what is available.
  2. Creating 1 minute of content everyday is possible, but does require a management, admin and organisation: Spreadsheets are your friend, agree a commitment and schedule with the team and consider a house style.
  3. The title of the blog post is an important hook to get people reading the posts: position technology as solutions to a problem, what are you trying to fix.
  4. 1 minute is not enough for some people and still too much for others…we had feedback that people still did not have time to engage, and feedback that people wanted more of the pedagogy behind the technology (difficult in a minute). A possible solution to this is providing links to other resources showing the pedagogical value in the solution, however, this would significantly increase the amount of time it took to produce a post.

Cath and I are currently writing a research paper where we will cover our findings in much more depth…so watch this space.

And what next for 1minuteCPD….?

As we approach the end of the 2016 and the end of our experiment, we have been considering where we go from here for 1minuteCPD. The team is immensely proud of the project and feel it is a real achievement to have met our commitment to one post a day. As for 2017, we’re not entirely sure yet and would be happy to hear any suggestions that you may have! Please feel free to comment below, or email

In the meantime I hope you have enjoyed our 1minuteCPD journey, thank you for coming along with us and watch this space for the future!



Kopcha, T. J. (2012) ‘Teachers’ perceptions of the barriers to technology integration and practices with technology under situated professional development.’ Computers & Education, 59(4) pp. 1109-1121.

Singh, G. and Hardaker, G. (2014) ‘Barriers and enablers to adoption and diffusion of eLearning: A systematic review of the literature–a need for an integrative approach.’ Education + Training, 56(2/3) pp. 105-121.

#LTHEChat 58: Distance Learning with Simon Horrocks (@horrocks_simon)

This week’s #LTHEChat will be exploring Distance Learning with our guest, Simon Horrocks. Twitter is an interesting sphere to explore this in, being a (relatively) new mode of communication and space for learning. When I was studying with the Open University a few years ago, the course I completed was delivered entirely online, and was in fact studying distance and online education (an approach I found delightfully post modern and at times couldn’t work out if exercises had been left deliberately obtuse to allow us to experience some of the down falls of distance learning).

The course was delivered primarily through moodle, with forums and the occasional webinar. It was in this space however that I was introduced to Twitter for the first time. Twitter quickly became our student “hangout”, and fulfilled some of the missing coffee chats and post lecture conversations (and moans) that felt stifled in the “official” communications channels of this course. It was through Twitter that I felt we developed as a community of learners…so it is interesting to me now, six years on, to once again be discussing distance learning on Twitter, with my now extended community of peers. See you tomorrow!


Simon Horrocks (@horrocks_simon)

Simon Horrocks is Assistant Director (Development, Learning and Teaching) at the Open University in Wales.  He is responsible for the support provided to the OU students in Wales and also the University’s postgraduate education students who are distributed around the world.  

Simon is @OUCymru’s lead for engagement on student experience matters with the Welsh Government, HEFCW and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

In a past life, Simon was an academic in Film and Media Studies, specialising in South-East Asian cinema and popular music culture.

Distance Learning

Distance learning is not a new phenomenon but it has developed rapidly in the age of the Internet. More and more universities are exploring the opportunities that distance learning presents for reaching a wider range of students in the UK and internationally but this poses a number of questions, not least how pedagogy needs to be adapted to support a distributed…

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#LTHEChat 57: Open CPD with Chris Rowell @chri5rowell

This week I am facilitating the #LTHEchat with Chris Rowell. On Wednesday between 8-9pm we will be discussing Open CPD. This is a topic I am particularly interested in. Some of you may be aware that myself, along with three colleagues, are currently engaged in an experiment in microlearning. We have created an open access CPD resource called 1MinuteCPD.

We decided to explore microlearning to see if it could help encourage time-poor staff to engage in regular CPD activities, with a focus on improving digital capabilities and exposing staff to different ways technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning. We have been thrilled with the response and take-up of the resource, and it has been a fantastic experience to be involved in.

I think that this chat will be a really great way to hear about other experiences people have had with creating and using open CPD resources and I encourage you to join in! If you’ve not taken part in a tweetchat before, simply follow the #LTHEchat hashtag and feel free to lurk until you feel ready to join in. It’s a really friendly bunch and a fun way to learn…..


cdkZXs9S Chris Rowell @Chri5rowell

Hi my name is Chris Rowell and I am a Deputy Learning Technology Manager at Regent’s University in London. Previously I was a Lecturer in Economics (1990- 2005) and a Lecturer in Education (2005-2010) at the University Centre Croydon.

My first degree (BA Hons) is in Economics. I have a PGCE  and I also have two MA’s in Development Studies and Education (eLearning). More recently I have completed Prince2 training for project management.Currently I am doing a Doctorate in Education at the Institute of Education, UCL.

My research interests are all things to do with Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). More specifically the evaluation of TEL by both staff and students in Higher Education.

I am an assistant editor of the Association for Learning Technology’s (ALT)  newsletter. Previously I have been a  member of the Staff and Educational Development Association’s (SEDA) National Executive (2015-10)  and Conference Committee…

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#LTHEChat 56: Innovative Pedagogy in Higher Education, with Prof. Ale Armellini (@alejandroa)

This week’s #LTHEchat is focusing on innovative pedagogy in higher education. A challenging topic and one that encourages us to think more deeply about our roles and responsibilities to students and the impact that our choices has upon them.

This weekend I listened to an interesting podcast by Hybrid Pod, which included an interview with Janine DeBaise. During this interview Janine suggests that we should engage more critically with pedagogies and question where they have come from.  Why is this approach now popular? Who is pushing this? Janine encourages us to think more about the unintended side effects of different types of teaching approaches.

With this in mind, I am looking forward to facilitating this week’s chat and reading everyone’s perspective on this topic…


Armellini Ale headshot Armellini Ale @alejandroa

Professor Alejandro Armellini is the Director of the Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at the University of Northampton. The mission of the Institute is to enable transformational learning experiences through inspirational teaching. Ale’s key role is to provide leadership in the area of learning and teaching across all schools and services.

Ale has extensive international teaching and programme development experience across different education sectors. Over the years, he has used, researched and refined the structured CAIeRO process (elsewhere known as Carpe Diem) and other evidence-based design-for-learning interventions to promote positive change in HE provision across modes of study. Teams under his leadership have researched the application of learning technologies in diverse academic settings. His PhD tutees research specific areas in the field of educational technology, pedagogy, openness and innovation. He is active in consultancy work globally.

During this week’s chat, Ale will be exploring…

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#LTHEChat 55 : Bilingual German/English May 18th – Opening-up HE for non-traditional students, Martina Emke

This week’s #LTHEChat will be a bilingual exploration (German and English) of opening up HE to non-traditional students. I strongly recommend having a read of Martina Emke’s thought provoking blog post, which introduces the topic. How can we enable students to draw on their experiences outside of university to keep their studying relevant and personal? What techniques do you use to balance the needs of traditional and non-traditional students? There are lots of things to consider in this, perhaps even, to play devils advocate, if any distinction should be made between traditional and non-traditional students at all? Have a read and don’t forget to join us on Wednesday 18th 8-9pm BST for this fascinating and bilingual #LTHEchat!


#LTHEChat 55: Die Öffnung der Hochschulen für nicht-traditionelle Studierende

OFFENE_HOCHSCHULE_portraits_00986 Martina Emke @martinaemke

Who are non-traditional students? According toa 2015 report by theNational Center for Education Statistics (NCSC) there is no clear definition. However, there seem to be some characteristics that many non-traditional students (NTS) share: NTS often study part-time, work full-time and have dependents. Another common factor seems to be that for many NTS the support of university staff and the institution, to help increase their confidence in learning and address practical and personal issues, is crucial for their success at university study (Field, Merrill & West, 2012).

NTS already possess professional knowledge and work experience which influence their attitude towards studying. Research suggests that they are interested in applying knowledge and that they are determined and committed to learning and studying because they have clear goals, which are often connected to pursuing a professional career (Johnson…

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#LTHEchat 52: Managing negative use of social media and cyberbullying, Dr Bex Lewis

Join us for this week’s LTHEChat on Managing negative use of social media and cyberbullying (Wed 20th 8-9pm BST). I met up with Dr Bex Lewis this week to help her draft up her questions (always helps to have someone to bounce ideas off!). The topic is an  interesting and emotive one, and one that most people can relate to. I enjoyed my chat with Bex, it was fascinating to discuss some of the nuances of the topic.  Bex has come up with some really thought provoking questions, and it should be a great LTHEChat. I can’t wait to see your responses.

I’m Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, with a particular interest in digital culture, especially within faith and values-focused organisations. Previous rol…

Source: #LTHEchat 52: Managing negative use of social media and cyberbullying, Dr Bex Lewis