Sunday, 24 June 2012

Moving forward with Submitting and Grading Electronically (SAGE)

For your information, this paper was taken to University Executive Team Committee on 14th June:
Following a trial period in some areas of the University, it has been agreed by UET that all students are required to submit all text based assignments on-line from 1 September 2012. Support for academic staff has been and will continue to be provided by the learning technologists. The date of 1September has been determined so that all module guides and handbooks can be clear in advising students how to submit their work. It would not be possible to implement this within an academic year without causing confusion.
Moving to on-line submission will standardise submission for all students wherever they are studying and make submission easier for students on placements or in work. It should enhance the experience of students which is the prime reason for moving to on-line submission.
Testing for the academic integrity of the submitted work will be facilitated for all assignments.
It was always the intention that academic staff marked on-line and submitted feedback to their students electronically. The Software Systems team are working to ensure that grades submitted on-line can be automatically moved in the QLS, the student record system. This should enable administrative resource to shift from the entering of grades to supporting academics in their use of NILE. Now that the decision has been made to remain with Blackboard as the supplier for the learning environment, these projects can move forward.
  • From the 1 September student will submit work on-line via the module NILE site.
This will be for text based work with the following standard exemptions
    • Portfolios (currently primarily in the School of Health)
    • Artwork
    • Dissertations.( One hard copy to be submitted and one electronically)
  • Where an exception is required to this regulation, permission must be sought from Jill Holden, Student Process Manager.
  • All module guides and handbooks to be updated in accordance with this paper.
  • Tutors will retain evidence of the submission date and students will receive a receipt automatically providing evidence of submission.
  • Tutors will determine whether a grade should be capped. It is the responsibility of tutors to adhere to regulations in relation to the grading of work submitted after the deadline. To ensure equitable treatment of students these regulations must be followed. (See Staff Framework Guide)
  • All feedback must be presented to the student on-line, via NILE, within the published timescale. The feedback dates must be published with the submission dates in the student handbook.
  • Facilities have been made available to tutors for marking on line and Schools have been requested to provide tutors with electronic devices to assist with this away from their desks.  For further assistance staff can visit the  following sources
Training will be available on request from Rob Howe’s team. Staff are advised to address their training needs as soon as possible and to take the initiative in booking training sessions where required.
  • Any concerns should be discussed with the member of staff’s line manager. Ongoing technical issues or on policy matters can be submitted via the blog. It would be helpful if these could be raised as soon as they become apparent.
  • Students will continue to have access to NILE suspended if they are in debt to the University. This is current policy.
  • Academic staff should identify which work is to be moderated by the External Examiner in accordance with the Assessment Policy. External Examiners will be supplied with a NILE password to enable them to view and moderate the identified sample.
  • Staff are advised to review the following health and safety advice .
    • Display Screen Equipment Policy
    • Display Screen Management Procedure.
These are available on the SAGE blog.
Jane Bunce, Rob Howe, Jill Pickard
June 2012.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Preparing your NILE sites for the new academic year

As previously described in the blog posting on linking NILE to the Student Record System, new NILE sites have been created for the 12/13 academic year and are ready to be used.  You should now move content from your old sites to the newly coded areas. There are a number of steps which will help you in this task:
  1. Find the modules which you will be involved in during 12/13. Ensure you select the correct module which should have a course ID which describes the module, the session, and the year of activity (e.g. DRA1018-STD-1213). The name of the module will be prefixed with the year of activity (e.g. 12/13 Technologies for Performance)
  2. Add yourself to the module using this guidance
  3. Follow the guidance inside the module template to copy material from other sites as needed. The template should be used where possible to assist you to structure material and provide students with a consistent experience.
  4. Create additional material, links and Turnitin submission points within the new module as needed
  5. When you are satisfied that all content is in place then make the site live to students
  6. Students will be automatically added to the site as they are confirmed as enrolled
Sites have also been created for courses/programmes in addition to the session specific modules, and you will see these when conducting the search in point 1 (above).  If you wish to use course sites you have the choice of using either those which are broken down by the session (in the same way as the modules. e.g. CBDDRAMA-1FT-1213). Alternatively you may wish to only have one course site for the whole year regardless of the session variation (e.g. CBADRAMA-1213). Both types have been created and regardless of the option you choose, students will still be automatically added but will only see the site you are using once you have made it available to them.
If you need to clarify any of the above points then please mail

Friday, 15 June 2012

Junkbots with session plans

The results of a funding from HE STEM South West has enabled the junkbot project to go into primary schools and the material to be revised based on good practice in STEM public engagement in primary schools. 

The funding looked at adopted the ideas and practice developed previously to produce STEM activities in this case targeted at Primary schools.

Details of the work developed and a case study can be found at:

Details of the case study can be found at:

Example session plans 

These were based on the seminars and tools from and the published guide Guide to Delivering Effective STEM Public Engagement

If you would like to know more about the Junkbots project contact

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Marking Online – DSE Health Guidance

Taken from: By Adel Gordon

With the increase of marking on line don’t forget to follow advice from Occupational Therapy regarding working with computers.
Have a look through the Good Practice guidance and check list to make sure that you are using equipment in the best way.
Also, attached to this post are documents containing policy, and management procedures for DSE which may be of use.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Opinion: Microsoft Learning Content Development System

I have recently being 'playing' with Microsoft Learning Content Development System (LCDS)  a free tool from Microsoft for developing interactive on-line material. The case study was research methods for an MSc Computing course.

By no means have I looked at all the features, but there are some nice features I have looked at  like the ability to produce interactive tables only revealing a topic at a time, or the ability to embed questions inside the 'course'

It is SCORM compliant so does fit within some VLEs such as backboard fairly easily.

Problems? It does not work with Google Chrome, but is fine with Firefox and Internet Explorer (not entirely surprising). Personally I find the font size used too small, it is alright when viewed on a monitor but when it is projected it is too difficult to read.

Are there features I have missed? Yes, there are lots of features at the moment I have only used those features I want at the time and it would be worth exploring others further.

Why not using Xerte? No reason, Xerte is another option and is worth considering - i just haven't done it yet. 

LCDS is fairly intuitive, easy to use and free, but doesn't work well on all browsers and not easily customisable.

Monday, 11 June 2012

CEISEE 2012 in Shanghai

Recently two members of the School (Gary Hill and Scott Turner), went to CEISEE 2012 (China-Europe International Symposium on Software Engineering Education) in Shanghai, the 8th symposium is this series, following on from the successful event here in Northampton last year.

Two papers were presented see in the Journal of Computer Education.

The symposium focused on the teach of Software Engineering and preparing students to be both technically competent but also employable as possible. Perspectives and experiences from China, UK, Germany, France, Ireland and Italy were all presented, discussed and considered; along with the importance and the advantages of transnational programmes. Some very interesting discussions about potential for collaborative research in all these areas were held.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Over 10,000 pages viewed

This week the School of Science and Technology at the University of Northampton's teaching and learning  blog exceeded 10000 pages views, with it being viewed from many countries (see sample below). The blog was set up for member's of the School to disseminate their work (both internally to the school but also externally) and for the work of the research group - Science and Technology Research in Pedagogy (STRiPe)  based within the school to be more widely disseminated.

Pageviews by Countries
United States
United Kingdom

With a mixture of posts being popular (for example see below for the most popular posts in the last month)


What do students thinks of exam?

Ajit, S.  (2017)  Exam as an assessment instrument in computer programming courses: student perceptions.  Poster presented to:  6th Internat...