Friday, 21 December 2012

The path to NILE quality

Repost of an extract from "The path to NILE quality" by Rob Howe which can be found at:  for the full post.

NILE is now integrated into the learning and teaching process at The University of Northampton and we need to ensure that it is being used effectively by staff in order to provide a quality student experience.
In January 2012, a framework was produced which covers the minimum standards which are expected on a NILE site. This was taken to University SEC on 1st March, 2012 and subsequently used as the basis for the new NILE templates which were developed for the 2012/13 academic year. As indicated by the communication sent out on 11th September, 2012, NILE sites will be reviewed against the checklist in the first instance to identify the range of content available to students.
The review, based on a series of standard questions, will feedback information to the module leaders regarding content which should be added to the site along with any action which is required to remove old material; duplicated menu buttons; or other items which may cause confusion to students.
The outputs of the review of NILE sites will be used to inform further planning regarding the use of modules guides and whether they are still required.
Initially the quality team will focus on a sample of modules from each School in discussion with the associate deans. 
This review will ensure that sites are meeting the foundation level of quality in the first instance. Further discussions are in progress to refine the content required to meet higher levels of standard.

For more  details on this contact Lee Jones or Rob Howe.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

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Girls into STEM | lab13network

A blog posted elsewhere about STEM and Widening Participation activities within the School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton.

Reposted from Girls into STEM | lab13network: "Girls into STEM
Posted on December 19, 2012 by lab13network

The University of Northampton ran a very exciting day for Northamptonshire girls last week. The Inspire Girls into STEM day consisted of many workshops, talks and interactive elements.

Tricia, the UoN STEM Diversity organiser, needed demonstrators for the workshops to inspire the girls to consider a career in STEM. And who better to inspire the girls than our Year 6 Committee girls Fran, Jess and Chloe. The three Lab_13ers ran two workshops and wowed the girls, their teachers and other adult demonstrators with their confidence, inspiring enthusiasm and wonderful hands-on experience.

Jess says “It was great to inspire the younger girls and to show them that you don’t have to be a grownup to enjoy science!”

Fran says “I can’t believe my first paying job was teaching when I was 10!”

Chloe says “I wish I could do this every day!”"

'via Blog this'

Details of other links between the School of Science and Technology and Irchester Community Primary School /Lab_13 can be found at:

From more details about Lab_13 can be found at: 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Instructional Design

Several members of the School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton attended a two day staff development activity (between teaching commitments) on instructional design by Neil Lasher - The Learning Coach 6 - 7th December 2012.

The first day was spent on some underpinning theory and planning for a learning package on 'making toast'. 

The second day was spent looking at a little more practical elements including:

  • planning what media to use for different learners at different times;
  • some consideration of conversation as an important element in producing material for students when you, the teacher, are not there in person;
  • consideration of typeface to help students actually read the text;
  • how a page is read and the difficulty people reading in english have in going back up the page;
  • consideration of some software options;
  • anchors on the page.

Overall, most people left with something to consider in their own practice.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Recent SAGE blogs

A collection of recent blog posting concerned with Submitting and Grading Electronically (SAGE) all taken from 

A few people have asked how they can use a spell checker within Turnitin GradeMark. Generally if you use Google Chrome as your Internet Browser spelling errors will be underlined with the red zigzagged line under the mispelled word. However, the dictionary on Chrome is US English. Also, there are some versions of Chrome that cause various elements of GradeMark to behave ‘weirdly’ (sorry, that’s the best word I could come up with for it!).
There is a way you can use Firefox to check spelling with a UK English dictionary. This is the browser we recommend that you use for NILE anyway, so it’s probably for the best really. There a few steps involved, but as always the LearnTech team has developed some guidance on how you can get this set up on your PC. Click the link below to open the guide.
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Guidance from the Health & Safety Office has been updated for Online Marking. General guidance on the use of computers still applies to electronic marking so there is nothing within the document that specically talks about SaGE and the processes involved, but the principles remain the same and the pointers should be followed whatever the computer is being used for.

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Did you know you can use italics, bold and underlined text in your feedback in GradeMark?
Typing very simple tags (text) either side of the text you would like to format will allow you to change the appearance of the text, e.g:
I know how to put comments in italics
I can put them in bold too or underline them.
Will create text that appears like this:
I know how to put comments in italics
I can put them in bold too or underline them.
for italics
for bold
for underline

Tagged with:  •  • 
The new schedule of Autumn and Winter 2012 SaGE awareness events is now available for staff to sign up.
These sessions will provide staff with an opportunity to ensure they are familiar with the tools within NILE which will allow  students to submit electronically and for them to provide feedback.
The first hour will consist of a presentation and demonstration, with the remaining hour for those staff who wish to stay and try the material on their own modules in NILE or a training module in NILE with the benefit of the Learning Technologist present.
The schedule and link to sign up is shown below:
17/1010-12Tpod – Park Campus Library
24/1010-12Tpod – Park Campus Library
24/102-4MB6 – Avenue Campus
31/102-4Tpod – Park Campus Library
7/112-4MB6 – Avenue Campus
8/1110-12Tpod – Park Campus Library
15/1110-12Tpod – Park Campus Library
21/112-4MB6 – Avenue Campus
29/112-4Tpod – Park Campus Library
4/122-4Tpod – Park Campus Library
Signup using the link below:
If staff wish to have bespoke training then contact the Learning Technology Team on ext 2696 or via email at
Staff who wish to feedback on the SaGE process generally should use the comments feature on the link below:
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Monday, 3 December 2012

What's the problem with problem-solving?

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...