CSCT: Shared Approaches to Learning & Teaching (SALT)

FET’s Computer Science and Creative Technologies (CSCT) department organised its first Shared Approaches to Learning & Teaching (SALT) session On Wednesday 25 Jan 2017.

Organised by Jin Sa, this first session was run as a drop-in session with a focus was on Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). A number of colleagues demonstrated and explained examples of how they used technology in their teaching. The topics were:

  • Kahoot and Nearpod for interactive learning (Kun Wei)
  • Blackboard Wiki for team e-portfolio and knowledge capture (Nick Plant)
  • Google Docs in a group setting learning room (Steve Battle)
  • Padlet in lectures (David Wyatt)
  • Video Capture of assignment requirements (Jin Sa)
  • Ask the Learning Technologist (Oliver Haslam)

Kahoot and Nearpod for interactive learning

Kun Wei showed how he engages students in class by using mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops with Kahoot and Nearpod. Both tools help create a more interactive learning environment, and according to Kun Wei’ “the students love it when you use it properly”.

Kahoot is a quiz-based tool, and the students can answer the questions by voting through their own mobile devices, and see a ‘league table’ of respondees after that.

Nearpod allows the students to write or draw on their mobile devices and submit their answers to the lecturers.

Blackboard Wiki for team e-portfolio and knowledge capture

Nick Plant showed how students on his group project module use private Blackboard wikis as their team e-portfolios (to form a repository of all deliverables created at each time box, complete with timebox review data) and public Blackboard wikis to pool and share whole-cohort knowledge in other topic-based module workshops.

screenshot of a wiki page in Blackboard
A wiki page in Blackboard

Google Doc in a group setting learning room

Steve Battle showed how Google Docs can be used in a group setting learning room. This is based on the ‘Pizza Game’; a classroom exercise used in MSc IT Project Management to compare different System Development Life-Cycle methodologies.

Padlet in lectures

David Wyatt explained how he uses Padlet, an electronic collaborative ‘wall’ which is useful for capturing information from large groups of students anonymously. Posting to the wall is simple – double click anywhere and a blank note will appear. You can include media files, documents and spreadsheets, formatted/plain text and hyperlinks – in fact any file can be attached to a note.

The Padlet wall can be set up with private (invite only), password-protected, secret and public access and may be configured as read-only, read/write or moderated. Although the most common mode of use is anonymous posting there is an option to invite users to a given wall via email to restrict access and provide some form of auditing on posts if this is required.

From a teaching perspective the wall can be used to capture information from a group of students with the ability to lock the wall (configure it as read-only) at the end of the session but still allow access to the content for the remainder of the module.

Video Capture of assignment requirements

Jin Sa showed how to use Kaltura (media software integrated with Blackboard) to screen capture the detailed and dynamic behaviour in complex assignment specifications. The video captures of the required functionalities are more informative, precise and easier to understand compared with textual descriptions.

An example of a Kaltura screen capture video by Jin is shown here.

Ask the Learning Technologist

Oli Haslam from FET’s Learning Innovation Unit was asked questions about Xerte, PebblePad and the role of the LIU.

Xerte is a tool available to all FET staff (log in with your usual UWE details at for making and publishing learning objects, which Oli described as “small(ish) chunks of learning bound up in a neat interactive package”. Xerte makes it straightforward to create and deliver interactive learning, ideal for livening up your Blackboard module, for dealing with topics you need to keep returning students to again and again, and for hard to grasp concepts.

PebblePad is UWE Bristol’s chosen e-portfolio software designed for helping students to create, collect, reflect on, publish and submit evidence of their learning. Again, this technology is available to all FET staff and students. It can be used in many different ways and Oli encouraged teaching staff to get in touch with him directly to find out more about how it can be used in a teaching context.

Oli pointed staff to the new LIU website (you are looking at it now!) to show some of the other things the LIU is involved in.

Call for contributions and date for next SALT session
The aim of the CSCT SALT sessions is to share teaching and learning practices and ideas. All contributions are welcome. It can range from small tips to big ideas; it can be about experiences gained and lessons learnt. We are hoping that the cross-department activities will provide a platform to bring staff from different subject areas together. If you are interested in contributing to the future sessions, please contact Jin Sa:

The next CSCT SALT session is 8 March 2017, 16.00-17.00.