Category Archives: Presentations

TurningPoint / ResponseWare

ResponseWare / mobile Audience Response System (ARS)

For those who don’t know it, or want a brief reminder, ResponseWare is the online/mobile version of the TurningPoint in-class ‘clicker’ handsets. Prior to the lecture or class the tutor adds a slide or two to the presentation which will need the students to use the clicker handsets to answer a simple multiple choice, likert scale, or true/false answer. Providing you remember to save the ‘session’ once you’ve finished you can query the results and get reports based on a per question or per respondent. Nice!

ResponseWareResponseWare is the natural progression for this technology, using the student’s own devices (BYOD) to connect and engage with the topic, concept, or session theme, and also to provide a focus for in-class discussions before and after the polling. Continue reading


Help with Prezi

PreziI have used Prezi a number of times in the past, most recently on the University of Edinburgh EDC MOOC for my submitted artefact (see below) but what I find most complicated or difficult to explain to others is the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) techniques you need to consider and take in to account when designing and creating your Prezi.

Here are a couple of handy hints – some my own and some modified from TippingPoint Labs ‘Top 10’ and The Wikiman:

  • Scale – As most projectors are still restrained to a 1024×768 pixel resolution it’s best to use background images and frames in this ratio too. If you create or use a screenshot in your presentation then it’s best to re-scale your screen or browser to this ration before taking the screenshot.
  • Frames – Use the ‘shift’ key when you create a frame as it locks it to the 4:3 ratio (see above).
  • Hidden frames – Not everyone wants to see the frame border around each bit of text, use the ‘hidden’ frame to structure your Prezi without the border viewable.
  • Search – If in any doubt then search through the extensive archive of Prezi’s on the site for inspiration.
  • Continue reading

Thought on using Prezi as a teaching/learning tool

Thanks to Steve Anderson (@web20classroom) for sharing this Prezi on “Thoughts on using Prezi as a teaching tool”.

It’s another good example of what you can do (and what you should avoid; e.g. excessive zooming and rotations) when trying to engage the audience and demonstrate/explain concepts, time lines, technical diagrams, etc.

As with all Prezi’s it is best view full screen.


PowerPoint and Prezi

If you’re a PowerPoint user, whatever level, and have thought about using Prezi but have been unsure of making the switch, then those lovely folks at Prezi have made it easier for you to get started – why not import your existing PowerPoint slides into Prezi and spice them up?

The video below shows how to do this as well as including some handy tips on what you can then do with the slides/frames to make it less of a ‘click next’ presentation and include some movement and interesting perspective.

Go on, give it a try. I will if you will? Why not use the comment feature below to leave a link to the Prezi you just created?

Thanks to James Clay and Bex Ferriday for sharing the video.

Presentation: Social Media #BUCareersForum

Presented at today’s BU Careers Forum (organised by an excellent set of BU students, thank you very much!) the slides (including YouTube videos) were well received and sparked an interesting debate that continues from the debate and comments received after previous presentations on Social Media.

Myself and Deborah Sadd (@deborahsadd) received the brief of developing a 40 minute workshop that would;

“inform students on the benefits and disadvantages on social media. So for example how students should monitor Facebook with potential employers, using Linked In, Twitter, etc. and how to use these to create an advantage rather than disadvantaging their appearance. If possible, we would like to put a focus somewhere along the line on how to use Linked In as we have found students are struggling when trying to use it. “

Please click the image to view the slides.

What students (and all of us, for that matter) need to realise is that everything online is preservable; what we say, what we buy, what we ‘like’, what we moan about, what we upload, who we’re tagged with and where, etc. We have a digital footprint that, for the most part, we have no control over. I am not saying “don’t do … ” or anything of the sort, just merely that you should be aware of what you are doing, consider it, act accordingly and accept the consequences (if there are any that aren’t justified).

… and here is the happy team!

From L to R: Mary-Beth Gouthro, Debbie Sadd, David Hopkins, Masters student, and Karen Ward
From L to R: Mary-Beth Gouthro, Debbie Sadd, David Hopkins, Masters student, and Karen Ward

Social Media & Networks: Ho to survive online

Do students understand their ‘digital footprint’ and how it can affect their employability?

Last year I presented to a group of 1st year Business School students on the topic of their use of Social Media and Social Networking websites and how this could have implications on their employability.

This year I’ve been privileged enough to be invited back into lecture slots for all the first year under graduate Business School students (Law, Accounting & Finance, and Business). While the topic(s) and reflective activity the students are presented with are the same (including the majority of the responses given) the examples have been updated and improved … there are far more examples to choose from for a start!

Click to view

This year I have been able to incorporate the TurningPoint handsets (clickers, zappers, etc) to get real-time responses (and capture/record them too) to the content. The responses to each question are loaded to the SlideShare presentation above as well as the videos I showed. There were 98 students present, but not every one of them voted on every question (either they clicked their response before the voting was ‘open’ or they didn’t press the button/key hard enough to send the response in).

I ask the question at the beginning of the session “Do you consider your online activity ‘safe’?” and then again at the end when I’ve demonstrated different scenarios and examples of good and bad experiences of using Social Media. I was not surprised, as you should not be either, that there were more people at the end who are less confident of their activity online, but I was surprised that there is a such a wide swing from 41% at the start who thought they were not safe online to 80% by the end! The biggest swing is from students who were unsure if they were safe to ‘not safe’ (30% at the start to 2%).

By using real-world examples of how, in most cases, just one instance can have such a drastic consequence to someones credibility or employment circumstances, whether it is a good or bad ‘instance’, obviously struck a chord with these students who, from discussions I had with a few afterwards, had not considered their activity on Facebook or chat-rooms as something that an employer would be interested in.

For me this process was about joining the dots, in helping them realise that their activity online is not necessarily distinguishable between home, private, work, or professional use. Whether their Facebook use is restricted to their home/private life wont matter too much if they complain or insult their manager, a client, or colleague. If that content is found then it could bring their employer into disrepute, or even lose work/contracts and even respect.

What really warmed my heart was some of the comments left on the Unit blog (as requested during the presentation) about how the students left after the presentation, and how it made them think about their own use of these types of websites. The following comments are reproduced by kind permission from the Unit tutor, and are anonymous:

“This has been probably the most informative lecture I have had most likely due to how interactive it was. As I felt I was so part of the lecture (answering the questions interactively) I walked away feeling like I knew more than when I first walked into the lecture about Social Media which is ironic as I use it everyday! It was a nice touch using modern technology like interactive keypads when talking about such a modern topic such as Social Media as it helped highlight the points made. The warm up questions which might have seemed irrelevant at the time; such as what is your favourite drink was a good idea to get the audience into the interactive questions and to understand the bar charts/pie charts which will appear after. Asking questions such as “Can an employer check on employees through/using Social Media” really hit home how scary it is how advanced technology is and even when you think you’re safe online you really aren’t!  The integration of YouTube videos I felt kept my attention while still making a point on the main body of the lecture.  Leaving the lecture, myself and probably most people in the lecture went home to check that all their privacy settings was actually set to private!”

“I felt slightly alarmed after the lecture at the fact that this is an issue affecting much younger people than myself, it scares me sometimes when I see a friends little sister of the age of 10 on facebook!! With this comes a responsibility and one that I think schools need to be taking on. Schools should be providing the same kind of lecture to their students. I never had a talk on the dangers of facebook and so I’m sure neither have they but at such a young age they should as they are perhaps exposed more to dangers as they might not fully appreciate the need for privacy settings.”

“Some people might think that this lecture was common knowledge but I found it particularly helpful to bring home the fact that what happens on the Internet STAYS on the Internet…forever?”

“I think the most important thing is to think about the consequences of what you say before you say it and do not say anything online you would not say to your mum!! However, the lecture did make me think and when i got home i checked all my setting were on private. I have defiantly learnt not to post things that may jeopardize future employment as it is not worth it in the long run.”

“It [the presentation] really opened my eyes as to the lengths employers will go to find the most adept, and suitable candidate. In many ways it makes sense, with fewer jobs in today’s economic climate and a higher demand, employers are going to want the very best candidates.”

“Originally, I thought the social networking lecture would be like those we had several times at school and college, however, the session was much more interactive and in context to our sector of work which made it appeal to me much more. Many of the real life stories were particularly effective and made me take the comments and updates I write much more seriously. I think the importance of this matter has grown in recent years and it is evidently clear that one passing statement could have drastic consequences upon your future career and therefore upon your life.”

“The statistics about the internet, over all, were shocking and in some respects scary and it was interesting to see how many people changed their minds about the safety of the internet after watching the videos and seeing the articles where people had been affected.”

“It is very true that we live in a society today who are extra sensitive to ‘jokes’ about ‘bombs’ and ‘explosions’ given the events of the London bombings and more importantly ‘9/11’ it is understandable that people may over react with insensitive and immature jokes about airports in particular. Therefore, this example in particular demonstrates, expressing yourself on social networking sites just for the sake of boredom, is just not worth it, it is more productive and sensible to just have a conversation with a friend.”

“I had had many of these lectures in secondary school so I thought I new the dangers and risks of social networks and internet usage, but this lecture really opened my eyes as to what I was exposing myself to by using the internet.”

So, a note to us all: let us be sensible when we use any online service (Facebook, Twitter, eBay, LinkedIn, etc), think about how we want to be viewed by whoever may find the content (whenever they find it) as it may just come back to bite you.

Here are a few of the examples/links I use in the presentation:

A few more examples that I didn’t include, but could quite easily have done, include:

Elevator Pitch

What’s your “elevator pitch”? Do you even have one? #eLearning

Elevator PitchIn business you will always hear about the value of having your ‘elevator pitch’ carefully planned and memorised. Whether it is about the product, the service, the company, or something else, it is an important weapon in your pocket.

So, what is the ‘elevator pitch’? Penny Loretto writing on the Internship website describes the practice that is the ‘elevator pitch’ as coming:

“… from the time it takes to complete a normal elevator ride from the top to the bottom floor. An ‘elevator speech’ is an opportunity to get your point across in a timely manner; namely, who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and where you hope to go in the future.”

Aileen Pincus, writing for Bloomsberg BusinessWeek, defines the pitch, for a business, as:

“One of the most important things a businessperson can do—especially an owner or someone who is involved in sales—is learn how to speak about their business to others. Being able to sum up unique aspects of your service or product in a way that excites others should be a fundamental skill.”

So why are so few people in academia aware or prepared for this? I have only ever heard of this approach mentioned once at University when I overheard a supervisor talking to his student preparing to embark on her PhD. She was advised to have her ‘elevator pitch’ ready for meetings, conferences, chance encounters, etc so she could succinctly explain, in 30 seconds or under, everything her PhD will cover and accomplish.

Since I started attending conferences (and presenting at them too!) I have been aware that I ought to be a little more prepared for the chance meeting and the “so, who are you and what do you do?” question. I have also found approach the ‘elevator pitch’ takes is a good opportunity to explain what I do each day to someone who does not know or understand what a Learning Technologist is. With new staff joining the Business School all the time this approach is also used as we introduce ourselves around the table to each other.

So, here’s mine, based on an introduction to a new member of staff:

“Hi, I’m David Hopkins and I am a Learning Technologist in the Business School. I work closely with the academic and administrative teams in the School on all aspects of the VLE (myBU) as well as supplementary systems that include lecture capture, audience response handsets, use of video in the classroom, and other pedagogic applications for existing and developing technologies that encourage student engagement and enhance the student experience. I look forward to working with you.”

A bit of a mouthful I know, but each time I have to do this it changes depending on what I’ve been working on that morning, who I’m talking to, what mood I’m in, whether the conversation is based on work, training, research, etc. When I’m out and about at conferences the ‘pitch’ is tailored to the discipline and topic of the conference, as well as the person I’m talking to. ProtoScholar writes an excellent blog and his/her (?) post “The Academic Elevator Pitch” is worth a read, if for nothing other than the details on what the pitch should encapsulate.

Come on then dear reader(s), what is your ‘elevator pitch’? Do you have one? Do you want to leave a comment about mine? Please leave any and all comments below.

Image from Derek Key

Presentation to eAssessment Scotland (@eassessscotland) #eas11

Today I confirmed the abstract of my presentation to the eAssessment Scotland Conference, hosted by the  University of Dundee, on August 25/26, 2011 –

Here is what I will be delivering to the distinguished delegates:

Title: “24-hour Papers: the Open-Book Alternative to Exams for Online Assessment”

Abstract: “Common unit specifications covering delivery of subject-identical units across different courses, often with different delivery methods, are increasingly being implemented. The inclusion of a ‘coursework’ element of assessment allows for flexibility. This is different when an ‘exam’ is required; with students on a fully-online course, unable to attend an exam centre, due to differences in time zones and/or locations, the concept of an open-book exam is used. The exam paper is released to students through our VLE (Blackboard) at a time that is agreed and broadcast to students in advance. Submission of their work is required within a 24-hour window via an upload of their files to the VLE (using either the standard submission tool or Turnitin).”

“This presentation will draw upon the Bournemouth University’s substantial experience of presenting ‘Time-Constrained Papers’ to students studying at a distance and will consider the issues surrounding this approach. Particular consideration will be given to the importance of question design to limit scope for academic dishonesty and the University’s plans to modify this approach in the forthcoming academic year.”

I will be following Dr. Sharon Flynn on Friday morning (Parallel session A), where I will also talk about the use of Turnitin with distant learners within the scope of Time-Constrained Papers. I hope you can join us there.

QR codes in education: The Business School experience

Poster: QR Codes in Education – the Business School Experience (@milenabobeva)

Another poster I am involved in at today’s ‘Excellent education: the heart of the student experience‘ Conference at Bournemouth University is on our work using QR Codes with the student in and around their final year Project (with Milena Bobeva: @milenabobeva).

The poster, titled “QR codes in education: The Business School experience” builds on research and testing of QR Codes in a learning environment, and also on my blog here – see the Resource page for a page of resources, Delicious tags, etc.

“Quick Response (QR) codes, the 2-D bar code, are becoming the new norm for businesses to reach their customers and provide a fast user-friendly way to access relevant content online through the use of mobile technology. Educational institutions are on the uptake in making use of these 21st century tools as a way to engage their main stakeholders, i.e. students.

“Within the Business School we have recently experimented with using QR codes across several programmes. This has stared with codes leading to library materials and has expanded gradually into further areas such as marketing, programme contact details and learning resources.

“This presentation is going to introduce our experience, including some statistics on user involvement and feedback from students and staff, as well as some innovative endeavours in exploiting these free resources.”

You can view and download the poster, in full, from SlideShare: QR codes in education: The Business School experience.

If you are going to quote or cite this in any work please use the following details (in the style of Harvard Referencing):

Hopkins, D. and Bobeva, M., 2011. QR Codes in Education: The Business School Experience. In: Bournemouth University Education Enhancement Conference 2011, 4 May 2011, Bournemouth University, Poole, England. Available from:

Building Educational Confidence and Affinity Through Online Induction Activities

Poster: Building Educational Confidence and Affinity Through Online Induction Activities

Today I am presenting the following poster at the Bournemouth University Enhancing Education 2011 Conference “Excellent education: the heart of the student experience” with two colleagues from the Business School, and wanted to share our work.

The poster, titled “Building Educational Confidence and Affinity Through Online Induction Activities” builds on previous work by the team to introduce and encourage our online an distant learners to engage with their studies, with us, and with each other.

The poster;

“… demonstrates the development and support taken throughout a week-long online Induction for geographically-disparate Business School students studying the fully-online BA (Hons) International Business & Management degree.

“From application through to enrolment and becoming an online student our students are likely to experience many emotions over this period. We recognise the different key foundation areas required to strengthen personal confidence and determination as an individual remote student. The intention is to help students overcome their initial personal apprehension by building intrinsic trust in the capabilities of the Business School from all standpoints including technical, educational and pastoral.

“By the end of this induction week students have the opportunity to formulate a clear picture of the environment in which they will be learning, establish an initial impression of degree level study, recognise the levels of support available to them, and begin to identify their own personal resolve and how to make this work for them whilst studying from a remote location.

“Through the induction programme we firmly believe that building strong roots empowers students to maximise their potential during the full course of their study.”

You can view and download the poster, in full, from SlideShare: Building Educational Confidence and Affinity Through Online Induction Activities.

If you are going to quote or cite this in any work please use the following details (in the style of Harvard Referencing):

Hopkins, D., Wincott, M. and Hutchings, L., 2011. Building educational confidence and affinity through Online Induction Activities. In: Bournemouth University Education Enhancement Conference 2011, 4 May 2011, Bournemouth University, Poole, England. Available from: