Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Preprint: Computer Science Courses Using Laptops

A preprint of paper to be publish in the next edition the journal Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences (ITALICS) is now available at http://journals.heacademy.ac.uk/doi/abs/10.11120/ital.2014.00011

Computer Science Courses Using Laptops

Gary Hill, Espen Svennevik and Scott Turner
Department of Computing & Immersive Technologies, University of Northampton, UK
Corresponding author: Scott Turner, Department of Computing & Immersive Technologies, University of Northampton, UK Email: Phone: +44 (0) 1604 893028

Abstract

Traditionally computer sciences courses have been taught using laboratories full of expensive desktop computers. Although this approach may have been valid in the 80, 90s and even the early part of this decade, this paper suggests that buying, maintaining and replacing laboratories full of computers is no longer required. This paper raises the issues associated with attempting to use laptops – as thin/thick clients using virtual machines – to deliver the computer science curriculum and offers potential solutions that, in some cases, may make computer science courses at such ‘brave’ institutions more appealing.



Read More: http://journals.heacademy.ac.uk/doi/abs/10.11120/ital.2014.00011







Wednesday, 18 June 2014

OER update for Science and Technology

Recap on what the Open Educational Resources (OERs) so far released for the School of Science and Technology are and the statistics on their views an downloads.

Problem-Solving

Author: Dr Scott Turner


Details

These mini lectures are intended for undergraduate computing students, for providing simple steps in problem solving before the students learn a programming language. Problem-Solving and Programming is a common first year undergraduate module on the BSc Computing Programme at the University of Northampton. This material was taken from the problem solving part of the module and provides an introduction to five topics in problem-solving.


The resource can be found at: http://find.jorum.ac.uk/resources/19001
Statistics are:




Pollution And Pollutants

Authors: Paul Cox and Nigel Freestone

Details
Pollution is the undesirable introduction of pollutants (contaminants) into the natural environment (land, air and water) and can have an adverse affect on human health. This resource provides an introduction to pollution and pollutants. The classification and distribution of pollutants is also considered. A number of self-assessment questions are provided to allow you to check your new knowledge. The material comes in Word format and its HTML equivalent. The pollutants.htm file includes two images (poll.gif and ld50.gif) and an answers page (SAQ_Answers.htm) related to it that need to be put in the same folder as the pollutants.htm file.


Statistics are:



Properties of Ultrasonic Waves

Author:  
Details
This material gives the description of the physical processes involved in the propagation of ultrasonic pressure waves as they pass through a material. It includes a mathematical derivation of the amplitude of the transmitted and reflected pressure waves, and an explanation is given for the differences between the near and far zones. This material has been used in the Advanced Inspection Methods and Techniques module as part of the BSc programme in Non-Destructive Testing at the University of Northampton.

Statistics are:

Friday, 13 June 2014

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Open Educational Resources: Problem solving

 Another new Open Education Resource (OER) has been made available by the School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton.


Problem-Solving

Author: Dr Scott Turner


Details

These mini lectures are intended for undergraduate computing students, for providing simple steps in problem solving before the students learn a programming language. Problem-Solving and Programming is a common first year undergraduate module on the BSc Computing Programme at the University of Northampton. This material was taken from the problem solving part of the module and provides an introduction to five topics in problem-solving.


The resource can be found at: http://find.jorum.ac.uk/resources/19001

After one week on JORUM 93 downloads and 12 views of the OER.




Monday, 9 June 2014

Opinion: Using the Turnitin iPad app.

What is it?
An iPad app that allows you to download Turnitin submitted assignments on to an iPad for offline marking. 

Why did I use it?
I knew I was going to be in a situation (travelling) when I wouldn't have internet access and there was a lot of marking to do and the time to possibly do some of it.

How?
Roughly
- Downloaded the app from the apple app store;
- Went to my Blackboard account and the module and set of assignments I was to mark;
- Went to one of the student's submissions and in Grademark, clicked on an icon that looks roughly like an iPad as an icon and that produce a code;
- Went to the ipad app, selected the LMS option and typed in the code from the last stage;
- Pressed accounts on the app;
-Synchronised the submissions (needed to be online still for this) by pressing the cloud symbols and waited for it to be finished;

Now I can be be offline and essentially you just select the assignment you want to mark and use it pretty much like Grademark.



Thoughts?

  • So far it seems to be the easiest way to do offline electronic marking and still be able to later link it with Grademark. You do need to make sure when you can (and before you start marking online) you synchronise the contents of the ipad with the main marks. 
  • I think it is easier to work with this tool when you have a stylus rather than just your fingers. 
  • It is not as easy to use this, as using Grademark online from a PC or a Mac but for those times when you don't have internet access it is ok.
  • It would have been nice to have been able to have done the same on a PC or a Mac but that appears to not be available yet.








Opinions stated here are the author's and have no necessarily reflect the views and opinions of any organisations the author is associated with.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

MApping: integrating mobile technology into geography fieldwork learning and teaching

MApping: integrating mobile technology into geography fieldwork learning and teaching

Who is your project team? Naomi Holmes and Adel Gordon

How much funding did you receive? £3,000

What is your project: Using mobile technologies in geography field work learning and teaching. The focus of the project was to use an iPad mini to collect data for a Habitat Survey assignment based at Delapre, Northampton.

Do you have any outcomes you can report? There was successful use of the iPad mini in ENV2123 for the Habitat Survey assignment. Students used the apps Fieldtrip GB and Skitch to collect data in the field.

Also used in other modules to facilitate learning including:
  • Producing group presentations on ‘Citizen Science’
  • Making iMovie trailers on ‘Conservation Biogeography’
  • Working in small groups to research and present a research proposal
Various apps were used by the students and Apple TV was used to allow the students to present their work immediately in class. Students engaged well with the technology. They enjoyed the sessions and welcomed the opportunity to use creative learning techniques.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Immersive technology devices and field work: Oculus Rift



Who is your project team? Scott Turner and Naomi Holmes, School of Science and Technology, Adel Gordon, Learning Technology- all University of Northampton
How much funding did you receive? £1,200

Poster available at: http://slidesha.re/1kvvUuX or http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1054675

What is your project? The aim was to investigate the potential use and the student experiences of using virtual reality (Oculus Rift) devices for field trips. Virtual reality field trips have been used by a number of HE institutions for a number of reasons:

  • To give students the opportunity to prepare for a ‘real-life’ field trip (risk assessments, kit selection, project preparation etc)
  • To allow students to reflect on a recent field trip
  • To provide an additional field trip experience without incurring extra costs for the student or institution
  • To improve accessibility to field work experiences
  • To allow distance learning students to participate in field work
Computer-based (virtual reality) field trips have in the past been perceived negatively by students, often due to a poor representation of reality. Currently these field trips take place in 3D environments on a 2D computer screen. There has been an emphasis on enhancing the realism of these virtual field trips.

The recent release of Oculus Rift, a relatively low-cost virtual-reality headset which tracks the user’s head movements, allowing users to ‘walk through’ a virtual landscape immersively, offers an opportunity to further improve the virtual reality field trip experience.

Thirteen Environmental and Geographical Sciences student volunteers tested the Oculus Rift. The students used the Oculus Tuscany Demo software to work around a landscape, spending between 10 and 30 minutes in the landscape. No students had used an Oculus Rift previously. After using the devices they fed back through a questionnaire their views on its use from a learner's perspective.

Do you have any outcomes you can report? From the questionnaires:

  • The students all saw the virtual reality as beneficial only if used alongside or in addition to actual field trip experiences
  • Motion sickness was a common problem of using the devices and so limits the time it can be used
  • Overall the response was positive for the testers
  • Other applications such as studying plant structure, looking at past environments and cell structure were suggested by the students
The work was been disseminated. The results were discussed and participants had a chance to try the Oculus Rifts in a workshop at the recent Northampton Learning and Teaching Conference - Northampton 2018: Planning, Designing and Delivering Student Success.

For more details contact: scott.turner@northampton.ac.uk

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Call for papers: Higher Education 2018: the way forward



We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the forthcoming edition of 'Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education'.

ELEHE is an open-access international peer-reviewed online journal, addressing the challenge of enhancing learning in Higher Education.

We are inviting submissions for our Autumn 2014 special edition:

Higher Education 2018: the way forward
Guest editor: Professor Alejandro Armellini

The deadline for submissions for the next edition is 1st August 2014.

More information, along with article types and author guidelines are available at www.northampton.ac.uk/elehe


The Journal Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education can be found at: http://journals.northampton.ac.uk/index.php/elehe/index

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...