FMS TEL recently attended a presentation on a mixed reality platform called GigXR, a clinical simulation platform with a number of apps, including HoloScenarios and HoloHuman.
The target audience is mainly medical education courses at the moment.
This technology aims to:
create a consistency of experience for all students
provide repetitive training in a safe-fail environment
reach rural learners
reduce instructor time
How it works
A headset is connected wirelessly to a computer which generates a hologram of a patient into the room through the headset. There is equipment nearby, such as oxygen masks and blood pressure cuffs. You can interact with items and use them on the patient.
You are able to insert your own 3D digital objects into the software. For example, if you have created a 3D image of a heart from CT scans. GigXR can create a holographic version which you can view through the headset.
Conversational AI is being integrated, so you can talk to the patient and ask questions. Currently this is in text format using ChatGPT, but developments are being made and hopefully soon you will be able to actually speak to the patient.
Some of these characters may look more like colour emojis to you – this is because different browsers and devices sometimes read and display the characters slightly differently.
Alternatively you can quickly select emojis in Windows using the following key combination:
Windows Key + . (windows dot)
You will see a popup box with lots of different symbols. Just select the symbol you require. You can also type to filter or search for the one you want. Try Americanisms (such as ‘check’ for ‘tick’) if you can’t find something.
This works in Microsoft apps and some other text input areas, such as the Canvas Rich Text Editor. Screenreaders will read out the emoji’s name, so don’t put them at the start of sentences or titles. Adding emojis like this can help add a splash of colour, or you can use them to visually distinguish types of task or information.
Key codes on a Mac are a little more complex, but this guide can take you through it.
Problems with special characters
Sometimes special characters can cause issues if the document you are creating is being used as a source of data for another platform. Not everything will correctly translate the character outside MS Word. This is to do with how some datasets store the character information, older standards like ASCII do not have a wide selection of special characters available.
A real world example of this would be the uploading of core skill to the MLE (Medical Learning Environment) website. The MLE itself may choose to ignore any characters it cannot translate, which although not ideal, is not a major issue. Unfortunately those core skills are also used in a mobile app that students can record against. The app will simply refuse to display the information. Currently there are processes in place to identify and replace these characters, ideally we would update all our platforms to use Unicodes instead of the older ASCII standard.
Emojis, symbols and special characters might be needed in your content, or you might choose to use them to add extra meaning to your course pages or documents. Sometimes they will display slightly differently on different devices or in different apps. If your content is to be used as a source of data for another program, or copied to other platforms, please try to avoid using them, as sometimes they can cause issues. 🙂
This video was originally designed to be watched in a classroom setting, where the video would be paused for an in class discussion. When the course was moved online we used H5Ps interactive video to auto pause at the right moment and we embedded the video in a discussion board.
Video auto pauses (at the white dot) and asks students to contribute to a discussion board task
We created a 360 tour through a large lab in the School of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences. This was to familiarise students with the lab before attending in person, but also to show the labs to students working at a distance.
We created a 360 image of the new Nutrition Kitchen with hotspots highlighting some common hazards. Clicking on the hotspots will show a close up image of the hazard and/or some information on why it is a hazard.
We were recently invited to present this blog, and our experiences running it at the Directors of Education forum. We have recorded this presentation as a video for anyone who may be interested in starting their own blog within their team.
The presentation covers:
Identifying needs and measuring impact
Things to consider before getting started
How to keep a blog running over a long period of time
We recently delivered a bespoke training session for the Graduate school about running assessments on Canvas. The session was aimed at Professional Services and Teaching staff, and covered the following:
Setting up assessments and enabling Turnitin
Creating Canvas rubrics
Monitoring submissions and managing different circumstances
Plagiarism checks and Marking
Moderation and release of grades
The resources are available on our Canvas Community to all Newcastle staff. You may need to enrol in the community if this is your first visit.
Learn how to use timers in your PowerPoint presentations to aid questions and answers for students and yourself.
As teachers or trainers we can often feel the pressure to fill the silence when presenting. How long should you wait for an answer? Or a better question might be, how long do you think you wait?
Research suggests that at least 3 seconds can provide positive outcomes for both teachers/trainers and students (Rowe, 1972).
Each task may require different lengths of silence, you will want to think about the time the students will need to:
process the question
think of the answer
formulate a response
(if teaching virtually) unmute or type their response
The concern is to provide the period of time that will most effectively assist nearly every student to complete the cognitive tasks needed in the particular situation.
You may find yourself counting the 10 or 15 seconds in your head, but still the silence can feel unbearable.
PowerPoint Animations to the rescue
Using a consistent slide design with an animation will not only relieve the pressure on you to keep track of the time but also provide cues that students will become familiar with as your teaching progresses.
Below are examples and instructions for 4 different types of animations you can create in PowerPoint, ranging from super easy to slightly complex. At the bottom of this post you will find a template document of all the examples shown plus a few more complicated designs which you can download and use in your own presentations.
Example 1: Stopwatch
Example stopwatch PowerPoint animation
Insert a circle and style as required (holding shift will help you draw a perfect circle)
Add a “Wheel” animation to the circle and adjust to your chosen duration (max of 59 second)
Add the stopwatch icon (Insert > Icons > search for “Stopwatch”)
Example 2: Progress Bar
Example progress bar PowerPoint animation
Insert a rectangle, remove the outline and choose a fill colour
Add a “Wipe” animation to the rectangle, using the effect options drop down change the direction to “From left” or “From right”. Adjust to your chosen duration (max of 59 seconds)
Insert a second rectangle on top of the first, remove the fill colour and style the outline as desired.
Example 3: Count Down
Example count down PowerPoint animation
Create a text box for each number required, style as required
Add the “Disappear” animation to all text boxes
Set the first number to start “on click” with a 1 second delay
Set all other numbers to start “after previous” with a 1 second delay
Stack each text box on top of each other in the correct order, you may want to use the arrange menu or the selection pane to assist with this
(optional) Add a text box at the back stating times up
Example 4: Scrolling counter
Example scrolling counter PowerPoint animation
Insert a rectangle, with no fill and an outline of your choice
Insert a text box and type in the required numbers, with a new number on each line
Add the “Lines” animation to the text box, move your text box so your first number aligns with the green arrow and your final number aligns with the red arrow (further guidance). Adjust to your chosen duration (max of 59 seconds)
Insert more rectangles above and below the first rectangle you created to hide the numbers as they scroll in and out
Rowe, M., 1986. Wait Time: Slowing Down May Be A Way of Speeding Up!. Journal of Teacher Education, 37(1), pp.43-50
Stahl, Robert J. & ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education. 1994, Using “Think-Time” and “Wait-Time” Skillfully in the Classroom [microform] / Robert J. Stahl Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse [Washington, D.C.] <https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED370885>
All of our posts about this conference can be seen under the tag NULTConf2022.
This workshop was presented in person for the first time at the Learning and Teaching Conference 2022. Newcastle University staff wishing to access the resources and the recording of the online version can do so here.
A written summary of our training on using rubrics with links to the full webinar resources.
We have recently delivered some training for BNS (School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences) in collaboration with Rebecca Gill and Susan Barfield from LTDS. The two sessions covered Rubrics – both their design and how they can be implemented in Turnitin. You can access the training recordings and resources at the foot of this page.
Examples covered included:
a rubric with very few criteria and letter grading
a rubric with weighted criteria and bands
a very fine-grained rubric that awarded numerical points based on ten different criteria.
What are Rubrics for?
Rubrics can be used to evaluate assessments, whether you use a quantitative rubric to calculate marks, or a qualitative one with more wiggle room. Using a rubric makes it easier to identify strengths and weaknesses in a submission, and creates common framework and assessment language for staff and students to use. This in turn can help make learning expectations explicit to learners, and assist in the provision of effective feedback.
What is the best way?
There is no one way to design a perfect rubric, as assessments are very individual.
Before you begin you may want to consider how you can design your rubric to lessen the marking or feedback workload. Quantitative rubrics can reduce decision-making difficulties as this means you don’t need to consider what mark to give within a band. On the other hand, you may need this flexibility to use professional judgement. A detailed rubric with less wiggle room per descriptor also acts as detailed feedback for students, reducing the need for writing long additional comments, but also takes longer to design.
When writing descriptors, ensure that there is enough clear and objective difference between each band. You may find that aligning your descriptors with an external framework helps you write them. This is critical for secure marking, and is helpful for students receiving that feedback. Using positive language also helps make this feedback easier to digest, and allows students to see what they need to include to improve.
When creating a rubric, you can follow this basic process. At every stage it is important to consult local assessment guidelines and discuss progress with your colleagues for constructive feedback.
Determine your assessment criteria – ideally these should be aligned with the learning outcomes of the task.
Consider the weighting of each element, if required – is presentation as important as content?
Decide whether you will need defined marks or flexible ranges. This may be partly determined by your in-house guidelines.
How do marks in various criteria interact with or depend upon one another? For example, if there is a very low mark in a content criterion, does that mean that the assessment can never be a pass?
Try to write out individual descriptors – if you’re having difficulty discriminating between bands you may need to adjust your structure.
Test your rubric against former or dummy submissions and adjust as necessary. Does it work for a lower level of mastery as well as a middle-scoring and high-scoring submission? If you had difficulty deciding between criteria, or discover a double-credit/penalty, you will need to adjust.
Turnitin allows for the use of Grading Forms and Rubrics. You can watch how to implement these in the Using Turnitin video in the session resources below.
Turnitin grading forms can be created to assist with marking assignments, allowing you to add marks and feedback under various criteria. When using these forms, the highest mark entered will become the grade for the assignment. You can also use this without scoring to give feedback.
Turnitin rubrics allow for marking under multiple criteria and bands. You can have standard rubrics that calculate grades, or qualitative rubrics that do not include scoring. Custom rubrics can be used for more flexibility within a band.
An alternative to using Turnitin is to integrate a rubric into the assignment itself by using a coversheet. (see the ‘Effective Rubrics – Using Turnitin’ video at 28m25s, link in the Canvas below).
Watch the recordings and access session resources on the FMS TEL Community on Canvas or the MLE (coming soon).
This post shows how cursor movement can be used in online presentations to show gesture, and the skills needed to add motion tracked items to video.
As part of the recently launched Exploring 3D Anatomy MOOC, two video presentations were created. These presentations involved explaining diagrams and pictures. One of these recordings had a moving cursor which the presenter had used to explain various parts of the screen, and the other was recorded without a cursor. To improve the clarity of the explanations, we had a request to display a larger cursor over the recorded material, using it to ‘point’ to the various significant areas shown.
When you’re planning a virtual presentation it’s worth checking if and how the software handles the cursor – some software will use a glowing highlight as you present, some will show and hide the cursor automatically depending on when you move it. The videos were recorded in ReCap, which automatically hides the cursor unless it is moving. The end of the post has links to various guides to help you choose your settings. The rest of this post details the animation process for how a larger cursor was added after the presentations had been recorded. This technique could be applied to other added graphical elements too if needed.
Creating the New Cursor
As the cursor is used in a lot of animations, there was already a scalable vector graphic image of a cursor available to use. This had been drawn in Adobe Illustrator. The next step was to use After Effects to add the cursor to the video and animate it.
Tracking the Cursor
For the video with the cursor visible, the motion tracking function of After Effects was used. After identifying the original cursor, the new larger cursor was set to track it. Here and there the original cursor changed colour to remain visible over different backgrounds. It wasn’t necessary to replicate the colour change with the larger cursor, but this colour change did add extra steps when setting up the motion tracking as it needed to be started afresh each time the original cursor had changed colour. For the video without the cursor, the process was simpler as there was nothing to hide or track. As such the animations could be set up from scratch. Based on the clear explanation from the presenter, it was possible to add a cursor to trace the areas being explained.
Adding the New Cursor
The animations were set up to take place between certain moments of the video – like scenes. Key points in the video were identified and ‘key frames’ added which allow us to set up when certain animations should take place, and how long for. Simple animations such as changing size, position or rotation can be done relatively quickly using these linear key frames.
Once the start and end points are set, further customisation can be done to change the feel of the animation. For example, in this case, the speed of the cursor should somewhat mimic a natural movement rather than a precisely uniform speed. Using ‘ease in’ and ‘ease out’ (combined as ‘easy ease’) allows for the animation to look a little more natural, and less jarring, as the cursor starts to move more slowly before speeding up and gradually slowing to a stop.
When moving from point to point it’s very rare that a straight line is the best path to take, usually a slightly curved path can help add a more natural-looking movement. This might be used to instruct a viewer to click a series of buttons, for example. The ‘spatial interpolation’ in After Effects allows for the path of the moving object to be linear (a straight line) or Bezier (curved). The temporal interpolation tool allows for variations to the speed of the movement – a more customisable version of easing. Adjusting these allows for a nice natural pace and movement, and for more creative effects. For example an item moving from A to B may move slowly at first, then speed up towards the middle of its journey, then slow down again before arriving at its final destination – imagine a train travelling between stations!).
In this video the cursor was hidden from screen for most of the video so it was animated manually.
In this video the cursor was tracked (while visible), note the more erratic movement.
The final videos allowed for a clear approximation of gesture to be added to the presentations, mimicking how a presenter might usually point to a screen or demonstrate a movement. While this is something very natural to do in person, you may need to think more about how you use and move your cursor in online presenting. Often it can be tricky to see the cursor, so you may wish to consider moving it more slowly than usual if you are using it to indicate processes or changes. Selecting some form of pointer or cursor highlighting in your chosen software can improve the visibility of the cursor during your presentation, whether recording or in person. On the other hand, you may wish to put your mouse out of reach so that random or accidental cursor movements don’t detract from your content.
Motion Tracking Demonstration
This video demonstrates the full motion tracking procedure, showing how you can track an object and then map the position of a cursor to it.
Cursors on Panopto – remember that only the slides are captured if you add a PowerPoint, so to capture your cursor, you should record your screen instead.