Dr Christopher Jobling

Senior Lecturer



Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet, with Yorick's skull (photographer: James Lafayette, c. 1885–1900).

Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet, with Yorick’s skull (photographer: James Lafayette, c. 1885–1900). Image from Wikimedia Commons as published in Hamlet (Wikipedia).

I’ve had this blog, courtesy of my employer Swansea University, for a number of years, but rarely use it.

Instead, I tend to post most often in my personal blog Fresh and Crispy.

So, at the start of this new year, a time for reflection and resolutions, I find myself asking myself should I keep this blog and start using it more systematically or should I abandon it?

In answering this, I suppose I intended this blog to be a place for reflecting on my teaching and learning and to support my students taking my courses? My other blog was meant to be more personal, but in reality, takes on more of these work-related issues than this blog does.

Should I, therefore, copy the posts over from this blog to my personal blog, and have a single place to reflect?

For an open practitioner (as I hope that I am) Is there an advantage in having separate work and personal blogs?

Are there disadvantages?

What do you think?


January 6th, 2018

Posted In: blogging, reflection

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A vintage Omega pocket watch of around 1950’s origin. Alexander T Carroll own work. Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0.

(I originally posted this on my Office 365 blog, but it turns out that that is not public. Lesson learned!)

A team of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) advisors from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) have begun the herculean task of publishing a 1 minute technology tip every day this year in the blog #1minuteCPD which launched on January 1st this year.


January 22nd, 2016

Posted In: CPD, TEL, tips

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The fourth iteration of the short course Bring Your Own Devices for Learning (#BYOD4L) started today and as this will be my third iteration, I have decided to volunteer as a participant and mentor. The course is hosted on WordPress at byod4l.wordpress.com  and it can also be followed by watching hashtag #byod4l on Twitter and other social networks. You can also contribute by joining the BYOD4Learning Community pages on Google+.

As for my personal plans, I am planning to use a OneNote Class Notebook (link) with at least one of my classes this semester. Therefore, as a way of learning the features of OneNote myself, particularly in the context of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), I decided to use it as a place to publish my reflections and to share it with the whole community. Here’s the link: https://goo.gl/cx4dHM

QR Code to BYOD4L Shared OneNote Notebook

QR Code to BYOD4L Shared OneNote Notebook

It’s possible to collaborate within a OneNote notebook, so contact me @cpjobling (Twitter) or +ChrisJobling (Google+) if you want write access to this resource.

January 11th, 2016

Posted In: #byod4l

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Bring Your Own Device for Learning (#BYOD4L)

Colleagues may be interested in joining me in participating in #byod4l from 11-15 January 2016.  See BYOD4L is Back Next Week for joining instructions.

January 6th, 2016

Posted In: CPD, TEL


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December 8th, 2015

Posted In: #12AoC

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Here are the answers you provided.

1. Recording learner presentations for peer feedback

You selected:

Reduces teacher feedback workload , Students have something to keep at the end , A good way to show what they have learned , Students learn a lot from giving feedback to peers,

Additional advantages:

There is evidence of the whole process that will be useful for the students who participated, the teachers who need to justify the grade and external examiners who need to validate the result.

2. Generic video feedback on assignments

You selected:

Students attend more to video/audio feedback , Reduces teacher admin workload , Audio feedback makes it easier to advise on poor quality work,   

Additional advantages:

Audio feedback is quicker to produce unless you are required to also provide a transcript for accessibility purposes.

3. Wikis for collaborative writing assignments

You selected:

Reduces teacher feedback workload, Students have something to keep at the end , Students learn from each other,  

Additional advantages:

Collaboration and writing are important learning outcomes from an employability standpoint. However wikis are tools that tend to only exist in education so more realistic collaborative editing tools, such as google docs or office 365 might be more authentic.

4. Learner-generated multimedia assignments

You selected:

Students have something to keep at the end , A good way to show what they have learned, It motivates them to engage with the content,  

Additional advantages: 

Communications in a multimedia world is a valuable skill in and of itself.

5. Audio / video feedback on assignments 

You selected:

Reduces teacher feedback workload, Audio feedback makes it easier to advise on poor quality work ,   

Additional advantages:

There is a small time saving per student but the students view the feedback as being both more personal and more painstaking. Accessibility for some students might prevent this method being used and written feedback may have to be provided in some cases.

6. Computer marked assessments

You selected: 

Reduces teacher feedback workload, A good way to find out what they have learned, Being able to improve is motivating, It is actively engaging for the learners,

Additional advantages: 

The tests become a resource that can continue to be used year after year and pays back the investment needed to set them up

7. Digital cover-sheets for feedback

You selected:

Reduces teacher feedback workload, Encourages learners to self-assess , Being able to improve is motivating,  

Additional advantages: 

Students are encouraged to think about what they want feedback on.

8. Voting tools

You selected:

A good way to show what they have learned, It is actively engaging for the learners,  

Additional advantages: 

The teacher can get important feedback about what students know and can adjust the rest of the session in response.

November 26th, 2015

Posted In: #FLble1, assessment, blended learning

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Here are the answers you submitted for this exercise.

1. Why, when, and how will you make use of the DADDIE model for planning your own blended learning?

You said:

DADDIE is a structured model and therefore provides a framework on which to design and build a learning activity and reflect on its success afterwards.

Diana says: 


It’s important to be reminded of all these design stages.


The DADDIE model can be used at any level of design, from a single learning activity to a whole course. You probably use a lot of it implicitly already. In blended learning design going round that design loop helps you think about how best to take your learners (summarised at the Analyse stage) to your intended learning outcome (summarised at the Define stage) and what blend conventional methods and digital technologies will help you do that best (the Design stage). 


Probably on your own for individual activities, sessions, or a week or so of learning, using the Learning Designer or a similar tool. Probably with colleagues for team teaching, or for updating or upgrading or redesigning parts of an existing course; or for a new course or curriculum.

2. Which online OER repositories will you explore the next time you design a learning activity?

You said:


Diana said:

Searching an online repository is always worth a try. You can be lucky and find just what you need, if you try different combinations of search words. 

Your colleagues may be happy to share useful links. Following on Twitter the people who are active in your field would also help in finding good sources of OERs.

3. Which of these technology-based methods of assessment BOTH reduces teacher feedback workload AND is good way for students to show what they have learned?

You said:

Recording learner presentations for peer feedback, Wikis for collaborative writing assignments, Computer marked assessments, Digital coversheets for feedback , Voting tools ,

Diana said:

My answers here would be:

A. Recording learner presentations for peer feedback – Correct

B. Generic video feedback on assignments – This is not related to how students show what they have learned

C. Wikis for collaborative writing assignments – Correct

D. Learner-generated multimedia assignments – This does not reduce teacher workload as is quite complex to assess

E. Audio / video feedback on assignments – This is not related to how students show what they have learned

F. Computer marked assessments – Correct

G. Digital coversheets for feedback – Correct

H. Voting tools – Correct

4. We asked you to rate five statemenst in terms how good a description of flipped learning you think they are.

Allows students to develop independent learning 

You said: 4

Diana says:  4 – But not very good unless it scaffolds their independent learning skills in some way   

Saves the teacher preparation time 

You said: 1

Diana says: 1 – Because they still have to prepare carefully the work to be done at home to make sure it is engaging   

Supports social learning 

You said: 4

Diana says: 5 – There is more chance for interaction in class   

Gives learners more feedback on their learning 

You said: 4

Diana says: 3 – This is very dependent on whether the design for homework includes computer-generated feedback, and class activities allow for peer and/or tutor feedback  

Improves the use of class time 

You said: 5

Diana says:  5 – Because it brings more active learning to the classroom

5. Decide below which tools are most suitable for learning through discussion and learning through collaboration.

You said:

Good for discussion: Twitter, Online forum, Chat room, Blackboard Collaborate,

Good for collaboration: Wiki, Googledoc,

Diana says:


Discussion – No, not enough text for discussion 

Collaboration – No, there’s no opportunity to create or build something

Online forum 

Discussion – Yes 

Collaboration – Possibly, but little opportunity to create or build something   


Discussion – Not by itself as it does not support discussion 

Collaboration – Yes   


Discussion – Not by itself as it does not support discussion 

Collaboration – Yes   

Chat room 

Discussion – Not by itself as it does not support discussion 

Collaboration – No, no opportunity to create or build something   

Blackboard Collaborate 

Discussion – Yes 

Collaboration – Yes, if well designed

November 26th, 2015

Posted In: #FLble1, blended learning

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Exercise 3.8 of #FLble1 asked us to use the list of curated lists of Open Educational Resources (OERs reproduced below) to look for and post an OER for discussion.

  • Jorum – free learning and teaching resources, created and contributed by teaching staff from UK FE and HE institutions
  • Merlot – MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community.
  • Open University’s OpenLearn – The Open University’s range of free educational courses and resources.
  • MIT’s Open Courseware – Free online educational resources from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • XPERT – repository of e-learning resources created through the open source e-learning development tool called Xerte Online Toolkits
  • Khan academy – 3600 videos from across many disciplines
  • TES – shared teaching resources of all kinds, mainly for schools, but also for the VET sector.
  • OER COMMONS – open educational resources for all sectors.

I posted my response in the comments but reproduce it here.

“I tried all the links looking for “control engineering” and found some materials from Sheffield (via Jorum) and the US (via MIT’s OCW) which looked like whole courses and a few textbooks via MERLOT. I’ll post the links here if there’s interest.

“Other observations: the [results of using the] XPERT search engine leaves a lot to be desired and I couldn’t find anything useful in the search results. Khan academy has no suitable materials because it seems to be aiming to cover the basics of maths, and computing. The OU has very good resources but you have to be lucky to find something specific (and they seem keen to highlight their television tie-ins). OER commons returned very little that was useful.

“In my personal use of OERs I’ve found YouTube to be the most useful source! So here’s a playlist by Brian Dougls that I have used: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUMWjy5jgHK3j74Z5Tq6Tso1fSfVWZC8L in my module EGLM03 Modern Control Systems. [I do this] by embedding a video into my VLE to provide another point of view [on a topic that is covered in an activity].

“To summarise, there is a problem of discovery for OERs. Reminds me a bit of the old days of the web where there were lots of curated sites and directories but no “Google” to search everywhere.”

November 18th, 2015

Posted In: #FLble1, oer

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In this 5 minute video I demonstrate using three features of my institution’s VLE to support a practical in micro-controller code development for a group design exercise. The VLE is Blackboard Learn which we brand as MyStudies.

In the learning activity, which is an introduction to software version control, I use a feature called “adaptive release” with a structured learning activity called a “learning module” with a formative quiz and content review.

The exercise itself has been adapted from Version Control With Git which is part of an open educational resource called Software Carpentry which is open source and released under a Creative Commons Attribution License. This license allows end-users to do anything with the resource so long as attribution to the original source is given.

November 17th, 2015

Posted In: #FLble1, oer, VLE

Tags: ,

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Hard working students studying at the Alexandria Learning Centre. Photo by Derbashi Ray (Flickr) as used by JISC.

Hard working students studying in a Learning Centre.

Activity 3.2 of #FLble1 is based around the use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) to promote active learning. Before I embark on the accompanying exercise (my institution’s VLE), As a summary of the video, I thought I’d pick out the advice that most resonated with me:

  • “Making your course easy to navigate by organising content by week, topic, or activity can impact the learner’s experience massively.”
  • “All modules [should be] configured and organised […] according to the curriculum design and learning outcomes.”
  • “Breaking down content and avoiding excessively long pages will keep learners engaged and enthusiastic.”
  • “All material on the VLE […] is available […] 24 hours a day.”
  • “make sure that you provide materials in accessible formats and use common file types so that learners can open them and manipulate them in their own tools.”
  • “The VLE [should] not [be] a passive learning experience. Interactive activities and learner-generated content is a huge part of it.”
  • Collaborative document creation “is real world, authentic and efficient for markers.”
  • “Practice quizzes such as multiple choice questions can offer instant feedback and scoring.”
  • “Discussion forums can work well but need to be carefully planned, well promoted, and managed.”
  • “encourage learners to use a discussion forum for FAQs or course queries instead of emailing the tutor.”
  • “A very valuable aspect of VLEs is their ability to provide detailed data about learners’ engagement with materials and activities.” which can “help you support students who are struggling and flag up issues earlier.”

All quotations taken from the video transcript, emphasis mine.

Photo Credit: Alexandea Learning Centre, by Derbashi Ray, as uploaded to Flickr under a CC-A-SA licence, reused by JSIC for R&D project Learning Environments, found via Google.

November 17th, 2015

Posted In: #FLble1, VLE

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