Technology Enhanced Learning

At Leeds Conservatoire we strive to deliver relevant, progressive, and forward-thinking creative arts education. Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is integral to our learning and teaching delivery, with a pedagogy-first approach that is underpinned by the conservatoire’s learning and teaching strategy. Development of our TEL approach is informed by student and academic staff consultation through the Student’s Union, Staff-Student forum and TEL research.

In short, this means we use our technology to make learning better, and we listen to what our learning community needs to make sure that happens.

Our TEL and AV teams provide and support technology enhanced learning. They are a friendly bunch, and are always up for a chat about learning and teaching, technology, or to provide support.

Institution-wide TEL

We use numerous integrated systems and technological tools to support and enhance our educational experience:

  • Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
  • Panopto AV Platform
  • Mahara ePortfolio
  • Microsoft 365
  • Zoom Video Conferencing
  • WordPress Web Publishing

These systems are deployed in the following ways:

All modules have a page on the VLE for students to utilise supportive and interactive learning materials to further the depth of their studies outside of the class environment. Our students use the VLE to engage with additional learning materials that can include readings, videos, discussion forums, quizzes, and more.

All non-practical assignments are submitted through the VLE either through direct file uploads or an e-Portfolio page. Our students use mixed methods to create and submit work for assessment whilst they study with us, examples of which are audio, images, videos and scores. Summative feedback on all assignments is provided through the VLE, and specifically linked to the assignment criteria for each assignment.

We run Microsoft 365, giving each student access to:

  • The full Microsoft Office Suite
  • Minimum 1TB of OneDrive storage
  • An email account
  • A host of Microsoft 365 apps and services including OneNote, Teams, Forms, Flipgrid.

This is available to students from their first day at the conservatoire, and can be used throughout their time here. Our staff use Microsoft 365 to communicate and collaborate with students and colleagues alongside use throughout learning and teaching.

As many lectures and seminars as possible are automatically recorded and made available for students to review and watch. This means that our students can focus on listening and engaging with academic staff during sessions, and can use the recordings to make notes, reflect, or refine understanding. Additionally, we record many workshops and masterclasses with industry leaders and guests from across the creative arts. This extensive range of content is captured and made available to students and staff by the AV team through our Panopto AV system.

Academic staff across the institution make use of Poll Everywhere to enable interactivity and encourage active learning in lectures, seminars and workshops. It is also used to gather and record feedback. Great examples of where this is used are peer performance and track feedback sessions, where students use Poll Everywhere to anonymously provide immediate and live feedback on each other’s performances or work.

Our TEL team are responsible for making sure that our software, systems and their content are accessible to as many people as possible. They lead the institutions response to the Public Sector Bodies (Website and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations legislation, and strive to increase the accessibility of all digital resources at the conservatoire.

You can read our Digital Accessibility Statement to find out more.

TEL Projects and Initiatives

Our TEL team enjoy exploring new and interesting ways to evolve learning through the use of technology. They love making things happen. The specialist nature of the courses that we offer has encouraged the creation of a wide range of TEL projects and initiatives to enhance learning and teaching.

In collaboration with academic and professional services staff throughout the institution, the TEL team have developed numerous online learning objects and resources that extend learning, or provide information and support to students on numerous topics.

In partnership with our student services team, the TEL team have worked on numerous interactive online resources for students that support the development of skills related to studying and digital proficiency.

The TEL team and Music Production staff teamed up with Jisc to develop interactive studio manuals and an augmented reality experience that can be used with the Audient mixing desks in our recording studios through an iOS app.

Launched in 2015, the AR app allows students to learn and support themselves outside of teaching hours. Technology of this type had not previously been used on other music production/technology programs, and the immersive nature of the experience enables greater retention of information for all learning styles.

You can see our Augmented Reality Project in action on Youtube.

Born from student feedback requesting more music theory resources, the TEL team have created, and continue to work on, the ‘Music Theory Hub’. Collaborating with academic staff from multiple pathways, this central resource collects videos, interactive learning objects and supporting resources that support students understanding of music theory.

Using a staff-student partnership model, our TEL team collaborate with a team of students from across the institution known as the ‘DigiMentors’ (Digital Mentors). This brilliant group of students are really friendly and knowledgeable. They provide peer support to other students to help them use the technology we have, and lead the conservatoire Instagram.

They also work with the TEL team to on a number of projects, initiatives and developments, and are integral to including the student voice in the work that the TEL team do.

Student and Staff TEL Support

We want the entire conservatoire community to get the best out of the resources we have. To help make that happen, we provide a range of support in addition to the DigiMentor scheme. Here are some of the main ways we help staff and students benefit from our technology enhanced learning resources.

Our TEL team provide training and professional development to students and staff to aid them in achieving the most out of the resources we have. We actively seek and respond to feedback and suggestions raised by the conservatoire community, to ensure that the training and development we provide is fit for purpose.

We provide screencasts and instructions for all students that cover everything they need to complete their assignments using our systems. These are made available on every module page, and directly related to what students are expected to do for their assignment.

Screencasts and instructions are also available for our staff, demonstrating the many ways they can utilise the tools we have to make their lives easier and improve the experience of their students.

In collaboration with our DigiMentors, we run drop-ins throughout the year where students can get support from their peers with the use of our learning and teaching technology. We aim to host at least one drop-in during every teaching week, and make sure that there are plenty of them throughout assessment periods.

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