8.1 Technologies for teaching


Moodle, the School's Virtual Learning Environment, provides web-based support for courses and programmes by bringing together a range of resources and tools in one place, available at any time and from any place via the Internet. Is it available to all LSE students and teaching staff. 

There is considerable variation as to how Moodle is used but most courses will have course materials and handouts arranged on a weekly basis, reading lists and links to electronic sources such as e-packs (see under Library resources in Moodle below). In addition Moodle can be used for:

  • discussion boards
  • online quizzes
  • multimedia content
  • collecting work
  • providing feedback.

Using Moodle offers advantages for both students and staff:

  • Instant access anytime, from anywhere.
  • Students can view and print materials in formats that suit their needs (large print, different font).
  • Resources are always available: an online reading is never 'out on loan'.
  • Improved quality of student learning experience through the integration of ICT with class teaching.
  • A one-stop-shop for all course-related documents, communication and activities.
  • Provides information on student activity and performance.

Moodle is run and supported by the Centre for Learning Technology (CLT) who offer advice, support and training on how to use educational technologies, including Moodle, effectively. If you are interested in discussing innovative ideas about how to use educational technologies, please contact CLT Enquiries: clt-enquiries@lse.ac.uk| . Students experiencing difficulties using Moodle should contact the ITS helpdesk and/or their department. There are also Moodle FAQs - for students accessible from the CLT website: http://clt.lse.ac.uk|

Library resources in Moodle

To ensure students make the best use of the resources available to them, provide them with online readings. Using Reading Lists @ LSE (http://readinglists.lse.ac.uk|) you can easily link to full text e-journal articles, e-books and websites, as well as the Library's print holdings. For core readings the Library can carry out copyright checks and then digitise the readings for you, helping to make book chapters or articles available to all your students while ensuring you are compliant with the School's Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licence.

You should take care to ensure you do not upload any content to Moodle where you do not own the copyright, unless you have permission. This includes images, text or other materials you might find online. CLT provide advice about copyright issues at http://clt.lse.ac.uk/copyright|

You should talk to your academic support librarian about the range of information skills sessions they can run for your students such as literature searching, managing information and citing and referencing. Do encourage your students to register for the Library Companion for Students, an online course available in Moodle, to help them maximise their use of Library resources.

Lecture capture

At lecturers' request some lectures may be recorded using a system called Echo 360. The system is currently installed in the Old, New, Hong Kong and Peacock lecture theatres, as well as all lecture theatres and classrooms in the New Academic Building, and in many other rooms across campus. For full availability, see CLT's Lecture capture webpage at http://clt.lse.ac.uk/Lecture-Capture.php|

For students whose first language is not English, being able to review lectures can be particularly helpful. Students can see the PowerPoint or other visual material as well as view and/or hear the lecturer. They can navigate through the lecture by clicking on slide icons and jump to any point to review a specific part. If Echo 360 is being used on a course you are teaching on, encourage students to review the lecture within a day or so of it being given. They may need reminding that recorded lectures are only a supplementary resource and not an alternative to attendance! They are best used as a follow up to reinforce the points made in lectures.

Teachers can now view which parts of the lecture students review the most, making it a useful tool for finding out what students may be having some difficulty in hearing or understanding.

In rooms that do not have the Echo 360 system, CLT can help lecturers to make their own recordings or 'podcasts' of lectures, for distribution to students.

Plagiarism detection service

LSE uses the JISC-endorsed Turnitin UK text matching service - an online service that enables comparison of students' work with electronic sources including the Internet and other students' work submitted to Turnitin UK.

Turnitin can be used to set up classes to check assignments. These can be set for students to check their own work against faulty referencing or without students having access to 'originality reports'. See the CLT's Plagiarism webpage at http://clt.lse.ac.uk/plagiarism| for further details.

Instant voting

Also known as PRS (=Personal Response System), instant voting can be used to enable 'agile teaching' and enhance communication between students and between students and teacher. Teachers create questions which can be used either directly in a PowerPoint presentation or as a standalone programme to run alongside any other presentation tool. Students can answer either with small handsets available from the LSE Library or with their own devices such as a mobile app or online using a tablet of laptop. You can borrow up to 180 handsets from CLT. Their instant voting webpage at http://clt.lse.ac.uk/instant-voting/index.php| contains more information, including a guide on how to get started and two screen-casts.

Other classroom technologies

CLT has a range of other technologies (voice recorders, e-beam, etc.) that can be used to enhance your teaching; if you want to borrow or discuss the use of any of any of these, get in touch via clt-support@lse.ac.uk|.

Innovative use of emerging technologies

CLT staff advise and teach on the use of emerging technologies for teaching, learning and research, in particular on the use of social media such as blogging, Twitter and other social networking tools, as part of its Digital and Information Literacy programme (see http://clt.lse.ac.uk/digital-and-information-literacy/index.php|).

CLT also runs the NetworkED seminar programme exploring how new technology is impacting on education. The CLT Development Fund is available to LSE teaching staff who are interested in improving their teaching through the use of educational technologies, including using Moodle in a more innovative way. For more see the CLT Development Fund webpage (http://clt.lse.ac.uk/about-clt/clt-developent-fund.php|) or contact the Head of Learning Technology and Innovation via clt-enquiries@lse.ac.uk| .