The Q&A bot that answers student queries in Microsoft Teams

The Q&A bot that answers student queries in Microsoft Teams

The Q&A bot that answers student queries in Microsoft Teams

14

JANUARY, 2021

Teaching Online
Digital Innovation

Deakin is currently running a pilot of a Q&A bot that answers routine student queries in Microsoft Teams. The bot integrates with Microsoft Teams class environments and uses artificial intelligence to build a body of knowledge about the unit with a focus on unit administration. Students can then ask the bot questions in a designated Q&A channel in Microsoft Teams and receive answers about assignment deadlines and locations of learning resources 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How Dr Elicia Lanham uses Q&A bot

We spoke to Dr Elicia Lanham (Senior Lecturer in Information Technology) who is piloting the Q&A bot in her Microsoft Teams class environment as part of SIT772 – Database and Information Retrieval.

Dr Lanham finds that using Microsoft Teams in teaching and learning has facilitated communication between students and instructors. Microsoft Teams has made it easier for students to post questions for their peers and unit chairs, leading to a spike in student engagement that has extended and enhanced classroom learning.

Some of these questions are routinely administrative in nature and could potentially be answered using a Q&A bot, freeing up the academic to concentrate on questions that require higher-order thinking to dig deeper into the learning materials.

In this video, you can learn more about how Dr Lanham has used Microsoft Teams and the Q&A bot in her unit.

 

Implementing the Q&A bot with Alan Longmuir

The Emergent Technologies, AI and Big Data team from eSolutions is leading the pilot of the bot for Deakin and has been working closely with Dr Lanham on its implementation in the Microsoft Teams class environment for her unit.

The team is also leading a pilot of using the Q&A bot within CloudDeakin unit sites, positioning Deakin as the first university in Australia to experiment its use in the D2L environment.

We spoke with Alan Longmuir (Emergent Technologies Manager) who gave us a demonstration of how the bot works.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Q&A bot you can contact Alan Longmuir at alan.longmuir@deakin.edu.au.

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Improving Data Management processes in CloudDeakin

Improving Data Management processes in CloudDeakin

Improving Data Management processes in CloudDeakin

25

NOVEMBER, 2020

Digital Innovation
Good Practice

In July this year, CloudDeakin unit sites were upgraded to the cloud-hosted Brightspace by D2L. Now, all unit and learning sites are stored in the cloud, ensuring that content is always up-to-date and providing access to the latest features and tools for delivering engaging learning experiences.

The next step in this process is to implement good Data Management practices by archiving any unused content on unit sites that is older than seven years. Archiving of information will commence in December 2020 and will be managed by DLF with support from eSolutions.

Once unit sites are six years old, they will be set to ‘inactive’, which means that students and staff will no longer be able to access content on those sites. The student experience of accessing unit sites will not be adversely affected during the archive process. Students will see a message on the front page of the sites that are getting close to expiration, encouraging them to back-up any material they need from these sites.

Teaching staff and learning content developers don’t need to take any additional actions in the archival process. News items will be posted on unit sites when they are close to the expiration date and once a unit site is inactive, staff will have 12 months to back up any content they need before the unit site is archived.

These improvements to Data Management processes will both increase efficiency in managing unit site content and improve the student experience as content is reviewed and refreshed regularly. For more information and support in the archiving process, staff can speak to their Faculty Support teams and students can contact IT Help.

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Our first virtual Learning and Teaching Conference

Our first virtual Learning and Teaching Conference

Our first virtual Learning and Teaching Conference

25

NOVEMBER, 2020

Digital Innovation
Good Practice
Teaching Online

The 2020 Learning and Teaching Virtual Conference ran from 16 to 20 November with the theme, ‘Critical conversations, challenges and celebrations’.

For the first time ever, this year’s conference was delivered entirely online, through Zoom sessions, virtual tours of learning spaces and an MS Teams channel that staff could use to connect. Those that attended could also access virtual posters, videos, podcasts and a Padlet wall for shared reflections.

With over 300 registrations, this was one of the biggest learning and teaching conferences that Deakin has ever held. Each of the sessions was highly attended by both Deakin staff and students.

The conference opened with a keynote address from Professor Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, sharing the pillars of the Education and Employability plan – What will I learn? How will I learn? How will I be supported? There was also a reminder that students are at the heart of everything we do.

Student led sessions

This year’s conference saw more Deakin student participation than ever before. Students shared their experiences of learning from home, inclusive design, authenticity, starting first-year during COVID-19, peer support and the Deakin Launch Network.

Touring virtual learning spaces

Attendees had the chance to experience other units and learning environments through virtual tours.

Amanda Edgar, Ryan Wood-Bradley and James Armitage presented a tour of the virtual optometry clinic. The tour showcased how H5P, facilitators and problem based learning came together to support first year optometry students to develop complex clinical skills such as communication, clinical decision making, teamwork, patient centred care and evidence-based practice.

There were also presentations and papers exploring online tours of construction management sites, simulations in midwifery, the virtual architecture design studio, and virtual tele-health.

Learning through narrative and storytelling

Many of the sessions explored the theme of narrative and storytelling and how it can raise the level of student engagement in teaching and learning. Dr Kerri Morgan’s session ‘Choose your own adventure – exploring mathematics another way ‘explored how gamification could be used to support students, who traverse a setting of Ancient civilisations on a quest to find a number of mathematical artefacts.

The human library

Attendees could also borrow from the human library, a collection of Deakin experts who were on loan for a one-on-one conversations during the conference. The ‘human books’ available in the library covered a diverse range of learning and teaching subjects, such as cheating and assessment security, managing online communities, leadership in learning and teaching and the importance of equity during COVID-19. The human library was very successful, with limited availability filling up within 24 hours of opening.

Access recordings and resources

Deakin staff members can view recordings of sessions and access virtual posters, videos and podcasts on the 2020 Learning and Teaching Virtual Conference webpage as they are uploaded across the rest of this week. To access recordings, visit the conference program and select a session.

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Developing digital literacy in work integrated learning with Dr Bahareh Nakisa

Developing digital literacy in work integrated learning with Dr Bahareh Nakisa

Developing digital literacy in work integrated learning with Dr Bahareh Nakisa
23
NOVEMBER, 2020
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning
Learning Innovations
Team Collaboration
Good Practice

We spoke to Dr Bahareh Nakisa, Lecturer in Applied Artificial Intelligence, about integrating Microsoft Office and Azure Cloud services into work integrated learning tasks.

When Dr Bahareh Nakisa was designing the SIT788 – Engineering AI Solutions unit as part of the Master of Applied Artificial Intelligence course, she drew on her practical experience working in industry and chose to integrate Microsoft Azure Cloud services and Microsoft Office 365 in the learning tasks. This allowed students to build Applications (Apps) and collaborate effectively.

In a shifting job market, it’s more important than ever for students to develop their digital skills. A quick scan of job advertisements shows that positions across various sectors call for proficiency in the use of the Microsoft Office suite, which is fully supported by Deakin.

As part of SIT788 – Engineering AI Solutions, students learn how to use Computer Vision, a Microsoft Azure Artificial Intelligence service that allows them to embed specific features into their webcams, such as the ability to recognise faces, gender, age, and emotions.

Bahareh also uses Microsoft Teams, an industry-leading collaboration tool, to extend classroom discussions about Artificial intelligence techniques. The integration of Microsoft Office skills within the curriculum, which aligns with Deakin’s graduate learning outcome of digital literacy, supports the development of our learners’ employability skillsets as they step into a competitive job market.

In this video, Bahareh tells us about her experience in cultivating digital literacy skills using Microsoft Azure Cloud services.

 

Tools for learning and teaching

Learning activities using tools such as Microsoft Teams do not only make for a good resume and better employability, they can also nurture essential transferrable skills such as creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking, which are central to student success. Students can let their creativity bloom using Sway (Web Authoring tool), collaborate using Microsoft Teams and OneNote (Digital Notebook), manage projects using Planner (project management tool), and learn socially through yammer (social networking service) communities, amongst others.

Above all, Microsoft Office tools integrate seamlessly into and complement one another.  This typology of our Digital Learning Environment outlines the range of digital tools available at Deakin and their pedagogical uses.

Microsoft and Linkedin Learning offer a wealth of resources in the form of instructional videos and other resources that can help you tailor your learning pathway. Deakin staff are able to access Linkedin Learning for free using the Deakin single sign-on.

If you are already harnessing Microsoft Office 365 for digital learning and would like to share your experience, please contact our Senior Education Developer, Dr Isma Seetal, who is exploring the issues of digital collaboration for learning and teaching at Deakin.

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The DLE3 project: Delivering new tools to innovate teaching and learning

The DLE3 project: Delivering new tools to innovate teaching and learning

The DLE3 project: Delivering new tools to innovate teaching and learning

20

NOVEMBER, 2020

Teaching online
Collaboration
Good practice
Digital innovation

The Digital Learning Environments 3 (DLE3) project is wrapping up after providing exciting new tools to innovate teaching and support digital learning at Deakin University.

There’s a lot we try to achieve as teachers – introducing students to new ideas and ways of thinking, helping them develop their understanding and capabilities, and creating a sense of connection to us and to each other. Deakin’s Digital Learning Environment is designed to facilitate these goals and to help us do what we need to do as teachers in as integrated a way as possible.

Over the last two years, the Digital Learning team in Deakin Learning Futures has been working with staff across the University to evaluate and incorporate some new tools into our arsenal. The DLE3 project aimed to improve our ability to:

DLE3 tools

You’ve probably heard about some of the tools we’ve implemented as part of the DLE3 project – you may even have used them in your own teaching! These tools were selected because of excellent learning opportunities they offer us and our students in digital learning.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams supports students to work collaboratively, easily share documents and connect with each other, either via chat or a quick meeting – all while giving you oversight of the process and their progress.

Mentimeter

Mentimeter, a digital polling tool, allows you to gauge students’ understanding or perceptions of a concept, and gather their questions and feedback, in different ways.  

FeedbackFruits

Through FeedbackFruits, students can review and provide feedback on each other’s work, evaluate their group members’ performance, and assess their own work. FeedbackFruits have recently introduced interactive study materials, which allow you to embed quizzes and polls within video, audio and text documents – and encourage students to ask questions as they work through these materials.

PebblePad

You can use PebblePad to help students build a portfolio evidencing their learning and skills, reflect on their learning, set and track progress towards their goals and develop their professional identity. Students can take their portfolio with them, and continue to add to and refine content following graduation.

Learn more

We are wrapping up the DLE3 project at the end of 2020, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop working with these tools. Keep an eye out for more information about other tools in the Microsoft Office suite, and our upcoming resources about using portfolios in your teaching.

For more information about any of these tools, check out the DTeach website or contact digital-learning@deakin.edu.au

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Give us your feedback with the CloudDeakin User Experience online survey

Give us your feedback with the CloudDeakin User Experience online survey

Give us your feedback with the CloudDeakin User Experience online survey

18

NOVEMBER, 2020

Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning
Learning Innovations

What is your experience of using CloudDeakin? We’re currently running a CloudDeakin User Experience online survey seeking feedback from academic staff to improve our CloudDeakin sites. The rapid transition to online teaching and learning due to COVID-19 has offered us an opportunity to review our current practices and to evaluate how our use meets the needs of our students and staff for the longer term.

We’ve recently run a series of User Experience (UX) workshops to learn more about staff experiences and gather ideas. We’re also running the CloudDeakin User Experience online survey to make sure that all staff have the chance to provide their feedback on Deakin’s current digital learning environment.

We want to better understand the realities of the staff and student experience so we can clearly identify and prioritise the areas and issues that need to be addressed. It’s important that our future plans be based on real lived experiences so we can truly improve the day-to-day experience of our staff and students while teaching and learning online.

The feedback we receive will inform our recommendations for changes to the CloudDeakin minimum standards for course and unit sites. Sharing your experiences and ideas can help to shape the outcome.

If you’re a Deakin academic staff member who has experience with designing, creating and supporting unit and course sites, take the CloudDeakin User Experience online survey to give us your feedback.

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