Chris Turnock joins KGCL

After a successful visit to CanvasCon in London this month, I am very pleased to announce that Chris Turnock from the University of Hull will be joining KGCL for a new initiative around VLE transition support.

Universities we spoke to have already sorted out the mechanics of change, and are keen to maximise the benefit for staff and students, and support development of their digital curriculum.  At KGCL we have direct experience of delivering VLE change within universities and are ideally placed to highlight opportunities and show universities how to achieve them.

Contact us for further details at enquiries@kerrgardiner.co.uk or call us on (+44) 1970 871208.

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CanvasCon Europe 2018

Very pleased to announce that KGCL will be attending CanvasCon next week in London.

Canvas has seen a big uptake across the HE sector over the past few years and offers a solution that allows universities to get on with learning without having to worry about the software.

The move to a new VLE is a major change project for any university and bringing in external consultancy with direct experience of such a transition can make the difference between simply changing software and creating a whole new vision for online and blended learning.

At KGCL we have such expertise.  Our staff and associates have led a number of such transitions and have in-depth knowledge of the major platforms in the UK; Canvas, Moodle, & Blackboard.

If your university is thinking about change or in the process of change, then let us know and we can arrange a chat.

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We are on Twitter!

Although I have been tweeting for a while (@KerrG) I felt it was time that the company had it’s own Twitter handle to highlight work and developments.

So here it is @KGCLtd is now live and twittering!

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Will outlawing essay mills make plagiarism detection defunct?

The Times Higher this week (9-15 Aug 2018) has an interesting article about the Irish government passing legislation to make essay mills illegal and suggests that countries in the UK should think about following suit.

Although the article acknowledges that off-shore mills may well continue, it makes some very good points about the impact of legislation on the conversations universities might have with their students – moving from a ‘you shouldn’t’ to an ‘it is illegal and criminal’ dialogue.  It should also stop the blatant on-campus advertising that we see today for these mills, and may also stop people writing for the mills.

A natural conclusion may be that such legislation could remove the need for plagiarism detectors, very welcome at a time when budgets are severely stretched.  However, I would argue that it makes such tools not only more necessary, but would require them to become more sophisticated.

Submissions originating from high quality essay mills are by their nature difficult to detect as they can be original work meaning that standard originality checkers won’t pick them up.  If students know that there are no tools to detect output from higher quality essay mills, then the temptation will still be there.

So making essay mills illegal may actually increase the demand for tools to identify such cheating.

 

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Kerr Gardiner Consulting Ltd

What a first few months of being freelance! I’ve had the great pleasure to work with a number of top level organisations including Turnitin, Jisc, and SeroHE as well as with universities including Abertay and Oxford.

I’ve been told the time has come that I need to stop being a sole trader and become incorporated, so am pleased to announce the launch of Kerr Gardiner Consulting Ltd.  Still the same service and experience but now with the added certainty of dealing with a limited company.

As I transition over and look forward to the New Year, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank customers past, customers present, and customers future – and looking forward to our continuing relationship.

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Busy times

It has been a very busy few months since starting my consultancy and with a few days break I decided that it was time to update my news.

Starting out alone is much easier if you have a good network of people you have worked with, and I have been very lucky in that respect.  As well as making finding work easier, I have found it essential for doing the work; whether it is being able to call on additional expertise or familiarity with the organisations you’re working for.

I have had two significant pieces of work since April; a sector consultation on originality and academic integrity for Turnitin to support their product development, and working alongside Heather Gibson undertaking an evaluation of the Abertay University learning and teaching development fund.  Both these will appear as case studies on my website over the next few weeks.

I will shortly be doing some work with the Jisc Learning Analytics team around assessment data which will involve Turnitin, and am also waiting confirmation of another evaluation project.

Although this will take up a lot of my own time, there is still plenty of scope in the consultancy to undertake other projects, so do get in touch!

 

 

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Presentations

One of the best ways to further my ideas on the evolving digital landscape is to engage with others in the sector in order that my ideas may be challenged and therefore developed.  One of the ways I do this is to present and run workshops, and have been fortunate enough to have done so across the sector at a range of events.  I will be uploading a number of my presentations to Slideshare and will share them here – please do feel free to comment.

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Case Studies

Over the years I have been involved in a number of projects and case studies, each of which has furthered my knowledge and understanding of learning technologies.  These studies cover pedagogical, technical, and organisational issues from institutional, staff, and student perspectives.  I will be sharing some of these with you over the coming weeks.

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