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Details

  • Author(s): Dr Jane Hughes, Jannie Roed
  • Title: Learning, Teaching and Technologies
  • Subject: HE - Education
  • Keywords: UKOER, UKPSF, OMAC, CPD4HE, e-learning, learning technologies, technology-enhanced learning, TEL, VLE, Moodle
  • Language(s): English
  • Material type(s): Text, Audio
  • File format(s): ZIP, HTML, PDF, ODT, RTF, MP3
  • File size: Various
  • Publish Date: 25th March 2011
  • Licence: CC-BY-SA

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Learning, Teaching and Technologies

Introduction

Most of the CPD4HE resource units include material on technology-enhanced learning. This unit contains:

  • A selection of resources from an introductory level workshop for staff new to e-learning. They can be used in sequence to make a complete package but it is perhaps more likely that you will want to pick out individual activities that fit your programme. An initial grounding activity considers terminology, definitions and the range of technologies that might be used to support teaching and learning. This is followed by activities to encourage a critical examination of claims that are commonly made about e-learning and to make student learning the starting point for adopting learning technologies. A final group of activities could be grouped under the title, “Developing e-learning”. They address: the student perspective; finding and re-using learning materials; getting support from the community; reducing risks.

Resource Content

Downloads

This resource is available for download in the following formats.

  • Unit Package - ZIP with audio  (13.7MB) - ZIP without audio (723KB)
  • Whole document - PDF (84KB) - ODT (46KB) - RTF (294KB)
  • Introduction - PDF (20KB) - ODT (33KB) - RTF (133KB)
  • Activity: Initial grounding - PDF (32KB) - ODT (35KB) - RTF (150KB)
  • Activity: Claims about e-learning - PDF (19KB) - ODT (33KB) - RTF (144KB)
  • Activity: E-learning starting points - PDF (21KB) - ODT (33KB) - RTF (152KB)
  • Activity: Developing e-learning: think about the students - PDF (25KB) - ODT (35KB) - RTF (141KB)
  • Activity: Developing e-learning: Re-using learning materials - PDF (29KB) - ODT (33KB) - RTF (138KB)
  • Activity: Developing e-learning: Learn from the community - PDF (23KB) - ODT (34KB) - RTF (138KB)
  • Activity: Developing e-learning: Reducing risks - PDF (17KB) - ODT (32KB) - RTF (155KB)
  • References and Resources - PDF (21KB) - ODT (33KB) - RTF (139KB)
  • Audio Commentaries: Introduction - MP3 (3.4MB)
  • Audio Transcript: Introduction - PDF (19KB)
  • Audio Commentaries: Initial grounding - currently unavailable
  • Audio Transcript: Initial grounding - PDF (18KB)
  • Audio Commentaries: Claims about e-learning - MP3 (1.7MB)
  • Audio Transcript: Claims about e-learning - PDF (18KB)
  • Audio Commentaries: E-learning starting points - MP3 (2.1MB)
  • Audio Transcript: E-learning starting points - PDF (18KB)
  • Audio Commentaries: Developing e-learning - MP3 (3.5MB)
  • Audio Transcript: Developing e-learning - PDF (19KB)

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Details

  • Author(s): Dr Jane Hughes, Jannie Roed
  • Title: Learning, Teaching and Technologies
  • Subject: HE - Education
  • Keywords: UKOER, UKPSF, OMAC, CPD4HE, e-learning, learning technologies, technology-enhanced learning, TEL, VLE, Moodle
  • Language(s): English
  • Material type(s): Text, Audio
  • File format(s): ZIP, HTML, PDF, ODT, RTF, MP3
  • File size: Various
  • Publish Date: 25th March 2011
  • Licence: CC-BY-SA

Downloads

Details

  • Author(s): Dr Jane Hughes, Jannie Roed
  • Title: Learning, Teaching and Technologies
  • Subject: HE - Education
  • Keywords: UKOER, UKPSF, OMAC, CPD4HE, e-learning, learning technologies, technology-enhanced learning, TEL, VLE, Moodle
  • Language(s): English
  • Material type(s): Text, Audio
  • File format(s): ZIP, HTML, PDF, ODT, RTF, MP3
  • File size: Various
  • Publish Date: 25th March 2011
  • Licence: CC-BY-SA

Downloads

Introduction

The materials here are mainly from an introductory level workshop for staff new to e-learning, so most of the activities are aimed at those with limited prior experience of technology-enhanced learning. Although they can be used in sequence to make a complete package, it is perhaps more likely that you will want to pick out individual activities that fit your programme.

The approach

The aim is to give HE teachers a platform from which they can continue to develop their teaching, to equip them to make reasoned decisions and respond to change, to the benefit of their students. This is the main reason for adopting an enquiry-based approach. Most of the activities could be regarded as a form of investigation.

The activities assume some previous encounters with theories about student learning but, for those who do not have this prior experience, there is a short activity to raise awareness of the varieties of learning and learning contexts in higher education. The activities sometimes ask people to develop and articulate their own theories, not as a replacement or rejection of published work but accepting the reality that people will do it anyway. As with the 'Values' unit and much of our other material, the idea is to make implicit beliefs or theories explicit.

Two further assumptions are: that users of these materials have some teaching responsibilities to refer to as they engage with the materials; that their own experience, that of colleagues and the experience of staff in the wider HE teaching community are all resources they can draw on to support the continuing development of their teaching.

Finally, it is accepted that there are a number of different possible starting points or initial motivations for using learning technologies, even though the impact on student learning and the teacher's role in supporting this are ultimately the key issues.

The terms “e-learning”, “learning technologies” and “technology-enhanced learning” are all used more or less interchangeably in these materials.

Content overview

First comes an initial grounding activity. This considers what is meant by e-learning and the range of technologies that might be included. It is followed by an activity to encourage critical examination of claims that are commonly made about e-learning. This leads quite well into a discussion of factors that may motivate teachers to engage with learning technologies – or discourage them from doing so. It can also be linked with a discussion of underpinning theories or educational values. The final group of activities might be grouped under the title, “Developing e-learning”. They address: the student perspective; finding and re-using learning materials; getting support from the community; and reducing risks.

Some activities make use of the reading and resources list. A set of learning technology mini guides are being released separately. They complement the resources here: the mini guides show how to set up and manage specific technologies and tools, while these materials are concerned with developing practice and pedagogical thinking.

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Activity: Initial grounding

What is learning?

If you have previously read or talked about how people learn, you may want to skip this section. Otherwise, this short activity, reflecting on your own learning experiences, could serve as an introduction to some of these ideas.

  • Images of learning. How would you draw “learning” as you have experienced it? Make some sketches. How many different drawings do you need?
  • What words would you use as metaphors for learning? For example, is it like digging …? searching …? drinking …? List as many metaphors as you can.
  • If you are working with colleagues, compare your drawings and word list. Are they similar? If not, how might you account for the differences?
  • You might then be interested to read Fox (1983). In this accessible article he uses metaphors to explore different conceptions of teaching and, by implication, learning.
  • Finally, Mike Sharples, in a 2003 paper about mobile learning - Sharples (2003) – gives a glimpse of some theories about learning. He refers to “3 Cs of effective learning”, “construction”, “conversation”, and “control”:

    Effective learning involves constructing an understanding, relating new experiences to existing knowledge [10]. Central to this is conversation, with teachers, with other learners, with ourselves as we question our concepts, and with the world as we carry out experiments and explorations and interpret the results [11]. And we become empowered as learners when we are in control of the process, actively pursuing knowledge rather than passively consuming it [p3].
    Think about what these three words imply. List some examples from your own learning experience, for each one. Do you think your students have opportunities for all three of these elements of learning?

What is e-learning?

One could debate this for a long time, but the aim here is just to think about the scope and find a definition that seems to cover it.

  • Over the last fifteen years or so, the terminology has changed: educational technology became learning technology, then learning technologies, e-learning and technology-enhanced learning (TEL). What might be behind these changes in terminology?
  • Look at a current definition of e-learning from the JISC website, http://www.jisc.ac.uk/elearning_pedagogy.html:

    ‘learning facilitated and supported through the use of information and communications technology (ICT).’

Does this accommodate everything that you would regard as e-learning? If not, either try to modify this definition or search online for alternatives. If you are working with others, try to explain to them why you think the JISC definition needs to be modified. Do they agree with you? If not, how do you account for the disagreement?

What technologies are included?

Ideally, work with one or more other people on this so that you can pool your knowledge. If you are from different disciplines that is even better, since different disciplines make different uses of learning technologies.

  • In pairs, look through the list of technologies in the table below. Which – if any - do you use in your teaching? Which are used by other teachers in your discipline? Have you experienced any of them as a student? Do you use any of them in your research? Would you like more explanation about any of the items? Is there anything that should be added to the list?
Equipment such as computers, digital cameras, audio recorders, interactive whiteboards, mobile devices
A virtual learning environment (VLE) or learning management system (LMS), such as WebCT/Blackboard; moodle
An ePortfolio, such as Mahara
Computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools, such as chat, online discussion, videoconferencing
Web 2.0, social networking, sharing and collaboration tools, for example a wiki or blog, image sharing, social bookmarking
Virtual worlds or gaming
Simulations or remote laboratories
  • Finally make a list of learning technologies to investigate for your own teaching.

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Activity: Claims about e-learning

Many claims have been made about how technologies can benefit learning and teaching. In the table below some of these are listed.

Online access to course materials means students can study at a time and location that suits them.
Responsibility for learning is placed with the students, which will equip them for lifelong learning.
Increased motivation in learning is a natural consequence of the engaging nature of interactive websites.
Instantaneous feedback can be incorporated into the design of online materials so that students can reflect on their mistakes as and when they happen.
Widening participation is facilitated through accessible learning materials that can be used for distance learning.
Lecturers have more time for research because a lot of repetitive teaching and administration duties are automated.
Teaching quality is improved through a review and update of teaching practices resulting from the introduction of technology.
Students request fewer replacement texts because they can easily locate them online.
Time and money are saved, thus unlocking further resources which can be used for enhancing teaching.

You can explore these claims through the following activities.

  1. Consider each of the claims. (a) Choose the one that you feel is most open to challenge and say how you would challenge it. (b) Choose the one that you think is most likely to be justified, and say how you would justify it.If working with others, you should try to reach agreement. If strong disagreement emerges about a claim, consider why this might be.
  2. Yes, but …. Yes, if …. Perhaps you think a claim is broadly justified but needs to be qualified. For example, it would only be justified under certain circumstances. Look again at the list and write notes beside the ones that need such qualification.
  3. Drawing on your own experience as a teacher or learner and materials from the reading list, find as much evidence as you can to support or refute one of the claims. Add this to your notes. What is the nature of the evidence you have collected?
  4. If all of the above claims were justified, which of them would motivate you to use learning technologies in your teaching? Number the claims in order of your own professional priority.
  5. Perhaps you have your own opinions about the potential benefits of learning technologies. If so, write down your own claims. Add these to the list and then repeat activities 2 and 3 for the claims that you are making.
  6. Go through the list of claims and consider what theory about learning - if any - underpins each claim.
  7. Look through the list again and consider what values might underpin each of them.

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Activity: E-learning starting points

Driving factors

Teachers begin to use learning technologies for many different reasons. The first activity acknowledges some of these and asks you to analyse your own situation. Use the headings below to describe your own situation. List any factors that motivate – or pressurise - you to use learning technologies. Examples are in italics.

Strategy and policy

Management has said all courses must use the institutional VLE;

We are being encouraged to make our courses available to distance learning students;

…...

Practical considerations

Students can access key documents online;

Students want to submit coursework online;

Members of the teaching team can see one another's materials;

..

Problem-solving

Class sizes have increased and our traditional assessment methods are too time-consuming;

It's hard to keep track of students on work placements;

…...

Inspired by technology

I love my social networking tools and I want to use them n my teaching;

Ideas from online games could help me to design exciting learning materials;

..

Student learning as a starting point

The second activity asks you to consider the types of learning activity that students in your discipline undertake and to think about how technology might support these. Although there may be different kinds of starting points, supporting learning is central to developing e-learning – and student learning activities do vary according to discipline. Fill in this table to give examples of (a) different kinds of learning activity in your discipline and (b) how you think technology could enhance these. (The categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, visualising processes may be part of understanding concepts. You may want to change the labels.)

Learning Examples in your discipline How technology might help
UNDERSTANDING CONCEPTS

VISUALISING PROCESSES

OPERATING EQUIPMENT

INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE

WRITING APPROPRIATELY

OTHER

Now look through what you have written in both of the tables and try to identify one or two uses of learning technologies that you believe (a) could benefit your students and (b) would be feasible to introduce. It is likely that you will need to consult colleagues and support staff in your institution in order to determine feasibility and to find out about how to use particular technologies, you may well have to consult a learning technology specialist. The activity, Learning from the Community, might also help.

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Activity: Developing e-learning - think about the students

It is quite common for teachers to prepare an e-learning activity for their students and then find that it is not used as they had expected. One example is setting up a discussion forum which is then used infrequently and without any depth of discussion developing. The activities here aim to help you understand why such problems happen and how you can prevent or address them.

Talk to students

The aim here is to raise your awareness about the ways in which your own students are experiencing their use of learning technologies. This includes finding out what they find helpful, what problems they have and how they actually approach their work when technologies are involved. This should help you design e-learning so that students can make the most of it.

You could talk to your students informally after a teaching session or arrange a more formal interview or group discussion with them.

Make a note of what you find out. Were there any surprises? Any new concerns? Did you find answers to any of your questions?

Apply theoretical frameworks

Think about your students' e-learning experiences in relation to what has been written about teaching and learning with technologies. The small audit and mapping activities in this section draw on work by these writers in particular (see the reading list): Diana Laurillard, Gilly Salmon, Mike Sharples, Robin Goodfellow and Mary Lea. Try some of them on a course that you teach or know well.

Revisit three Cs

Look back at the “Initial Grounding” section. Consider your students' learning – with and without technologies - over a period of time (2 weeks?) in relation to Mike Sharples's “3 Cs of effective learning”, construction, conversation and control. Do your students experience all of these? You might also find it useful to think about how how your teaching and your students' learning might map on to Diana Laurillard's conversational framework; this model of learning with technologies has been very influential but the diagram which explains it is quite complicated.

E-learning induction and socialization

Consider how Gilly Salmon's model of teaching and learning with technologies might apply to a course that you know.

1. Study the diagram of Gilly Salmon's 5-stage model on her web site: http://www.atimod.com/e-moderating/5stage.shtml
2. Choose a course that you have taught, studied or are currently planning.
List the actions and activities of teacher(s) and students on your chosen course, at the different stages in Salmon's model. For example, on one of my courses, at Stage 1, I might write:

Me: Put welcome message in moodle. Sort out login problems. Initial message in forum with instructions about how to post and reply to messages.
Students: edit their moodle profiles and read one another's.

Note that this model acknowledges that other roles – apart from teacher and students – are needed. Look through your notes and mark any areas where you might need support from others in your institution, such as learning technologists, academic developers.

Literacies

Computer and communication technologies offer new learning opportunities but also make new demands on learners and may be said to broaden the scope of “literacy”. As teachers, we may not always appreciate either the complexity of what we are asking students to do or the range of literacy practices that may inform their approach to academic work. The reading list contains a number of texts that address this, using “literacies” or “new literacies” as a framework for understanding student learning experiences at university. Goodfellow and Lea's book, Challenging e-learning

The following short quotation is from a paper about US high school students about to enter higher education. Read it and make a list of the questions it raises. Either discuss these with colleagues or make notes on your own views about these issues.

In many ways, their literacy practices within this SNS [social networking system], proofreading, continuous revision and updating, and consideration of word choice, tone, audience interests, and style, aligned with writing practices valued in school. However, they also assembled multimodal “texts” characteristic of “new literacy” practices and well suited to the dynamic, interactive features of the MySpace social world. They created, assembled, or “remixed” images, music, background/layouts, and other elements into their overall presentation. Not surprisingly, students saw little overlap between their literacy practices within MS and those recognized and valued in school. (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009)

Now think about one of your own courses in relation to what you have read. Make a note of any thoughts or ideas that emerge.

Reflective writing

Think back over the activities in this section and re-read any notes you made. Was the process useful? Has it generated any new insights or ideas? Will you make any changes to your practice as a result? If so, what will they be and what is your top priority?

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Activity: Developing e-learning - re-using learning materials

(A full version of this will be released under the Designing and Planning Teaching heading. This is a taster, with the focus on video material)

This activity asks you to consider whether and how you might use teaching materials that have been developed elsewhere. Existing video material is used as an example.

Re-using video

There are many sources of video material that you can use in your teaching. The UKOER (Open Educational Resources) programme and the US Open Courseware movement have created a large amount of material. In the UK, this can be found in Jorum - http://www.jorum.ac.uk/ and in institutional repositories, such as OpenLearn - http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/.

Institutions and individual academics also publish video material via proprietary systems, such as iTunesU and YouTubeEdu: http://www.open.ac.uk/itunes/ OR http://itunes.stanford.edu/ .

This is a link to a short video recording about using technologies in teaching and learning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPRUJBGqE8c

  • Watch this recording. Then find another YouTube video on e-learning and watch that. Write a short critique of one of these resources. The critique should be no more than 150 words and you should also provide a link to the video.
  • Now find a video recording that might be suitable for students in your own discipline. Think about how you could use it and write down these ideas.
  • Finally try to list potential benefits and dangers of using video from sources external to your institution, such as YouTube

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Activity: Developing e-learning - learn from the community

This is about how to access the experiences and expertise of colleagues in and beyond your institution, by joining networks, mailing lists or special interest groups, through organisations and publications that focus on e-learning.

Networks, Mailing lists and SIGs

This activity aims to raise awareness of networks that are available to university staff with an interest in (technology-enhanced) teaching and learning.

Join something! For example:

  1. A network within your own institution
    AND/OR
  2. A mailing list: Browse or search the JISCmail lists and join one that interests you. You can always leave tomorrow if you find it is not for you
    AND/OR
  3. A Special Interest Group (SIG). You can find SIGs on No single link will give you all possible groups but you could start with these organisations:ALT - the Association for Learning TechnologyHEA - the Higher Education AcademyACM - the Association for Computing Machinery. The JISCmail pages above may also be useful.

Monitor the activity of the group you join over a period of time – perhaps one month. Then write a brief report (300-500 words). The report should introduce the list or group you have monitored to HE teachers similar to yourself. You might want to indicate the kinds of topics discussed, list some of the most common topics, most prominent contributors, as well as giving an indication of how much traffic there is on the list. If you posted a message to the group, you could comment on the response you received.

Published Research

Find and read a research paper, project report or case study that is relevant to e-learning in your discipline and which interests you. The following is a list of starting points. However, you may if you prefer start by searching the UCL library online. You may also find that important conferences in your own discipline have an education strand with useful papers and presentations.

Organisations

JISC : for example, The Tangible Benefits of e-learning Case Studies
HEA: for example, the case studies in the “First Year Student Experience through the use of Learning Technologies: booklet. Choose the one for your own discipline or a related area.

Conferences

Networked Learning 2008 (UK/European)
ALT-C 2009 (UK) - quite difficult to find your way around this one
Ed-Media (US) - a very large conference covering all education sectors, not just Higher Education
ASCILITE (Australia)

Journals

These three cover a range of learning technology uses but discipline-specific journals also include relevant papers.

BJET - British Journal of Educational Technology
ALT-J - Association for Learning Technology Journal
JCAL - Journal of Computer-Assisted Learning

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Activity: Developing e-learning - reducing risks

It is often said that the increased use of learning technologies makes teaching and preparation a team, rather than an individual effort. This activity asks you to consider some of the things that might go wrong and then to consider how you and/or others can minimise the risks of this happening.

What can go wrong when you use technology in your teaching?

Work individually or in groups to fill in the table below. In the left-hand column list all the risks you can think of. Then tick or add a note in the appropriate column to show what actions – if any - are likely to reduce these risks. The table has been started with two common problems.

RISK Careful design of the learning activity Choosing the right technology Testing the technology Staff training and development Student induction or training Other(s) - specify
Equipment not working in teaching room

X X
User guides provided for teaching rooms
Students can't log into the VLE






 

 

 





 





 






 




Review what you have written in the table and use it to draw out a list of practical tips and good practice guidelines for teachers using learning technologies.

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


References and Resources

  • Fox, D., Personal theories of teaching in Studies in higher education, 8(2), 1983, pages 151-163.
  • Goodfellow, Robin and Lea, Mary (2007), Challenging E-Learning in the University: a Literacies Perspective. Maidenhead & New York: McGraw Hill, Society for Research into Higher Education, Open University Press.
  • Greenhow, C. & Robelia, B. (2009), Old Communication, New Literacies: Social Network Sites as Social Learning Resources, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 1130–1161, July 2009. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01484.x/full (accessed November 2010)
  • Guth, S. and Helm, F. (2010) The multifarious goals of Telecollaboration 2.0. in Sarah Guth and Francesca Helm (Eds) Telecollaboration 2.0, Language, Literacies, and Intercultural Learning in the 21st Century. Berlin, Peter Lang, pages 69-76.
  • Laurillard Diana. Rethinking University Teaching: A Conversational Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies. 2nd edition London RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Salmon, Gilly. 5-stage model online at http://www.atimod.com/e-moderating/5stage.shtml.
  • Sharples, M. (2003) Disruptive Devices: Mobile Technology for Conversational Learning. International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning , 12, 5/6, pages 504-520.

Case Study Collections

  • JISC: The Tangible Benefits of E-learning. Available online at http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/case-studies/tangible. (Accessed March 2011)
  • K. Anagnostopoulou and D. Parmar (Eds) (2010) Supporting the First Year Student Experience through the Use of Learning Technologies. Middlesex University & The Higher Education Academy.

Open Educational Resource Repositories

UK Organisations

Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.


Licence

Creative Commons Licence
Learning, Teaching and Technologies by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.

Contact us: cpd4he@ucl.ac.uk

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