FMS TEL Conference – Resources Roundup

The resources from the FMS TEL Conference are now available via the Canvas and MLE communities.

Day 1 Recordings:
Monday 6th September

Welcome and Keynote

David Burn Pro-Vice Chancellor (Medical Sciences) and FMS TEL Team

An introduction to the conference and keynote.

Embedding Online Transnational Cross-Campus Teaching in Your Curriculum

Paul Hubbard, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, NUMed

The move to online learning and subsequent staff development of synchronous online teaching skills has created opportunities for increased links, and sharing of resources, between physically separated campuses. This means that cross-campus, transnational teaching, could be utilised to enhance teaching provision. This session will discuss some examples of cross-campus teaching on the MBBS degree between the UK and NUMed Malaysia, and explore the feasibility and opportunities for adopting cross-campus teaching in other courses within the University.

Boundary Setting and a Shared Code in the Era of Digital Delivery

Joanna Matthan, Director of Academic Studies, School of Dental Sciences

This session focuses on the teaching of Head and Neck Anatomy within the School of Dental Sciences, and how the move to online teaching necessitated the development of a specialised Digital Code around the use of cadaveric imagery. An excellent way to see how expectations can be set for even the most challenging of online teaching situations.

Day 2 Recordings:
Tuesday 7th September

Enhancing your Content: Basic HTML

Emily Smith, FMS TEL Team

In this session you will be introduced to easy changes you can make to divide up your content, add colour and make areas of your content pop! You will learn how to work around any accessibility issues and how to make your content look great on any device. No prior coding experience is required!

Including Accessibility in Digital Literacy – Teaching Students about Accessibility Best Practices in Written and Presentation Media

Michelle Miller, FMS TEL Team

This session introduces efforts to teach students how to use built in tools in Word, PowerPoint, and Adobe Reader to make their work accessible to users with a variety of disabilities. Addressing both the how and why to broaden digital literacy knowledge. Attendees will learn how create accessible documents for themselves, too!

New for 21/22 – NU Reflect

Simon Cotterill and David Teasdale, FMS TEL Team

See NU Reflect (previously ePortfolio), redesigned to emphasise support for reflective practice and awareness and evidencing transferable skills across the University. Presentation and demonstration plus time for your questions.

Day 3 Recordings:
Wednesday 8th September

Confidence and Resilience for Teaching with Technology

Paul Hubbard, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, NUMed

Join Colleagues from NUMed and FMS for a discussion of how to build confidence and resilience when experimenting with new technological teaching methods. Examples of good practice and success stories will be shared, and there will be plenty of time to chat, ask questions and discuss your own plans.

Humanising the Online Experience

Eleanor Gordon, FMS TEL Team

Many of us – staff and students – have struggled with the feeling of losing the human connections we would normally have in face-to-face teaching spaces. This webinar concentrates on how to regain some of that connected feeling. The webinar will include plenty of examples and quick tips that can help reduce the awkwardness of teaching online.

H5P Demo and Try

Emily Smith, FMS TEL Team

In the first half of this session, medicine-focused examples of H5P content will be shared to get your creative juices flowing. In the second half of this session you will be let loose on the H5P platform to create your own content with members of the FMS TEL team on hand to assist with any queries.

Day 4 Recordings:
Thursday 9th September

Journal Club

Luisa Wakeling, Senior Lecturer, School of Dental Sciences

A special TEL edition of Journal Club will run on Thursday 9th September. Speaker to be confirmed.

Getting Your Work Out There – Using Canvas Commons to Share and Promote Your Teaching

Michelle Miller, FMS TEL Team

This session will introduce Canvas Commons as a digital repository for your Canvas Content that can be used to store and share your material within your own courses, within Newcastle University, and/or with all Canvas institutions.

Designing Convertible Teaching

Eleanor Gordon, FMS TEL Team

This session focuses on how to design teaching activities that can be easily flipped from synchronous to asynchronous, or in-person to online format.

Day 5 Recordings:
Friday 10th September

Avoiding Plagiarism: Helping Students Keep Their Turnitin Scores Low

Alison Clapp, Lecturer, FMS Graduate School

This session aims to increase the help we give to students to improve their academic writing with an emphasis on academic integrity. After a short refresher on how Turnitin scores work, we will discuss reasons for high scores, and how we can provide students with online activities to improve their writing.


Introduction to Authentic Assessment

Ruth Valentine, Dean of Taught Programmes; Chris Penlington, Clinical Psychologist; Eleanor Gordon, FMS TEL Team

This session introduces the principles behind Authentic Assessment, with real examples from FMS presented by practitioners. A range of examples and ideas will be shared, with frank discussion around challenges and benefits of this approach, and space to discuss how you might implement this in your own teaching.


Planning for the Future

David Kennedy, Deputy Dean of Taught Programmes & Deputy Head of School of Medical Education

This session does not have a recording.

Animation: What I can offer, the journey, and previous examples

One of the services I offer as part of the FMS TEL team is the creation of bespoke 2D animations. These are most commonly used as small parts of a bigger project, but they can also be stand-alone projects themselves.

Types of animation and choosing the right tool for the job
Depending on the nature of the animation required, and also the context in which it will be used, there are three different types of animation that we can produce.

These are:

  • Video based animation
  • HTML5 (web based) animation
  • Animated GIFs

When looking at the source material I will first plan the animation in my head, and will usually know right away which type of animation will be most appropriate for the job. For example, if there are any user interactions to be included then an HTML5 animation would allow for that, but if there is the need for some organic shapes then that would suit a video based animation better.

Planning and Storyboarding
When visualising an animation, I plan the animation as a whole from the start, rather than tackling it scene-by-scene as this gives a more natural and entertaining feel to the end result.

Once I’m happy that I have a good understanding of the content I will then create a series of illustrations as a storyboard and send this as a PDF for review.

Storyboarding example

I then discuss with the subject specialist which techniques will work best for the application, and raise any concerns. I can then start the animation process.

Creating the animation
Getting things right at the concept and storyboard stage is critical and can save a lot of time, compared to how much of a time investment it can be if you have to re-do a large part of the animation.

However, understanding that I may not get the content perfect in the first draft every time, I structure my files in a way that changes can be made with minimal disruption to the rest of the timeline. This is achieved by both layering up the source Illustrator files and also separating the key points of the main composition timeline into separate sub-compositions. That way I can work on a small section without knocking everything else out of sync.

Obviously, every project is different but by focusing on the movements involved, the flow between the scenes and the basic animation principles I begin the sequence (as you may have guessed) from the start and work on each stage in sequence. This is important because elements will often carry through from one scene to another so duplication can be avoided.

I use Adobe After Effects to create video-based animation and animated GIFs, and Adobe Illustrator to create any graphic and illustration assets needed for the animation.  After Effects is an extremely powerful timeline-based tool that can make almost anything possible – think of it as being a kind of Photoshop for video!

If there is to be audio narration or a musical soundtrack on the video, then I arrange for that to be recorded early on in the development rather than being added at the end, as the content and movements should be timed to fit with events in the audio.

Most of the development time actually lies in creating the assets for the storyboard (which are later used in the animation), so when it actually comes to the animating stage things tend to move along pretty quickly.

I usually render out (export) the animation after every new section is complete and upload it our Vimeo account for approval and to check that I’m on the right track before moving on to the next one.

The review process

Vimeo Review platform

The Vimeo Review platform we use lets the users add time-stamped comments directly onto the video and sends me a notification email immediately thus providing a good communication channel for each specific issue.

When the first draft of an animation is complete, a shareable, password-protected link to the video can be sent out for a wider review to gather comments and feedback. From there we can address any comments and fine-tune the animation for further revisions, which will in turn be sent out for review.

While there is no standard for this, normally after a first (alpha) release and review, changes are made if required and a second (beta) release is then sent for review, with any further required changes reflected in a final (gold) release.

The finished product
The final render from After Effects will be a simple video file, usually in the .H264 codec (MP4) that can either be hosted on our Vimeo account and an embed code supplied, or, depending on file size restrictions, this could be uploaded directly to your target system. It can also be supplied as a file to be included in a PowerPoint presentation or other teaching material. The type of output required is discussed before we start the project to make sure we are taking the best approach.

Past examples
I’ve worked on a wide variety of projects during my time at the university, including multiple MOOCs, marketing materials, and work on modules across both FMS and Engineering courses. The showreel below includes just a small sample of the projects I have been involved in.

FMS TEL Animation Showreel

Can we help you with your project?

If you have a project that you would like to see come to life in an animation, or a smaller component of your teaching materials that could benefit from some animated content, then please get in touch via FMSTEL Enquiries. I would be very happy to discuss options with you to see what we can do to help.