FMS TEL web services downtime 8-12am Tuesday 2nd April

We want to inform you about essential maintenance scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, 2nd April, starting at about 8am.

During this period, all FMS TEL web services will be unavailable, and you may experience some performance issues for a short while afterward.

These are some of the main services that will be affected:

  • FMS TEL Sign in portal
  • NU Reflect, PGR CoP
  • MLE, Evaluation, Feedback
  • Identity, Dental Evaluation
  • FMS Projects, Personal Tutoring
  • Placements, Workshop Booking
  • Grad School SAS
  • WRS
  • Role Play North

This maintenance is crucial for ensuring the reliability and efficiency of our systems, allowing us to continue providing you with the best possible service. While we understand that interruptions can be inconvenient, please rest assured that we will strive to minimize any disruption and complete the maintenance as swiftly as possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

Thank you for your cooperation.

FMS TEL Development Team

Taking Ctrl: Focus Assist – Managing Your Digital Wellbeing

Managing Your Digital Wellbeing
Managing Your Digital Wellbeing

The Problem

With a constant influx of notifications, emails, and alerts on our computers, staying focused on the task at hand can be a challenge. Distractions break our concentration, decrease productivity, and contribute to digital fatigue. How can you ensure a distraction-free environment when you need to concentrate on your work?

The Solution

Windows: Focus Assist

  • Quick Toggle: Windows key + A (to open the Action Center), then click on Focus Assist to toggle it between Off, Priority Only, or Alarms Only.
  • Customise: Go to Settings > System > Focus Assist to customize which notifications you want to see and when.

Mac: Do Not Disturb

  • Quick Toggle: Option + click the Notification Center icon at the top right of your screen.
  • Schedule: Go to System Preferences > Notifications > Do Not Disturb to set a schedule for when you want to silence notifications.

The Result

Activating Focus Assist on Windows or Do Not Disturb on Mac allows you to control when and how notifications appear. This can lead to better focus, improved productivity, and more significant periods of uninterrupted work. Plus, managing your digital wellbeing can reduce stress and enhance your overall experience while working on your computer.

FMS TEL Conference 2022 – Digital Posters

The FMS TEL Conference 2022 is up and running.

To accompany the 16 sessions running between 7th-11th November from 08:00 GMT / 16:00 MYT each day, there are some digital posters which you can access below.

Using Adobe Acrobat to Improve Accessibility pdf

Michelle Miller, PhD – FMS TEL
Using Adobe Acrobat’s Accessibility tool and how its use can improve the documents we provide to our students and colleagues.

A formal case- based peer assisted learning session in undergraduate medical curriculum: Malaysian medical students’ thoughts and beliefs pdf

Dr Alice Kurien, Senior Lecturer, NUMed
Peer assisted learning (PAL) model is being increasingly implemented in many universities as an important active learning support tool to facilitate constructive learning and to enhance the confidence level of students. Several studies have identified the various benefits of peer assisted learning in undergraduate medical education, such as enjoyable learning environment, improved knowledge acquisition, teamwork, opportunity for self-assessment, and motivation to become teachers and mentors in their future carrier. One of the outcomes expected of doctors is to see themselves as teachers and mentors in their future carrier (GMC, 2015).

Peer Assisted Learning in Undergraduate Medical  Curriculum-A Literature Review pdf

Dr Vasantha Subramaniyam, Clinical Senior Lecturer, and Dr Alice Kurien, Senior Lecturer, NUMed
A career in health profession does not just limit to patient care, but includes clinical teaching, research, and administrative duties. To address this effectively GMC recommends to introduce teaching to medical students (GMC,2015). Acting upon this advice, many institutions have revived and started implementing an ancient teaching methodology used by Socrates & Plato, the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) (Topping, 1998). PAL is a broader umbrella term which includes many entities like Peer learning & teaching, Peer mentoring, Peer leadership and Peer assessments. (Henning, 2008). PAL has been noted  to improve the student engagement, self confidence, performance and overall performance (Smith, 2018).

Chameleon Programme – Blended Working

The Project Beginning

In September 2019, I started a Chameleon Programme that was tasked with reviewing how the university could support colleagues to work more flexibly. A particularly relevant topic as it turned out!

The Chameleon Programme is a year long business improvement programme that involves colleagues from across the university working together, in multi-functional teams, on specific projects set by Senior Officers Group . I was teamed with three other university colleagues, who work in different areas of the university and with different roles.  Our project sponsor was John Hogan and we had to set about devising plan and understanding our project scope.

We began by gathering information from sources at the forefront of flexible working, such as CIPD and ACAS, as well as reviewing existing university policies . Interviews with various colleagues across the university, such as School and services managers gave us a better understanding of what ​Flexible working meant in the context of our university. Consensus was that there was support for increased flexible working practices but there was a need for greater guidance to ensure fairness . 

We also had the opportunity to visit an external company, called The Thirteen Group, who are a social housing provider located in Middlesbrough.  Their belief is based on staff being in control of their working patterns with productivity measured by outputs rather than presenteeism. They invested heavily in infrastructure and technology as well as providing guiding principles, with endorsement from senior leadership, which was key to driving the changes. ​It had showcased what was possible.

Desk availability system and The Thirteen Group

We decided to try to mirror some of the Thirteen Group principle through an initiative called ‘Flexible Fortnight’ – the principle was to remove existing boundaries to working times and allow teams to manage working hours accordingly, and we were to capture staff response via a survey.

We had a plan.  We had teams ready to take part in the Flexible Fortnight and had generated recommendations that could be put forward and arranging events to present our findings.

Then, it all changed

Then COVID came along! 

COVID has been responsible in changing working patterns, for most employees, across the university; how we work, where we work and when we work. 

In March 2020, everything changed.  The majority of us were asked to work from home.   It was potentially the best Chameleon project ever! Or it might be the worst ever!

What did that mean for our project?  Well, it meant change too.  We could no longer pursue the initiatives that we had arranged.  So, we created a questionnaire to incorporate feedback about working for home.  We combined the survey results with the findings from our research and submitted a report in June 2020 to our sponsor.  We were also invited to be part of some of the Executive Board lunch meetings that touched on the new way of remote working and listened to feedback from staff across the wider University.    

Its flexible; its informal; its team specific; its build on trust.

This culminated, in December 2020, with an invitation to join a task and finishing group for blended working. The group includes representation from the Faculties, People Services, NUIT, Estates and Trade Unions with the focus on discussing how the university workforce could mix campus-based working and working remotely, post pandemic. Consultations are still ongoing, papers have been submitted to various committees, and webinars have been arranged to give colleagues the opportunity to hear plans first hand. Hopefully, this will be the start of clearer vision going forward.

The Future of working patterns

What have we learnt? A lot! One thing is certain, there is a consensus that we do not want to go back to the way we operated before. Why would we look back when we have come so far? Though the past year has been challenging on many different levels, it has also allowed many of us to gain first-hand experience of working in more flexible ways. There is an opportunity to embrace change from the lessons learnt and build a more modern approach to our working culture and behaviours. To make a change like this before COVID was hard to imagine.

As a project team, we have achieved far more than we ever envisaged; having helped give guidance and findings to potentially changes in University working patterns and policies.  The Chameleon programme lasts for 12 months and this is where it comes to an end for or team. However, we hand over the baton now and the story continues. Only time will show what the university does to progress and evolve the changes it needs to our working patterns.

We have been fortunate in terms of the timing of our project and I feel that we have taken advantage of the situation to allow us to leave a legacy from Chameleon project on the university.

From a Chameleon Project, For the University