Basic Image Editing in Microsoft Photos

You may not have expensive software like Photoshop for image editing or you may just want to do a quick edit. There is a free option for basic editing in Windows 10. It’s called Photos.

If you’d like to find out how to do basic editing in Photos then check out this guide on the FMS TEL Community:

Canvas https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/30988/pages/basic-image-editing-in-microsoft-photos

MLE https://mle.ncl.ac.uk/cases/page/30511/

Setting up different types of Discussions

The FMS TEL team recently delivered a webinar: Getting the most out of your discussion boards. If you can’t access the FMS TEL Canvas community, please enrol yourself before retrying the direct link.

As a follow up to that webinar we have created follow along video guides and step by step written instructions on how to make the ideas and suggestions a reality. Our guides cover:


Voting and Polls ✅

These can be set up in around 2 minutes and no external tools are required. Students can quickly share their opinions or provide feedback in a similar format to Social Media.

Discussion Folders ?

Is your modules area looking cluttered? Organise your discussions into folders so they are easy to navigate.

Sharing Group Discussions ?‍?‍?‍?

Group discussions in Canvas can be a great option however they have the disadvantage of only group members being able to see what was contributed. If your course would benefit from groups being able to share with other groups after the task then we have 2 solutions for you.

Multiple Posting Points ??

Some courses may require students to share personal experiences. In this guidance we offer a solution for student to choose if they post to the whole cohort or just to the Teachers on the course.

Anonymous Posts ft. Padlet ❔

Currently Canvas does not allow anonymous posts. To get around this limitation we can create boards using an External Tool Padlet and embed Anonymous Padlet Boards within Canvas and the MLE.


Humanising the Online Experience – Guide

A new guide has been created in the Humanising the Online Experience area on the FMS TEL Canvas Community, and can be accessed directly. You can download this document to keep a summary of the webinar tips handy, or read it below. If you can’t access the FMS TEL Canvas community, please enrol yourself before retrying the direct link.

Humanising the Online Experience

This document summarises the tips from the FMS TEL Humanising the Online Experience webinar. The full set of resources can be found on the FMS Community, including rationale, research, and links to resources. This should be read in conjunction with the University guidance and the guidance available within your school. Not all tips will be useful for all situation or all students – you know your students and can select appropriate strategies.

Objectives

  • know how to set expectations and maintain these
  • have strategies to make synchronous sessions more like PiP interaction  
  • have strategies to be more present in non-synchronous aspects of a course  

Summary

  • Humanise your teaching by being compassionate to your students and yourself.
  • Set clear and reasonable expectations, and be predictable.
  • Know your student (‘s names)!
  • Ensure student contributions are easy to make and clearly valued.
  • Be authentic rather than perfect – acknowledge the awkwardness and tech troubles.
  • Create opportunities for regular quality authentic interactions with students.
  • Appreciate the strength of video and live interaction in terms of richness of interaction, while noting that this makes it more intense to participate in.
  • Recognise the benefits of non-synchronous activities in reducing pace and intensity, allowing for more reflection and considered responses, and bridging time zones.

Expectations

Learning online is a change of culture and this needs to be recognised. Students and staff are still negotiating how the classroom works in an online context and sometimes there is a misalignment between staff and student expectations.

Expectations and Assumptions

Remember that your session may not be the only session that students are attending that day. Acknowledge the challenges of the online way of working and work with students to adapt to these. Consider:

  • A poll or survey to check what is going on with students.
  • Reach out to learners who are not engaged or are not progressing.
  • Discuss how to adapt to the online environment.
  • Draft a Group Learning Agreement together and share your expectations clearly.

Make it easy for students to access your session by being predictable. Repeat similar task/session structures and activities to cut down on instruction time.

Maintaining Expectations

Consider using a holding slide at the start of each session with session expectations on it. Repeating these helps remind students of the required standards. Include/be mindful of caveats. For example, instead of ‘Students must have cameras on at all times’ try ‘Students should keep cameras on where possible’. Encourage through gentle nudges – thanking students for complying rather than taking an ‘enforcer’ stance. Lead by example wherever possible.

Synchronous Strategies

Camera Off

You can use these camera breaks for any type of task, such as considering an answer to a question or looking at a new resource and responding. Make sure that you use clear start and end points, stay silent for some time yourself, and warn students before feedback or further input starts. If students don’t have to worry about how they appear on the camera, they can more effectively concentrate on the task. Camera-off time allows for moments away from the emotional stress of being ‘under scrutiny’, and it eases screen fatigue if the student has had other classes prior to yours.

Explain that camera-off time will be included in your session introduction and expectations. This mitigates the problem of people thinking they need to choose on or off at the beginning of the session and then stick to it, making ‘camera on’ a much less intimidating choice and allowing an easy way in for shy students.

Hide Self View

If you find your own image distracting, click on your image in Zoom and choose ‘hide self’. Note students do need to be warned that this doesn’t hide others from seeing them! This feature is not yet available in Teams, but you can always stick a post-it on your screen!

Chat

Asking students to drop their responses in the chat box allows shy students to participate more easily and allows those who prefer to learn through discussion to do that without taking over the session. Students can go back and review the chat if it is saved for them too. This is quicker than setting up a shared document.

Authenticity

Acknowledge the awkwardness of video teaching and that you understand their awkwardness too – we’re all in it together and may need to push out of comfort zones. Be animated and show your personality/humour a little – it’s OK to smile or make jokes. People always come across ‘flatter’ on screen than in person, so the extra effort is worth it. Admit if things are a little tricky or go wrong and take a moment to fix them before moving on smoothly. Suggest a five-minute break if the whole session has been halted for tech reasons so that you can fix the problem and regroup your thoughts. Have a question or little task for students in your back pocket in case of difficulties.

Icebreaking

Icebreakers almost always feel contrived but still work – acknowledge this and be encouraging as you try these activities out. Try these in small groups in breakout rooms first. You will likely need to visit the rooms and push the energy levels up initially. Whole group icebreakers can include things like asking everyone to send a reaction emoji or give you a thumbs up/down on camera in response to questions.

Wait Time

Teachers are often guilty of not waiting long enough for an answer – usually overestimating the time they have waited. This wait time feels worse in the online environment. You need to wait longer than normal online because it takes time for students to type a response or switch on their microphones. Give a long wait time for your questions and use a timer (either on screen or silently on your phone/another screen) to make sure you are giving students enough time to respond. Lengthen your wait time if students haven’t responded, and state that you are giving them more time.

Acknowledge Individuals

Start the room early and greet students as they arrive in the room – a simple hello and using the students’ names is a lovely start! Ask students to set profile pictures on Zoom (not necessarily of themselves) to help differentiate them visually if they don’t put their cameras on. This makes them more memorable individually than a sea of names in text. Explain why you are doing this. Make effort to learn and use students’ names as you would in PiP. That doesn’t necessarily mean picking on students for questions, it can be thanking them for contributions and greeting them too. Suggest students do a video/audio introduction either privately or in a shared discussion space.

Have we started? Are we done?

Normally this is done non-verbally or with body language like standing up and coming to the front or packing away notes. Clearly announce the start and end of the class time. Consider leaving the room open for a little while after class for less formal chat.

Breakout Room Strategies

Set expectations: What do they need to achieve? By when? When will you check in with them? Warn students if/how you will do this and be consistent.

Use monitoring strategies as in PiP. Visit each breakout room quickly at the start to check everything is understood, say when you will visit again and follow up. You do not always have to contribute ‘in person’ by dropping into the room – you can also drop comments and annotations on the page. Some tasks can be monitored by a Sharepoint folder in tile view to watch multiple documents being updated simultaneously. You can’t read text, but you can set up documents with visually distinctive features such as empty boxes to be filled, or items to be sorted/moved around on the page. You can also monitor web tools and documents for each group by opening each group’s document or page in a new tab in your browser and clicking between, or even tiling them in separate windows if you have enough screen space.

Non-Synchronous Strategies

In addition to the above strategies, some of which apply in a non-synchronous setting, the tips below are unique to the non-synchronous environment.

Presence

Maintain an online presence by regularly participating in discussions and giving feedback. Show students that their discussion board posts etc. are being read by someone. This doesn’t mean always being available; it just means setting aside some time to connect. Consider running an ‘office hour’ drop-in via Teams, Zoom, or Canvas chat.

Text-based interactions

Bear in mind that tone is more difficult to convey in writing than in person. Supplement your text with emojis where appropriate or if you think there is a chance of misinterpretation. If a message seems impolite consider differences in culture and language usage – English has a tendency to be full of pleases and thank yous in a way that other languages aren’t.

Scheduling, planning, linking

Ensure that non-synchronous tasks are part of the flow of learning and that the knowledge gained is referred to in synchronous sessions. Create clear learning objectives with completion linked to synchronous events or certain dates, and make sure you feed back on them. This gives the learning more value. Set time aside to clear up issues arising from non-synchronous teaching if needed.

3D Object Photography

3D object photography can have many purposes from selling products to interactive learning. It can be a complicated process, but we recently found a way to do it at home or in the office.

The thinking behind this for FMS is for the ability to show things such as models of parts of the body for example, which students away from the lab won’t have access to. They can interact with the object, and look 360 degrees around it. You can use a host such as Sirv (Links to an external site.) to create an interactive object.

Below is an example of what can be created. It can be viewed in full screen from the Sirv website:  https://tracyncl3d.sirv.com/Head/Head.spin (Links to an external site.) 

Would you like to try it yourself? You can find a guide on this in the FMS TEL Community

https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/30988/pages/3d-object-photography-at-home

Using Canvas Commons

Michelle Miller shares her learning about Canvas Commons, which she has been using to share FMS digital skills content across multiple courses in Canvas.

Canvas Commons

Canvas Commons is a repository where Canvas course creators can upload all or part of their course for easy access and sharing within their organisation or to the Canvas public. You can use Canvas Commons to store your content (for your eyes and access only) or for wider use. It is an easy way to access and import Canvas content to multiple courses. This post will walk you through the steps of publishing part of your course in Canvas Commons.

Sharing to Canvas Commons

Begin by identifying the module, assignment, quiz, page, or other module content you want to share in Commons. In this explanation we will discuss sharing a module, but the same steps can be used for sharing a part of a module like an assignment, page, or quiz.

In the module title, select the three vertical dots and choose Share to Commons.

You’ll now be taken to the Commons uploading page where you will select settings for your Commons item.

Sharing and License:

                Toggle – Is this an update to a previous shared resource? This tool allows you to make updates to items you have already shared in Commons. These updates are pushed out to anyone who has imported your Commons content, thus allowing you to make changes and updates to content globally.

                Who can use this resource? – You can choose ‘Only Me’ for content you want to be able to import into future courses, but do not want others to have access to. Or, you can choose All of Newcastle University to give access to anyone at the university, or Public to give access to any Canvas User.

                Content Type – This allows you to mark the content specifically as a template or open textbook. This is optional.

                License – Choose the level of license you wish to apply to the content. This is especially important to consider when making the content Public.

                Add Additional Information – This is where you can enter the details for attribution, such as the author to credit and date of publication/copyright.

Metadata:

                Title – Give the item(s) a short but descriptive title that would help others locate and understand its content.

                Description – Provide a detailed description of the content. This should help others understand what is covered by the content.

                Tags – These optional items allow you to tag specific words or phrases that help identify and describe the content to improve search recall.

                Image – Choose an image to display on the Commons card for your content. You can upload your own image or choose one from the Canvas photo library.

Grades:

                Grade/Level – Use the slider to mark the appropriate grade level for your Commons content. This can span multiple grades, e.g. Undergraduate and Graduate.

Press the Share button when you have completed all the settings for your Commons content. You will now find your content under the Share tab in Canvas Commons. Remember, you can make changes to your Commons content and push updates in the future. You will be asked to enter version comments when doing this. It is recommended you note the date the update is processed.

Importing Canvas Commons Material

Importing Canvas Commons material is easy to do. Simply go to the Home page of your course and choose Import from Commons button on the right side of the screen. Search for the item by title, name, institution, or tag. Select the correct item then choose the Import/Download button on the right side of the screen.

Select the course or courses you want to import the content into and choose Import into Course. You will receive a message saying the content has successfully imported.

The content will now be shown in the relevant page in Canvas, e.g. a module import will be shown on the Modules page. You can then choose to edit the module, assignment, quiz, or page as you normally would in Canvas. Imported assignments will be shown at the bottom of the assignments page under “Imported Assignments”. You can make changes to content as you would edit your normal Canvas content.

Summary

Sharing to Canvas Commons is an easy and effective way to make your course content available to yourself in other courses, others within the university, or with the wider Canvas public. It allows you to access not only your own material, but material created by others that you might find useful for your course. It also allows you to showcase your material to the Canvas public.

ReCap – Adding an Audio file to a Video

Resulting from a few queries from FMS staff, we have added some information to the FMS TEL Community detailing how to add audio to a video using ReCap.

Staff had recorded footage of processes or experiments in laboratories which they wished to add a narration over afterwards. There was existing audio or noise on the video which they did not want to include. Rather than go through the process of removing the unwanted audio, ReCap/Panopto ignores the audio if the video is uploaded as a Secondary file. Audio can only be uploaded as a Primary file.

You may want to record your audio narration first using your mobile phone or software such as Audacity on a computer with a microphone. A common format would be mp3. Then upload your audio narration as your primary file and your video as a secondary file. Any audio in your video file is ignored and the new audio you recorded will be played instead.

See the full guide ‘Adding an Audio file to a Video‘ on the FMS TEL Community course in Canvas.

Randomness

As part of our Humanising the Online Experience webinar, we suggested the use of name selectors to take the decision-making out of selecting a student to answer a question. We recommend you use this only when you have gotten to know your students well enough to know how they respond to being asked questions by name. Using a randomiser tool can also reduce the feeling that the teacher is ‘picking on’ a particular student too often – both for the teacher and the students!

There are a lot of online tools available, such as:

The slight hitch with using these is that they are not reusable – you need to paste the names in every session.

It’s possible to create one of these yourself using Excel, which you can then save and re-use for the class time and again. A 2-minute tutorial for this, and an example file, is available on the FMS TEL Canvas Community. If you haven’t got access to that community in your Canvas yet, first enroll here.

Of course, you can use these tools for more than just selecting names. You could use this to randomly assign cases for students to study, or assign group roles. You can use them to generate lists of anything in a random order by noting outcomes.

During icebreaker games or other tasks, you may want to try a heads-or-tails or dice-roll randomiser, and there are many other randomising tools available on Random.org.

What does that mean again? Glossary Building

Why use a glossary?

“A glossary is a great reference tool for a student, especially when they’re studying material which is quite technical and contains a vocabulary which is specific to the subject.”

David McGeeney, MCR8019 Module Leader

“Well, our students come from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, are based in different countries and have different experiences.  And when you’re dealing with clinical scenarios you really can’t afford to allow confusion and misinterpretation to happen, especially where the subject material is quite technical.  Adding a glossary to ONC8004: Developments in Diagnostic Imaging in Oncology allows us to focus the webpage content on teaching and learning whilst linking to explanatory terms for those who need it.”

Victoria Hewitt, ONC8004 Module Leader

Benefits of using a Glossary

  • Ensures all students are familiar with discipline specific vocabulary
  • Provides a reliable reference tool students can use throughout their studies
  • Content can be more concise
  • Easy to create
  • Can be rolled over year after year

Making your own Glossary

It could be as simple as having a dedicated page located near the start of the content which students can reference throughout the course.

screenshot of a glossary in canvas

You can view example glossaries in the FMS Community, along with instructions on how to add navigation options such as an A-Z menu at the top and ‘Back to top’ links.

Copyright

The cross-university LTDS Flexible Learning 2020 course has information for everyone on copyright at this link. But there are some aspects likely to be more specific for FMS which are discussed here.

Copyright
Copyright is the legal right of the creator of an original work to the exclusive rights for its’ use and distribution. It does not protect an idea though, just the expression of an idea whether they are in the form of a journal article, a book, an image, a video or any other media.

This means that you may not indiscriminately use any image or other media you find online.

Don’t run the risk of legal action; check provenance and obtain permission!

Creative Commons

When media are marked ‘Creative Commons’ or ‘CC’ this means that you are allowed to use the material with provisos according to licence type, whilst the creator retains the copyright of the material.

Creative Commons has a searchable database where you can look for materials which are legal to be used under CC licences; you can find it at this link. It covers YouTube, Wikimedia Commons and Flickr amongst others. Canvas has a searchable database of CC images, to access these select ‘Unsplash’ when you click the image icon in the text editor.

There are different types of licence which govern what you are allowed to do with the material, shown in this video:

Other free sources of images

There are several searchable databases where you can find images for use in courses. Some of these are detailed below, which may be of interest to bioscientists and medics.

Wellcome Images

The Wellcome Image library has thousands of images available under CC licences, from historical medical images through to electron micrographs. Their website is at this link.

Getty Images

Some Getty Images are available for free via this link.

You will need an account, and you are only allowed to embed certain editorial images for non-commercial use; however there are still plenty to choose from! The embed option (</>) is present when you click on the image if you are allowed to use it; see red circle in image below:

Copy the embed code and paste into Canvas.

Images without an embed code must be paid for.

Radiopaedia

This provides a huge collection of X-rays which can be used for free, as well as articles and diagrams. The website is at this link.

Public domain

Some materials are in the public domain which means they can be freely used. It is polite to attribute these materials to their author.

Most images created by employees of the USA government are in the public domain, e.g. those from the National Institutes of Health.

Some materials are so old that the copyright has run out (more than 70 years). A good example of this is Gray’s Anatomy, available online at this link.

Rightslink

If you cannot find a free source you will need to obtain permission for use of images. This will sometimes require a budget.

Journals which are not Open Access (most of these are Creative Commons, but do check because not all have their images as CC) often have a ‘request permissions’ button, as shown circled in red on the BMJ below.

Image showing 'permissions' button for an online journal article
This image is used with permission! (logged as 18797960 [ ref:_00D205YOi._500D01fS0ch:ref ] on 20.2.2018).

This will take you to a Rightslink login; you can create an account for free and this will allow you to say what you want to use the image for, and what type of institution we are: despite charging for courses we are a non-commercial institution. Complete the dropdown boxes, then find out from ‘Quick price’ whether the licence is free or not, and act according to your budget. Remember to print the licence or at least store the licence electronically as well as filing the email you will be sent as well.

The licence will tell you the wording to use beside the image. An example can be found here: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP LICENSE

Other permissions

Other permissions may be harder to obtain due to lack of attribution. If created by a named academic they can generally be tracked down to their institution and if you email them permission is often readily given; hopefully we would be as obliging if the request was made to us.

Editing with VLC Media Player

As we have had a couple of enquiries via FMS Enquiries about audio and video, we have added some information to the FMS Community on how to edit using VLC Media Player. VLC media Player is a free application which allows you to play and convert videos. You can save in many different formats.

You may be looking to add new audio to an existing video, or remove audio before commencing adding a new narration. For example a demonstration of a practical session in a laboratory, or a tour around a building. You can also extract audio only from a video.

See the guide on how to do this here: https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/30988/pages/editing-with-vlc-media-player