FMS TEL Conference

The FMS TEL Conference ran at the beginning of this month. Fifteen events ran in the week beginning 6th September 2021, with diverse themes covering technology in teaching, technical guides and inspiration, and how we interact with technology as people.

Sessions were attended by staff from Newcastle and from NUMed, with over 150 session bookings across the conference. Feedback from attendees has been positive, and colleagues shared their plans for implementing their learning from the conference.

Many thanks to the session hosts, everyone working behind the scenes, and to the attendees for joining us.

Session resources can be found on our Canvas and MLE communities.

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.

FMS TEL Conference 2021

The FMS TEL Team are delighted to announce their first conference, running in the week beginning 6th September 2021, from 8am-12noon BST / 3pm-7pm MYT each day. The programme commences on Monday morning with a welcome and keynote speech from Professor David Burn, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, and will conclude with an action-planning session on Friday. The whole conference will run online via Zoom, so you can dip in and out of the events that interest you the most.

Throughout the event there will be webinars and practical workshops hosted by the FMS TEL Team, as well as practice-based discussion sessions led by academic colleagues from FMS and NUMed. Sessions include practical software tips, digital skills, assessment, and teaching methods, among others.

You can see the full programme and book your place on the FMS TEL Conference page – new sessions are still being added! We can’t wait to see you all there!

Ethical Framework for Digital Teaching and Learning

In December 2020 I had the opportunity to attend the Association for Learning Technologies’ Winter Conference. One of the presentations at the conference really struck a chord with me and I would like to share a synopsis of what was discussed.

Presenters Sharon Flynn, Natalie Lafferty, John Traxler, Bella Abrams, and Lyshi Rodrigo sat on a panel discussing an Ethical Framework for learning technology. They discussed what they perceived as the biggest issues around ethical teaching and learning digitally.

One of the primary concerns driving the development of an Ethical Framework is the inevitable power relationship learning technologies create between teachers and their students. For example, how can monitoring work in the right way, where it is not there as a policing tool, but rather as a tool for aiding engagement and learning. One of the panellists suggested a simplified form of terms and conditions could go a long way to pacifying student concerns over any form of monitoring.

There are inherent principles about trust and reliability in the digital world. This is evident in many sectors but likely not more than in the surveillance culture of the digital world. We have, therefore, the responsibility to help protect students, and colleagues, as we become more aware of ethical challenges in the digital world.

Another concern relates to fair access. What ethical role does the institution have in ensuring all students have access to the digital tools, such as laptops and broadband internet? What is considered adequate and equitable? How logistically can this be accomplished? And, this is not simply a problem for students. Some teachers will also experience digital tools poverty. This would also include training for students and teachers in the systems, programs, and tools they would be expected to use. (Something that Newcastle University is working hard to ensure exists to support students and teachers in the unique set of circumstances following of from Covid-19.)

Another question brought up was what constitutes harm? This question would be at the heart of an Ethical Framework. How do we as institutions identify harm caused by digital teaching and learning and mitigate it? For example, how does proctoring and the use of e-resources impact students. What about productivity measures? These could potentially be arbitrary and misrepresent what really matters. Some people think these are easy solutions for the current challenges, but they invite the need for an Ethical Framework.

The implications of GDPR and its potential successor also impact the need for an Ethical Framework. Professional bodies are not necessarily thinking of the problems related to approaches like proctoring. So, any Ethical Framework must be rooted in context of principles and be ever aware of the needs and where importance lies withing various other cultures.

This all leads to the need to develop an Ethical Framework for teaching and learning digitally. The panellist suggested that we start from a position of respect and use our values to build an Ethical Framework including student voice.

This summary of the impetus and content of what may be needed in an Ethical Framework for teaching and learning online is certainly worth considering as we enter into the new normal that will likely contain more online teaching than we had pre-Covid. I would be interested to hear (reply below) what you think about what the ALT panellists had to say and what your views on such an Ethical Framework should and could be.