Dr Stephanie Holton presented her Unessay assessment task – what could you assess with an Unessay?
At the Learning and Teaching Conference Dr Stephanie Holton, along with two of her students, presented their experiences trialling a new approach to assessment – giving students freedom in how to present their learning, rather than setting a traditional essay task. This work was done in a module examining Ancient Greek texts.
What is an ‘unessay’ – and how exactly does it work? This talk explores the increasingly popular unessay as alternative assessment type, taking as a case study its implementation across several compulsory language modules in the School of History, Classics & Archaeology during 2020-21. Delivered by both the staff and students involved, it highlights the wide range of benefits – as well as the challenges – of diversifying assessment in some of our most traditional modules.
It was fantastic to see how the students were able to approach this new assessment methodology, and the outputs themselves were diverse, including models and digitally-created choose-your-own adventure books. The support provided included workshops and one-to-one sessions so that students knew what to expect, and were confident they were on the right track. While somewhat time-intensive in terms of support, the level of engagement and ownership the students felt around their creations was a clear benefit of this methodology.
Students were able to share their extra curricular creative skills, and the diversity of their approaches meant that they were prompted to explore their texts in new ways – for example researching clothing colours for their model characters that would be appropriate for the time. The need for these extra details prompted students to do more research around their text that they may not have otherwise done, broadening their subject knowledge.
These kinds of assessments open the door to students using and expanding their digital skills, even though this isn’t the focus of the assessment. The element of choice allows them to choose their own level of comfort with how they’d like to present their project – whether this is in a digital format or physical.
The team shares success at the Learning and Teaching Conference – find out more about how DIY and bespoke animations can help boost learning in your course.
Several members of the FMS TEL team attended the NU Teaching & Learning Conference on Thursday 31st March giving strong representation of the team.
It was a great day with some very insightful presentations on a broad range of topics and a very interesting keynote from Professor Paul Ashwin. It was also the first time in years that the conference has been able to be run ‘in person’ and with around 300 attendees it felt like a slight return to normality.
Members of the FMS TEL team had both ‘posters’ and ‘video presentations’ entered into the competitions. Attendees were sent a link to view them and were able to vote for their favourites both in the week leading up to the conference and also on the day itself.
Ashley Reynolds and Eleanor Gordon from the FMS TEL team were delighted to be announced winners of the ‘Best Video Award’ for their video presentation titled ‘Creating and using animations to explain concepts’ which highlighted how animations could be used to enhance teaching, and techniques that will both improve memory retention and also increase learner engagement. The video presentation entry can be seen below.
If you would like to know more about animations and the services that the team can offer, please get in touch.
We would like to say ‘Thank you very much’ to the LTDS team for organising a great conference. Can’t wait for next year!
A video explanation and demonstration of how animations can be used to explain concepts, and when this is most effective.
Teaching and Learning Conference Presentation
Ashley Reynolds and Eleanor Gordon
This video demonstrates how animations can be used to enhance teaching. Some animations require specialist experience to create, but a great deal can be achieved by adding purposeful animations in PowerPoint, or utilising H5P.
Animated diagrams are a rich resource for explaining processes and relationships. Online teaching sometimes means that gestures such as pointing, highlighting and demonstrating motion are lost. Including these dynamic elements in presentations boosts understanding of concepts and processes when compared with static images. (Goff et al., 2017).
All of our posts about this conference can be seen under the tag NULTConf2022.
This lightning talk was presented in person at the Learning and Teaching Conference 2022. Newcastle University staff wishing to access the resources and the recording of the previous extended online version can do so here.
Commons in a cloud storage for Canvas items
Can upload and download pieces to and from your courses
Allows you to promote your material to the Canvas Community if you choose to do so
All of our posts about this conference can be seen under the tag NULTConf2022.
This workshop was presented in person for the first time at the Learning and Teaching Conference 2022. Newcastle University staff wishing to access the resources and the recording of the online version can do so here.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the Learning and Teaching Conference!
FMS TEL are well-represented at the University Learning and Teaching Conference 2022. We look forward to seeing you at the conference, and hearing what you think of our sessions, videos and posters! All of our posts about this conference can be seen under the tag NULTConf2022.
Adopting a flexible approach to professional written exams during COVID
Staff from the School of Dental Sciences and FMS-TEL have collaborated throughout the pandemic to ensure summative assessments continue in a robust fashion to satisfy regulatory requirements. This required a flexible approach to online assessment which continues to be important as the uncertainty continues. This presentation details the challenges we have faced and solutions we have utilised, offering practical advice for those who may wish to run online exams in the future on any platform.
Sarah Rolland and Luisa Wakeling, School of Dental Sciences
Audio Commentary and Structured Asynchronous Teaching of Communication Skills in Dietetics and Nutrition
Role-play and peer observation are widely used as educational methods for teaching communication skills in healthcare education, which has become a greater challenge to implement during the pandemic. In the context of dietetics and nutrition, our students developed communication skills using innovative audio resources. This video will discuss student voice survey findings regarding engagement and quality perceptions of the resources, and advise those wishing to create similar tasks, including task setup and technical support.
Susan Lennie, Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences
Can Scaffolding help Reflective Practice?
This workshop sets out the aims of incorporating reflective practice with scaffolded approaches in your teaching contexts and invites you to explore their potential value in your programmes or modules. Structured reflective templates are one of the key developments of the new NU Reflect system, which are currently being piloted. This session will also offer case studies to demonstrate how colleagues have implemented reflective templates to support the student reflective process within their contexts.
Patrick Rosenkranz, Simon Cotterill, Sam Flowers, David Gillies, David Teasdale
A brief look at the FMS bespoke VLE Ngage, and its special features which were designed for our distance learning programmes. This session will cover how we migrated our content into Canvas without losing functionality and the challenges we encountered. We will also discuss how the content has evolved during the pandemic and the changes made to enhance the student experience.
Emily Smith, FMS TEL
Creating and Using Animations to Explain Concepts
This video demonstrates a how animations can be used to demonstrate concepts in teaching. It showcases advanced animations that are used to show complex concepts and allow for dynamic and interactive content to be shared on screen. Should you not have access to high-end software, the video also shows what can be achieved using PowerPoint animations and shows some tools that can be used to develop understanding beyond static diagrams or simple videos.
Ashley Reynolds, FMS TEL
Designing Convertible Teaching
This workshop provides colleagues with practical tips on how to design teaching that can be converted between online and offline, and synchronous and asynchronous delivery styles with minimal effort. Participants will think through resource design using examples, and apply this knowledge to their own resources brought to the session. Participants will take away technological shortcuts that reduce the burden when changing delivery styles, as well as an understanding of how to design inherently flexible resources.
Eleanor Gordon, FMS TEL
Exploring 3D Anatomy: Collaborative Development of an Inclusive Online Course Supporting Universal Enhancement of Transferable Observational Skills
This talk covers the development of a MOOC which develops students’ skills in 3D Spatial Awareness in the context of the study of anatomy. This collaboration between Newcastle University and the University of Cape Town focuses on specific art-based and technology enhanced learning exercises to develop skills that will enhance students’ capabilities in clinical observation, diagnosis, and surgical training. Prior research and development of specific observation methodologies, their deployment in an online environment, and students’ learning outcomes will be shared.
Iain Keenan, School of Medical Education
Flipping case-based learning online in response to the pandemic
This presentation shares practice from rapid changes made to ‘flip’ learning and teaching in MB BS, in response to the pandemic. This is in the context of a new Clinical Decision Making course, originally designed to use online cases to supplement primarily face-to-face learning and teaching in both UK and NuMed. The pandemic gave need to rapidly shift to predominantly online delivery with more asynchronous delivery. We will demonstrate adaptions made and discuss lessons learned.
John Moss, David Kennedy, Dan Plummer
Staff development: collaboration across continents for using TEL
A study across campuses of Newcastle University into perceptions of TEL use found that staff in the NUMed and Singapore campuses felt they lagged behind in training for using TEL. The FMSTEL team responded with an online conference, collaborating with NUMed, at a time accessible to all. Various topics included specific technologies and embedding online transnational cross-campus teaching in the curriculum. Successful, it may become an annual event.
Alison Clapp, David Kennedy, Ruth Valentine, John Moss and Bhavani Veasuvalingam, FMS and NUMed
Using Canvas Commons to Supply and Support Student Learning Opportunities
What is Canvas Commons, how does it work, and why is it useful for disseminating online learning material? I will present examples of tutorials I have shared and induction material. By using Commons we can promote our material and the University to the wider Canvas Community. This will address the theme of Changing Practice through the Pandemic by focusing on the use of Canvas to provide excellent learning opportunities.