FMS TEL have been checking out an exciting new PowerPoint feature from Microsoft. It allows you to put your live video feed on a PowerPoint slide. You can add transitions and other effects to it, just as you can to other objects.
Have you ever heard students complain about a particular topic? Module Leaders for our Chemotherapy Nurse Training module often come across such complaints for their Cell Cycle topic. As the issue was becoming a perennial problem, we decided to thoroughly review the topic that was causing frustration among our students. This blog post shares our project and the transformative impact it had on our students’ perception and understanding of the once-hated topic.
Revamping the Content
We started with the learning objectives for the topic. Using Blooms Verb Wheel as a guide we changed the wording so the objectives would be measurable, and therefore the students could better understand what was expected of them. We removed words such as “understand” and replaced them with “describe”.
Next we reviewed the flow of the topic. We started with a text heavy page with stock images covering; cell basics, cancer, chemotherapy, and ending with the phases of the cell cycle. This page was edited, removing over 100 words, and rearranged so we covered; normal cells and their cycles, then moved onto cancer and chemotherapy. The stock images were converted into animated infographics that were tailor made for the content being discussed.
The biggest change was with the asynchronous lecture. The audio was good quality and the messages were still relevant, however the lecture slides were text heavy and had an outdated look.
The slides were given a facelift and where possible, animations were used to replace the text. We hoped the animations would assist the students in visualising the processes being described by the voiceover.
Next the students had two tasks to complete. One was to answer some basic questions, and the other was to put their knowledge into action within a group activity. We spruced up the tasks visually, but didn’t make any other changes to them.
We chose to add a “check your knowledge” type quiz, using H5P, at the end of the topic. The questions directly linked to the learning outcomes and we hoped would help the students confidence with the topic.
Student feedback (before):
Found the cell cycle topic very difficult to understand.
I am dreading the cell cycle topic
Student feedback (after):
The topic I have enjoyed most was topic 3 (The cell cycle)
I have particularly enjoyed topics 3 – going further in depth into the cell cycle and pharmacology of the drugs we use has been really useful
I quite enjoyed the cell cycle section…I enjoy the lightbulb moments I’ve had understanding how everything links together.
The module team is thrilled with the amazing transformation we witnessed. Our goal was to address the complaints and make things better for the students. But we ended up surpassing our own expectations. The topic that used to be dreaded by the students has now become one of their favourites. The positive feedback from the students has made us proud and motivated us to continue on our journey for improvement. It’s really amazing to see such a big change in how they feel about the subject, with only a few tweaks in how the content was delivered.
Find out what the move to the cloud means for you – it’s all good news!
(Article reproduced from LTDS Newsletter)
In July 2023, the University will upgrade the ReCap service to the latest version of Panopto (the software that provides ReCap) and transition the service to being cloud hosted.
To achieve this there will be a period of downtime for ReCap during week commencing 24 July 2023. NUIT and Panopto are finalising the exact dates and duration of this downtime and further details will be communicated to colleagues when available.
All current functionality for the service will be maintained and existing content migrated to the cloud hosted service in line with the University’s retention policy (6 years for teaching room recordings and indefinitely for other content e.g. ‘My Folder’ content, conference recordings).
The benefits of upgrading include:
Improved copying within Canvas – making sharing links to recordings from previous years easier and quicker for colleagues, with automatic updating of links reducing the number of students encountering error messages.
Improved live streaming functionality – facilitated by the capacity provided by cloud hosting.
Captioning improvements – including an update to automatic speech-to-text that has improved ASR captions quality, and additional functionality within caption editing including ‘find and replace’ and confidence highlighting.
Distributed recording – allowing presenters in different locations to join the same recording.
Better integrations with other centrally supported software – including Zoom, Teams and H5P. A programme of communication will take place in the coming months to make colleagues aware of the downtime. During the 2023/24 academic year, we will also provide support in using the upgraded and new functionality.
Please send any questions about the upgrade, or any other aspects of the ReCap service, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were recently invited to present this blog, and our experiences running it at the Directors of Education forum. We have recorded this presentation as a video for anyone who may be interested in starting their own blog within their team.
The presentation covers:
Identifying needs and measuring impact
Things to consider before getting started
How to keep a blog running over a long period of time
When captioning and transcribing, what is meant by ‘accuracy’? When are captions good enough?
In FMS TEL and LTDS many team members regularly work with captioning videos, in particular for our own instructional videos or webinars. Recently a few of us have been talking about how we caption videos and how we decide what to correct. After discovering we all had differences of opinion about what to keep and what to edit, it seemed like a good idea to think through the issues.
This webinar from the University of Kent features Nigel Megitt from the BBC talking about priorities when captioning and audio describing TV programme. It includes research on how people with different levels of hearing feel about captions.
Different Types of Captioning and Transcription
Commercial captioning companies offer a range of levels of detail. We do not outsource these tasks, but the predefined service levels can help clarify what decisions are made when captioning. Is verbatim captioning better than a lightly edited video? An accurate set of captions or transcript should include hesitations and false starts, but a more readable one might remove these for fast comprehensibility and more closely resemble the script of a speech.
Destination – who is the audience? What do they need?
Speaker(s) – how can they be best represented? How do they feel about you editing their speech for clarity (e.g. removing filler words) vs correcting captions to verbatim?
Timescale – how fast do you need to turn this around? Longer videos and heavier editing takes longer.
Longevity – will this resource be around for a long time and reach a wider audience? If so it may merit extra polish.
Once you have broadly decided on the above, you can deal with the nitty-gritty of deciding what to fix, edit or remove. Deciding on your approach to these common issues means you won’t have to make a decision each time you find an error in your transcript. If working with a few other colleagues on a larger project you might want to agree with each other what standard you are aiming for to create uniformity.
We don’t usually speak in the same way we write. Normal speech is full of little quirks that don’t appear in text. Some of these include…
False starts (If we take… no actually let’s start with… yes, OK, if we take question 4 next…)
Filler Words (you know, like, so…)
Repeated words (You can do this by… by reading the text)
Other Considerations for Captioning
Remember that captions will be read on screen at the pace of the video. This means that anything that you can do to increase readability may be useful for the viewer. This includes simple things like…
Fixing initialisms and acronyms (PGR not p g r, SAgE not sage)
Fixing web and email addresses (email@example.com, not A B C One At Newcastle Dot A See Dot UK)
Adding quotation marks around quotes.
You may also consider…
Presenting numbers using figures rather than words (99% not ninety-nine percent)
Removing awkward breaks (When Panopto separates a final word from its sentence.)
Fixing inaccurate punctuation like full stops in the wrong places, or commas and apostrophes (this is quite time consuming).
Considerations for Transcription
As well as the editing and tidying jobs above, before beginning to work with your file, consider whether or not the timing points are going to be important, and how you are going to denote different speakers, or break up the text. For example, for an interview you may need to denote various speakers very clearly. By contrast, for a training webinar, even if there are two presenters it might not be crucial to distinguish them. Instead it might be better to add headings for each slide so that the two resources can be used side by side.
Once you have decided on what to edit and what to ignore, your process will move along much faster as you won’t need to decide on the fly.
Keep an eye on the blog over the next few weeks for tips on how to quickly manage and edit your caption and transcription files.
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).
Over the last year or so most of us will have taken the plunge and recorded a lecture or tutorial to share with students. You may be considering reusing this content for years to come, however the date and time on your screencast will give the game away.
I don’t know if some students would have a problem with a video from last year being used again this year… I would prefer the date (which is visible at the bottom left of my laptop screen) to not be visible
FMS Module Leader
We can do this with video editing software such as Adobe Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro, but what if you do not have access to such software?
At this point most of us usually head to Google to find a free alternative. Trying to find a free online tool can be a little daunting and it’s always worth double-checking the usage terms and privacy policies are reasonable.
Over the past few months, the FMS TEL team have been working on bringing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to life. The course, Exploring 3D Anatomy, is an active, hands-on, and engaging online course now available to Newcastle students and staff! The course was designed by Dr Iain Keenan of Newcastle University and Mr Leonard Shapiro of the University of Cape Town.
3D spatial awareness is a cognitive function. Improving it improves students’ 3D visualisation ability and spatial skills in anatomy learning.
In our experience, medical, dental, and other healthcare students can experience significant challenges in 3D spatial anatomy. Because of the three-dimensional arrangement of the human body, student spatial awareness can be a major influence on their anatomical education. In this online course, students can practice several easy-to-follow, hands-on exercises that we have designed to address and improve 3D spatial awareness. Video demonstrations by Iain and Leonard guide students through each activity, which involve the use of readily available household objects such as a piece of fruit, a jar, or a fork.
As simple as these exercises are to follow and carry out, the effect of such activities on improving 3D spatial awareness can be notable. What’s more, the exercises can be enjoyable too!
The practical exercises in the course are demonstrated by Iain and Leonard on video, allowing students to access the content at their own pace. These videos show the exercises in detail and allow students to hear the conversation as the exercise unfolds. Videos are short and simple to follow, and have been captioned by the team to ensure clarity.
All Newcastle University staff and students can join the Canvas course, which is structured in three parts and requires around 4 hours of activity in total. We hope to expand access to an extended version of the course in 2022/23. For further information, please contact Dr Iain Keenan.
Dr Iain Keenan, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy, School of Medical Education, Newcastle University
Mr Leonard Shapiro, Observation and Spatial Awareness Teacher, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town
This course is supported by the following research:
Backhouse, M., Fitzpatrick, M., Hutchinson, J., Thandi, C.S. and Keenan, I.D. (2017), Improvements in anatomy knowledge when utilizing a novel cyclical “Observe-Reflect-Draw-Edit-Repeat” learning process. Anat Sci Educ, 10: 7-22. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1616
Ben Awadh, A., Clark, J., Clowry, G. and Keenan, I.D. (2021), Multimodal Three-Dimensional Visualization Enhances Novice Learner Interpretation of Basic Cross-Sectional Anatomy. Anat Sci Educ. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.2045
Branson TM, Shapiro L, Venter RG. Observation of Patients’ 3D Printed Anatomical Features and 3D Visualisation Technologies Improve Spatial Awareness for Surgical Planning and in-Theatre Performance. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021;1334:23-37. Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34476743/
Reid, S., Shapiro, L. and Louw, G. (2019), How Haptics and Drawing Enhance the Learning of Anatomy. Anat Sci Educ, 12: 164-172. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1807
Shapiro, L., Bell, K., Dhas, K., Branson, T., Louw, G. and Keenan, I.D. (2020), Focused Multisensory Anatomy Observation and Drawing for Enhancing Social Learning and Three-Dimensional Spatial Understanding. Anat Sci Educ, 13: 488-503. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1929