Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards

The Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence awards aim to raise the status of teaching and learning at Newcastle University by rewarding those individuals and teams who make a marked impact on enhancing our student educational experience.

The Award is open to all members of staff, at Newcastle, NUIS, NUMed and NUL, whose work enhances the student educational experience. In addition, applications are welcome from staff of associated employers with direct and substantive involvement in the delivery of the student experience at Newcastle, for example, staff of INTO Newcastle University. Groups of colleagues who work closely together are invited to apply for the team award.

For more information about the award and the application process, please visit the VC’s Award page on the LTDS website.

Error: ‘OMBEA Response is being blocked…’


When presenting you get the error message: “OMBEA Response is being blocked and cannot work properly. Please ensure that Microsoft PowerPoint and OMBEA Response have full privileges. If the problem persists please contact OMBEA support.”


We currently have a workaround that we recommend you carry out prior to presenting if your Ombea slides already contain session data from an earlier presentation.

If the error prompt appears the steps below will remedy the problem:

  1. Go to Clear Results and clear the Session History. OMBEA will loop through each slide clearing the data until it finds a corrupt slide.
  2. When the error message comes up, dismiss it and then look through the presentation to find the first slide that has not been reset. This is the corrupt slide.
  3. Delete the chart on this slide alone but do not replace it yet.
  4. Loop back to the first step and repeat just in case there is another corrupt slide in the presentation.
  5. Once you’ve managed to clear the entire session with no error messages, go to the Properties and add the charts back in but only to the slides you had to delete them from. These slides can be identified by ‘No Chart’ in the Chart Type setting.

We appreciate this is by no means ideal, especially during a lecture, but we will be applying a fix over the Easter break to all campus PCs. If you have administrative rights to your machine you can download the latest version here:

CASAP Review: Share Your Views

LTDS has been asked by ULTSEC to consider what is needed to ensure Newcastle University staff are confident, informed teachers and supporters of learning, able to enthuse, encourage and inform their students.

We will be spending the next 2 months gathering views, ideas and suggestions from colleagues all across the university. Your views will be used to develop a proposal for university approval with a start date for the new provision of September 2019.

To enable us to capture the widest possible range of views we have an online questionnaire, will be hosting a workshop at the Learning and Teaching Conference and will be meeting with groups and individuals to gather their views.

As we gather your ideas and suggestions we will be updating the blog and review web page with the ideas. You are welcome to respond to these ideas as they are posted.

You can find the questionnaire here and our web page here .

Transforming Assessment Webinars

Dr Mathew Hillier, Monash Education Academy, Monash University, Australia and Professor Geoffrey Crisp, PVC-Education, University of New South Wales, Australia will be hosting a series of webinars over the coming months focusing on transforming assessment with  topics such as digital literacy, written and audio feedback and blended simulation-based learning. Take a look at the further details below. Continue reading Transforming Assessment Webinars

Learning and Teaching Conference: Full Programme Announced

Education for life: Celebrating partnership, encouraging innovation
The Boiler House
Wednesday 21 March 2018

The full draft programme is now ready.

There are a varied range of presentations, workshops, lightning talks and posters. Contributions have come from branch campuses,  partners, students, professional services and all faculties. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone on the day to celebrate a partnership approach to education at Newcastle University.

Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor & President, will open the event and welcome delegates. Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching will then deliver a keynote presentation outlining the new Education Strategy.

As well as a further keynote presentation about Learning Gain from Dr Camille Kandiko Howson, King’s College London,  and a range of plenary sessions, you can choose from  the different strands on the programme to tailor your day, whether you are interested in:

  • How do we adopt and develop approaches to education which
    actively engage students in their learning?
  • How can we encourage an educational experience supported and enhanced by technology?
  • How might we develop students as whole people, preparing them
    to flourish for futures we can’t predict?
  • How might a research intensive environment add value to the education of all students at all stages?
  • Or a combination of them all.

If you haven’t yet registered there is still time as registration is open until 9 March 2018. You can sign up here and if you have any questions please email

Inter-disciplinary Learning and Teaching Conference

The University is currently consulting on a draft of a new Education Strategy (see this blog post for further information on this).  One of the important strands running through the draft Education Strategy is the emphasis on multi- and inter-disciplinary educational opportunities:  encouraging and promoting these opportunities is one of the draft Strategy’s aims.

Colleagues working and/or interested in this area might be interested in a conference that’s taking place at Leeds University next month.  The conference title is Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching:  Pedagogy and Practice.  The programme is available at Initial Programme IDLT 2018, and places on the conference can be booked online.

Puzzled by GDPR? It’s UK law from May 2018….

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes law in the UK this May.

Despite the vote to leave the European Union, the Government has confirmed that they will adopt the GDPR, which will therefore be law in the UK from 25 May 2018.

How does it affect learning and teaching?

Well, all members of University staff have certain responsibilities under our Data Protection Policy to:

  • be aware of the Data Protection Act (and therefore GDPR) and what it means to the University
  • follow the policy and procedures for handling personal data
  • consult with the Information Security Officer (Compliance) for advice and guidance when necessary

Wherever personal data is held about anyone, staff, students, visitors etc. there is a legal requirement to comply with the regulation.

The University takes it’s responsibilities for GDPR seriously, and has a number of Information Security Officers who deal with compliance, but there are local requirements and schools and units should familiarise themselves with the changes.

Newcastle University IT service (NUIT) has put together some brief guidance on how the GDPR affects schools, some Dos and Don’ts and some useful links to further guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the regulation itself on the EU website.

There is a Brief Update and Guidance (PDF) from the Registrar.


How can I find out more?

Integrated Programme Assessment Workshop

Organised by ERDP and LTDS

Tuesday 27 March 2018
11:30-15:30: Lunch will be provided
Teaching Room 2,  Level 4, Herschel Building

Are you interested in setting more meaningful assessments that discourage in silo learning and reduce the assessment burden? If so then integrated programme assessment (IPA) may be for you. Continue reading Integrated Programme Assessment Workshop

Star Case Study: Dr Rajesh Tiwari: Flipped Classroom Videos

Enhance the variety of teaching, create a resource students like to engage with and save time in the long run.  These are just a few positive outcomes Dr Rajesh Tiwari, School of Engeneering,  has seen through his use of videos when using a flipped classroom approach.

The videos work brilliantly well when Rajesh wants to give information about practical skills, as well as when there are difficult concepts that need some extra explanation.

Photo of Dr Rajesh Tiwari, School of Engineering
Dr Rajesh Tiwari, School of Engineering

Student Voice

Students have fedback some really positive comments about the videos: Continue reading Star Case Study: Dr Rajesh Tiwari: Flipped Classroom Videos