Inspera: June 2024 – New Features and Resources  

New Feature: Grading of Candidate Selected Questions (CSQs) 

If you are marking an Inspera exam where students have been given an option to answer certain questions from a range of question options (i.e. students answer one out of three possible questions), this is known as Candidate Selected Questions (CSQs). When in use, the grading per student function (where markers would move to the next student awaiting grading using the downward direction arrow), meant that markers were shown the next student in the list, even if they had answered an alternate option.  

Now, markers who move to the next student using the direction arrow next to the student information (as shown below), will find clicking the down arrow will take them to the next student who answered the same question option. This means that marking of a particular question can be achieved. 

More information about the candidate selected questions feature can be found on the Inspera Help Centre.   

New Feature: Deleting Multiple Questions 

It’s now possible to select more than one question and delete in bulk. Previously, the deletion was only possible per question. Deletions should only occur if you no longer wish to use the question, for example, if you found errors or will no longer use the question in future.  

Deleting questions can be done via the Author Tab.  

To delete multiple, select the tick boxes on the left hand side of the questions you wish to delete. 

Multiple questions can be deleted simultaneously by using ‘move to trash’ – a pop up which will appear on the bottom panel. 

New Resources

The Digital Exams Team have created some new resources for colleagues. We have a brand-new website dedicated to the use of Grading Committees in Inspera. This website provides users information about what these committees are, how to use them and Frequently Asked Questions area.  

We have also recently released information on our colleague facing Inspera webpages relating to Inspera Feedback Release, as well as an Inspera for Professional Services Colleagues area.  

Inspera Marking: Hints and Tips

As we enter the assessment marking period, the Digital Exams Team want to share some marking ‘hints and tips’ for Inspera Digital Exams. Check out some of our hints and tips listed below. 

Hints and Tips

  1. To attach yourself to an exam as a grader, make sure you click the link from the Inspera assignment point in Canvas. This takes you into the ‘Deliver’ area of the exam and you can click the ‘Open in Grade’ button to enter the ‘Grade area’. 
  1. If you need to search for a specific student, within the ‘Overview’ section of the Grader area, you can search for a student number to locate their submission. In the screenshot below, ‘stutestX’ is a placeholder for a student ID. In your exams you will see student numbers listed instead. 
  1. If you are in the Grade area and need to go back to the Deliver area (for example, to set the feedback settings), there is a shortcut available. Click the ‘Options’ button at the top of the screen and navigate to ‘Shortcuts’. Select ‘Deliver’ and click ‘Open test in Deliver’, 
  1. It is possible to download raw marks from Inspera as an Excel file. Click the ‘Options’ button at the top of the screen and navigate to ‘Downloads’. Select ‘Marks as Excel file’, 
  1. As standard the Digital Exams team will set up the Canvas assignment associated with your Inspera exam as 100 points. This means (once released) students will view their Canvas Gradebook mark as a proportion. If you’d like students to see raw marks, please edit the Canvas assignment points area to match that of your total Inspera marks.  
  1. For manually marked questions, Graders can add Annotations to student submissions. Within student submitted text, click the left mouse button and move the mouse across the text you want to annotate. Click Annotate:  
  1. Within the Grade ‘marking’ area there is a search icon for students now for all graders. When marking, use the bottom panel to navigate to specific students using their ID. For example: 

Further Support

Webinars

The Digital Exams Team run two dedicated marking webinars which colleagues can book onto: 

These training webinars cover a range of marking workflows, including how to amend auto-marked questions and adding annotations to manually marked questions such as essays. 

Videos

There are a range of marking videos available on the Inspera L&T website which provide on-screen demonstrations of grading tasks. 

Feedback Release

If you would like to release feedback to your students on your auto or manually marked Inspera questions, check out our dedicated webpage on Inspera Feedback Release for further information.

Further questions?

If you have any questions about marking an Inspera exam, please contact the Digital Exams Team via Digital.Exams@newcastle.ac.uk.  

If you have any hints or tips that you think we could add to the above list, please do share them with the Digital Exams Team. 

Demonstrable impact on teaching and learning: 2024 The Association of National Teaching Fellows (ANTF) Symposium 

Each year, the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) celebrate and recognise individuals and collaborative work that have had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning.

ANTF symposium

As a professional development adviser in the Academic Practice Team at LTDS who support colleagues learning and teaching development as well as the deputy TEAL at Newcastle University who support the NTF and CATE nominations, I attended the 2024 The Association of National Teaching Fellows (ANTF) Symposium at Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK, on 23rd to 24th April, which features two days of sharing and reflections from NTFs and CATEs in relations to wellbeing, Innovation and Impact, Reward and Recognition and Equity and Ethics. 

National Teaching Repository

A variety of effective practices and resources have been introduced throughout the conference. For example, the National Teaching Repository, which is an open access online searchable database where tried and tested strategies ‘that work’ can be housed and harvested. Contributing and sharing your effective teaching and research via the platform means effective ways to Measure the impact of practice as well as making the resources more discoverable, shareable & citable as you will Attain a unique DOI for each item uploaded. 

The National Learning and Teaching Focused Network

Another example is The National Learning and Teaching Focused Network, which connects colleagues in learning and teaching focused roles across the UK Higher Education sector. Through a one-hour workshop, presenters’ first-hand experiences were shared, and we discussed some common concerns and feelings among staff members who have a learning and teaching focused role, that in being learning and teaching focused, staff can feel misunderstood and like they do not belong. They often don’t know how to tell their “story” for promotion and because these pathways are relatively new and often the guidance from HR and senior staff can be lacking or at best narrow and restrictive. Yet these colleagues bring a richness and diversity to their institutions, but this is often rarely recognised. As a group, we explored the breadth of roles and activities of staff on learning and teaching focused pathways (The photo below shows some examples of the wide range of roles we discussed as a group). 

Raising the profile of professional service staff with teaching and learning responsibilities

One of the important and timely discussion I engaged with was a workshop exploring potential ways to raise the profile of professional service staff with teaching and learning responsibilities. Within the higher education sector there are a significant number of teaching and learning professionals employed on non-academic contracts. This could include Learning Developers, Librarians, Technicians or Learning Technologists, for example. However, despite the important role these individuals play in the student learning experience, they are particularly underrepresented in institutional nominations for the NTFS: only 5.8% of NTFS nominees in 2023, 5.1% in 2022 and 10.6% between 2018-2022. Questions were raised and discussed, which also are important for professional services colleagues who are considering NTF and CATE applications as well as for those institutional stakeholders who support such applicants. 

 For example: 

  • What are the range of professional service positions with teaching and learning. responsibilities?  
  • Where might professional service staff with teaching and learning responsibilities be based within a university?  
  • What are examples of professional service staff with teaching and learning responsibilities influencing institutional teaching practices within your institutions?  
  • How can the profile of professional service staff with teaching and learning responsibilities be showcased to the institutional Teaching Excellence Award Leads (TEALs) who support and submit the nominations?  
  • How can teaching and learning evaluation be inclusive of professional services to support demonstration of impact? 

Mapping scholarship

A highlight of the conference was an interactive workshop on Making scholarship Inclusive, in which we discussed a key notion and concept, i.e., ‘scholarship’, with the growing emphasis on ensuring a sound evidence base for education, arising from ‘scholarship’ activities. Based on presenters’ recent ‘Mapping Scholarship’ project demonstrated that some staff are uncertain about what ‘counts’ as scholarship, whilst nevertheless undertaking activities that relate to education, that are or could be public, evaluated, and impactful, and thus are easily included under broad definitions of scholarship. Kern et al.’s (2015) Dimensions and Activities Related to Teaching Model (DART, see Figure below) proved immensely useful for stimulating discussion of the nature of scholarship. We discussed and evaluated the potential limitations of this model, and considered a proposed model that is both inclusive and useful in stimulating scholarship activity. 

  

  

https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/josotl/article/view/13623/25313

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about how to get your teaching recognised, please go to the page to explore a potential route and contact APT if you have any questions. 

A review of Student evaluation for Inspera  

Inspera Assessment, one of the University’s Digital Exam platforms, is in its third academic year of deployment. Following the launch of Inspera, the Learning and Teaching Development Service (LTDS) have asked for student feedback annually. Such feedback aids LTDS to ensure we are continually developing the service to improve student experience when taking an Inspera Digital Exam.  

  • 142 students submitted their feedback in academic year 21-22  
  • 104 students submitted their feedback in academic year 22-23 

Our comparison findings: 

Students are reporting that they are more satisfied with Inspera Digital Exams in academic year 22-23 compared with 21-22.  An increase is also seen in its ease of use: 

Evaluation statements from Student Users 21-22 22-23 % increase (21-22 to 22-23) 
I found starting my Inspera exam somewhat or very easy 81% 89% +8% 
I found submitting my Inspera exam somewhat or very easy 80% 93% +13% 
I am satisfied or very satisfied with my experience of taking an exam(s) using Inspera within a PC Cluster venue 73% 79% +6% 
I have tried at least one Inspera demo exam  60% 73% +13% 

The use of demo or practice Inspera exams is also on the up. Students reporting using demos more so in 22-23 compared with 21-22; this is reflected in the increased figures on the self-enrol Student Inspera Demo Canvas course. Enrolment figures across the demo exams showed an 87% increase in usage for 22-23.  

Student engagement with Inspera demos is encouraging and LTDS would like to thank all colleagues who are promoting the use of demo exams to aid students’ familiarity with the Inspera platform. Try it out or share with your students: Student Inspera Demo Course

Next Steps 

LTDS will be requesting feedback from students for our current academic year after Semester 2’s assessment period. Where possible please encourage your students to complete the form as it helps to continue the improvement of the service. 

Working inclusively: a refresh of the Accessibility in Practice course

Whatever our role, creating documents and other content that can be accessed and used by everybody is an essential professional skill.

The good news is that creating content that’s inclusive and user-friendly is actually quite simple, and the bulk of it can be done by creating good working document templates and making minor adjustments to work flows.

Accessibility in Practice has existed as an online course for a few years, but has just had a refresh to bring it up to date with the latest legislation (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WGAC) 2.2), and in using the most up-to-date tools in Microsoft365 and within Canvas.

Accessibility isn't extra steps, it's steps you've missed.
“Accessibility isn’t extra steps, it’s steps you’ve missed.”

Accessibility in Practice is an online course that will take you about 60-to-90 minutes to complete.

  • Learn about the the importance of working inclusively and embedding accessible practice.
  • Structure your documents effectively for screen readers and other assistive technologies.
  • Optimise images, hyperlinks, colour contrast, and media content for maximum accessibility.
  • Evaluate and fix your content using built-in checking tools in Canvas and Microsoft apps.
  • Create captions, transcripts, and accessible PDF documents.

You can access Accessibility in Practice through Elements.

Education for Sustainable Development Resources

Are you interested in finding out about Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and how you might embed ESD in the curriculum?

We have recently updated the information on ESD on our Learning and Teaching site.

Along with exploring what we mean by ESD in the curriculum and how we can embed it to enhance the student experience, the site includes:

  • A toolkit for collaborative innovation with the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • A project on mapping SDGs across the curriculum
  • An SDG board game GETSUST! and
  • A range of excellent case studies from colleagues sharing ESD best practice

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/learning-and-teaching/strategic-priorities/education-for-sustainable-development/

The resources available have been created by Academic Services, SNES, FMS and NUBS colleagues.

New assessment resources: assessment briefs and programme perspectives

We have recently added two new assessment resources to the Effective Practice branch of our Teaching and Learning site.

Both of these draw on the outputs and findings from our Assessment and Feedback Sprints. These brought together student, academic and PS colleagues to tackle common issues that student experience with assessment.

In this post we’ll fill you in on the background to new resources.

Continue reading “New assessment resources: assessment briefs and programme perspectives”

Canvas Blog: Using Announcements Effectively

This is the second post in our blog looking at specific tools and aspects of Canvas and how they can be used to further improve our students digital learning journey.

The Importance of Announcements

Canvas announcements are a potent means for fostering effective communication between instructors and students. Announcements can fulfill various roles, including welcoming and guiding students, summarizing key concepts, and reminding them of impending assignments, projects, and exams.

Despite their importance, there is a prevailing tendency among students to disable announcement notifications, attributing it to an overwhelming influx of notifications and email spam, in light of this, we present a set of recommended best practices.

Best Practices

  • Carefully consider your purpose before crafting an announcement, avoiding duplication of information already covered elsewhere.
  • Establish a regular schedule for posting announcements. Consistency helps students anticipate and look forward to updates, creating a routine that enhances engagement. These regular announcements could include recapping the previous week and providing a preview of what students can expect in the upcoming week.
  • Give your announcements meaningful titles that precisely convey their content. Utilize descriptive titles like “Week X Update” or “Important Date Change for Assignment X” to help students easily locate relevant information when needed.
  • When composing your announcement, use the toolbar features to format bulleted or numbered lists for improved readability. Employ headings to separate topics into different sections. If necessary, attach a document to an announcement rather than including a large amount of text in the body.
  • Establish clear communication expectations with your students at the beginning of the course. Consider allocating 5 minutes at the start of the semester to give students a tour of the Canvas course site and discuss how communication will occur throughout the semester.

Utilizing Delay Posting for Scheduling Announcements

To streamline the process of maintaining a consistent announcement schedule, we highly recommend leveraging the delay posting option. This feature enables you to draft announcements in advance and set a specific day and time for their publication in your Canvas course. Until the publication date, the announcement can be edited, allowing for the addition of any supplementary details or updates as needed.

Postponing an announcement is a straightforward process. Just create the announcement as usual (consider making a basic template for consistency), and then choose the “Delay Posting” from the list of options at the bottom of the page.

Finally choose a date and time for the announcement to be published. Your students will then receive a notification as normal once the announcement is published.

Next Steps

Instructure has an excellent set of web guides on how to use Canvas effectively: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/tkb-p/Instructor

Additional information can also be found on the Canvas Orientation page: https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/76

Additional Canvas training is provided by LTDS on a monthly basis, you can sign up on elements below.

Getting to Know Canvas – Introductory Webinar: https://elements.ncl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1749

Using Canvas Effectively – Advanced Webinar: https://elements.ncl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2202

Alternatively if you are interested in booking an in person workshop for colleagues within your school then please contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk

Canvas Blog: Creating Engaging Interactive Content Using H5P

This is the first in a series of blog posts looking at specific tools and aspects of Canvas and how they can be used to further improve our students digital learning journey.

The Importance of Interactivity

Developing interactive educational content is crucial for creating an engaging online learning experience. This approach enhances students’ effectiveness, engagement, and motivation by facilitating active learning instead of merely receiving information passively. Furthermore, the ability to include small self assessment activities within such content promotes self reflection allowing students to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. According to Yung-Ming (2013), interactivity plays a huge role in

“the perception of the ease of use of the learning system, as well as the consideration of the usefulness and the interest that stimulates.” Theodosis Karageorgakis

Why use H5P?

As a busy academic, it can be challenging to find the time and resources to enhance your teaching methods. However, H5P is a powerful tool that can significantly benefit your teaching, even amidst a busy schedule. Here’s why: 

  • Interactive and Engaging Content Creation: H5P simplifies the process of crafting interactive and engaging content. This feature boosts student attention, engagement, and overall enjoyment of the learning experience.
  • Time Efficiency: H5P offers a user-friendly interface along with a diverse range of pre-designed templates, facilitating the swift creation of interactive content. Once you grasp the tool, time savings are achievable through template reuse and the modification of existing content—whether created by you or shared with colleagues—to suit various topics or courses.
  • Versatility in Activity Types: H5P provides a multitude of activity types, such as interactive videos, presentations, quizzes, games, timelines, and more. This versatility enables you to accommodate different learning styles and adapt your teaching methods to the diverse needs of student groups. Whether your aim is knowledge assessment, concept reinforcement, or fostering critical thinking, H5P offers a broad spectrum of options.
  • Seamless Integration with Learning Management Systems: H5P seamlessly integrates with our learning management systems, including Canvas. This integration streamlines the content creation process, allowing you to stay within your Canvas page. Consequently, it minimizes the need for students to navigate between multiple tools.
  • Accessible Help and Support: H5P includes built-in tutorials for all content types, providing readily available assistance. Additionally, we offer further support through workshops dedicated to using H5P, fostering a collaborative environment for sharing knowledge and skills among colleagues.

How to build a simple resource

The video below shows how you can quickly build a simple H5P resource and/or import the Christmas advent calendar to add to your Canvas course.

Examples of H5P in practice

Click on any of the content types below to see an example of some of the excellent resources being created across the University.

Course Presentation

Interactive book

Flash Cards

Interactive Video

Branching Scenario

Getting started – Next steps

The H5P website https://h5p.org/ has a wide range of examples of content to get you started thinking about how you can use this amazing tool within your own teaching practice.

There are excellent step-by-step guides to creating various content types available at https://h5p.org/documentation/for-authors/tutorials

Training is provided by LTDS on a monthly basis, you can sign up on elements below.

H5P Introductory Webinar: https://elements.ncl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1722

H5P Advanced Webinar: https://elements.ncl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2141

Alternatively if you are interested in booking an in person workshop for colleagues within your school then please contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk

Finally if you are looking for some festive content for your students you can find the Newcastle University H5P Advent Calendar below, click the reuse button to export it. There are instructions in the video above.

Fellowship of Advance HE Celebration Event

Newcastle University’s commitment to excellence in education was front and centre at a recent event hosted by Professor Ruth Valentine, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Education, and supported by LTDS (Learning and Teaching Development Service). Approximately 45 attended, including colleagues and postgraduate research students, gathered at the newly refurbished Courtyard Restaurant for an evening of celebration and recognition. The festivities were complemented by refreshments, including drinks from our very own Stu Brew, Europe’s first student-run microbrewery. The event was not only a celebration of our students’ and colleagues’ achievements, but also a testament to the vibrant learning community at Newcastle University. 

The highlight of the evening was the acknowledgment of colleagues and PGR students who had successfully gained Fellowship recognition from Advance HE in the 2022/23 academic year. Professor Ruth Valentine, in her welcoming address, expressed her heartfelt congratulations to the 160 colleagues who achieved this prestigious recognition. Many colleagues who are UKPSF Mentors joined the event to celebrate the achievements of their mentees. The upbeat atmosphere resonated with the notable increase in fellowship recipients compared to the previous academic year, reflecting a growing commitment to excellence in learning and teaching. 

“As a university, we value our colleagues and are dedicated to providing a high-quality educational experience for our students,” said Professor Valentine. She emphasised the importance of reflecting on teaching practices and aligning them with relevant pedagogies, reinforcing the commitment to the institution’s core values. The Professional Standards Framework, with its flexibility and inclusivity, allows colleagues across various roles to achieve recognition, fostering a culture that values and supports diverse contributions. 

The occasion also highlighted the diverse range of roles among fellowship recipients. It was particularly pleasing to see education managers, technicians, and colleagues from central services such as the Library, NUIT, Careers, and LTDS, among those recognised alongside academic colleagues and PGR students. This inclusivity underscores the University’s commitment to excellence in all areas of teaching and learning. 

Moreover, the Professional Standards Framework’s alignment with the broader learning and teaching sector contributes to a culture that elevates the importance of education and promotes a sense of reward and recognition. The event served as a reminder that gaining fellowship recognition is not the final destination; it opens up numerous opportunities to contribute to the wider learning and teaching community at Newcastle. 

As Dr Paul Hubbard, Chair of the UKPSF (United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework) CPD Scheme Board of Studies, emphasised, becoming a UKPSF Mentor is one such opportunity. The event expressed gratitude to all UKPSF mentors, acknowledging their invaluable contributions. Mentors play a crucial role in supporting colleagues through the recognition process, and the Dr Phil Ansell Award for Mentoring, which was introduced in 2022/23, further recognises their dedication. This year’s deserving winner, Dr Matt Forshaw, exemplifies the impact mentors can have on their mentees. 

The event concluded with an invitation for all attendees to actively engage with the wider learning and teaching community at Newcastle. Opportunities are plentiful, from participating in the University Learning and Teaching Conference (18th April 2024) Learning and Teaching Conference | Learning and Teaching @ Newcastle | Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk) to becoming mentors or contributing to the case studies of effective practice database, as well as education networks within our Faculties and Schools. The call to contribute to national initiatives like the National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) and Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) was also extended. 

As the celebration drew to a close, it was evident that Newcastle University stands not only as a centre of academic excellence but also as a nurturing community that values and celebrates the contributions of every member.