National Teaching Fellowship Scheme

The Advance HE National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) celebrates excellent practice and outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education. The awards support individuals’ professional development in learning and teaching and provide a national focus for institutional teaching and learning excellence schemes.

LTDS support applications to the NTFS, and work with the National Teaching Fellows in the University to promote their work and teaching excellence. Each institution can nominate three colleagues to each round of the scheme. In 2019 and 2020 the University was very successful with all six candidates successful in achieving their NTF status.

More details about the scheme can be found on the Advance HE website.

Advance HE have created some guidance for participants and institutions for their 2021 scheme.

2021 National Teaching Fellowship Scheme

Application to be an institutional nominee

Nominations are welcomed from all members of staff who feel their work has a major, positive impact on student teaching and learning. Staff who would like to be considered should provide a reflective submission, with a maximum of 1000 words, which addresses the following criteria:

  • Your personal practice and why this should be recognised as outstanding,
  • Your impact on colleagues, both internally and externally,
  • Your commitment to your ongoing professional development.

All UK higher education providers are eligible to enter up to three members of staff that teach and/or support learning in higher education. Your submission should be sent to LTDS@newcastle.ac.uk by 12 noon on the 16th November 2020.

The Advance HE Criteria

Eligibility- Nominees need to be a Fellow of the HEA (any category)

1. Individual excellence: evidence of enhancing and transforming the student learning experience commensurate with the individual’s context and the opportunities afforded by it.

This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of: 

  • stimulating students’ curiosity and interest in ways which inspire a commitment to learning;
  • organising and presenting high quality resources in accessible, coherent and imaginative ways which in turn clearly enhance students’ learning;
  • recognising and actively supporting the full diversity of student learning needs;
  • drawing upon the results of relevant research, scholarship and professional practice in ways which add value to teaching and students’ learning;
  • engaging with and contributing to the established literature or to the nominee’s own evidence base for teaching and learning.

2. Raising the profile of excellence: evidence of supporting colleagues and influencing support for student learning; demonstrating impact and engagement beyond the nominee’s immediate academic or professional role.

This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of:

  • making outstanding contributions to colleagues’ professional development in relation to promoting and enhancing student learning;
  • contributing to departmental/faculty/institutional/national initiatives to facilitate student learning;
  • contributing to and/or supporting meaningful and positive change with respect to pedagogic practice, policy and/or procedure.

3. Developing excellence: evidence of the nominee’s commitment to her/his ongoing professional development with regard to teaching and learning and/or learning support.

This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of:

  • on-going review and enhancement of individual professional practice;
  • engaging in professional development activities which enhance the nominee’s expertise in teaching and learning support;
  • engaging in the review and enhancement of one’s own professional and/or academic practice;
  • specific contributions to significant improvements in the student learning experience.

How LTDS can help:

We can provide support and advice on the NTFS scheme and the application process. For all queries please contact LTDS@newcastle.ac.uk

Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

The Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) celebrates collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning. 

LTDS support applications to CATE, and work with the National Teaching Fellows/CATE winners in the University to promote their work and teaching excellence. Each institution can nominate one team to each round of the scheme. In 2020 there was success for the E-Learning Unit in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics, who received the Award for promoting the use of technology to support the teaching and learning of mathematics in the School, University and wider community. 

More details about the scheme can be found on the Advance HE website, as well as guidance for participants and institutions for their 2021 scheme.

2021 Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence 

We are pleased to announce the launch of the University process to determine the institutional nominees to the 2021 Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence. 

Application to be an institutional nominee 

Nominations are welcomed from teams who feel their work has a major, positive impact on student teaching and learning. Collaborative teams who would like to be considered should provide a maximum of 1000 words, which address the following criteria: 

  • Evidence of excellence in the team’s collaborative approach
  • Excellence in the impact of collaborative working

All higher education providers are eligible to enter one team. Your team’s submission should be sent to LTDS@newcastle.ac.uk by 12 noon on 16th November 2020. 

Advance HE Criteria 

1. Excellence in the team’s collaborative approach: Evidence of excellence in the team’s approach to working collaboratively; commensurate with their context and the opportunities afforded by it. 

This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of:  

  • having a clear set of aims, objectives and rationale for the team’s approach and how the group constitutes a team and developed as a team; 
  • demonstrating direct engagement of students within or with the team; 
  • illustrating how the team has contributed to wider thematic and sector priorities, for example, assessment and feedback; retention, employability, staff development; students as partners; technology and social media; 
  • working collaboratively with a range of stakeholder groups; 
  • embedding practices across different programmes, disciplines, campuses or institutions; 
  • being flexible and creative in working to address unanticipated situations or events; 
  • measuring the impact or outcomes of collaborative work. 

2. Excellence in the impact of collaborative workingEvidence of the team having a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning beyond their immediate academic or professional area. 

This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of: 

  • the reach of the team’s work; 
  • the benefit or value derived from working as a team; 
  • the impact of supporting colleagues and/or influencing support for student learning; 
  • the impact on student learning or outcomes; 
  • the impact of any outcomes/outputs of collaborative work. 

How LTDS can help: 

We can provide support and advice on the CATE scheme and the application process. For all queries please contact LTDS@newcastle.ac.uk

How do I know whether my students are engaging with their modules and who might need more support?

As we move into the new academic year this is a question that many colleagues may have.

With an increased amount of online teaching and non-synchronous learning activities, ensuring that students are effectively engaging with their studies will be particularly important in 2020-21.

Many of the ways in which you gauge whether groups of students, or individuals, are engaging in the teaching on your module will remain the same, some will need tweaking for different teaching formats, and others tools and information are new for this year.

This blog post gives a whistle stop tour through some of the approaches that colleagues may be using in 2020-21 to look at students’ engagement in their modules and identify those needing additional support or guidance.

Reading the (Zoom) room

Whether the session is on campus in present-in-person format, or an online synchronous teaching session, as educators you will still glean much from observing your students as they participate in their small group teaching.

 This can be as simple as keeping an eye on attendance. If a student doesn’t attend a session or multiple sessions without cause or notice, follow up with them and potentially escalate this to their personal tutor if required.

Tip: To find a student’s Personal Tutor search for them in NUStudentSearch

For those that are attending, are they participating? Are they contributing to discussions, working with other students on the learning activities you set, asking questions in or outside of the session?

Does the informal check in in teaching week 3, as detailed in the Student Voice schedule, highlight individuals or groups of students who are struggling to engage in the module? Perhaps it helps you to identify content or topics that need revisiting or a need for further support on how students should approach their learning? There are many ways you can approach this informal check in which provide you with feedback on students’ engagement.

What does your Canvas show?

Our new VLE Canvas, has an in-built tool which provides a wealth of information about students’ engagement with the teaching materials and activities in your module.

The New Analytics tool in Canvas provides a daily updated set of information to colleagues on the module at the level of the whole cohort, and down to individual students.

This tool allows you to get a quick overview of the module, providing useful real-time insights as the module progresses including:

  • marks and averages for both formative and summative assessments
  • data on student participation with structured learning activities –  including collaborating in Canvas, posting in online discussions, responding to announcements and other forms of student activity
  • weekly page views data showing the sections of the module and resources being accessed  

Its flexibility means you can also look at the level of all students, smaller groups or individual students to identify those in need of support and to inform conversations with your students.

A screen shot showing an example of the data available in Canvas New Analytics. This graph shows the average page views and average participation data for the whole cohort and an individual student over a 2 month period.

You can also easily directly contact specific students based on their activity through the tool, a way of highlighting additional resources on a particular topic to those whose quiz scores suggest they would benefit from this, for example.

For more information on the tool and how to access it see the staff guides on the Digital Learning website.

What about attendance monitoring?

The Attendance Monitoring Policy has been adapted to the new academic year, to allow schools to take a more flexible approach of considering a combination of attendance and engagement information.

  • Present-in-person teaching sessions will continue to record student attendance via room scanners for those students who attend in Newcastle, with reports accessible in SAMS through the usual processes.
  • Where colleagues wish to take attendance, but the teaching session is not held in a space with a scanner, they can choose to make manual attendance lists which can be input into SAP.
  • As some students will be studying remotely, and the SAMS data will therefore only provide a partial picture, a new report in Canvas can be accessed alongside this data. The Zero Activity Report will show any students who are enrolled on the course but have not accessed Canvas in the period specified when the report is run.

It is recommended that colleagues in schools look at the SAMS data and Zero Activity report in conjunction as part of their monthly attendance reporting.

The Zero Activity report can be run more regularly, and colleagues are recommended to run this a few weeks into term to identify any students who have not accessed the VLE or participated in their learning across their programme of study.

It can also provide additional information to Personal Tutors or Senior Tutors when identifying a need for, and providing additional pastoral support to, individual students. 

Be Course Ready on Canvas

To help you to check that the Canvas course for your module is ready for your students, we have created a handy checklist which can be found on the Canvas section of the Digital Learning Website. You can also view our downloadable pdf version.

Remember, your Canvas course must be published for your students to be able to access it. This also applies to archive courses from 2017-18 to 2019-20. 

If you need help with Canvas you can access the following channels of support: 

Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence Roadshows

The Advance HE Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence (CATE) celebrate collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning.

LTDS support applications to CATE, and work with the National Teaching Fellows/CATE winners in the University to promote their work and teaching excellence. Each institution can nominate one team to each round of the scheme.

LTDS will be promoting further details of the application process to become an institutional nominee soon. Advance HE are running webinars for those thinking of applying. Details below:

Prof Mark O’Hara, CATE-Net Co-ordinator, Advance HE, will be facilitating four webinars – three (repeated on different dates) focusing on helping those applying for CATE in the 2020/21 academic year, and one focussing on helping those thinking of applying further in the future. Details of these CATE webinars are as follows:

Applying for CATE in 2020/21

If you are planning to submit a claim for CATE in the 2020-21 cycle these briefings will introduce you to the nature of the Award and its associated professional and institutional benefits. It will help you to understand the process and timelines and will offer practical suggestions and advice from previous CATE winners.

Continue reading Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence Roadshows

Online Assignment Submission Principles

In 2014  University Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee agreed a set of principles which stated that all appropriate assessments should be submitted through Turnitin. 

Now we have moved to Canvas as the Virtual Learning Environment, this has opened up some new options for online submission. Alongside the Turnitin tool it is now possible to create Canvas assignments, which offer features like double blind marking, group submission and moderated marking, whilst still using the Turnitin similarity checker.    

Given the new functionality now available, this is an appropriate time to revisit the principles.  The updated Online Assignment Submission Principles were approved by University Education Committee in August 2020.   

These principles are guidelines for how to get the most from submissions, advising that the Turnitin Similarity checks are carried out on Canvas and Turnitin assignments. If you allow students to submit multiple drafts they should not be allowed to see the similarity score, unless the assessment is focused on improving the students’ academic writing. Where appropriate the students’ work should be added to the Turnitin repository.   

The principles recommend that Schools communicate to their students when their work is going to be put through the Turnitin similarity checker.    

Full details are available in the Online Assignment Submission Principles document Online-Assignment-Submission-Principles.pdf  

If you require support creating assignments, or using the marking tools, please see our list of Canvas webinars https://services.ncl.ac.uk/digitallearning/canvas/colleagues/training/ 

or the Flexible Learning 2020 Webinar programme https://services.ncl.ac.uk/digitallearning/contactandsupport/dropins/ 

Update on the status of the ReCap service

Update – 7th October 2020

All functionality has now been restored and the ReCap Service is running as normal. It is therefore possible to:

  • View recordings – recordings are available to use and share with students
  • Process recordings including the generation of automatic speech recognition (ASR) files for the addition of captions
  • Make recordings – recordings can be made using the Personal Capture Software and Panopto Capture
  • Upload media created elsewhere – if you have created recordings using other software while the ReCap service was unavailable these can now be uploaded to the system if you wish to do so 
  • Edit recordings – editing functionality is available including the import of automatic captions.

A full ​list of recently restored services can be viewed on the IT Service NUconnect website

Support

‘Video: Making Content at Home’ webinars can be booked via Elements

For further help and advice regarding any video creation options please contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk 

Planning your teaching? New Flexible Learning 2020 webinar dates available

New webinars available for colleagues planning their teaching and creating their content. Find out more and book using the links below: 

New sessions 

New dates available for 

Daily drop ins 

Need some specific advice on that one little thing you need to be able to do with your content/assessment/learning activity? Pop into a drop in sessions and we can help you decide what might be most effective way for you.

Join any session at the days and times noted on the Flexible Learning schedule. (Campus login required: nid@newcastle.ac.uk)

Full schedule and how to join (no need to book drop in) 

Flexible Learning 2020 resources and support

Visit the flexible learning webpages to find out more about the support available for the implementation of the Education Resilience Framework (ERF). You can also access a number of step by step guides to help support teaching delivery in 2020/21.

What tools should i invest in?

3 interaction types

We start 2020 with our new VLE, Canvas, and a rich array of digital learning tools that can be used to support teaching. There are so many possibilities and it could easily be overwhelming.

This is a short post to begin to answer one of the questions I heard last week “What tools should I invest in?”.

But, let’s back up a bit,  before considering tools we need to think about what we want these tools to help us to achieve? Way back in 1998 Anderson and Garrison described three more common types of interaction involving students:

  • Student-content interactions
  • Student-teacher interactions
  • Student-student interactions

Let’s use this to come up with our list…

Student-content interactions

Your starting point here is Canvas itself. You can present information on pages, embed documents, link to resources on library reading list, include videos, audio and ReCap recordings.

Go to tool #1 has to be Canvas itself.

Linked to this is tool #2 Canvas quizzes.

Canvas support a wide range of question types: multiple choice, gap fill, short answer, matching, multiple answer.  Quizzes can help students practice skills, check their learning and encourage them revisit material.

For short PowerPoint narrations the easiest place to start is the recording features that come as part of ReCap.  We tend to think of ReCap as a lecture recording tool, but there is also a fabulous ReCap Personal Capture tool that you can use to record yourself, and publish in Canvas.  There are several bonuses with using ReCap – you have the ability to do make simple edits, you can use automatic speech recognition to generate captions, and students have the ability pause, rewind and make notes on the recordings that you publish.  ReCap personal capture comes in as tool #3 – you can install on your computer, or if you prefer you can use the new browser based recorder – Panopto Capture (beta).

Student to Teacher interactions

Outside the limited amount of PiP time you are likely to be meeting your students online.  For synchronous meetings there is increasingly little to choose from between Zoom and Teams – the only significant factor being that Zoom permits people to connect by phone – so supports those on lower bandwidth.

Now is a great time to become confident with the online meeting tool you are planning on using throughout your module.  I’ll leave it to you if #4 for you is Teams or Zoom – it would be sensible to settle on one, for you and your students.  Teams could be a strong contender if you plan to use this as a collaboration space over the module/stage, in which case do review the article on Building an online community using Teams.

Once you setting on your meeting tool, now is a great time to explore options for using whiteboards, polling, breakout rooms in these spaces and to begin to plan active online sessions.

For tool #5 I’d go with Canvas Discussions – these are easy to use, work really well in the Canvas Student and Teacher apps and are great for Q&A sessions, introductions, crowd-sourcing activities, and of course discussions!

Student to Student interactions

Learning at university is a social! There are huge limitations on what we can do in person – but what can we do to help learning be as social as it can be?  This isn’t so much about tools, but about the activities we design in: break out room discussions, group tasks, peer reviews, debates – things that might start in a timetabled session and then spill out.

For synchronous meetings and study sessions all our students have access to Zoom and Teams.  We can model how to use these, build students’ confidence in these spaces and show them how they can collaborate in Microsoft 365 collaborative spaces (Word documents, OneNote…).   I’ve already mentioned Teams and Zoom (#4), so for tool #6 I’ll pitch for Microsoft 365 with an emphasis on collaboration.

What do you think?

These are my top 5 tools, you may have a different list.  What have I missed out?