NUTELA 3Ps: Quizzing

From quizzing in the classroom to embedding quizzes in your recap recordings, our latest Pizza, Pop and Practice event covered them all (with a bit of a Christmas theme).

Our experts for this session were Marc Bennett (NUIT), Rebecca Gill (LTDS), Chris Graham (Mathematics, Statistics and Physics) and Carol Summerside (LTDS). They all provided a great overview of the different tools and the session ended with Laura Delgaty’s International Christmas Quiz with prizes for everyone.

Find out about each of the quizzing tools below: Continue reading NUTELA 3Ps: Quizzing

Blackboard Essential Update – Saturday 16th December 2017

Blackboard Downtime

On Saturday 16th December Blackboard will be unavailable between 8am and 5pm in order to install a critical update.

Why is this necessary?

Bug Fixes

Firstly the update will fix many system bugs including notifications of discussion board posts and a Grade Centre scroll bar fix where the scroll bar obscures a Grade Centre column.

Change to Blackboard Assignment Feature

Blackboard has two assignment handling features: Turnitin and Blackboard assignments. The Blackboard assignment tool uses third party software licensed by Blackboard which enables assignments to be viewed and graded online and this will no longer be available from 15th January 2018. A replacement document viewer and online grading tool will be available following the Blackboard update.

Once the update is completed on the 16th December, you won’t notice any changes to the Blackboard assignment feature. We can make the decision when to change to the new tool up until the 15th January. We plan on moving to the new tool w/c 8th January and we will communicate an exact date prior to then.

Turnitin assignments remain unaffected so if you use Turnitin assignments rather than Blackboard Assignments then this change will not affect you.

What changes can I expect?

When we move to the new document viewer and online marking tool all assignments using Blackboard Assignments will switch over to the new interface. Any annotations carried out using the old grading tool will be burned in to the document and will no longer be editable. You can make additional annotations on the assignments if necessary. New assignments created will use the new viewer and marking interface.

There are some changes in functionality:

  • The new assignment feature will have much better support for file types and fonts
  • It includes the option to print the assignment
  • It no longer supports free hand drawing
  • Assignments can no longer be downloaded with annotations and comments displayed. Blackboard are reviewing this functionality.

We will keep you updated about this over the coming weeks but please note this DOES NOT affect Turnitin assignments.

Any questions about this please contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk.

Undergraduate research: present at BCUR, get Newcastle to pay for it, CV points

If you are an undergraduate or a recent graduate with a piece of independent research that you’re proud of—or you’re a lecturer with students like that—please read on! Newcastle University is looking for people to represent us at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research 2018.

Continue reading Undergraduate research: present at BCUR, get Newcastle to pay for it, CV points

Education for life: Celebrating partnership, encouraging innovation. Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2018. Call for submissions

The Learning and Teaching Conference 2018 theme has been announced: Education for Life: celebrating partnership, encouraging innovation.

This one-day event will take place Wednesday 21 March 2018, 9am-5.30pm.  Read more about the conference theme and find full details of the event on the conference webpage.

Call for submissions: deadline Friday 12 January 2018

Proposals are welcomed from academic staff, students and Professional Services staff, for individual or collaborative submissions. Further information about the conference theme Education for Life: celebrating partnership, encouraging innovation is available on the conference webpage.

Session formats

All sessions will have a member of LTDS staff allocated to help in advance of the event, who will also be in the session on the day.

Workshops (45 or 60 minutes)

A hands on session to solve a problem, practice something new, showcase a method. Learning by doing. Choose a flat teaching space arranged cabaret style, or a PC cluster.

Presentations (15 minutes)

These sessions will be chaired by a member of academic staff, and wherever possible grouped into themed sessions to enable a short panel discussion and Q&A at the end.

Lightning talks (3 minutes)

A speedy way to introduce a new idea, share an approach, or ask a question. Grouped in themed sessions wherever possible. A chance to meet people doing similar things to you. Several lightning talks will be followed by a Q&A session. You can choose whether or not to use audio visual aids, or you could submit a 3 minute video!

Posters

Posters will be on display all day in the Boiler House. Poster presenters should be available by their poster to answer questions during the lunch break. Delegates will vote on their favourite and a prize will be awarded.

Submit your idea

Complete the call for submissions form to submit your ideas by Friday 12 January 2018.

All submissions will be reviewed by the Learning and Teaching Conference Programme Committee, and session allocations will be confirmed by Wednesday 31 January 2018. We will wherever possible try to accommodate your preferred session, however you may be allocated a different session format, at the discretion of the committee.

Contact

If you have a query email LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

Share the poster

If you have somewhere to put it up you can print out this poster, or use this version to send out to colleagues.

Turnitin UK Academic Integrity Summit 2017

I recently attended the Turnitin UK Academic Integrity Summit 2017 held in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  This was a very timely conference following the release of the QAA report into contract cheating.  I was concerned that this would be a day-long sales pitch from Turnitin but was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite. There were many presentations from institutions around the world, but very little ‘grandstanding’ from Turnitin.

Stephen Gow, Academic Integrity Coordinator, University of York

The first session I attended was a look at the approach from the University of York towards academic integrity. They discussed the importance of the language used at the University, moving away from terms such as “plagiarism” towards “academic integrity”. All their students have a mandatory academic integrity online tutorial they must complete in Semester 1 of Stage 1. They are working closely with the student union on their “integrity week” and are also working more closely with staff, including on their Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP).

Turnitin Data Workflows

The second session was a discussion session with the Turnitin staff exploring the types of data and statistics institutions would like to get out of Turnitin. This included reports on feedback return time, statistics around number of students receiving extensions, archiving, learning analytics, and reporting on the various functions used. We hope Turnitin will use this in the further developments of the software.

Bill Loller, Turnitin

The third session was facilitated by Bill Loller, Chief Product Officer at Jobvite, who is working on a technical solution to expose contract cheating for Turnitin. They are using expertise from the field of forensic linguistics to develop a product. Forensic linguistics may be used in a court case to determine whether a person did, or did not, write a document. They are currently testing their modelling and developing a report that will provide a confidence score.

Bill continued this theme into a larger session with the group, showing some of the contract cheating/essay mills websites prevalent online. He admitted that Turnitin may have helped with this problem – “crack down on plagiarism and students will look elsewhere”. These websites offer 10,000 words for approximately £300.

Simon Bullock, QAA

Simon Bullock from the QAA was next to discuss his recent publication “Contracting to Cheat in Higher Education – How to Address Contract Cheating, the Use of Third-Party Services and Essay Mills.”  He discussed the risks to the public if students were obtaining their degrees through cheating but that despite attempts it is not yet illegal to offer essay mill services online. The QAA is exploring as many non-legislative methods as possible.

Irene Glendinning, Coventry University

Irene Glendinning of Coventry University presented her research work analysing the impact of policies for plagiarism in Higher Education across Europe. She highlighted the UK and Ireland as being some way ahead of many other countries in Europe. They have developed an academic integrity maturity model, a tool to compare the results of the impact analysis across 27 EU member states.

Cath Ellis, New South Wales

The presentation that had the most impact on me was from Cath Ellis from the University of New South Wales. Cath reported that there was too much anecdotal information forming decisions, and not enough hard data.

To find out how many students are using contract cheating services, Cath asked them anonymously. Out of the 14,096 students surveyed around 6% (n=814) admitted to cheating in some form during their programme. The vast majority of this cheating comes in the form of assistance from other or former students. It is not commercially driven. The cheating group’s attitudes show they are less likely to think it’s wrong, although there was no discernible difference between English and non-English speaking students. Non-English speaking students are as likely to think cheating is wrong as English speaking students. Other findings of the study showed that when there are perceptions that there are a lot of opportunities to cheat, cheating goes up. And when there is dissatisfaction with the teaching environment, cheating goes up.

Cath discussed the need for students to have “ethical fitness” – we should not try to remove every opportunity to cheat as students need to be ethical.

She then discussed the various types of contract cheating and review some of the typical websites.

Assessment design is widely advocated as a possible solution to contract cheating, but Cath argued that this is a myth. We should not change our assessment design because of a small percentage of cheaters. Reduced assessment time (shorter deadlines) will actually drive students towards essay mills.

Cath noted that we are not having the correct conversations with students and advised us to discuss contract cheating with them. Part of the study looked at the perceptions of how prevalent contract cheating is, compared to how damaging it is. The study showed that students in the cheating group thought that a lot of students were doing it and it was not that serious. Staff members thought it was not very common but it was very serious. Students in the non-cheating group followed the same path as the students in the cheating group. They also thought that lots of students were doing it while it was not very serious.

Professor Phil Newton – Swansea University

The last presentation was given by Professor Phil Newton from Swansea University. He presented various research projects that explored academic integrity.

I found the event extremely useful and I have reflected since on the way Newcastle University approaches academic integrity. The presentation from Cath Ellis convinced me that we should not be changing any approaches to assessment to attempt to counter the small number of cheating students, but we should be minimising their opportunities to cheat. We also need to be having more conversations with staff and students about the promotion of academic integrity, and the impact contract cheating could have on their career.


Boosting ISB Response Rates

The International Student Barometer is currently open and, as with any survey, there are actions that could be taken to help boost response rates.

Mobile Devices

Actively encourage completion using a mobile device. Most people have at least one mobile device and the ISB Survey can be completed on any device by following the personalised link emailed to students. Wireless access is being continuously improved across campus (as a result of student feedback!) which should make this really easy and convenient.

If possible arrange dedicated information sessions or set aside a brief amount of time at the start or end of timetabled sessions for students to complete surveys on their own devices.

Engage Students

Task student ambassadors or stage reps with encouraging their cohort to take part in surveys by posting on School/Programme social media. Encouraging discussion among student cohorts may lead to positive suggestions for improvement. Announcements could also be made on Blackboard community or module pages.

For all internal and external surveys it is important to ensure examples of improvements made both in house and across the wider University in response to results are communicated to students. Try to highlight what has been achieved at local level in response to past surveys of any kind and direct students to the ‘You Said We Did‘ webpage for examples of how student feedback has helped shape the student experience.

Prizes to be won!

Don’t forget to remind students that in return for their valued opinions, all respondents are entered into a prize draw (see terms and conditions). In 2017, the prizes include:

  • 1st Place prize: 5-inch iPad Pro (one available to win)
  • 2nd Place prizes: iPad mini 4 (two available to win)
  • 3rd Place prizes:£20 Amazon gift card (20 available to win)

What does it matter anyway?

The Student Voice is an essential component of how the University does business. We need to hear about student experiences and work with students to improve the student experience for them and for future students. While feedback can be gathered in other ways such as through Student-Staff Committees, student surveys give the opportunity to capture data that can be compared easily between academic years and stages. Positive and negative responses are equally as important as we need to know what we do well so it can be rolled out as best practice, and where we can improve to help students have the best experience possible.

The higher the response rate to a survey, the more representative the findings should be.

If you have any queries regarding the ISB or any examples of efforts to boost response rates you would like to share please contact us.

NUTELA 3Ps: Collaborate and Conquer with Office 365 Groups

Do you need to organise and work with a team on a project? Office 365 Groups is a collaborative tool, enabling you to work collectively when writing documents, creating spreadsheets, working on project plans and scheduling meetings.

The benefits of using Groups in Office 365

Members of a created group will have access to a shared:

  • Inbox for group conversations.
  • Calendar that all members can see and contribute to.
  • 1TB Files Library in OneDrive to store, share, and collaborate on documents, workbooks, presentations, or just about any kind of file.
  • OneNote notebook to gather ideas, collaborate and store research/meeting notes.

Accessing Groups in Office 365

  1. Sign in to your Office 365 account with your username in the format universityID@newcastle.ac.uk and your university password. E.g. nmc84@newcastle.ac.uk or b1013456@newcastle.ac.uk
  2. In the list on the left you should see an expandable section called ‘Groups’ with options to ‘Discover’ or ‘Create’ Groups.

Using Groups in Office 365

Create a group in: Outlook on the web | Outlook 2016

Join a group in: Outlook on the web | Outlook 2016

Have a group conversation in: Outlook on the web | Outlook 2016

Schedule a meeting on a group calendar in: Outlook on the web | Outlook 2016

Share group files in: Outlook on the web | Outlook 2016

Things to consider

Time Sensitive Group Projects:Consider creating a  Microsoft Team for your group. This further enhances group collaboration by offering instant messaging on desktop and mobile in addition to the ability to schedule video meetings and screen sharing.

Audience:  Groups/teams can be made public or private and you can invite members outside of the University to a group or team.

Group/Team Name:  Searchable to all staff and students within the University so please take care when naming your group.

Spring Cleaning: Leave the Office as you found it by deleting your inactive groups.

Make it Private and add a Description:  Add a description to your private group as this will help prevent unwanted joining requests from staff and students.

Group Members Visibility:  Staff and students can see who is a member of a group, even if it is private.

Additional Resources

Office 365 at Newcastle University

Introducing Office 365 Groups

Learn more about Office 365 Groups

Training: Unite your team with Groups

Frequently-asked questions (FAQs) and further ‘How-To’ documentation

NUTELA Funding: New small grants fund available for staff

Do you have an idea for your teaching that uses technology, but need some funding to support it?

Perhaps you know of some interesting technology enhanced learning and teaching at another institution, and would like to be able to visit and explore it further.

Well now you can!

This year NUTELA (Newcastle University Technology Enhanced Learning Advocates) have established a small grants fund to enable colleagues to explore and embed technology-enhanced practices into their learning and teaching.

Applications are invited for a wide range of activities which enable you to explore, disseminate or import ideas and practices, and share these with colleagues at Newcastle through the NUTELA network.

Applications for up to £500 are welcomed, and applications will be on a rolling basis, rather than at set points in the academic year.

For more information about the fund, what it can be used for and to apply, please see the NUTELA Small Grant Fund Application and Guidance Notes.

Any queries should be sent to nutela-steering@ncl.ac.uk 

 

LTDS Working with QAA

QAA/Jisc/HESA Business Intelligence Labs

Over the past few months three members of the LTDS team have undertaken the role of ‘Development Team Member’ as part of a QAA team within the QAA/Jisc/HESA Business Intelligence labs project. The idea is that members of the Higher Education community develop data ‘dashboards’ that analyse existing data in new ways. If deemed of interest to wider sector these dashboards may be published on HESA’s HeidiPlus Community Dashboard site.

Using ‘Agile’ methodology and working with colleagues from Durham, Cardiff Met, Queen’s University Belfast and Bournemouth University (alongside support from a QAA ‘scrum master’ and data and tableau experts), we set out to develop a data dashboard that would allow a university to consider the student journey/value added/learning gain, by looking at different factors and how they affect outcomes and leaning gain, so that support and gap areas and effectiveness of interventions can be identified.

Working remotely with only four face to face meetings the team narrowed down the data source to HESA and DLHE data to analyse the outcomes of students from different backgrounds and answer the following questions;

  • How can we demonstrate that as an institution we add value to students?
  • Does everyone get the same level of value from studying or do some groups continue to be disadvantaged?
  • How do our outcomes compare with the sector
  • How do we compare at subject level with our comparators

The final outcome was a set of data dashboards that can aid an institution to assess their position in terms of adding value. The dashboards were presented to a Jisc/HESA experts group with a voting session at the end. The work produced by the team received strong support and it is hoped that some of it will be earmarked to be made available in Heidi Plus Community Dashboards Beta in 2018.

You can find out more about the Business Intelligence labs project by following the link. If you would like further information regarding the project please contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

 

Assessment & Feedback Event – 1st Nov – all welcome

Assessment and feedback continue to be a source of student dissatisfaction across the sector. In particular student surveys highlight concerns about the alignment of feedback to marking criteria and inconsistencies in both the application of criteria and quality of feedback received.

The HaSS Faculty will be holding a workshop, to discuss these issues in the context of student transitions, on:

Wednesday 1st November 2017
1300-1600 (lunch will be provided)
Lindisfarne Room, Hadrian Building

Though hosted by HaSS, anyone interested in this event from any faculty is welcome to attend – please feel free to disseminate details of this event to your colleagues.

The session will explore the following questions:

  • How can we better understand assessment and feedback in the context of student transitions?
  • What are the assumptions inherent in our assessment criteria and feedback?
  • Can electronic assessment and feedback tools enhance students’ academic literacy?
  • Can we develop a ‘student as partners’ approach in assessment and feedback?

It will be particularly relevant for Degree Programme Directors and Module Leaders, whose input will help identify some key priorities for further action.

It will include presentations from Rowan South (Education Officer, Newcastle Union Students Union), Graeme Redshaw-Boxwell (Learning and Teaching Development Service) and Sarah Graham (Combined Honours).

To attend, please complete the booking form.

If you have any queries in the run up to the event, please contact susan.mclean@ncl.ac.uk.