Buddycheck Updates

There has been a system update to Buddycheck which alongside some improvements to the student view has opened up some new functionality when creating evaluations. The major changes that users will notice are described below. User guidance available on the Digital Learning webpages has been updated to reflect these changes.

Creating an evaluation and reusing questions

When creating a new evaluation you will now be asked to add a title before moving to the full evaluation set up page. There is now the option to use a previous evaluation as a template. To use existing questions in a new evaluation you now need to select an old evaluation as a template.

Buddycheck create evaluation screen with title entry and template selection hihglighted

Student introduction

There is now an option to add in an introduction to the evaluation for students. This will appear to students before they begin an evaluation alongside some new additional guidance on the question types included in the Buddycheck evaluation.

Student introduction test entry

Question ordering

Question order can now be updated by using drag and drop. You can preview, edit or remove questions from an evaluation using the appropriate icon.

question ordering alongside edit, preview and delete icons

Adjustment factor cap

It is now possible to set a minimum and maximum value adjustment factor cap for an individual evaluation.

The adjustment Factor is the average rating of the student divided by the overall average rating for all members of the team. This is used to adjust the individual student mark

It is possible to use either the capped adjustment factor or the original factor with no cap applied when deciding final marks.

For more information on how the adjustment factor may impact marks see the adjustment factor guidance and the adjustment factor excel example.

adjustment factor amendment options

Adding team questions

Alongside the existing ability to create scored questions, it is now possible to create team questions that ask students to answer a 5-scale question about the team as a whole (strongly agree to strongly disagree). Team questions do not contribute to the adjustment factor. 

Team question creation screen

Option to ask students to ‘motivate’ peer question score

When creating a peer question it is now possible to ask students to optionally motivate  scores, i.e. provide a comment as to why they have selected a score for their peer. This is now possible as part of the question rather than through the use of open questions at the end of the evaluation.

For any queries on these changes please contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk or see the guidance at the Digital Learning webpages.

Getting ready for semester 2

We’ve pulled together a helpful list of new and existing resources for colleagues preparing for semester 2. There are lots of quick tips, ideas from colleagues as well as guides, courses and webinars.

Getting ready for semester 2 digest

An easily skimmable digest of ideas, resources and useful links covering Canvas, assessment, synchronous online sessions and more.

What works?

Get ideas and inspiration from colleagues who have generously shared how they redesigned and delivered teaching in Semester 1.  You can read about what has worked in their short accounts on our effective practice database

See how modules have been redesigned, how fieldtrips have gone virtual and how lots of achievable ideas have kept students engaged.

Webinars

View and book onto available webinars.  We know time is short, so we are adding digests to the webinar listings to make it easy for you to pick up key messages from the sessions.  New webinars include Digital Polling  and NUIT will be offering some revamped Zoom sessions. 

Canvas

We have an ongoing programme of Canvas webinars and have updated and extended the Canvas Orientation course.  These will be vital for colleagues new to teaching this year.  Remember too that all staff and students can pose questions to Canvas 24/7 support.  

Flexible Learning Online Course

All colleagues also have access to the Flexible Learning 2020 Canvas course which articulates changes needed under the Education Resilience Framework.   

Join a Community

Share ideas, ask questions and find out more from your colleagues

You might be interested in the Zoom CommunityTeams CommunityCanvas Community and Numbas Users.  

NUTELA (Newcastle University Technology Enhanced Learning Advoates) and Newcastle Educators also run regular practice sharing sessions and have Teams sites that you can join.   

Visit the Digital Learning Site

We continue to improve the guides and resources on the Digital Learning Site and have noted important changes in the site’s newsfeed.

Get in touch

Let us know if there are any other resources you would find helpful or if you would like to share some of your teaching practice. You can get in touch at LTDS@ncl.ac.uk .

What works? Sharing effective practice with online/blended learning

A recent DELT Forum was a great impetus for collecting some new examples of what works with online/blended learning here at Newcastle University as the current situation has meant that lots of colleagues have been doing lots of really great stuff to make student learning experiences rich and meaningful.

There are 9 new case studies to explore right now and more to come soon at the case studies site.

A team drawn from LTDS and FMS TEL drew together examples of effective practice in action on three themes:

  1. Supporting and promoting a sense of community for students in online environments.
  2. Providing pathways for students through online modules/programmes to help them structure their studies and learning.
  3. Achieving, promoting and maintaining student engagement with online learning. 

The slide deck from this event is available to all Newcastle University staff.

It contains examples from all three Faculties together with supporting resources and pointers to more developed case studies and contact details for colleagues.

If you have something you’d like to share please let us know by emailing ltds@ncl.ac.uk and we will get back to you.

Learning and Teaching Conference 2021

1 March – 5 March 2021

The Learning and Teaching Conference 2021 will showcase effective, creative and collaborative approaches to learning and teaching from across the University.

Workshops, presentations and lightning talks will be spread across the week, for our first ever fully online conference allowing you to pop along to connect with colleagues and share new ideas. We are pleased to be welcoming keynote speakers Professor Sue Rigby Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University and Professor Dilly Fung Pro-Director for Education, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

As the 2020 event couldn’t take place we can’t wait to see you at this year’s event. Keep a note of the date in your diaries. More information to come.

If you have any questions get in touch LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

Guiding students through your Course

When you are working remotely it is really easy for students to be confused about what needs to be done and what’s important week by week.

Here are 3 simple ideas to help.

1. A module “roadmap”

Here are examples of roadmaps from a number of modules – they show what is happening week by week and help make connections between what is happening.

View examples from Law, NUBS and HaSS PGCert in more detail or read the case study from Ros Beaumont to find out more.

2. Use Canvas modules to set a flow through your course

Use your Canvas modules to direct student’s activity week by week or topic by topic. Every Canvas course has a sample structure that you can adapt to match your teaching pattern. You can hide or lock materials that aren’t yet relevant and even set requirements so that student need to view or complete certain conditions before they can move on.

See our updated information on Canvas modules in the Canvas Orientation course.

3. Suggest timings for activities

Without the normal structure of face to face time on campus it’s harder for many students to structure their time.

HSS8007 indicationg timings on activities

Add a weekly overview to give students an idea of your expectations for how much time to spend on the activities for a given week. This will help them plan their time, and make sure they give their attention to the things that you signpost as being most important.

From overwhelmed to ordered

It will take a bit of time to consider ordering, signposting, and setting a flow in your modules, but this need not be onerous and it’s one way you can help your students feel less overwhelmed in these strange times.

NUTELA 3Ps: Canvas Quick WIns and Engaging Students

NUTELA is back, with our first online 3Ps sessions of the year (this time the 3P’s stand for Practice Practice Practice – you’ll have to bring your own pizza and pop!). Please sign up for as many sessions as you like:

Canvas Quick Wins: Refreshing your Home and Module Pages – 15 December 2020, 14:00-15:00

See how to give your Canvas home and module pages a quick make-over, and create a fresh and engaging experience for students. The session will focus on building content with ideas and examples from colleagues.

Sign up to Canvas Quick Wins: Refreshing your Home and Module Pages

Canvas Quick Wins: Keeping Students Engaged – 16 December, 10:00-11:00

Colleagues will share how they have used course-requirement ‘tick lists’, quizzes and collaboration tools to keep students engaged. The approaches covered are all quick to implement, effective, and popular with students.

Sign up to Canvas Quick wins: Keeping students engaged

Tips and Tools for Cutting out Radio Silence: Engaging Students During Synchronous Sessions – 17 December, 14:00-15:00

In this session we will explore new and existing tools and strategies that colleagues are using to engage their students during synchronous online sessions.

Sign up to Tips and tools for cutting out radio silence

Hosting videos using different platforms

Videos have become an important medium for remote learning. Video is a great way to communicate with students and an excellent learning resource. Information and guides to support you with the creation and editing of videos that can be found on the digital learning website. But once you have created our video content, where do you host it?

ReCap

When it to comes to choosing a platform to host your videos, it is personal preference. However, we recommend that you use ReCap wherever possible. ReCap is centrally supported by Newcastle University, it’s free to use, and all videos are hosted online. Importantly ReCap is also fully integrated into Canvas which makes the process of embedding videos into a Canvas course very straight forward.

ReCap allows you to add embedded questions (e.g knowledge checks and quizzes) within the video. Videos can be sorted in group teaching folders that will make it easy for all teachers even if they didn’t create it, to embed the video content into a canvas course if you are unavailable.

Microsoft Stream

You may use Microsoft Stream to host your videos, this option comes with a couple more considerations. Embedding a video from Microsoft Stream into your Canvas course is only a few extra steps, please be aware Microsoft Stream is not fully integrated into Canvas and will required using embed codes as you will see in the video below. Students will also need to be logged into Microsoft Office 365 for any Stream videos to play. It is also worth pointing out that at this moment (December 2020), Microsoft Steam is having difficulty functioning on Safari.

Captions and Transcripts

Accessibility is essential, and ReCap and Stream will auto caption your videos quickly and with a good level of accuracy, however it is important to review them for any errors. There is more information about captions and transcripts available at the digital learning website.

Additional Resources

How or where to host your video is a very important consideration and there are various options available to you. The following page will give you more information on the three options we recommend with how to guides for using these systems including how to publish and embed a ReCap recording as well as content about streaming videos through Stream.

The videos below are a quick step by step guide to using ReCap and Microsoft Stream.

ReCap

Stream

If you want further information and guidance on ReCap and how to use it, please see our guides and videos.

Have your say: staff focus groups on enhancing the student learning experience

With increased emphasis on online and remote learning, and the need to focus on innovative ways to support students, Newcastle University is currently reviewing the use of student data to support students’ learning, and how to incorporate reflective learning as part of staff and student practices.

We need your input…

The University is running focus groups that will offer you the opportunity to contribute to two topics that impact on the student learning experience and provide you with the tools to enhance student engagement and attainment. Please see below for details.

Using data to support student learning

We would like to invite you to take part in an online focus group on the use of student data to support teaching and learning. Newcastle University aims to understand whether staff and students would benefit from the use of a learning analytics system to enhance teaching, personal tutoring and student attainment.

Learning analytics can be understood as the process of making meaning of students’ participation in online content and activities with the aim of providing informed feedback to optimize learning.

The focus groups give us the opportunity to share ideas, needs, and challenges with the use of learning analytics, and your valuable opinions will help inform the University’s investigation into the use of student data to enhance the student learning experience. 

DateTime
Monday 30 November 202010.00 – 11.30
Monday 30 November 202013.00 -14.30
Tuesday 1 December 202010.00 – 11.30
Tuesday 1 December 202013.00 -14.30
Wednesday 2 December 202010.00 – 11.30
Dates and times of analytics focus groups

If you are able to take part in a learning analytics focus group, please complete the following form by Thursday 26 November 2020: data focus group sign-up sheet 

Re-defining ePortfolio

We would like to invite you to take part in a focus group on how best to incorporate student reflective learning, both academic and personal, within your practice.

Driven by a need to engage better with reflective practice, the University’s current ePortfolio system is under review. We are returning to a baseline of what we need to achieve to support students and staff to understand, undertake, provide evidence for, and in some cases assess, reflective practice.  

This gives us the opportunity to share ideas, needs and challenges with reflective practice in order to identify what is needed from a ‘system’ that is relevant to all students. Furthermore, we aim to identify technology that will work in parallel with current University systems to ensure streamlined working processes for staff and students. 

We need your valuable opinions to help shape the University’s ePortfolio review process. If you are able to take part in a focus group, please complete the following short form by Thursday 3 December 2020: ePortfolio focus group sign-up sheet

DateTime
Tuesday 8 December 202010.00 – 11.00
Tuesday 8 December 202015.00 – 16.00
Wednesday 9 December 202010.00 – 11.00
Wednesday 9 December 202015.00 – 16.00
Dates and times of ePortfolio focus groups

If you have any questions about the focus groups, please contact ltds@ncl.ac.uk 

Learning and Teaching, New ideas and resources

Ideas and Inspiration, Flexible Learning 2020

Find out more about what colleagues and students have been working on in some of the Flexible Learning case studies and resources.

Social spaces for students

This online resource will provide you with examples of how to use social spaces for students in a digital virtual environment. The resource includes documents highlighting examples of practice and how to use them. As well as cases studies from our university and other institutions taking you through what has worked well and what to maybe avoid.

Canvas tips and favourite features

Hear from academic and professional services colleagues who share some of their Canvas tips, favourite features and positive feedback from students.

Read more on the Digital Learning website

Synchronous online sessions

Top tips from the Academic Practice Team.

The team cover how they planned synchronous sessions, how they used them to build community, and what they did to keep these Zoom teaching sessions engaging and accessible.

Peer assisted learning

Carrie, a peer assisted learning leader, chats with Zoe, a student, to share the challenges and successes of moving to online learning. 

Hear more about the Language Resource Centre PAL Scheme.

New resources and support for teaching online

Maintaining Student Engagement Workshop

In this 60-minute workshop, we will explore together ideas for how you can engage students in online learning including:
• Some dos and don’ts of online learning;
• Methods for setting expectations;
• Alternatives to lectures;
• Keeping students engaging with you and each other;
• Keeping students involved week-to-week.


View dates and book your place.

Considerations for teaching and studying with poor internet

Colleagues and students alike may well be affected by slow or variable internet connections which in turn will make many aspects of online teaching and learning troublesome.

Some helpful strategies to help minimize difficulties.

More control over your content in Microsoft 365

We’ve just rolled out a new way you can control how your students and colleagues interact with content stored in Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365). Module and community enrolments now appear as Security Groups in Microsoft 365. You can use these groups to apply permissions to content or add members to a Microsoft Team.

Find out more about these updates to Microsoft 365.

New Online Training Course for Personal Tutors

A new online course, An Introduction to Personal Tutoring​, is now available on Canvas.

Existing webinars and resources

Colleagues have been taking part in webinars and online courses over the last few months and we are continuing to run a lot of our more popular sessions. Find out more about webinars, drop-ins and online courses.

Guides

An extensive range of guides and further resources are available on the Digital Learning site.