Dr Chris Graham, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

The Art of the Possible

Thank you to everyone who took part in the launch of the Education Strategy Series ‘The Art of the Possible’ on 1-5 July 2019. It was excellent to see so many staff from across the campus engaging with this first week of activities under the theme Technology Enhanced Learning.

Throughout the week we explored The Art of Accessible and Inclusive Digital Content through interactive practical workshops, lightning talks showcasing some excellent approaches to creating accessible and flexible resources, and video case studies. We also welcomed Alistair McNaught, Subject Specialist in  Accessibility and Inclusion on Thursday 4 July. Alistair delivered a mixture of practical, strategic and collaborative sessions to raise awareness and confidence in digital accessibility, and the new public sector web accessibility legislation.

Feedback from all of the events was really positive. Some of the most valuable aspects were:

“The use of TEL in teaching and the ‘can do’ attitude of staff presenting”

“The chance to refresh and focus anew now that teaching and assessment are finished”

“A range of events where different elements appeal to different people”

“Thanks to Alistair for the series of energising workshops. I was expecting to come away with a “when am I going to find time to do this” feeling, but actually came away feeling positive and that changes can be made in a planned/prioritised way.”

Take a look at how the week unfolded below. There are useful links to presentations, ReCap recordings and extra resources to help you embed accessible and inclusive practices in your role.

Monday: Video Introduction

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor,  Education, welcomed everyone to ‘The Art of the Possible’ series of events highlighting  what to expect from future events over the coming year.

Tuesday: Lightning Talks

Today’s sessions covered a diverse range of approaches to accessibility, all delivered in information packed 5 minute lightning talks, by colleagues across the University.

If you want to find out more about each session the slides are all available using the links below.

Making Accessible Videos: Dr Terry Charlton, Learning and Teaching Development Service.

Dr Terry Charlton presenting
Dr Terry Charlton, Learning and Teaching Development Service

Creating flexible and accessible mathematics teaching resources: Dr Chris Graham, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics.

Dr Chris Graham, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
Dr Chris Graham, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Alternative Modes of Assessment: Sandy Alden, Student Health and Wellbeing Service

Sandy Alden, Student Health and Wellbeing Service
Sandy Alden, Student Health and Wellbeing Service

Diversifying onIine exam provision: Dr Rebecca Gill, Learning and Teaching Development Service 

Dr Rebecca Gill, Learning and Teaching Development Service
Dr Rebecca Gill, Learning and Teaching Development Service

Use of tablets in teaching-developing digital literacy skills: Dr Alison Graham and Dr Henny Mills, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Dr Henny Mills
Dr Henny Mills, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Accessibility at a distance: Supporting digital content for distance programmes: Alison Clapp, Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Alison Clapp, Faculty of Medical Sciences
Alison Clapp, Faculty of Medical Sciences

If you didn’t make the session or want to refresh your memory you can take a look at the talks using ReCap.

Wednesday: Library Workshop and Video Case Study

Workshop: Innovative online resources to help meet growing demands to support students’ academic skills.

Lucy Keating, Liaison Librarian, and colleagues gave a whistle-stop tour of  some new online resources.  Attendees then had the opportunity to explore these with library staff on hand to provide extra information and guidance.

Lucy Keating delivering library workshop
Lucy Keating delivering library skills workshop

The library’s Academic Skills Resources blog gives an overview of the academic resources for finding, evaluating and managing information, research skills resources and a chance to look at their information and library skills module. You can also take a look at the library presentation delivered on the day.

Workshop attendees
Attendees at the library resources workshop

Video Case Study

Dr Chloe Duckworth, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, has used bespoke online resources and a range of practical group activities to create a relaxed, inclusive learning environment.  She shared her approach in this Video Case Study.

Thursday: Accessibility Sessions, Alistair McNaught, Accessibility and Inclusion Subject Specialist

This was a day filled with workshops, all delivered by external Accessibility and Inclusion Subject Specialist,  Alistair McNaught.  Alistair got attendees thinking about accessibility for everyone and the changes we can all make to ensure that content is accessible.

Alistair McNaught with Art of the Possible banner
Alistair McNaught

Alistair shared a range of resources which included useful tips and further reading, as well a handy record of the knowledge and ideas shared by workshop attendees.

Resources

Small Changes, big impacts: How technology tweaks support inclusion (NUTELA 4Bs event)

The accessibility ecosystem- digital dependencies

Making the most of the mainstream

Friday

The week ended with a hands on workshop delivered by Jen Stewart, Student Health and Wellbeing Service, Nuala Davis and Dr Terry Charlton, Learning and Teaching Development Service.

Immersive Reader
Immersive Reader

The workshop started with a different perspective on ‘The tortoise and the hare’ (we wont give too much away) followed by some top  accessibility tips. This included how to use immersive reader, the importance of headings in word documents and how to make sure that your PowerPoint presentations are accessible.

For some useful tips read the Designing for diverse learners document. 

Attendees at the Accessibility Workshop

Accessibility Workshop

What’s next?

Over the next year we will be  developing and delivering The Art of the Possible themed weeks to showcase the wealth of innovation and effective practice taking place under all key themes of the Education Strategy. If you want to find out more about these and all other learning and teaching news make sure that you sign up to the Learning and Teaching Newsletter.

If you have ideas for sessions that you would like to run or that you would like to attend please get in touch LTDS@ncl.ac.uk 

Other useful resources

Association for Learning Technology (ALT) webinar.

11 July 2019, 12:30pm-1:30pm

FHEDAWG webinar: find out more about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 

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