All posts by Claire

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. 

Who are Newcastle Educators?

Newcastle Educators is a peer-led community of educators, who value the opportunity to get together and discuss common interests and who are committed to continued professional development and peer review.

Newcastle Educators bring together this community through a series of events called EduBites.

These lunch-time sessions cover a wide range of topics related to learning and teaching, and are a chance to hear from colleagues, make connections with other educators and share ideas, all over a spot of lunch.

We also run an informal and supportive peer observation scheme – get in touch to find out more.

Follow us on twitter: @NewcastleEduca1
We blog at: https://ncleducators.wordpress.com/ 

Who is Newcastle Educators for?

Newcastle Educators community is for all academics and professional service staff with an interest in learning and teaching at the university. From those just embarking on their careers to those with a wealth of experience to share.

How do I get involved?

Newcastle Educators Teams Page

Join the Newcastle Educators Teams Page to:

  • Access materials from Edubites sessions
  • Find out about conferences and meetings
  • Get information on pedagogic opportunities
  • Have conversations with colleagues

All are welcome to join us.

Mailing list

To join the mailing list complete this quick form: Join our mailing list.

Notifications about upcoming events and opportunities will be sent to the mailing list.

Have you got something you want to share?

Have you got an idea for a session, or something you’d like to share?

Or do you know of interesting work from colleagues that you think the wider network would benefit from hearing about?

Contact us at Educators@newcastle.ac.uk

Who are NUTELA?

Newcastle University Technology Enhanced Learning Advocates

NUTELA are a a group of individuals who support good practice using technology in education.

NUTELA logo

We are a group of academics, professional service staff and technicians, who care about improving learning and teaching at Newcastle University.

We have termly 3Ps (Pizza, Pop and Practice) sessions which are hands-on sessions learning about and trying technologies that you can use in your teaching, all over a slice of pizza and a can of pop.

Microsoft Team

Join the NUTELA Team to continue the conversation about using technology in your teaching.  The Team includes resources, upcoming events and the chance to connect with colleagues across the University. NUTELA advocates are also on hand to answer any NUTELA related questions you might have.

All are welcome to join us.

Mailing list

For information about upcoming events and other related news join the NUTELA mailing list.

Share your ideas

Have you got an idea for a session, or something you’d like to share? Contact us at nutelaops@newcastle.ac.uk

Small grants fund

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019/20 NUTELA Small Grants Fund but look forward to sharing details of the 2020/21 fund with you soon.

There is a NUTELA  small grants fund to enable colleagues to explore and embed technology-enhanced practices into their learning and teaching.

Perhaps you have an idea for your teaching that uses technology, but need some funding to support it or maybe you know of interesting technology enhanced learning at another institution and would like to be able to visit to explore it further.

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.  

Alternatively submit your application online here

Any queries should be sent to nutelaops@newcastle.ac.uk

Introducing the new University Education Development Fund

Do you have an idea that could have an impact on students’ learning or teaching across the university?

Did you know that there is central funding available to support both local and institution-wide initiatives and projects?

The new University Education Development Fund offers a fantastic opportunity to propose and deliver projects with real benefit to students’ education at Newcastle University.

Envisioned and chaired by the PVC Education Prof Suzanne Cholerton this fund will support a wide range of projects from across all campuses and is open to all staff to apply.

Proposed projects must align with and further the aims and key themes of the Education Strategy.

Funding is available of: Continue reading Introducing the new University Education Development Fund

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.

Teaching Rooms Finder website: helping inform your teaching

The Teaching Rooms Finder web pages have been designed to provide up-to-date information about centrally managed and supported teaching rooms so that you can quickly find out which facilities and furniture are in the room that you have been allocated.

For teaching rooms across campus you will find:

  • A location map of the building where the room is located, including the university map reference
  • Photographs of the teaching wall and the furniture layout
  • Information about the capacity and room type
  • Information about the AV
  • Information about accessibility

Making informed choices:

A search option provides you with filters that will enable you to find a teaching room type or style that meets your pedagogic requirements. This information can then be used when completing a timetabling request so that the timetabling team will have a better understanding of your needs.

Let us know what you think:

The Teaching Room Finder web pages have been designed by a cross-disciplinary team and we really hope that they provide a useful service. However we would like feedback from users so that we can make any necessary improvements.

Any comments can be made via the form provided on the feedback page.

Workshop: Exploring career development via teaching and learning

Workshop: Exploring career development via teaching and learning

3rd July 2017 – The Core

This one-day workshop is for all academic staff interested in developing their career on the basis of teaching.

This interactive day will involve: identifying activities that may lead to reward and recognition, reflections from successful colleagues both internally and externally, and developing action plans.

It will be a space to discuss approaches to building your career, gaining internal, or external, validation of excellence and to consider your individual development path.

See the programme of the day: programme_final

Places are limited. To attend please complete the booking form.