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Learning and Teaching Conference

With over 280 delegates, 12 lightning talk videos, 9 live sessions and some creative entries to the poster competition, our first online learning and teaching conference had something for everyone. Thank you to all colleagues and students for getting involved and sharing some of their teaching and learning successes and challenges from the past year.

You can find a number of resources from the week below and we look forward to seeing you all at the next event.

Introduction from the Vice-Chancellor

Professor Chris Day introduces the conference celebrating the many collaborative, creative and impactful approaches to teaching across the University. He also highlights the achievements of Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education, who is retiring this year.

Opening Keynote Address: Education for All?

Professor Sue Rigby, Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University

Education for all slide with small image of Sue Rigby

Professor Sue Rigby opened the event with her address intended to provoke, asking colleagues and students to think about some key questions:

  • Why doesn’t everyone thrive at University?
  • Attainment gap or awarding gap?
  • Thrive or strive: Is learning purposeful? Is it effective? Is it challenging? Is it engaging?

Watch Education for All? Keynote address

Lightning Talk videos

A diverse range of approaches to teaching and learning all covered in less then 7 minutes.  With contributions from colleagues from Schools and Service across the University these are a great resource if you’re looking for some new ideas:

Poster Competition

Congratulations to Rosalind Beaumont, HaSS Faculty Office and Nuala Davies, LTDS who won this year’s poster competition with their poster:

Winning the Blended Learning Game (step by step) Flipping the HaSS PG Cert Research Training over three years.

You can still view all of this year’s poster submissions

Live sessions

All live sessions were recorded so if you missed any or want to revisit some of the talks you can at the links below:

Closing Keynote address: Keynote Address: Powerful Learning for a Challenging World

Professor Dilly Fung, Pro-Director for Education, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

A challenging world powerpoint slice, with a small image  of the speaker Dilly Fung in Zoom

Professor Dilly Fung  closed the conference with an inspiring talk which looked at the relationship between education, research and public engagement through the lens of the Connected Curriculum framework.

Meet the researcher schemes, an interdisciplinary course for all first-year students and a degree showcase portfolio are all practical examples of ways that the Connected Curriculum can be achieved.

The talk ended with some questions and examples of work already happening in these areas as well as lots of new ideas to explore.

Watch Powerful Learning for a Challenging World

Conference close

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education

Professor Suzanne Cholerton

Professor Cholerton thanked all speakers, delegates and organisers for making this year’s conference happen in spite of the current circumstances.

This was Professor Cholerton’s last learning and teaching conference and during her time as PVC Education the conference has gone from strength to strength with increased numbers of colleagues and students presenting and attending each year. This is down to Professor Cholerton’s vision and leadership and we hope we can continue to make future conferences equally as successful.

Next years event

Planning will be underway soon and if you’d like to get involved in the programme committee we’d love to hear from you. Please email

University Education Devleopment Fund

There’s still time to apply to the  University Education Development Fund  which supports staff to undertake projects with real benefit to students’ education at Newcastle University.   

Two strands of funding are available:   

  • Up to £2,500 for projects focused within an individual academic unit, or across multiple areas through the Responsive strand.   
  • Up to £10,000 for projects with collaboration across academic units through the Strategic strand.   

Chaired by the PVC Education this fund support projects which further the aims and key themes of the Education Strategy and applications in the areas of UN Sustainable Development Goals and decolonising the curriculum agenda would be welcome.  

Application deadline for 2020-21:  Deadline extended to Wednesday 28 April, 17:00  

Attend an Education Development Fund workshop or a webinar to find out more:   Education Development Fund webinar Thursday 25 March 2020, 15:00-15:30   

Full information and guidance notes available online.   

Students: Have your say about digital exam software

At Newcastle University we are choosing new software for students to take digital exams.  The exams will include auto-marked questions like multiple choice or fill in the blank, and written exams that you can take online.  Students will be able to use the software on their own laptops, or use university computers.  

The software we choose must be user friendly.  That’s why we’re inviting students to volunteer for usability testing.  Your input will be key in determining the software that students will use in the future at Newcastle. 

What’s usability testing and how can I get involved? 

  • Complete the testing online any time that suits you, between Monday 26 April 2021 and Friday 21 May 2021 
  • You need a computer connected to the internet 
  • You will be given login details, and a series of tasks to do in each system 
  • When you finish the tasks in each system, complete a survey about how user friendly it is  
  • You may need to install some software on your computer.  You can uninstall it when you’ve finished testing 
  • You will need to test up to 4 software systems.  Testing each one will take approximately 1 hour, and you can split the time up however you want, to fit your schedule 

Why take part? 

Sign up 

Complete this form by 12 noon on Monday 19 April 2021 to volunteer. 

You will receive further details when you sign up.  If you have any questions, please contact   

Student Competition: Design a logo

Prize for winning design: Headphones (up to the value of £100)

Newcastle University Technology Enhanced Learning Advocates (NUTELA) are a group of academic and professional services staff who are passionate about promoting technology in teaching. 

We are inviting students to help us design a new logo! Something simple yet eye-catching that we can include on our website and in presentations, social media, and other printed materials. 

You can find out more about NUTELA and some of the events we run at  

What you need to know? 

  • This competition is open to registered students across all Newcastle University campuses 
  • The logo must be 100% original and clearly feature the name NUTELA 
  • The logo must look good in colour and when printed in black and white 
  • The logo can’t contain licenced or copyright material (other than those owned by Newcastle University) 
  • The logo must be easily reproducible and scalable for large and small formatting 
    The logo should indicate the group is part of Newcastle University 

How to submit

You should submit your design to  by 30 April 2021

All submitted designs will be judged by a panel of members from our steering group. Please send any questions to 

Good luck! 

New Learning and Teaching Website

The new Learning and Teaching Development Service Website is now live. 

Visit the new site to find out more about: 

  • Professional development 
  • Governance  
  • Effective practice 
  • Student voice 
  • Funding opportunities 
  • The latest case studies, events and blogs 

For help and guides to get the most out of digital technologies for teaching, learning and assessment you can visit the Digital Learning Microsite

We’d love to hear any feedback you have. Look out for the feedback button on the site or get in touch at 

NUTELA Small Grants Fund

The 20/21 Small Grants Fund is now open for applications.
Apply for up to £500  to explore and embed technology-enhanced practices into  your 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 explore it further.

Applications are invited for a wide range of activities which enable you to explore and disseminate  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 so you can apply whenever you are ready.

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

Learning and Teaching Conference 2021

Join us at this year’s learning and teaching conference for a fantastic series of online events. Hear from colleagues, students and external speakers, collaborate in workshops and watch some of the lightning talk videos during the conference week, 1-5 March 2021.   

Everyone involved in learning and teaching at all Newcastle University campuses – students, academic colleagues, professional services colleagues technicians and external collaborators are all invited to attend.

Keynote speakers

We are delighted to be welcoming two keynote speakers, Prof Sue Rigby, Bath Spa University and Prof Dilly Fung, LSE to this year’s online event.  Find out more about the keynote addresses and sign up using the links below.

  • Education for all? – Professor Sue Rigby, Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University, Monday 1 March 2021 12:00-13:15 
  • Powerful Learning for a Challenging World – Professor Dilly Fung, Pro-Director for Education, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Friday 5 March 2021 12:00-13:15 

Full programme and registration

View the full programme and registration details here. 

Any questions

Get in touch with the conference team

Aspiring NTF Event

The Committee for the Association of National Teaching Fellows (CANTF) shall be hosting another NTFS Roadshow, on Thursday 25th February from 13:00pm to 14:00pm.

Aspiring NTF Event: “New Year, New Network” – enhance your networking to promote your public profile

Facilitated by Professor Debbie Holley (NTF 2014) on behalf of AdvanceHE and The Association of National Teaching Fellows (ANTF)

This workshop is for those considering applying for the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) in 2022 or beyond, and will offer information that will help potential nominees consider future applications. In addition to this, the roadshow will offer insights and thoughts from an interdisciplinary panel about using existing networks. CANTF ran a session about successful networking for impact at the Association of National Teaching Fellows symposium last year and will build upon this work.

The three roadshows toward the end of last year were a great success, and very popular, and we expect this next one to be too. Please share the details of this event widely with colleagues.

Details of how to book can be found here under the “NTFS Roadshow” section.

Student Design Sprints

By Raghda Zahran, Learning Enhancement and Technology Adviser

How could data enhance your learning experience?

At Newcastle University we are exploring the use of student data to help improve the student learning experience. That’s why we are running a number of Design Sprints for students which will introduce you to a collaborative analysis and design process. Your input will be key to determining some of the software students will use in the future at Newcastle.  

What’s a Design Sprint? 

A design sprint is a step-by-step approach to solving problems and coming up with alternative solutions. You will work together with other students during the session.  

Why take part? 

  • Great addition to your CV/resume 
  • Certificate of Participation 
  • Have a real impact on the approach the University takes 
  • Develop your collaborative working skills 

Sign up 

So, if you’re interested in collaborating in hands-on activities to critique, analyse and design a solution to a given problem,  please sign up to a workshop below. 

SAgE Design Sprint: Using Data to Support Learning Tuesday 9 February  (For students in the SAgE Faculty: Natural and Environmental Sciences, Computing, Engineering, Maths, Stats and Physics)

 HaSS Design Sprint: Using Data to Support Learning- Wednesday 10 February  (For students in the HaSS Faculty: Law, Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Modern Languages, Arts and Cultures, English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Business School, Geography, Politics and Sociology, History, Classics and Archaeology, Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Combined Honours and Philosophical Studies)

FMS Design Sprint: Using Data to Support Learning Thursday 11 February  (For students in the Faculty of Medical Sciences: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences, Medical Education, Psychology, Pharmacy, Dental Sciences and the FMS Graduate School)

INTO Design Sprint: Using Data to Support Learning Friday 12 February  

You will receive further details when you sign up and if you have any questions get in touch with

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.


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. 


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 .