All posts by Claire Burnham

Reducing Contract Cheating – International Opportunities For Action Webinar

Turnitin have organised an interactive webinar on contract cheating, presented by Dr. Thomas Lancaster and Dr. Irene Glendinning.

The webinar will discuss contract cheating, including recent developments in the contract cheating industry and consider why we need to take action to address contract cheating.

The webinar will launch the fourth International Day of Action against Contract Cheating, which takes place on October 16, 2019, and provide opportunities for you to make suggestions and ask questions about the event.

The first webinar will be on Wednesday 14th August at 11:00 British Summer Time.  Register here.

The second webinar will be on Monday 16th September 14:00. Register here.

Anyone interested is most welcome to join.

 

Changes to the Learning and Teaching Development Programme from September 2019

Following on from a University wide consultation undertaken at the start of the academic year, LTDS have further developed the Learning and Teaching Development programme for 2019/20.

From September 2019 the Learning and Teaching Development programme will move to a combination of both face to face and online support.

This new holistic offer will include pathways through the programme which can support:

  • Staff new to Newcastle University:
    o Looking for how they can get started with Newcastle University supported teaching, learning and assessment tools, techniques and pedagogies with a set of Learning and Teaching Essentials online, face to face workshops and webinars.
    o Needing to evidence their work for professional recognition by Advance HE against the UK Professional Standards Framework through the Newcastle Education Practice Scheme for probationary requirements.
  • Professional services and academic staff wishing to take advantage of support in evidencing their work for professional recognition by Advance HE against the UK Professional Standards Framework through the Newcastle Education Practice Scheme (NEPS).
  • Existing staff in using technologies and exploring pedagogies to enhance learning, teaching and assessment through new Quick Guides online, and scheduled workshops and webinars in September and January.
  • Programme teams in developing new or revising existing programmes or programme portfolios with bespoke sessions.
  • School based bespoke sessions which build on Learning and Teaching Essentials and Quick Guides.

What’s different?

A new set of Learning and Teaching Essentials and TEL Quick Guides will be available online, for reminders and self paced familiarisation with tools, techniques and policy related to learning and teaching at Newcastle University. There will be fewer scheduled workshops and webinars, which, from September 2019 will be focussed in September and January.

Scheduled workshops continue to be listed at http://elements.ncl.ac.uk and all LTDS run workshops described there can also be offered as school based bespoke sessions.
This change in activity will enable to team in LTDS to develop new workshops based on the new VLE (currently Blackboard) staff requirements to support the roll out of the product from the successful vendor (to be announced soon).

The workshop programme on the elements site will include workshops required for NEPS but which will be available to everyone.

The new accessibility regulations – what does this mean for the University?

What are the new requirements?

In September 2019, the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 comes into effect in the UK. These regulations attempt to ensure that all students have equal and fair access to learning opportunities without any barriers as a result of a disability. This covers websites, services and content.

The University recognises that compliance with the Regulations will not happen immediately. A staged programme of work will embed training on compliance for new learning and teaching websites/service and content within the existing Learning and Teaching Development Programme which will be available both as open workshops and bespoke school/service based sessions. The trajectory for compliance is detailed below.

What is the University doing for the start of 2019/20?

Each website/system requires an accessibility statement, providing information about the accessibility of individual websites/systems. The Learning and Teaching Development Service will co-ordinate the creation of accessibility statements across all central University learning and teaching systems. This includes Blackboard, MLE, ePortfolio and others. All centrally supported teaching and learning systems will have an accessibility statement by September 2019.

What do academic units/services need to do for the start of 2019/20?

No specific actions are required for the start of the next academic year. Individuals should consider how they can make any new learning and teaching content accessible, and to start to change practice when creating content in readiness for 2020/21.

What will happen in 2019/20 to make us more compliant for 2020/21?

  •  The new Learning and Teaching Development Programme has Accessibility in Practice workshops that support academic and professional services staff in how to create accessible and inclusive learning and teaching resources. There are some simple tools built in to familiar desktop tools, such as Microsoft Office, that will help to create and check the accessibility of resources.
  • There are some small simple changes staff can make that will help all students on their programme, not only students with a disability. LTDS will prepare a range of online how to guides that will support staff in the creation of accessible documents.
  •  As part of the rollout of the new VLE, LTDS will run a large number of training sessions. The creation of accessible content will be embedded within these sessions.
  • The Newcastle Education Practice Scheme (NEPS) is the replacement for the CASAP programme. Accessibility and inclusion will be a core element, and the creation of accessible resources will be part of the programme.
  • We will renew the University site license for Sensus Access which enables staff and students to easily convert documents into an accessible format. Many file formats are supported, including the main Microsoft Office document types. Use of this tool will be built into the workshops detailed above.
    For further information please email ltds@ncl.ac.uk

Game-Enhanced Learning

By Cameron Hubbard, PGT student, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Students don’t like being lectured. You can see it within the first 20 minutes of a lecture: eyes go dark, phones come out, their attention fades away. Lecturers are constantly trying to increase student engagement but trying to do this via traditional “talk and chalk” methods is flawed. In addition, some content just doesn’t lend itself well to a lecture-based format – especially things like lab and field skills. Thus, novel methods of presenting content are required that capture students’ attention whilst also having an educational benefit. An emerging pedagogical technique is teaching through games, which has been the focus of my internship in the Game-Enhanced Learning (GEL) project.

NU GEL logo

Continue reading Game-Enhanced Learning

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: Continue reading The Art of the Possible

The Art of the Possible: Case Study

Dr Chloe Duckworth from the School of History, Classics and Archaeology has used engaging, bespoke online resources and a range of practical group activities to create a relaxed learning environment for her students.

Find out more from Chloe in the video below as she describes how she considers accessibility issues  and ensures an inclusive approach to teaching.

If you are interested in reading more about Chloe’s case study or other case studies of effective practice take a look at the case studies website.

 

Introducing ‘The Art of the Possible’

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education, introduces this brand new series of Education Strategy focussed events, showcasing ‘The Art of the Possible’.

This first week focusses on Technology Enhanced Learning given our commitment in the Education Strategy to an educational experience supported and enhanced by technology.

Find out more from Professor Cholerton in the video below.

All events and activities will be delivered in a light, fun and adventurous way and we are looking forward to engaging with colleagues from across the University. Take a look at the programme and find out how to register.

If you are interested in future ‘The Art of the Possible’  events and other learning and teaching news, events and case studies sign up to the learning and teaching newsletter.

#nclpossible

Blackboard Rollover 2019/20

It’s getting closer to  Blackboard module rollover which will be taking place week commencing the 22nd July 2019.  All 2019/20 modules will be available from Monday 29th July 2019.

We have a Blackboard rollover document that lets you know what happens with the different areas of Blackboard during rollover including; module content, ReCap recordings, Turnitin assignments and more. This hasn’t changed from previous years, unless you have adopted a new template,  but might be a useful reminder.

Finally to ensure you meet the Blackboard Baseline all schools or subject areas should have a consistent layout and easily navigable structure. Further information about how you can ensure you meet the baseline can be found in the Blackboard Baseline document. We have also produced a checklist that you can work through to check if your module meets recommendations.

Please get in touch with LTDS@ncl.ac.uk if you have any questions

Accessibility for everyone: Alistair McNaught, Subject Specialist, Accessibility and Inclusion

Alistair McNaught,  Subject Specialist, Accessibility and Inclusion

A long time coming…

Disability legislation has required organisations to make “reasonable adjustments” for disabled people since 1995. Unfortunately, the legislation did not define what a reasonable adjustment might look like. For the next 23 years, equalities legislation tried to improve the lived experience of disabled people, but without clarity about what was ‘reasonable’ it often failed. Many disabled students drop out of University courses not because the intellectual challenge is too hard, but because negotiating the basic resources is a daily uphill struggle.

The new public sector web accessibility legislation changes everything. For the first time ever it makes a concrete link between a failure to make a reasonable adjustment and a failure to meet the “accessibility requirement” for websites, VLEs and VLE content. The accessibility requirement for digital content is well established – so it’s very easy to tell if resources fail the ‘reasonable adjustment’ test.

Competence more than compliance

This does not mean not every teaching professional now has to become an accessibility professional, any more than an academic referencing a paper is expected to be an information professional. What it does mean is that professional communicators are expected to communicate using conventions and practices that minimise barriers. With a significant proportion of teaching staff having self-taught IT skills it’s little surprise that we don’t always know the best way to make our resources accessible. But the relevant skills are learned very quickly. They also benefit considerably more students than the 10% with visible or invisible disabilities.

Accessibility for everyone

For too many years, accessibility has “belonged to” the disability support team. This is as unrealistic as hygiene in a restaurant belonging to the chef, with nobody else having awareness of training. Higher education institutions have complex digital ecosystems and accessibility needs to be a ‘hygiene factor’ that threads through the organisation’s policy and practice. The encouraging thing is that the vast majority of accessibility is a combination of good design, good practice, good resources, good pedagogy and good procurement policies. What is there not to like?

Find out more

In the Education Strategy Series: The Art of the Possible, Alistair McNaught will work with different groups of staff in the University to try to do what accessibility should do for everyone: enlighten, empower, support and inspire. Bring your own experience, skill and ambition – the catalysts for culture change.

Find out more about the events and book your place.

Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards 2019

Congratulations to this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award winners who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to enhancing our students’ educational experience.

The winning submissions evidenced impact and influence in a number of areas including, approaches to assessment, student representation, addressing gender imbalance in subject areas, student retention and success at a national and international level.

All submissions were considered by a panel chaired by Professor Suzanne Cholerton,  Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education. The high quality of the submissions was noted by the panel.

Professor Cholerton said, “The Vice-Chancellors Education Excellence Award is an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding work from individuals and teams enhancing our student educational experience. Five awards have been made this year out of a very competitive field of nominations. The panel were extremely impressed with the scale of impact, breadth of activity, and the creative approaches to education and educational support taken by all the awardees. ”

2019 Award Winners

Individual Awards

Dr Phil Ansell, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Dr Kirsten MacLeod, School of English Language, Literature and Linguistics

Dr Luisa Wakeling, School of Dental Sciences

Team Awards

E-Learning Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Specialist Learning Team, Student Health and Wellbeing Service

Find out more about each of the award winners and what the award means to them below.

Dr Phil Ansell, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Dr Phil Ansell

‘I am really pleased to receive the Vice Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award in recognition of the impact that some of my work has had on learning and teaching at Newcastle University. It is of particular pride that projects spanning the entire student journey, from outreach and recruitment to enhancing careers and employability were highlighted as exemplars of good practice by the panel. I look forward to working with students and staff in the future to ensure that we continue to deliver an outstanding and inclusive educational experience for all.’

Dr Kirsten MacLeod, School of English  Literature, Language and LinguisticsDr Kirsten MacLeaod

‘It is an honour to receive the Vice Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award in recognition of my aim to foster and promote innovative teaching and assessment practices. I am indebted to and inspired by many creative, committed, and risk-taking colleagues in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, and grateful for the wonderful support offered by a Faculty and University so committed to positive change.’

Dr Luisa Wakeling, School of Dental Sciences

Dr Luisa Wakeling

‘Enhancing relevance and value in all activities that students undertake is of great importance to help them flourish beyond the University and achieve their professional goals. I have the privilege to work with amazing students who engage with the University, beyond their curriculum, in representing and enhancing the experience of their peers. The skills they develop through Academic Student Representation will be highly relevant in any workplace. I am thrilled to receive this distinguished award that recognises my work in supporting our students with opportunities to acknowledge and evidence their fantastic extracurricular work for their future.’

E-Learning Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics and PhysicseLearning unit

‘We are absolutely delighted to receive the Vice Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award, in recognition of our team’s contribution to supporting student learning in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics and beyond. A solid foundation in mathematics is vital to so many subjects areas, and this award will help us in continuing to build new relationships with colleagues across the University who are involved in the learning, teaching and assessment of mathematical subjects.’

Specialist Learning Team, Student Health and Wellbeing Service

Specialist Learning Team

‘It is recognition of the significant support we provide to underpin the learning experience for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders/Aspergers, and confirms our approach to offer holistic programmes of support fits with University’s vision to provide all students with an inclusive student experience.’

All winners will receive their awards at a congregations ceremony in July and will also be recognised at a University Celebrating Success event. The will also receive funding to support future educational activities.

Next year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards will open in February 2020 and full details about the application process will be published on the LTDS website.

If you have any questions about the award, please contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk