All posts by Claire Burnham

Learning Analytics Pilot

New Analytics in Canvas is an interactive tool that helps you and your students better track performance and activity within individual courses. It can be accessed in the menu of any Canvas course and allows you to: 

  • Identify which students have viewed pages and resources  
  • Identify which students have participated in the course 
  • Compare grades across assignments by cohort or individual students 
  • Contact students, or groups of students, based on their interactions 

As part of the University’s Task and Finish group on learning analytics we will be running a pilot looking to gather some Newcastle specific information and feedback on the use of the tool. Our aim is to identify the functionalities within New Analytics that Newcastle colleagues find to be most useful in improving student attainment and engagement so that we can make recommendations to the University about how best to implement this system, or others, University-wide. 

As part of a pilot, all we would ask for would be a summary of what you did and how you measured any benefit for your students in terms of attainment or engagement. We appreciate how busy everyone is at the moment so are keen to make sure that taking part requires minimal extra work (setting up the New Analytics within your module assessments or workflow is quite intuitive) and fits in with your already established plans for online delivery in 20/21. 

If you would be interested in taking part, please contact LTDS@newcastle.ac.uk   

If you would like to know more about New Analytics in Canvas, please visit What is New Analytics? 

CONGRATULATIONS to our new National Teaching Fellows and to the Winners of the Collaborative Award in Teaching Excellence

For the second year in a row, three Newcastle academics have been elected as National Teaching Fellows, at the same time the University has won a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.

Awarded by Advance HE, the fellowships recognise excellence in enhancing and transforming student outcomes and teaching. Newcastle University’s Dr Clare Guilding, Professor Simon Tate and Dr Iain Keenan are among this year’s 56 new National Teaching Fellows.

There was further success for the E-Learning Unit in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics Development Team received the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). These awards recognise collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning, highlights the key role of teamwork in higher education.  

Find out more and hear from the winners.

be Canvas Ready

We are getting closer to the 31 July 2020 when all access to Blackboard ends for colleagues and students and we go fully live with Canvas.

​​There are 5 key steps which will help colleagues to prepare for the transition date and for course delivery next academic year:

bit.ly/becanvasready

More information about each of these steps, as well as links to support, can be found on the Canvas website.

​​Don’t forget Canvas 24/7 support is available to all colleagues and students for any of your ‘How do I’ Canvas questions direct from the Canvas Help Menu or via telephone on + 44 808 189 2336.​

Flexible Learning 2020 Webinars, Drop-ins and Q & A sessions

Webinars, Drop-ins and Q & A sessions are now available to support you with the planning and delivery of your modules for 2020/21. 

Webinars  

  • Rethinking your module design 
  • Make your own module intro video 
  • Canvas: Fundamentals, Professional Services, Assignments, Collaboration and Communication, Quizzes and Online Marking and Feedback 
  • Turnitin 

Q  & A sessions  

Based on the relevant sections in the Flexible Learning 2020 course that all staff have access to via Canvas (https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/28542 ), we are running Q&A sessions on the following topics: 

Rethinking Lectures, Project Supervision, Online Assessment, Seminars and Small Group Teaching, Laboratory Based Learning, Content Accessibility, Building a Learning Community and Making, Producing and Creating. 

Come along and bring your module design questions with you. We can share examples of effective practice and talk through your ideas. 

Daily Drop-ins  

You can bring any of your questions to these drop-in sessions. We also have some themed drop-ins (covering a range of topics from audio and video to Canvas, to hosting effective online discussion), but you can bring any question or issue to any drop-in session – even if it doesn’t fit with that session’s specific theme.  

View the schedule or visit the webinars and support information pages to find out more. 

Further support is available on the Flexible Learning 2020 web pages  which includes useful resources and information and all colleagues have access to the Flexible Learning 2020 Online Course in Canvas. 

Success at the International e-Assessment awards

The Newcastle University Digital Exams Service has won the Best use of Summative Assessment Award at the International e-Assessment Awards 2020
Delivering real improvements 

The winners were announced at an online awards ceremony on the 16 June. Finalists had been selected from a range of education sectors and the submissions included a number of exciting and creative projects and solutions. 

When announcing the award for the Best Use of Summative Assessment, the independent panel of judges praised the Digital Exams Service for demonstrating a high level of success, delivering at real scale and meeting a defined need. They also commented that the work on supporting accessibility was particularly noteworthy. 

Excellence and innovation 

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education said: 

‘’I am extremely pleased that the hard work and dedication of colleagues has been recognised with this international award which represents a commitment to excellence, innovation and collaboration across the University.  


The Digital Exams Service has been successful in diversifying online exams with the introduction of digital written exams and a bring your own device approach.  This has enabled more authentic assessment and has enhanced the accessibility of exams for our students.’’ 

Collaboration 

The Digital Exams Service is founded on collaboration between academic and professional services colleagues in academic units across the institution, together with the Learning and Teaching Development Service, NUIT, and Exams and Awards Office. 

The e-Assessment awards 

The e-Assessment Awards programme holds a unique position, as it encompasses all sectors of education: from schools, through further and higher education to workplace training and professional exams. The Awards programme was launched in October 2016 to highlight and celebrate the outstanding and positive contributions that technology makes to all forms of assessment, and has gone on to showcase the best practice, research and innovation in the sector. Find out more about the awards and criteria on the e-Assessment Awards website. 

Flexible Learning 2020: Online Course and Website now available

Are you starting to plan your teaching for next year? 

The new Flexible Learning 2020 online course and website are comprehensive resources developed by LTDS, FMS TEL and NUIT, and are available now. They provide achievable ideas for alternative activities as we move to a flexible education offer in 20/21. 

The student learning experience  in 20/21 will involve a mixture of online and on-campus learning and assessment activities. Flexible Learning 2020 articulates the delivery of the Education Resilience Framework, an institutional framework for the revision and development of our taught modules and programmes for 20-21, due to the continuing Covid-19 situation. Flexible Learning 2020 supports the design and development of teaching flexibly to deliver engaging student learning activities. 

The Course 

Ideas and expertise from across  the University are brought together in this self paced online course available in Canvas. Complete the full course or do the Before the course starts and Building an education community  sections, then dip into the sections most useful for you and your students. 12 key areas are covered including: 

  • Rethinking lectures: Make use of recordings, readings, commentary and discussion boards. 
  • Building a learning community: Build social and peer group connections from the start. 
  • Involving guest speakers:  Make use of Zoom and Teams. 
  • Seminars and small group teaching: Before, during and after. How to incorporate non-synchronous activities to get the most out of synchronous delivery. 
  • Online assessment: How a number of different assessment types can work online. 
  • Labs : considerations for acceptable online lab resources/simulations to provide introduction/discussion points when students may not be able to take part in in-person on campus labs. 
  • Studio/practice based activities: for supporting students on programmes in the creative disciplines or where making and producing are a significant part of the programme 

You can also find ideas for field trips, project supervision and group work projects and more. The time it will take to complete each section is clearly indicated so you can complete the sections relevant to your teaching whenever it is convenient. 

Participating in the course will help you think about your practice through a mix of practical Canvas based activities, examples from across the University, discussion points and useful  tips. Everyone will be automatically enrolled – just look for Flexible Learning 2020 on your dashboard when you log in to Canvas.  

The Website 

The Flexible Learning 2020 website includes examples, resources, guides and screencasts to help deliver the alternative activities you choose. 

You can also find out more about the context of Flexible Learning 2020, the key areas of alternative activities and working definitions used. 

More content will be added to both the course and website over the coming weeks so keep checking back. 

Canvas 

Canvas is our exciting new VLE, replacing Blackboard from 1 August 2020, and provides many opportunities to deliver an enhanced online learning experience for students. This platform will be a key enabler for delivering the flexible learning offer and you can access a comprehensive range of resources including webinars, the Canvas Orientation course, and guides to help get the most out of this platform. 

Any questions? 

We welcome any queries, ideas or feedback. You can get in touch at LTDS@ncl.ac.uk or come along to one of our daily drop in sessions. 

New Canvas Webinar: Communication and Collaboration

Continue your Canvas journey with this webinar which will explain how to use a range of collaboration and communication tools within Canvas.  

You will learn about:

  • how to use calendar and inbox
  • how to set up groupshow to use discussion boards, wikis etc
  • how to use some of the integrated tools such as Office 365 and Zoom 

Who should attend?

This workshop would suit all staff who are required to use Canvas to communicate and collaborate with students and/or other colleagues.   

Book your place on Communication and Collaboration

Newcastle University Digital Exams Service announced as finalist in the e-Assessment Awards

The e-Assessment Association has announced the shortlisted finalists for its international awards programme, The e-Assessment Awards.

We are delighted to announce that the Newcastle University Digital Exams Service has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Use of Summative Assessment’ category.

The e-Assessment Awards programme holds a unique position, as it encompasses all sectors of education: from schools, through further and higher education to workplace training and professional exams. The Awards programme was launched in October 2016 to highlight and celebrate the outstanding and positive contributions that technology makes to all forms of assessment, and has gone on to showcase the best practice, research and innovation in the sector.

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education, recognised this excellent acheivement:

“The nomination reflects the fact that we are a leading institution in the sector for digital exam provision.  It also recognises our commitment to ongoing innovation, exemplified by the recent introduction of digital written exams that students can take using their own devices. 

The Digital Exams Service plays a pivotal role in providing our students an educational experience supported and enhanced by technology, which is one of the four key themes of the University Education Strategy.  Delivering a diverse range of summative exam types in a secure online environment enables authentic assessment, enhances the accessibility of exams for all of our students, and supports the University’s commitment to lowering its environmental impact by reducing the amount of paper required for exams.

The success of digital exams at Newcastle University is founded on collaboration between academic and professional services colleagues in academic units across the institution, together with the Learning and Teaching Development Service, IT Service, and Exams and Awards Office. This commitment to collaboration and innovation provides a strong foundation as we prepare to meet the challenges of delivering rigorous, authentic, and accessible assessment in the new educational landscape resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Finalist e-Assessment Awards 2020

The Digital Exams Service here at Newcastle has also been recognised as an example of good practice and innovation in the recent JISC report: The future of assessment: five principles, five targets for 2025.

e-Assessment Awards – Selected finalists showcase, 3 June 2020

Continue reading Newcastle University Digital Exams Service announced as finalist in the e-Assessment Awards

Canvas training now available: Book a session now

You can now book onto one hour webinars which will cover the core functionality and exciting new features of Canvas, providing colleagues with the skills and knowledge to set up their Canvas courses ready for the 2020/21 academic year. All sessions are available to book on Elements.

You can find details of sessions below and further information and resources are available at services.ncl.ac.uk/digitallearning/canvas/colleagues/ (including answers to Canvas FAQs) and on NUConnect

Get Started 

Canvas Fundamentals

A one hour introduction suitable for all staff.

Begin your Canvas journey with this workshop which will explain how to navigate the key areas of Canvas and how to utilise Canvas to provide engaging learning materials and communicate with students.

Sign up to Canvas Fundamentals.

Canvas PS session 

For Professional Service colleagues who will be responsible for supporting Canvas in their academic unit.

Sign up to the Canvas PS session.

Find out more with these webinars

Assignments

You will learn about:

  • How students interact with Canvas when submitting assignments.
  • The Canvas Assignment tool and Turnitin Assignments and the differences between them.
  • How to decide what the most appropriate option will be for the assignment(s) you are setting up.

Sign up to Canvas Assignments.

Quizzes

 You will learn:

  • How students interact with Canvas when completing quizzes.
  • How to use the powerful quizzes functionality within Canvas. You will see the wide range of question types available and the extensive feedback made possible by the Canvas Rich Content Editor.

Sign up to Canvas Quizzes.

More dates to come

We know that the demands on colleagues mean that many may not be able to engage with the training opportunities at this time. The team will be offering a comprehensive programme of webinars throughout the summer, so we hope that if you wish to participate in a webinar you will be able to do so at a time that fits with all your other commitments.  

You can also find out more about the range of self help resources available on the Canvas website.

For any queries get in touch at Canvas@ncl.ac.uk