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.”
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.
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.
Come along to an online drop in session, happening everyday, to speak to a member of the team. We can help with questions about the application of any of the tools and approaches to support remote delivery of teaching and assessment.
The resources will continue to evolve and be added to substantially, so please check back regularly.
There is support for remote teaching delivery including a
number of daily webinars and a twice daily online drop-in session to get
real time help with delivering teaching remotely. These currently run until
Friday 3 April.
Dr Lana Liu, Newcastle University Business School and Dr Mei Lin, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences.
Critical thinking is one of the core skills for academic success but can be one of the biggest challenges for students studying one-year taught masters programmes.
Dr Lana Liu, Newcastle University Business School and Dr Mei Lin, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences set out to explore how critical thinking can be enhanced in their most recent project, funded by the University Education Development Fund:
Examining Different Learners’ Development of Critical Learning Skills in Postgraduate Taught Programmes: A Comparative Study in MSc Accounting, Finance and Strategic Investment and in MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL
This collaborative project is well underway with surveys and first round of interviews with postgraduate taught students nearly completed and evaluation of the transcripts about to begin. We caught up with Lana and Mei to find out more:
What motivated you to begin your project?
We teach on Masters courses in quite different subject areas. Over the years we both identified common challenges in terms of lack of critical thinking our students were demonstrating when they started their course. This may arise from our expectation, as we were assuming a high level of critical thinking skills because of our set entry criteria to masters programmes. However it became clear that not all students were working at the same level. This was evident from in class discussions, the questions students were asking and in some cases we directly asked students about their understanding of critical thinking at both the start and end of their course. This has led both of us to investigate underlying issues.
All Learning and Teaching colleagues can now log in to Canvas, our new Virtual Learning Environment, which will be replacing Blackboard from 1st August 2020. This is an exciting milestone as we transition to Canvas and with access to a personal sandbox (practice) course and an online Canvas Orientation course, colleagues have an early opportunity to familiarise themselves with the platform.
How do you get access?
Go to https://canvas.ncl.ac.uk and log in with your firstname.lastname@example.org account. Once you have access you will see your personal sandbox (practice) course and the Canvas Orientation course on your Canvas dashboard. Please do not use Internet Explorer as this browser is not supported by Canvas.
What training and support is available?
To support you with the transition from Blackboard to Canvas and to help you to get the most out of Canvas, a comprehensive suite of training has been developed including Canvas Fundamentals, Professional Service sessions, Assignments and Quizzes and more.
Sessions taking place throughout April-June are now available to book. There will be further sessions released in March to run from July 2020 onwards.
If you are based at our London, Malaysia or Singapore campuses and are unable to attend face to face training sessions in Newcastle, we are working with colleagues at each campus to organise suitable sessions, which will be communicated to you shortly.
Further information regarding PGR access to training will also be communicated soon.
In addition to training, the following support is available:
Access to the 24/7 help from Canvas. This is a fantastic resource and is available to all staff and students. You can contact Canvas via live chat, from within the platform, phone or email for all of your ‘How do I’ questions.
The online Canvas Orientation course accessed from the Canvas dashboard. This has been designed to support you in using the key features and tools in Canvas and there are a number of self-check quizzes for you to check your understanding as you work through each section.
We are pleased to announce that the Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards 2020 are now open for submissions. The closing date is the 15 April 2020.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence awards aim to raise the status of teaching and learning at Newcastle University by rewarding those individuals and teams who make a marked impact on enhancing our student educational experience.
The Award is open to all members of staff, at Newcastle, NUIS, NUMed and NUL, whose work enhances the student educational experience. In addition, applications are welcome from staff of associated employers with direct and substantive involvement in the delivery of the student experience at Newcastle, for example, staff of INTO Newcastle University. Groups of colleagues who work closely together are invited to apply for the team award.
The awards fall into the following 2 categories:
Category 1: Individual award
Up to 4 awards for individual members of staff (academic or professional services staff) whose contribution to education at Newcastle is exceptional.
Category 2: Team award
Up to 1 award for teams of staff (either academic or professional services staff, or teams consisting of both) whose contribution to education at Newcastle is exceptional.
This new site brings together the digital learning activities taking place across the University, providing you with information, step by step guides and ideas to help you to get the most out of digital technologies for learning, teaching and assessment.
Visit the site to find out about:
Canvas– the University’s exciting new Virtual Learning Environment replacing Blackboard from 1st August 2020. Staff and students can find project updates, information about the support available, answers to FAQs and upcoming events.
TEL Services,lots of information about our centrally supported technologies and systems, digital exams and access to TEL guides providing you with step by step instructions.
Blended Learning, if you want to explore online educational materials and collaborative learning opportunities with traditional face-to-face delivery, visit these pages for inspiration and support.
We will be continuing to update the site with resources so please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see that can support you in your role. Get in touch at LTDS@ncl.ac.uk.