All posts by Claire

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.

Webinars

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. 

Canvas

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 LTDS@ncl.ac.uk .

Learning and Teaching Conference 2021

1 March – 5 March 2021

The Learning and Teaching Conference 2021 will showcase effective, creative and collaborative approaches to learning and teaching from across the University.

Workshops, presentations and lightning talks will be spread across the week, for our first ever fully online conference allowing you to pop along to connect with colleagues and share new ideas. We are pleased to be welcoming keynote speakers Professor Sue Rigby Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University and Professor Dilly Fung Pro-Director for Education, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

As the 2020 event couldn’t take place we can’t wait to see you at this year’s event. Keep a note of the date in your diaries. More information to come.

If you have any questions get in touch LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

NUTELA 3Ps: Canvas Quick WIns and Engaging Students

NUTELA is back, with our first online 3Ps sessions of the year (this time the 3P’s stand for Practice Practice Practice – you’ll have to bring your own pizza and pop!). Please sign up for as many sessions as you like:

Canvas Quick Wins: Refreshing your Home and Module Pages – 15 December 2020, 14:00-15:00

See how to give your Canvas home and module pages a quick make-over, and create a fresh and engaging experience for students. The session will focus on building content with ideas and examples from colleagues.

Sign up to Canvas Quick Wins: Refreshing your Home and Module Pages

Canvas Quick Wins: Keeping Students Engaged – 16 December, 10:00-11:00

Colleagues will share how they have used course-requirement ‘tick lists’, quizzes and collaboration tools to keep students engaged. The approaches covered are all quick to implement, effective, and popular with students.

Sign up to Canvas Quick wins: Keeping students engaged

Tips and Tools for Cutting out Radio Silence: Engaging Students During Synchronous Sessions – 17 December, 14:00-15:00

In this session we will explore new and existing tools and strategies that colleagues are using to engage their students during synchronous online sessions.

Sign up to Tips and tools for cutting out radio silence

Learning and Teaching, New ideas and resources

Ideas and Inspiration, Flexible Learning 2020

Find out more about what colleagues and students have been working on in some of the Flexible Learning case studies and resources.

Social spaces for students

This online resource will provide you with examples of how to use social spaces for students in a digital virtual environment. The resource includes documents highlighting examples of practice and how to use them. As well as cases studies from our university and other institutions taking you through what has worked well and what to maybe avoid.

Canvas tips and favourite features

Hear from academic and professional services colleagues who share some of their Canvas tips, favourite features and positive feedback from students.

Read more on the Digital Learning website

Synchronous online sessions

Top tips from the Academic Practice Team.

The team cover how they planned synchronous sessions, how they used them to build community, and what they did to keep these Zoom teaching sessions engaging and accessible.

Peer assisted learning

Carrie, a peer assisted learning leader, chats with Zoe, a student, to share the challenges and successes of moving to online learning. 

Hear more about the Language Resource Centre PAL Scheme.

New resources and support for teaching online

Maintaining Student Engagement Workshop

In this 60-minute workshop, we will explore together ideas for how you can engage students in online learning including:
• Some dos and don’ts of online learning;
• Methods for setting expectations;
• Alternatives to lectures;
• Keeping students engaging with you and each other;
• Keeping students involved week-to-week.


View dates and book your place.

Considerations for teaching and studying with poor internet

Colleagues and students alike may well be affected by slow or variable internet connections which in turn will make many aspects of online teaching and learning troublesome.

Some helpful strategies to help minimize difficulties.

More control over your content in Microsoft 365

We’ve just rolled out a new way you can control how your students and colleagues interact with content stored in Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365). Module and community enrolments now appear as Security Groups in Microsoft 365. You can use these groups to apply permissions to content or add members to a Microsoft Team.

Find out more about these updates to Microsoft 365.

New Online Training Course for Personal Tutors

A new online course, An Introduction to Personal Tutoring​, is now available on Canvas.

Existing webinars and resources

Colleagues have been taking part in webinars and online courses over the last few months and we are continuing to run a lot of our more popular sessions. Find out more about webinars, drop-ins and online courses.

Guides

An extensive range of guides and further resources are available on the Digital Learning site.

Making it accessible: Benefits of the Accssibility in Practice Course

The Accessibility in Practice online course is designed to provide you with some of the core skills and techniques for embedding accessibility into your teaching and learning practice, and in making your digital resources accessible to everyone.

Tom Harrison recently completed the online course. He shares the parts of the course he found most useful and how he has changed his practice resulting in real benefits to students.

Hi, I’m Tom Harrison; I work as a Student Recruitment Co-ordinator at Newcastle University and also teach English Literature. My roles involve designing lots of activities and presentations for a wide variety of students, so I was interested in using the Accessibility in Practice course to develop my awareness of how to adjust my materials to accommodate different learner needs.

Tom Harrison

One of the most revealing sections was an exercise to simulate difficulties that dyslexic students could have reading slides in lectures. The team presented a simple story (Aesop’s ‘Tortoise and the Hare’: a classic!) and changed the text a bit to give an idea of how reading speeds can differ.

Even with such a simple, familiar story I found the text difficult to read, and although I managed a couple of lines I got nowhere near finishing the full paragraph in the two minutes allotted by the presenter. The experience was confusing and frustrating, and made worse when the presenter spoke while the text was onscreen: at this point my attention was split between the audio and the visuals, which meant I wasn’t paying attention to either.

The manipulated text, the short reading time, and the over-talkative presenter were of course all part of the team’s cunning plan to show how difficult it can be for dyslexic students to read large blocks of text in a lecture setting. I have to confess that previously I’ve assumed that students can multi-task as I rattle through text-heavy lecture slides, and that highlighting key words and phrases in bold or in different colours was enough to focus students on what they need to know. Those visually-enhanced techniques work fine for some, but of course are no help at all to students who are colour blind, or who are accessing lecture materials through specialist software. I looked back over my old PowerPoints with fresh eyes and realised that, to some students, my beautifully colour-coded, quote-heavy slides would have just been a big blocky mess.

The biggest change the training has made to my practice is that I now appreciate that students need more time to process on-screen text, and that they may be accessing this text in a different way to how I’ve previously assumed. I now make a point of reading out any text that I include on slides to help keep students focused and avoid unnecessary distractions. As an added bonus, I’ve also learnt to cut down the size of my on-screen quotations: no one, not even me, wants to hear me reading out huge chunks of text!

If you are delivering information to students in any capacity I recommend having a look at this resource: the course is full of useful, practical tips that will help you modify what you already do rather than change it to something completely different. Well worth an hour of your time, I’d say, and your students will thank you for it!

All Newcastle University colleagues can complete the Accessibility in Practice online Canvas course on Canvas.

Questions about online learning- you are not alone!

There’s loads to learn to get ready for teaching this term, Canvas, synchronous online teaching, guidance in the ERF all of these are new.  If you are puzzled about the best place to start you aren’t alone!

Questions about online learning?
I'm thinking about....is there a better approach?
How can I encourage students to engage in online sessions?
How can I make the best use of Canvas?
Drop -in to our Zoom room for friendly pointers http://bit.ly/talktoLTDS
http://bit.ly/talktoLTDS

LTDS’s Learning Enhancement and Technology Teams are here to help.  We are running regular drop-in sessions each week where we can chat through options with you, give pointers to resources we know that will help and suggest ideas for you to consider. 

We don’t know much about thermodynamics, cell biology or philosophy but between us we have loads of experience with online learning.  If we don’t know the answer we can phone a friend and get back to you.

No question is too basic!

We run hour long drop-in sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  You don’t need to make an appointment. Each drop-in has two members of our team to help answer your questions.

See http://bit.ly/talktoLTDS for our drop-in and webinar schedule and information about how to join.

Be Course Ready on Canvas

To help you to check that the Canvas course for your module is ready for your students, we have created a handy checklist which can be found on the Canvas section of the Digital Learning Website. You can also view our downloadable pdf version.

Remember, your Canvas course must be published for your students to be able to access it. This also applies to archive courses from 2017-18 to 2019-20. 

If you need help with Canvas you can access the following channels of support: 

Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence Roadshows

The Advance HE Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence (CATE) celebrate collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning.

LTDS support applications to CATE, and work with the National Teaching Fellows/CATE winners in the University to promote their work and teaching excellence. Each institution can nominate one team to each round of the scheme.

LTDS will be promoting further details of the application process to become an institutional nominee soon. Advance HE are running webinars for those thinking of applying. Details below:

Prof Mark O’Hara, CATE-Net Co-ordinator, Advance HE, will be facilitating four webinars – three (repeated on different dates) focusing on helping those applying for CATE in the 2020/21 academic year, and one focussing on helping those thinking of applying further in the future. Details of these CATE webinars are as follows:

Applying for CATE in 2020/21

If you are planning to submit a claim for CATE in the 2020-21 cycle these briefings will introduce you to the nature of the Award and its associated professional and institutional benefits. It will help you to understand the process and timelines and will offer practical suggestions and advice from previous CATE winners.

Continue reading Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence Roadshows

Planning your teaching? New Flexible Learning 2020 webinar dates available

New webinars available for colleagues planning their teaching and creating their content. Find out more and book using the links below: 

New sessions 

New dates available for 

Daily drop ins 

Need some specific advice on that one little thing you need to be able to do with your content/assessment/learning activity? Pop into a drop in sessions and we can help you decide what might be most effective way for you.

Join any session at the days and times noted on the Flexible Learning schedule. (Campus login required: nid@newcastle.ac.uk)

Full schedule and how to join (no need to book drop in) 

Flexible Learning 2020 resources and support

Visit the flexible learning webpages to find out more about the support available for the implementation of the Education Resilience Framework (ERF). You can also access a number of step by step guides to help support teaching delivery in 2020/21.