Learning and Teaching Conference, Save the Date: 31 March 2022

The Learning and Teaching Conference 2022 will showcase effective, creative and collaborative approaches to learning and teaching across the University.

We are planning an in-person event with opportunities to engage with online events over the conference week.  Call for papers and registration information coming soon. Keep an eye on the conference website for the most up to date information.


New webinars: School and Programme Data and The Power of Feedback: Student Surveys

Students on campus

The Educational Governance Team have developed new webinars for 2021-22 for academic and professional services staff in Schools. 

School and Programme Data

The first session aims to help make more use of the range of available programme data to inform and identify areas of effective practice and where actions are needed to address issues. 

The sessions are split into two parts and are bookable via Elements at:

Part 1 will focus upon how to use the new Power BI dashboard which brings together programme and school data from recruitment and admissions through to progression and award.  The dashboard also provides links to the various internal and external student surveys results.   The session will show you how to drill down in the data to look at trends and at specific student groups.

Part 2 will allow participants to explore in more detail specific uses and interpretation of the data to help inform decisions at Board of Studies and for reflection in Annual Monitoring and Review reports.

The Power of Feedback: Student Surveys

The second session relates to the student voice and how to encourage students to engage with surveys.  An overview of all the range of survey activity that takes place over an academic year both nationally (National Student Survey, Postgraduate Taught/Research Experience Survey) and internally (stage evaluations, informal module check-ins) will be provided and an exploration how the survey results can be used to inform changes to the student experience. 

Space will be available in the session to discuss with colleagues’ ways in which surveys are promoted and methods used to improve student engagement across the institution.   

This session will run twice per semester and is bookable at:

If you have nay queries about any of the sessions please get in touch with LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

New Podcast Episode

Episode 005: Introducing Emily and Josh our student podcast voices. National Teaching Fellowship with Dr Lindsey Ferrie. Part one of our look back at learning through the pandemic with Dr Adam Potts

Episode 005: Introducing Emily and Josh our student podcast voices. National Teaching Fellowship with Dr Lindsey Ferrie. Part one of our look back at learning through the pandemic with Dr Adam Potts.

In this newest podcast episode, we have three topics that will explore different aspects of learning and teaching at Newcastle University.

The first section introduces Emily and Josh, two students here at Newcastle University, who will share what it is like to be a student in 2021. In this first conversation Emily and Josh talk about the excitement of achieving A-Level results and confirming your place at Newcastle University. What did they do first and what do they recommend before coming to university? Emily and Josh will pop up in future episodes throughout the year.

The second section of this episode is a conversation with Dr Lindsey Ferrie. We caught up with Lindsey to discuss National Teaching Fellowships, why she applied, what it was like to be awarded her fellowship in 2019, and what the process for applying involves. The winners of the 2021 National Teaching Fellowship have just been announced. Congratulations to Newcastle University’s very own, and friend of the podcast, Dr Paul Fleet who was awarded his National Teaching Fellowship this year.

In the final part of this episode, we introduce another regular podcast feature: Learning through the pandemic. Dr Adam Potts talks to Newcastle University students about what it was like to learn through the pandemic. What have we learned that we will continue to use, what have we learned that may not benefit students moving forward? This conversation concentrates on lectures and seminars. We will hear move from Adam throughout the next few months.

We hope you enjoyed this first magazine style episode. Longer form conversations will continue to pop up in future episodes as well.

So, remember to download, like, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. If you are new to podcasts, you will see some useful links on each episode page.  You can listen and subscribe directly from there. If you are listening through a phone, there are many podcast apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, that you may need to download but ideal for listening on the go.

If you would like to get in touch or have an idea you would like to share, please email ltds@ncl.ac.uk and use the title ‘Learning & Teaching @ Newcastle University Podcast idea’.

Authentic Assessment with Professor Tina Overton

Tina Overton

SAgE Faculty presentation on Authentic Assessment with Professor Tina Overton

Conversations about more authentic forms of assessment have proliferated of late, as Universities everywhere had to rethink assessment formats at short notice.

We are delighted and honoured that Professor Tina Overton has kindly agreed to work with the SAgE Faculty to help us examine how we currently think about assessment in STEM disciplines.

In this one-hour online session, Tina will share her experiences of implementing authentic assessment in Chemistry at Monash University, drawing from her distinguished career in STEM education.

A presentation will be followed by a Q&A session where you can raise issues of interest or concern about assessment in STEM subjects with Tina.

The session will be recorded and made available afterwards.

Time: Sep 15, 2021, 14:00 London

Colleagues can sign up here.

SAgE Faculty workshops on Authentic Assessment with Professor Tina Overton

In this one-hour online workshop, presented twice, Tina will encourage you to rethink your approach to assessment, to consider where you might already be providing authentic assessments, and to reflect on where and how you might want to do more in your programmes/modules. Supported by colleagues in LTDS, the session will be recorded and made available afterwards.

Workshop 1

Time: Sep 30, 2021 13:00-14:00 London.

Or Workshop 2

Time: Oct 4, 2021 13:00-14:00 London

Colleagues can sign up for either workshop here.

Biography: Professor Tina Overton

Tina was until recently Director of the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence, having previously been Distinguished Professor at Monash University where she successfully implemented large scale moves to active and context-based learning and authentic assessment in Chemistry. She has a 20 year plus track record in STEM education and is passionate about improving the student learning experience.

If you have any queries about these events please get in touch with LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

You might also be interested in other upcoming learning and teaching events and webinars.

Launch of Learning and Teaching @ Newcastle website

Learning & Teaching @ Newcastle ncl.ac.uk/learning-and-teaching

Innovative teaching is happening across Newcastle University, and our new  Learning and Teaching @ Newcastle hub is designed to showcase that work and promote effective practice across the institution. From case studies and recommended guidance to tools, techniques and strategic priorities, you’ll find everything you need to support your teaching, develop your pedagogic knowledge, enhance your digital expertise, and further your professional skills – all in one place. 

Learning and Teaching @ Newcastle is an evolving website that will be continually developed and updated. If there are any teaching-focussed content or services you would like to include on the site – resources that can help support and drive effective teaching practice – we’d love to hear about it. 

National Teaching Awards from Advance HE

National Teaching Fellow 2021 and Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence 2021

Congratulations to Dr Paul Fleet, School of Arts and Cultures, who has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship and to the Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) Faculty PGCert in Research Training team who have received the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE).

Both awards recognise exceptional colleagues who are committed to teaching, learning and student outcomes.

Dr Paul Fleet
Dr Paul Fleet, National Teaching Fellow
HaSS PGCert in Research Training Team
HaSS PGCert in Research Training Team

You can hear from this year’s winners on the Newcastle University website and find out more about both awards on the Advance HE website.

If you are interested in becoming an institutional nominee for the 2022 awards we’ll be sharing information about both the NTFS scheme and CATE in the new academic year.

Winners announced: Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence awards 2021

VC's Education Excellence Award winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards 2021. These awards reward individuals and teams who make a marked impact on enhancing the student learning experience. This year’s winners impressed the judging panel with their commitment to students, as well as the transformational impact of their work.

Professor Tom Ward, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education congratulated the winners:

‘Since starting at the University in May, I’ve been impressed by the commitment of colleagues to work in partnership with students to enable the very best educational experience for our students.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding work happening across the University. This year’s winners have demonstrated passion, creativity and impact and I’m sure that you will all join me in congratulating them on their achievements.’

Awards and Recipients

Individual Award Winners

Dr Vanessa Armstrong, School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences

Recognised for: work as Academic Lead in Employability and the transformational impact within the School in this area. The development of the placement year within the School,  influence on the wider view of placements across the institution, and research in this area was commended.

Dr Vanessa Armstrong

‘I’m really honoured and grateful  to receive the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition for some of the initiatives and contributions I have made to teaching and learning since starting my role at Newcastle University in 2012. 

It is great to get recognition for the employability-related projects that I have worked on that have had a positive impact on our student cohorts and helped them to gain confidence and go on to graduate destinations.  Accessibility of opportunities for all is something that I am passionate about and hope to carry on working on and developing working alongside colleagues across the School, Careers Service and University.’

Dr Stacy Gillis, Senior Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature & Culture, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Recognised for: the scale of the transformational impact in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, across all levels. Numerous awards and positive feedback show how Stacy’s effective teaching is valued by students.  The panel found the work undertaken with children in care was moving and particularly noteworthy, showing positive value for both students and the children. 

Dr Stacy Gillis

‘In these days in which the humanities are under attack for a perceived lack of ‘value’, it is so heartening that the institution is recognising the work of those of us who teach in the humanities: the humanities is the study of what makes us human, and how we got to this point, how to respond to the challenges of today, and where we might go in the future.  This award really marks the tremendous work of all my students (past, present and future!) in grappling with these complex – but ultimately rewarding – challenges.’

Team Award Winners

Combined Honours Centre, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Recognised for: the passionate and supportive environment the Combined Honours Centre provides for their students. This is clearly demonstrated by the excellent student feedback and numerous nominations for TEAs. The panel felt that an inclusivity document produced by Combined Honours was commendable and noted that the Combined Honours Centre clearly has an innovative approach to teaching and learning with co-creation and student partnership at the forefront, and this gives real value to the students.  

Combined Honours Team and Students

‘The Combined Honours team wishes to dedicate this award to our strong and vibrant student community who have made such a vital contribution to the life of our centre and the university as a whole. We are truly humbled to have received such a prestigious award and delighted to have had the opportunity to share our passion for student engagement and student-staff partnership with the awarding panel.  We hope that this experience will create further opportunities to promote our supportive culture, and approaches to collaborative learning and teaching across the wider university, offering support to others that want to do the same.’ 

Patient Pathways, Graduate School, Faculty of Medical Sciences

Recognised for: The Patient Pathways Workshop event sees proactive roles for patients in the teaching of Clinical Scientists as they share personal experiences of their pathway from discovering the first signs of head and neck cancer through diagnosis, treatment and subsequent after care with small groups of trainee Clinical Scientists. The panel found the project very moving with an excellent ethos and transformational impact for all people involved. The student experience is enhanced significantly through experiencing the patient stories, with a clear impact on practice in the NHS. The panel thought the project to be very innovative, were impressed by the co-design of the workshop, and feel this work should be championed across the Faculty and wider institution. The resilience shown by the continuation of the workshop during the pandemic was commendable.  

Patient Pathways Team

Dr Chris Eggett, Degree Programme Director said:  

‘I’m delighted and honoured to receive this award on behalf of the delivery team for our Patient Pathway Workshop.  The success of this teaching session over the last five years has been due to the superb contributions from a broad team of enthusiasts.  Local patients are key members of the teaching team working alongside NHS and academic colleagues from Newcastle, London and Liverpool to give our MSc Clinical Science students insight into all aspects of a patient care pathway from diagnosis, through treatment to recovery.’

For further information about the awards, including the application process, please visit the VC’s Education Excellence Award section of the LTDS website. The 2022 awards will open next academic year.

Learning Analytics

Woman with data in her head

Do you know how analytics might help you in your teaching? 

There are lots of definitions of learning analytics but the most widely cited definition that aligns with Newcastle University’s approach is what Siemens and Gašević’s describe as “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about students and their contexts to help institutions understand and optimise educational processes, learning and the environments in which it occurs.” 

With this in mind, colleagues came together at the latest NUTELA session to explore analytics and share what worked for them. We’ve included videos and some key ideas from each of our presenters below: 

Using analytics to gain insights into students’ access. 

Rachelle Maddison, INTO  

Rachelle used analytics with a small group of international students during the lockdown to check if they could access resources on Canvas. Rachelle’s transparency about the purpose of using Canvas New Analytics promoted trust and partnership with students.  

In this video, Rachelle explains how this helped her to make changes to her course content early in the academic year. 

Using Canvas New Analytics for Course Review 

Danny Homer, LTDS 

Danny employed his analytics expertise using Canvas New Analytics reports with Power BI for in-depth analysis and visualisations of course participants’ online interactions. Danny explains how he was able to overcome the limitations of the available analytics interfaces using New Analytics reports. 

ReCap Analytics as an insight into the instructional and content redesign for Executive MBA at NUBS 

David Grundy, Newcastle University Business School 

David used ReCap analytics with a small group of 15 students and a larger group of 220 students. See how David worked around video parameters to review the content and format and make ReCap videos more digestible to students. 

How to use ReCap Analytics 

Carol Summerside, LTDS 

Carol introduces ReCap analytics which give insights into viewer interactions with recordings. She demonstrates how to access analytics and shares some practical tips for getting started.  

To find out more about analytics, visit the Digital Learning website or sign up for a Canvas Analytics webinar

Get involved in NUTELA  

NUTELA is a group of academics, professional service staff, and technicians who care about improving learning and teaching at Newcastle University. 

Our termly sessions focus on technology in and for teaching. They’ve been a bit different this year but usually involve some pizza, pop and a chance to practice. 

Microsoft Team 

Join the NUTELA Team to continue the conversation about using technology in your teaching.  The Team includes resources, upcoming events and the chance to connect with colleagues across the University. NUTELA advocates are also on hand to answer any NUTELA related questions you might have. 

Three Rivers Conference

Knowledge Exchange for Learning and Teaching in HE

25 June 2021

If you are interested in attending this Learning and Teaching conference, there’s only a few days left to book/register !

Register here by the end of the day on Wednesday 23 June.

This 15th regional conference builds upon the success of previous partnership events held by the region’s Universities (Sunderland, Northumbria, Durham, Newcastle, and Teesside).

The aims of the Conference are to:

  • Develop the regional understanding of key issues in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education
  • Share effective learning and teaching practices
  • Draw new people into our Learning & Teaching support networks and providing a networking opportunity

Through the conference we encourage all staff involved in teaching and/ or supporting learning in their institutions to explore opportunities to develop their teaching practice. This event also welcomes others involved in L&T related research projects in their institutions, such as postgraduate researchers and undergraduate students.

Find out more about the conference and view the full programme at https://3riversnortheast.wordpress.com/

Booking information

Please book to ensure that there are no issues receiving the conference links by email. These links will be emailed to those who are registered on Eventbrite. 

And please remember that we are restricting bookings to the North East Institutions and co-presenters. Please register using your university email address. Please email mark.proctor@sunderland.ac.uk if you have any questions about the conference.

Preparing students for their future, not our past:How the pandemic pushed us past the tipping point into education 4.0

The Art of the Possible Keynote sessions with Professor Helen O'Sullivan. Preparing students for their future, not our past: How the pandemic pushed us past the tipping point into education 4.0 Newcastle University

The Art of the Possible keynote session

Monday 5 July, 11am-12 noon

Colleagues and PGR students can register here

Students can register here

We are pleased to welcome Professor Helen O’Sullivan, Chair, Association for Learning Technology, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Chester University who will be discussing the lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic and what we can take from the pandemic into the real world. Find out more about Professor O’Sullivan below.

Biography – Professor Helen O’Sullivan


As Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor O’Sullivan is responsible for providing strategic leadership of the academic function of the University, including the development of the academic portfolio, enhancement of the teaching and learning experience and leadership of the Deans of Faculty. She joined Chester on 1st April 2021 and before that was Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) at Keele University.

Helen graduated in molecular biology at the University of Liverpool before taking a PhD in bacterial genetics. After a postdoctoral fellowship, she moved to a lectureship in biological sciences at what is now Liverpool Hope University. She became interested in the psychology of learning and undertook a range of leadership roles including Dean of Sciences and Social Sciences.

Helen moved to the University of Liverpool in 2006 to lead the HEFCE-funded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The work of the centre helped to shape how medical professionalism is taught across medical schools in the UK. Her research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in developing professionalism and leadership in doctors, and she was promoted to a Personal Chair in Medical Education in 2013. Her subsequent interested in how developments in digital education can support social learning as well as developing flexible, online and transnational education led to her appointment as Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Online Learning at Liverpool.

Helen is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Association for Leaning Technology (ALT). She is a member of UUK International’s Transnational Education Advisory Board, a member of the Advance HE Board and is Co-Convener of Advance HE’s DVC/PVC Network.

The Art of the Possible

Taking place 5-9 July, the Art of the Possible is a week of online events and activities including presentations, workshops, case studies, and the launch of the Newcastle University Learning and Teaching Podcast. Find out how you can get involved.