All posts by Graeme

Graeme is the development officer in QuILT (Quality in Learning and Teaching) at Newcastle University who is responsible for the pedagogical support of ePortfolio.

National Teaching Fellows

The Advance HE National Teaching Fellowship scheme is a prestigious, national competition where nominees submit a reflective account of their approach as an educator, hoping to be one of the 55 NTF’s created annually. The University is delighted to announce that all three of the institution’s nominees have been awarded National Teaching Fellowship.

Dr Lindsey Ferrie, School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr Lee Fawcett, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

‘I feel lucky to be part of an institution that promotes the development of excellent teaching practice.   I’m now excited about joining a community of National Teaching Fellows across a range of disciplines, to share examples of good practice and to further develop the impact of my teaching.’ Dr Lee Fawcett, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Dr Helen Webster, Writing Development Centre

‘Learning Development is an exciting new field, and I’m very proud that this award demonstrates how Newcastle is leading best practice nationally and internationally.’ Dr Helen Webster, Writing Development Centre

Find out more from the winners on the Newcastle University website.

Art of the possible

The Art of the Possible: Showcasing Technology Enhanced Learning at Newcastle University

Professor Suzanne Cholerton invites you to engage with a brand new series of Education Strategy focussed events, showcasing ‘The Art of the Possible’. Over the next year we will be running theme weeks of activities, with each theme week focussing on one of the four key themes in the Education Strategy:

  • Adopting and developing approaches to education that actively engage students in their learning.
  • A research-intensive environment that adds value to the education of all students at all stages.
  • Developing students as the whole person by supporting and preparing them to shape the societies in which they will live and the professions they choose to enter.
  • An educational experience supported and enhanced by technology.

These theme weeks will showcase the wealth of innovation and effective practice already taking place across the University, as well as focusing on new developments within the University and across higher education.

The first theme week will take place 1-5 July 2019, focusing on Technology Enhanced Learning given our commitment in the Education Strategy to an educational experience supported and enhanced by technology.

There will be a range of face to face and virtual events and activities including online case studies and videos to look out for, taster workshops, guest speakers and lightning talks. All delivered in a light, fun and adventurous way but with a clear link to the Technology Enhanced Learning Roadmap and the Graduate Framework.

We will explore the practical aspects of accessibility, inclusion and creating a variety of online content, and we will hear about effective practice taking place within schools and services, from across the University. We are also pleased to welcome Alistair McNaught, Subject Specialist in Accessibility and Inclusion, Jisc on Thursday 4 July.

Find out more about each event below:

Monday 1 July

A video introduction from Professor Suzanne Cholerton will launch this exciting programme which will run each year for the next four years.

Tuesday 2 July, 10:00-11:00

Lightning talks

Join colleagues to explore approaches to creating accessible videos, alternative models of assessment, diversifying online exams, creating accessible and flexible teaching resources and using tablets in teaching.

Thursday 4 July, 10:00-11:00

Small changes, big impacts. How technology tweaks support inclusion: NUTELA 4Bs event

Alistair McNaught, Subject Specialist, Accessibility and Inclusion

This is a practical session with a mix of presentation and activities. We explore the power of pedagogical practice in making content more meaningful. We consider the ‘accessibility profiles’ of different media and formats and identify the small practices that make big differences. We end the session by looking at a series of ‘good practice screenshots’ across the sector and reflecting on your own practice and priorities.

Friday 5 July, 15:00-16:00

Accessibility in practice

We all invest time creating documents and presentations to support teaching and learning. How can we make sure these can be used by our diverse student population? Find out more in this interactive workshop.

Registrations are open for all of these events.

Case studies

We will be promoting a variety of Case Studies over the course of the week so keep an eye on this blog to find out more about teaching ideas from colleagues across the University.

Find out more

Sign up to the Learning and Teaching Newsletter for more information about The Art of the Possible and other Learning and Teaching news.

Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards 2019

We are pleased to announce that the Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards 2019 will open for submissions from the 18 February 2019.  The closing date is the 17  April 2019.

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.

For further information on the award, including the application process, please view the 2019 guidance notes, or visit the VC’s Education Excellence Award section of the LTDS website.

You can  find out more about last year’s winners in this blog post.

If you have any questions about the awards or need any further information please contact ltds@ncl.ac.uk

National Teaching Fellowship / Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence 2019

The Higher Education Academy’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) celebrates excellent practice and outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education. The awards support individuals’ professional development in learning and teaching and provides a national focus for institutional teaching and learning excellence schemes.

The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence Awards recognising outstanding collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching.

More details about the scheme can be found on the HEA’s website.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the University process to determine the institutional nominees to the 2019 National Teaching Fellowship Scheme / Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence scheme.

Application to be an institutional nominee

Nominations are welcomed from all members of staff who feel their work has a major, positive impact on student teaching and learning. Staff who would like to be considered should provide a maximum of 1000 words which address the following criteria.

    • Your personal practice and why this should be recognised as outstanding,
    • Your impact on colleagues, both internally and externally,
    • Your reflection on the above.

Nominations should be sent electronically to ltds@ncl.ac.uk by 12 noon on Friday the 9th of November 2018.

LTDS has developed a workshop that outlines the scheme and helps you consider whether you are ready to apply for the National Teaching Fellowship scheme. The workshop will take place on 17 October 2018, 12:30- 1:30 pm. Book your place now.

View the LTDS website for more information.

Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards

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.

For more information about the award and the application process, please visit the VC’s Award page on the LTDS website.

Downtime on Hadrian’s Wall @VindolandaTrust

As we move into the weekend and we start to think about how we are going to spend our downtime, and pursue leisure activities, we’d like to share a video with you which gives a lovely insight into leisure time on Hadrian’s Wall.

Meet Dr Andrew Birley, one of our guest contributors to Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier. We asked Andrew to talk about his one of his favourite objects at Vindolanda where he is Director of Excavations.

Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier is a Newcastle University free online course lasting 6 weeks which starts on Monday 19 February (www.futurelearn.com/courses/hadrians-wall)

We can’t wait for Monday! Can you?

National Teaching Fellowship Scheme 2018

The Higher Education Academy’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) celebrates excellent practice and outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education. The awards support individuals’ professional development in learning and teaching and provides a national focus for institutional teaching and learning excellence schemes.

More details about the scheme can be found on the HEA’s website.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 National Teaching Fellowship Scheme. The HEA has announced that the 2018 round will open on the 12th February and will close on the 30th of April. This closing date refers to when applications need to be submitted to the HEA by the University. If you are considering applying, please note the earlier submission date below.

Application to be an institutional nominee

Nominations are welcomed from all members of staff who feel their work has a major, positive impact on student teaching and learning. Staff who would like to be considered should provide a maximum of 1000 words which address the following criteria.

    • Your personal practice and why this should be recognised as outstanding,
    • Your impact on colleagues, both internally and externally,
    • Your reflection on the above.

Nominations should be sent electronically to ltds@ncl.ac.uk by 12 noon on Friday the 23rd February.

View the LTDS website for more information.

How to ensure Turnitin grades and feedback are not leaked

When creating a Turnitin assignment, there are two areas we need to check to make sure the grades and feedback are not leaked to students.

Turnitin Assignment Settings

If this setting is not correct, students will be able to see their marks and feedback ahead of the post date, from the same location they initially submitted their work.

When creating the assignment, in the Additional Settings, there is an option for “Do you want to only release marks on the post date”. This needs to be set to “Yes”. One issue we have is that it defaults to “No”, even if you have changed your defaults.

Blackboard Grade Centre

If these steps are not taken correctly, marks or feedback may be released to students through the “My Grades” functionality in Blackboard.

There are three steps you need to take to ensure this doesn’t happen.

  1. Once your assignment has been created in your module visit the relevant area in the Grade Centre (Control Panel > Grade Centre > Full Grade Centre)
  2. Now navigate to the relevant column heading for your assignment and select Edit Column Information. See the corresponding image(click on it to see a larger version)
  3. On the “Edit Column” page scroll down to section 3, Options. Turn all of the options to NO and then click submit. See the corresponding image, click on it to see a larger one.

 

When you are ready to release the marks and feedback to students, we recommend you unhide the grade centre column.

 

Hiding/Unhiding a Grade Centre column

  1. Go to the course/module in Blackboard
  2. Under the Control Panel, click Grade Centre then Full Grade Centre
  3. Find the column associated with the assignment. New assignments appear at the right. You may need to scroll across.
  4. Find the column and use the drop down menu and then click Hide from Students (on/off)

When you are happy for students to see their grades and feedback, return to the Grade Centre and repeat the above steps

Turnitin UK Academic Integrity Summit 2017

I recently attended the Turnitin UK Academic Integrity Summit 2017 held in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  This was a very timely conference following the release of the QAA report into contract cheating.  I was concerned that this would be a day-long sales pitch from Turnitin but was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite. There were many presentations from institutions around the world, but very little ‘grandstanding’ from Turnitin.

Stephen Gow, Academic Integrity Coordinator, University of York

The first session I attended was a look at the approach from the University of York towards academic integrity. They discussed the importance of the language used at the University, moving away from terms such as “plagiarism” towards “academic integrity”. All their students have a mandatory academic integrity online tutorial they must complete in Semester 1 of Stage 1. They are working closely with the student union on their “integrity week” and are also working more closely with staff, including on their Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP).

Turnitin Data Workflows

The second session was a discussion session with the Turnitin staff exploring the types of data and statistics institutions would like to get out of Turnitin. This included reports on feedback return time, statistics around number of students receiving extensions, archiving, learning analytics, and reporting on the various functions used. We hope Turnitin will use this in the further developments of the software.

Bill Loller, Turnitin

The third session was facilitated by Bill Loller, Chief Product Officer at Jobvite, who is working on a technical solution to expose contract cheating for Turnitin. They are using expertise from the field of forensic linguistics to develop a product. Forensic linguistics may be used in a court case to determine whether a person did, or did not, write a document. They are currently testing their modelling and developing a report that will provide a confidence score.

Bill continued this theme into a larger session with the group, showing some of the contract cheating/essay mills websites prevalent online. He admitted that Turnitin may have helped with this problem – “crack down on plagiarism and students will look elsewhere”. These websites offer 10,000 words for approximately £300.

Simon Bullock, QAA

Simon Bullock from the QAA was next to discuss his recent publication “Contracting to Cheat in Higher Education – How to Address Contract Cheating, the Use of Third-Party Services and Essay Mills.”  He discussed the risks to the public if students were obtaining their degrees through cheating but that despite attempts it is not yet illegal to offer essay mill services online. The QAA is exploring as many non-legislative methods as possible.

Irene Glendinning, Coventry University

Irene Glendinning of Coventry University presented her research work analysing the impact of policies for plagiarism in Higher Education across Europe. She highlighted the UK and Ireland as being some way ahead of many other countries in Europe. They have developed an academic integrity maturity model, a tool to compare the results of the impact analysis across 27 EU member states.

Cath Ellis, New South Wales

The presentation that had the most impact on me was from Cath Ellis from the University of New South Wales. Cath reported that there was too much anecdotal information forming decisions, and not enough hard data.

To find out how many students are using contract cheating services, Cath asked them anonymously. Out of the 14,096 students surveyed around 6% (n=814) admitted to cheating in some form during their programme. The vast majority of this cheating comes in the form of assistance from other or former students. It is not commercially driven. The cheating group’s attitudes show they are less likely to think it’s wrong, although there was no discernible difference between English and non-English speaking students. Non-English speaking students are as likely to think cheating is wrong as English speaking students. Other findings of the study showed that when there are perceptions that there are a lot of opportunities to cheat, cheating goes up. And when there is dissatisfaction with the teaching environment, cheating goes up.

Cath discussed the need for students to have “ethical fitness” – we should not try to remove every opportunity to cheat as students need to be ethical.

She then discussed the various types of contract cheating and review some of the typical websites.

Assessment design is widely advocated as a possible solution to contract cheating, but Cath argued that this is a myth. We should not change our assessment design because of a small percentage of cheaters. Reduced assessment time (shorter deadlines) will actually drive students towards essay mills.

Cath noted that we are not having the correct conversations with students and advised us to discuss contract cheating with them. Part of the study looked at the perceptions of how prevalent contract cheating is, compared to how damaging it is. The study showed that students in the cheating group thought that a lot of students were doing it and it was not that serious. Staff members thought it was not very common but it was very serious. Students in the non-cheating group followed the same path as the students in the cheating group. They also thought that lots of students were doing it while it was not very serious.

Professor Phil Newton – Swansea University

The last presentation was given by Professor Phil Newton from Swansea University. He presented various research projects that explored academic integrity.

I found the event extremely useful and I have reflected since on the way Newcastle University approaches academic integrity. The presentation from Cath Ellis convinced me that we should not be changing any approaches to assessment to attempt to counter the small number of cheating students, but we should be minimising their opportunities to cheat. We also need to be having more conversations with staff and students about the promotion of academic integrity, and the impact contract cheating could have on their career.