The next annual North East Regional Three Rivers Learning and Teaching Conference will be held on the 17 March 2017 at Teesside University.
Now in its 10th year, this regional conference builds upon the success of previous partnership events held by the region’s Universities (Northumbria, Sunderland, Durham, Newcastle and Teesside). The conference title is ‘Transformations, Transitions & Territories’ and further information can be found on our website.
We would like you to participate in this year’s conference by submitting an abstract for a 20 minute paper presentation by 16th December 2016 that is focused on one of the following areas of the student journey:
Student access, retention, attainment and progression in higher education
Internationalising higher education
Student engagement through partnership
Technology enhanced learning
Education for Sustainable Development
Submissions are welcome from all staff at participating institutions and joint student/staff submissions are encouraged.
Monday 24 October sees the launch of the 2016 International Student Barometer (ISB), which Newcastle is taking part in for the eleventh time.
The ISB gives European Union and international students the opportunity to give their opinions on their experiences at Newcastle, from arrival at the University, through to teaching, accommodation and employability
We will survey all full-time and part-time EU and international undergraduates, taught and research postgraduate students, as well as study abroad and exchange students, based here in Newcastle and at Newcastle University London. We are unable to survey non-UK based and distance learning students as part of the ISB.
What is the ISB?
The annual ISB, which is run by i-Graduate, asks European Union and international students in around 200 universities across the world about their course and learning experiences. In 2016, the ISB will run at Newcastle between 24 October and 2 December.
What questions does it ask?
The survey includes questions about the whole student learning experience, including:
Pre-Arrival (including decision-making, application, and funding)
Arrival (including registration, and welcome/induction)
Learning (including teaching, assessment, and employability)
Living (including living costs, sports facilities, and accommodation)
Support (including personal tutors, students’ union, and wellbeing)
Who benefits from the ISB?
Schools, professional support services and NUSU examine the anonymised ISB data internally to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. This information can be used to help effect changes designed to enhance or improve the student experience for both current and prospective students.
The ERDP (Unit for Educational Research, Development and Practice) will welcome Pauline Kneale PVC(T) Plymouth University for as part of their seminar series next month.
Pauline has led the development within Plymouth of a very active and successful Pedagogic Research network.
She will be leading a workshop in the morning of 8 November on evaluating teaching development which will be based upon the findings of an HEA-funded project.
She will also be delivering a seminar at lunchtime on that day, in which she will be sharing her reflections on developing pedagogic research.
Pauline is an excellent speaker and her presentations will be of interest to anybody interested in developing pedagogic research whatever stage their career is at or is interested in evaluating the impact of their teaching.
With increasing developments and discussions around teaching excellence in the sector, the Edubites sessions this year will be delivered as a Teaching Excellence Series to discuss this topic from a range of perspectives.
Everyone is invited and welcome to attend as many of the sessions as they wish.
As always, Edubites offers you the opportunity to share your practice and discuss issues or points of interest with other colleagues, so please do come prepared to contribute.
Lunch will be provided, so please register if you wish to attend.
Peer parenting, or mentoring, inductions have taken place across campus.
The university’s mentoring scheme is gearing up for another busy year of supporting first year students through the first term of University here at Newcastle.
The scheme involves recruiting second year students to act as mentors, or parents, to first years offering advice on academic work as well as on other aspects of University experience.
In the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (APL), Caroline Armstrong, Student Recruitment and Wellbeing Manager, organises the scheme, and the new “families” are all set for the new year.
Caroline said: ‘We call them parents in this school, rather than mentors.
‘We’ve been doing this for years now.
‘I just think that it’s such a good way of helping students to settle in.
‘I pick out the groups as soon as the firm offers are confirmed and students are contacted before they start by their new university “parents”.’
Caroline thinks the scheme is invaluable for new students in the School.
‘Just having someone there, who was in your position last year, to say “it gets better” makes all the difference.
‘Our students, like many others from across the University, are used to being real shining stars at School and when they get to University can struggle as they adjust to new subjects and new ways of thinking.
‘The have a social room, like a Common Room in the School and knowing and socialising with the second and third years can help them to feel comfortable and relaxed in these public spaces.’
The School have recently run their induction event, at which mentors meet their mentees for the first time.
‘We just get them together and they get a tour of the School and then have lunch with their new “families”.
‘To break the ice we gave them spaghetti, marshmallows and fruit pastels and told each “family” [a group formed of two mentors and a number of mentees] to build a structure.’
The scheme is so popular that the “parents” now have “grandparents”, third year students to help initiate them into their parental duties.
‘We might try brightly coloured jackets, to make the mentors really easy to spot in freshers week and to help promote the scheme to our other students.’
Caroline is currently planning feedback meetings, where students will be able to raise any pitfalls or benefits of the scheme.
‘Then it’s already looking forward to January, where we will start contacting this year’s first years to see if they want to parent next year’s students.’
Do you need help or advice about Peer Mentoring? Contact email@example.com.
ReCap will be unavailable from 2pm on Friday 2nd September whilst we perform the annual upgrade to the service.
During the upgrade it will not be possible to make new recordings or view or edit existing recordings.
It is anticipated that the ReCap service will be available again by close of business on the 2nd but there is the potential for intermittent outages during the weekend (3rd and 4th September) whilst configuration is completed.
We thank you for your patience at this time and if you require any further clarification please contact the team.
In light of the growing success of the University’s peer mentoring programme, Newcastle has appointed a new co-coordinator for the scheme, based in LTDS.
Claire Burnham began her new role in August and is already involved in helping to support the scheme more widely across the University.
She said: ‘I’m really looking forward to getting going with the programme. It’s going to be very exciting meeting the new mentors and helping to deliver some of the training.’
The programme trains and supports second and third year students to offer help and advice to first years as they begin their studies.
Each mentor works with a group of students in his or her school and a coordinator in their school or unit supervises the project and acts as a point of contact for mentors needing extra support or advice.
A Newcastle alumnus, with a degree in Psychology, Claire is very aware of the importance of getting it right in helping students to transition between school and higher education.
She said: ‘It’s such a great way of supporting students in making the transition to University, having a mentor who has already been through it and can offer support and advice.’
The programme offers full training to all mentors, equipping them with the skills to help new students but also with transferrable skills which will help them to enter the world of work.
As well as arranging and supporting training for peer mentors across the University, Claire is also responsible for making sure that the mentor’s achievements are celebrated.
She said: ‘We will be running, as we have done in previous years, awards for the best mentor in each faculty as nominated by their mentees.’
The awards get presented in a special event to be held at the Great North Museum: Hancock Museum on 5 December.
‘There is also an award for the best coordinator. So the event marks a great chance for mentors and coordinators to get together and celebrate a good job well done.’
If you would like help with training and supporting student mentors in your school or have any questions about the Peer Mentoring Scheme, you canemail Claire on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a particularly novel approach to Peer Mentoring School? Get in touch with us on email@example.com and tell us about it.
The Higher Education Academy conference will be held on 4th, 5th and 6th July 2017 in Manchester and will concentrate on ‘improving the quality of teaching and learning in the age of the Teaching Excellence Framework.’
Structured over three days, the conference will provide a platform for higher education professionals to share their experiences, ideas, research and good practice in a community of their peers and learn from internationally respected speakers.
The conference format allows for cross-fertilisation of pedagogies, with a day dedicated to addressing sector priorities, such as retention, assessment and employability, sandwiched between two days of discipline-led activities.
The conference is an ideal opportunity to meet like-minded peers, build networks, and expand your knowledge of sector issues and innovations, thus strengthening your own professional practice and reputation.
Proposals for posters are invited from higher education professionals that relate to this year’s chosen theme and/or one of the sub-themes below:
Student access, retention, attainment and progression;
Internationalising higher education;
Student engagement through partnership;
Student choice landscape;
Leadership of learning and teaching in the disciplines;