All posts by Suzanne

Based in Quality in Learning and Teaching. Currently working on a University project looking at diversifying the offer of learning and teaching programmes via online and distance provision, including MOOCs. Continues to work on copyright implications for lecture capture. Background in arts management and production. With Newcastle University since 1999. Expertise centred around elearning, open educational resources, project inception and management. Likes soup. And cats.

Reading group in LTDS

A little while ago we started a small reading group for colleagues in the Learning and Teaching Development Service to share ideas and discuss current issues and publications related to learning and teaching in Higher Education.

We set ourselves a couple of parameters to encourage engagement, as we had tried a journal club previously to not a great deal of success.

This time we decided to limit ourselves:

  • to things that could be read or digested in around less than half an hour
  • to try too keep the readings short and digestible
  • to keep the discussion sessions to 30 minutes
  • to use small groups for discussion of themes, impressions etc

Over the past few groups we have:

Our next group will explore microcredentials by looking at the recent QAA quality compass paper – which way for micro credentials.  

This will be the first meeting of a slightly expanded group which includes colleagues from FMS TEL .

We have one person running the group for 6 months (Me!) and I look after collating suggestions which come in from anyone who wants to suggest something. I try to have a range of different types of materials and cover a range of learning and teaching related viewpoints as our group has people who work in policy, practice, pedagogy, quality assurance, data and governance, professional development and all the intersections thereof.

Last time we listened to a radio programme about closed captions, which really made me think about how we approach captioning in HE. Some great ideas resulted from the session and it certainly got us talking!

Sharing effective practice from Strategic projects in blended learning

A recent DELT Forum here at Newcastle looked at the outputs, lessons learned and what works from four strategic projects which are now running with students.

As the covid-19 crisis hit, these projects were the four which needed to carry on, as they were, about a year ago, in active recruitment.

The four projects were:

  1. Level 7 degree apprenticeships and CPD in the School of Computing, under the Institute of Coding project
  2. Executive Education PG programmes in the Newcastle University Business School including case studies onLearner-Centred Curriculum Design using the ABC Method and Engaging work-based learners in online spaces through the development of digital residency
  3. Laboratory safety work in the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences including the FMS BNS Health and Safety Case Study
  4. Flexible first year, General Engineering UG programme in the School of Engineering. Including a case study on using OneNote class notebooks as digital logbooks.

The last three were supported by strategic investment by the University in developing capability and capacity under Priority Actions 10 & 11 of our Education Strategy (formerly known as the TEL Roadmap).

The outcomes from all four were fascinating with intriguing insights into the programme level design processes which took place, the types of content produced to support learning key concepts, and the blends of online and face to face delivery which stood the teams in good stead as they had to move to wholly online.

The teams produced videos, presentations and case studies for each project and presented headlines at the DELT Forum, for which a slide deck is available to Newcastle University staff.

Each project above is linked to a webpage where you can see finished films and case studies – which will grow in number.

If you have ideas for strategic projects, please talk to your Faculty in the first instance. Or you can contact ltds@ncl.ac.uk

What works? Sharing effective practice with online/blended learning

A recent DELT Forum was a great impetus for collecting some new examples of what works with online/blended learning here at Newcastle University as the current situation has meant that lots of colleagues have been doing lots of really great stuff to make student learning experiences rich and meaningful.

There are 9 new case studies to explore right now and more to come soon at the case studies site.

A team drawn from LTDS and FMS TEL drew together examples of effective practice in action on three themes:

  1. Supporting and promoting a sense of community for students in online environments.
  2. Providing pathways for students through online modules/programmes to help them structure their studies and learning.
  3. Achieving, promoting and maintaining student engagement with online learning. 

The slide deck from this event is available to all Newcastle University staff.

It contains examples from all three Faculties together with supporting resources and pointers to more developed case studies and contact details for colleagues.

If you have something you’d like to share please let us know by emailing ltds@ncl.ac.uk and we will get back to you.

Award winning courses

Two free online courses from Newcastle University were recognised at the National Dementia Awards 2019 last night, where they won Outstanding Educational Resource.

Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well, and Dementia Care: Living Well as Dementia Progresses were both designed to provide information, advice, and opportunities to share experiences for people living with or care for people with dementia.

Developed in partnership between academic teams in FMS led by Lynne Corner and Professor Dame Louise Robinson, and the Learning and Teaching Development Service, the course are now in their 8th and 3rd runs and consistently get great feedback from learners.

Both courses are open to anyone and are freely available on FutureLearn.

Tackling opioid prescribing for treating pain in people with cancer

Despite being commonly prescribed, opioids account for more reported drug errors than any other high-risk medication (Alanazi et al, 2016). They represent a significant patient safety and public health issue.

A new free online course from Newcastle University will help healthcare professionals increase their knowledge of the basic pharmacology of opioids so they are better able to prescribe opioids safely and effectively in the treatment of cancer-related pain.

Opioid Analgesics: Treating Pain in People with Cancerstarts on 29 July and is designed to  increase safe prescribing and monitoring practice for this patient group. This three week course covers the pharmacology of opioids, principles for safe prescribing, the rationale for prescribing opioids to treat cancer pain and the proactive management of  adverse events.

This course is for qualified healthcare professionals who prescribe opioid drugs and/or care for patients who are taking opioids anywhere in the world. It will be of particular use to general practitioners, palliative care specialists, acute hospital practitioners (surgical and medical disciplines), pharmacists and those with an interest in pain management, including medical and non-medical prescribers and those professionals involved in monitoring and supervision of opioid prescribing.

Dr Victoria Hewitt
Dr Victoria Hewitt

Photo of Dr Paul Coulter
Dr Paul Coulter

Opioid Analgesics: Treating Pain in People with Cancer is led by Dr Victoria Hewitt and Dr Paul Coulter. Vicky is a Specialist Palliative Care Physician and Curriculum Director for Masters programmes in Oncology and Palliative Care at Newcastle University, and has a special interest in safe medicines management at end of life. She has been blogging about the course here. Paul is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine, based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

“I believe strongly that we have a moral obligation to use open courses to widen access to medical education and improve patient outcomes.   Lack of education for prescribers has been recognised as contributing to the so-called “opioid crisis” and was highlighted by the Gosport War Memorial inquiry.  Despite this, few courses about opioids are currently available outside the field of specialist addiction services.

This MOOC has been designed to address this unmet educational need and expands Newcastle Unversity’s profile within the global cancer and palliative care communities, positioning it as a key influencer of national and international opioid-prescribing agendas”. Dr Victoria Hewitt

Sign up now at: www.futurelearn.com/courses/opioid-analgesics

Make your learning and teaching resources more inclusive – two free online courses

Home Office poster on inclusive design.
Inclusive design is better for everyone.

Following on from the interest shown in a session, run by Ruth Graham and Sandy Alden, at the 2018 Learning and Teaching Conference, on designing inclusive learning, you can now sign up for two free online courses.

Inclusive Learning and Teaching Environments and Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society are both from the University of Southampton.

Inclusive Learning and Teaching Environments runs from Sept 3rd for three weeks and is specifically for those working in Higher Education and interested in making elearning accessible to all.

Explore the barriers experienced by disabled students and learn how to overcome these barriers through inclusive practices.

Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society runs from Oct 8th for five weeks, and has 8 universities discussing different aspects of digital technologies and accessibility from the developer and user’s point of view. It features case studies, new technologies and the latest news about legal standards and guidelines for web, mobile, documents, IoT etc. When there is:

“a better understanding of users’ needs, technologies can be developed to be accessible & provide a more inclusive environment”

Both courses are free, and offer practical hints and tips you can use straight away to make your own resources more inclusive.

Media enhanced learning special interest group

The Media Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group (MELSIG) is a group of academics, learning technologists, staff developers and others whose purpose is to:

  • develop a self-sustaining UK Special Interest Group and community of practice for Media Enhanced Learning that adds value, builds capacity, and stimulates global partnerships and networks;
  • facilitate discussion and dissemination of the pedagogic use, purposes and benefits of digital and social media in post-compulsory education, and to consider its future uses;
  • provide a staff development focal point for media-enhanced academic practice (digital audio, video, smart and social media, and the use of related technologies), from ‘novice‘ to ‘expert’;
  • integrate ‘the student experience’ and ‘student views’ into SIG activities and deliberations;
  • be a resource for pedagogic research and investigation in the areas relating to digital and social media, related new technologies and applications;
  • co-ordinate a network of practitioners;
  • provide information and guidance on practice through its association;
  • provide an annual futures report based on a survey of leading international practitioners in the area of media-enhanced learning.

With a diverse stering group drawn from post compulsory education from all over the UK, it is an active group sharing effective practice widely.

There is already a great set of co-produced resources on the MELSIG website, including :

Regular events (usually free to attend)  provide opportunities for networking with others from different disciplines and institutions to co-produce more toolkits, collaborate and share effective practice. The next event, on 21 June 2018 in Sheffield, focuses on enhancing practice with digital and social media.

There is a jiscmail list which anyone can join.

Puzzled by GDPR? It’s UK law from May 2018….

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes law in the UK this May.

Despite the vote to leave the European Union, the Government has confirmed that they will adopt the GDPR, which will therefore be law in the UK from 25 May 2018.

How does it affect learning and teaching?

Well, all members of University staff have certain responsibilities under our Data Protection Policy to:

  • be aware of the Data Protection Act (and therefore GDPR) and what it means to the University
  • follow the policy and procedures for handling personal data
  • consult with the Information Security Officer (Compliance) for advice and guidance when necessary

Wherever personal data is held about anyone, staff, students, visitors etc. there is a legal requirement to comply with the regulation.

The University takes it’s responsibilities for GDPR seriously, and has a number of Information Security Officers who deal with compliance, but there are local requirements and schools and units should familiarise themselves with the changes.

Newcastle University IT service (NUIT) has put together some brief guidance on how the GDPR affects schools, some Dos and Don’ts and some useful links to further guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the regulation itself on the EU website.

There is a Brief Update and Guidance (PDF) from the Registrar.

 

How can I find out more?

Learning and teaching in HE: join a weekly #LTHEchat

An image of a bird symbolising a weekly chat on Twitter about HE.
Take part in the weekly #LTHEchat

If you are interested in connecting with other people who work in learning and teaching in higher education, you might be interested in #LTHEchat – a weekly social media based event. Every week, people from the UK and beyond take part in a one hour Twitter based chat about a topic related to learning and teaching. Continue reading Learning and teaching in HE: join a weekly #LTHEchat

Active Learning Workshop: Transforming students from rebellious prisoners to engaged learners

The School of Pharmacy is organising a one-day workshop on active learning, open to all Newcastle University staff, on 27 June 2018.
The workshop will focus on strategies to promote active learning such as:
  • team-based learning
  • flipped classroom
  • technology-enhanced learning.
Facilitators on the day include:
  • Professor Simon Lancaster, Professor of Chemistry Education, School of Chemistry, University of East Anglia
  • Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor in Information & Computing Technology, Plymouth Institute of Education, Plymouth University
  • Simon Tweddell, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford

The event will showcase innovative and pedagogically-informed practice across undergraduate healthcare education, but will have effective practice to share across many disciplines.

Please complete this form to indicate your attendance.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Dr Hamde Nazar, or Prof Andy Husband.