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
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!
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 email@example.com
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:
Supporting and promoting a sense of community for students in online environments.
Providing pathways for students through online modules/programmes to help them structure their studies and learning.
Achieving, promoting and maintaining student engagement with online learning.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.