Category Archives: ePortfolio

New Digital Learning Website

We are excited to announce the launch of a new Digital Learning website go.ncl.ac.uk/digitallearning

This new site brings together the digital learning activities taking place across the University, providing you with information, step by step guides and ideas to help you to get the most out of digital technologies for learning, teaching and assessment.  

Visit the site to find out about: 

Canvas– the University’s exciting new Virtual Learning Environment replacing Blackboard from 1st August 2020. Staff and students can find project updates, information about the support available, answers to FAQs and upcoming events. 

TEL Services, lots of information about our centrally supported technologies and systems, digital exams and access to TEL guides providing you with step by step instructions. 

Blended Learning, if you want to explore online educational materials and collaborative learning opportunities with traditional face-to-face delivery, visit these pages for inspiration and support. 

We will be continuing to update the site with resources so please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see that can support you in your role. Get in touch at LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

Coming soon: NU Reflect

Driven by a need to engage better with reflective practice, a strategic review of the University’s current ePortfolio system has taken place. In line with the outcomes of the review, and feedback from colleagues and students, the system will be redeveloped and relaunched as NU Reflect for September 2021.

NU Reflect will be relevant to all students and provide the tools to support personal, professional, and academic reflection in both modular and non-modular contexts, as well as providing opportunities for students to discuss their personal development.

Incorporating reflection in programmes and modules provides an effective way to support students to understand their own learning processes, and to develop their awareness of their own skills and abilities and evidence these, applying theoretical knowledge to real experiences and supporting employability.

NU Reflect will also support Personal Tutoring as colleagues can use the system to create and record meetings with any student. Meetings can take place in a variety of contexts, such as Personal Tutor meetings or group meetings for student projects. It will also offer access to individual records of all tutees including their UCAS Personal Statements, assessment marks through NESS, timetable, and student information from SAP.

Guidance and case studies on the use of reflective practice are available, and further information about NU Reflect will follow soon.

If you have any questions regarding NU Reflect, please contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk

Learning Design Bootcamp Success

A team of academic and professional services colleagues have successfully applied to take part in this year’s Learning Design Bootcamp. 

Introduced in 2019, the bootcamp is a fantastic opportunity for teams to work with experienced colleagues from other institutions to design and develop modules of their choice.  

The successful Newcastle University team are based in the School of Modern Languages and the Learning and Teaching Development Service, bringing lots of ideas and expertise to the process. The team will benefit from a range of workshops, the chance to connect with a community of practitioners and access to their own mentor and coach.  

The bootcamp will support teams with the implementation of online/blended learning covering 4 key aspects of learning design: 

  • Student journey 
  • Learning Design 
  • Evaluation  
  • Quality  

Nuala Davis, Learning Enhancement and Technology Projects Adviser is part of the successful team and has shared how it is going so far: 

“Even though we are now less than half-way through the Bootcamp we already have lots to reflect on and bring forward into our practice. It’s giving us the opportunity to learn more about module design in the context of a real project.” 

An educational experience supported and enhanced by technology is a key theme in our Education Strategy  and taking part in the programme offers a unique opportunity to develop confidence in broadening the choice of learning design approaches adopted by academic and professional services colleagues. 

Following the bootcamp, the team will have lots of knowledge to share, so look out for some case studies, events and our own internal bootcamp.  If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch with LTDS@ncl.ac.uk  

Advance HE: in Partnership

April Newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest news from AdvanceHE in the latest newsletter which includes:

  • Connect Benefit Series: Sustainability for everyone
  • Student Partnerships in Assessment Programme
  • Education for Sustainable Development
  • Advance HE Member Survey
  • Teaching and Learning: Senior Fellow Month
  • New network for women in senior leadership roles
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Governance: Advance HE invites applications to join its Board of Directors
  • International Spotlight
  • New Content and Publications
  • Conferences and Events Development Programmes

Find out more about AdvanceHE on their website and if any Newcastle University colleagues have any questions please get in touch at LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

New Learning and Teaching Website

The new Learning and Teaching Development Service Website is now live. 

Visit the new site to find out more about: 

  • Professional development 
  • Governance  
  • Effective practice 
  • Student voice 
  • Funding opportunities 
  • The latest case studies, events and blogs 

For help and guides to get the most out of digital technologies for teaching, learning and assessment you can visit the Digital Learning Microsite

We’d love to hear any feedback you have. Look out for the feedback button on the site or get in touch at LTDS@ncl.ac.uk 

Aspiring NTF Event

The Committee for the Association of National Teaching Fellows (CANTF) shall be hosting another NTFS Roadshow, on Thursday 25th February from 13:00pm to 14:00pm.

Aspiring NTF Event: “New Year, New Network” – enhance your networking to promote your public profile

Facilitated by Professor Debbie Holley (NTF 2014) on behalf of AdvanceHE and The Association of National Teaching Fellows (ANTF)

This workshop is for those considering applying for the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) in 2022 or beyond, and will offer information that will help potential nominees consider future applications. In addition to this, the roadshow will offer insights and thoughts from an interdisciplinary panel about using existing networks. CANTF ran a session about successful networking for impact at the Association of National Teaching Fellows symposium last year and will build upon this work.

The three roadshows toward the end of last year were a great success, and very popular, and we expect this next one to be too. Please share the details of this event widely with colleagues.

Details of how to book can be found here under the “NTFS Roadshow” section.

Getting ready for semester 2

We’ve pulled together a helpful list of new and existing resources for colleagues preparing for semester 2. There are lots of quick tips, ideas from colleagues as well as guides, courses and webinars.

Getting ready for semester 2 digest

An easily skimmable digest of ideas, resources and useful links covering Canvas, assessment, synchronous online sessions and more.

What works?

Get ideas and inspiration from colleagues who have generously shared how they redesigned and delivered teaching in Semester 1.  You can read about what has worked in their short accounts on our effective practice database

See how modules have been redesigned, how fieldtrips have gone virtual and how lots of achievable ideas have kept students engaged.

Webinars

View and book onto available webinars.  We know time is short, so we are adding digests to the webinar listings to make it easy for you to pick up key messages from the sessions.  New webinars include Digital Polling  and NUIT will be offering some revamped Zoom sessions. 

Canvas

We have an ongoing programme of Canvas webinars and have updated and extended the Canvas Orientation course.  These will be vital for colleagues new to teaching this year.  Remember too that all staff and students can pose questions to Canvas 24/7 support.  

Flexible Learning Online Course

All colleagues also have access to the Flexible Learning 2020 Canvas course which articulates changes needed under the Education Resilience Framework.   

Join a Community

Share ideas, ask questions and find out more from your colleagues

You might be interested in the Zoom CommunityTeams CommunityCanvas Community and Numbas Users.  

NUTELA (Newcastle University Technology Enhanced Learning Advoates) and Newcastle Educators also run regular practice sharing sessions and have Teams sites that you can join.   

Visit the Digital Learning Site

We continue to improve the guides and resources on the Digital Learning Site and have noted important changes in the site’s newsfeed.

Get in touch

Let us know if there are any other resources you would find helpful or if you would like to share some of your teaching practice. You can get in touch at 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.

Prestigious teaching award for University team

The E-Learning Unit in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics  received the national Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE), which recognises collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning. 

The successful team is made up of Dr Chris Graham, Christian Lawson-Perfect and Dr George Stagg.  

Chris, Director of E-Learning, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics said: 

 “We are absolutely delighted to receive the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence, recognising our E-Learning Unit’s contribution to our School, institution and wider community, in enhancing the teaching and learning of mathematics, with initiatives such as the Numbas e-assessment software.  

“The award celebrates our collaborative approach to establishing Numbas as a tool used here at Newcastle by over 3,000 students each year in Schools across all three faculties, and at our Malaysia and London campuses. And recognises our role worldwide, with several key international partnerships, a role in high profile national projects in primary and secondary education, and over 2,000 teachers worldwide using our assessment software.  

Continue reading Prestigious teaching award for University team

Learning Analytics Pilot

New Analytics in Canvas is an interactive tool that helps you and your students better track performance and activity within individual courses. It can be accessed in the menu of any Canvas course and allows you to: 

  • Identify which students have viewed pages and resources  
  • Identify which students have participated in the course 
  • Compare grades across assignments by cohort or individual students 
  • Contact students, or groups of students, based on their interactions 

As part of the University’s Task and Finish group on learning analytics we will be running a pilot looking to gather some Newcastle specific information and feedback on the use of the tool. Our aim is to identify the functionalities within New Analytics that Newcastle colleagues find to be most useful in improving student attainment and engagement so that we can make recommendations to the University about how best to implement this system, or others, University-wide. 

As part of a pilot, all we would ask for would be a summary of what you did and how you measured any benefit for your students in terms of attainment or engagement. We appreciate how busy everyone is at the moment so are keen to make sure that taking part requires minimal extra work (setting up the New Analytics within your module assessments or workflow is quite intuitive) and fits in with your already established plans for online delivery in 20/21. 

If you would be interested in taking part, please contact LTDS@newcastle.ac.uk   

If you would like to know more about New Analytics in Canvas, please visit What is New Analytics? 

Success at the International e-Assessment awards

The Newcastle University Digital Exams Service has won the Best use of Summative Assessment Award at the International e-Assessment Awards 2020
Delivering real improvements 

The winners were announced at an online awards ceremony on the 16 June. Finalists had been selected from a range of education sectors and the submissions included a number of exciting and creative projects and solutions. 

When announcing the award for the Best Use of Summative Assessment, the independent panel of judges praised the Digital Exams Service for demonstrating a high level of success, delivering at real scale and meeting a defined need. They also commented that the work on supporting accessibility was particularly noteworthy. 

Excellence and innovation 

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education said: 

‘’I am extremely pleased that the hard work and dedication of colleagues has been recognised with this international award which represents a commitment to excellence, innovation and collaboration across the University.  


The Digital Exams Service has been successful in diversifying online exams with the introduction of digital written exams and a bring your own device approach.  This has enabled more authentic assessment and has enhanced the accessibility of exams for our students.’’ 

Collaboration 

The Digital Exams Service is founded on collaboration between academic and professional services colleagues in academic units across the institution, together with the Learning and Teaching Development Service, NUIT, and Exams and Awards Office. 

The e-Assessment awards 

The e-Assessment Awards programme holds a unique position, as it encompasses all sectors of education: from schools, through further and higher education to workplace training and professional exams. The Awards programme was launched in October 2016 to highlight and celebrate the outstanding and positive contributions that technology makes to all forms of assessment, and has gone on to showcase the best practice, research and innovation in the sector. Find out more about the awards and criteria on the e-Assessment Awards website.