Category Archives: News

QAA news

Membership

As an institution, Newcastle University is now a member of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). The QAA has moved from a subscription to a membership model, offering various membership services which aim to:

  • address sector-wide challenges including safeguarding degree standards
  • maintain the tools to deliver the highest academic quality, including current and relevant standards and frameworks, such as the Quality Code for Higher Education and revised Subject Benchmark Statements
  • advance UK higher education’s international leadership in quality assurance and enhancement through our strategic partnership work with agencies across the world
  • provide an expert and independent voice on quality and standards.

As a member, we can be part of the Membership Advisory Group and network events, and will receive personalized updates on membership activities at an institutional level.  Additionally, the University receives preferential rates for non-member QAA events and services such as the QAA annual conference, student engagement events, and the Data Matters.

In 2019/20 work that will be undertaken includes new Subject Benchmark Statements, in-country reports, viewpoints and research. Output on degree classification workshops, networking events, partnerships and the Membership Advisory Group will also be published.

Membership resources including case studies, webinars, materials, and reports can be accessed after registration (https://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/membership/resources). New outputs from membership work will be published here.

More information can be found on the QAA website: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/membership/qaa-membership

Updates to Subject Benchmark Statements

At the end of October 2019, QAA published first updates to Subject Benchmark Statements, starting with subjects in STEM and Humanities. These statements describe the academic standards expected of graduates in that subject area (what are students to know, do and understand at the end of their studies). The minor changes to the subject benchmark statements include a reflection of the 2018 Quality Code, and ensure that the QA’s subject level guidance is aligned with current HE reference points. As the changes were minor, no subject expert working groups were convened. The chair or a member of the previous advisory group confirmed any changes.

Similar updates to Subject Benchmark Statements will be made to all subjects.

A full list of updated Subject Benchmark Statements can be found here: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/news-events/news/updates-to-subject-benchmark-statements-in-stem-subjects

Game-Enhanced Learning

By Cameron Hubbard, PGT student, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Students don’t like being lectured. You can see it within the first 20 minutes of a lecture: eyes go dark, phones come out, their attention fades away. Lecturers are constantly trying to increase student engagement but trying to do this via traditional “talk and chalk” methods is flawed. In addition, some content just doesn’t lend itself well to a lecture-based format – especially things like lab and field skills. Thus, novel methods of presenting content are required that capture students’ attention whilst also having an educational benefit. An emerging pedagogical technique is teaching through games, which has been the focus of my internship in the Game-Enhanced Learning (GEL) project.

NU GEL logo

Continue reading Game-Enhanced Learning

Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards 2019

Congratulations to this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award winners who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to enhancing our students’ educational experience.

The winning submissions evidenced impact and influence in a number of areas including, approaches to assessment, student representation, addressing gender imbalance in subject areas, student retention and success at a national and international level.

All submissions were considered by a panel chaired by Professor Suzanne Cholerton,  Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education. The high quality of the submissions was noted by the panel.

Professor Cholerton said, “The Vice-Chancellors Education Excellence Award is an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding work from individuals and teams enhancing our student educational experience. Five awards have been made this year out of a very competitive field of nominations. The panel were extremely impressed with the scale of impact, breadth of activity, and the creative approaches to education and educational support taken by all the awardees. ”

2019 Award Winners

Individual Awards

Dr Phil Ansell, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Dr Kirsten MacLeod, School of English Language, Literature and Linguistics

Dr Luisa Wakeling, School of Dental Sciences

Team Awards

E-Learning Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Specialist Learning Team, Student Health and Wellbeing Service

Find out more about each of the award winners and what the award means to them below.

Dr Phil Ansell, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Dr Phil Ansell

‘I am really pleased to receive the Vice Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award in recognition of the impact that some of my work has had on learning and teaching at Newcastle University. It is of particular pride that projects spanning the entire student journey, from outreach and recruitment to enhancing careers and employability were highlighted as exemplars of good practice by the panel. I look forward to working with students and staff in the future to ensure that we continue to deliver an outstanding and inclusive educational experience for all.’

Dr Kirsten MacLeod, School of English  Literature, Language and LinguisticsDr Kirsten MacLeaod

‘It is an honour to receive the Vice Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award in recognition of my aim to foster and promote innovative teaching and assessment practices. I am indebted to and inspired by many creative, committed, and risk-taking colleagues in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, and grateful for the wonderful support offered by a Faculty and University so committed to positive change.’

Dr Luisa Wakeling, School of Dental Sciences

Dr Luisa Wakeling

‘Enhancing relevance and value in all activities that students undertake is of great importance to help them flourish beyond the University and achieve their professional goals. I have the privilege to work with amazing students who engage with the University, beyond their curriculum, in representing and enhancing the experience of their peers. The skills they develop through Academic Student Representation will be highly relevant in any workplace. I am thrilled to receive this distinguished award that recognises my work in supporting our students with opportunities to acknowledge and evidence their fantastic extracurricular work for their future.’

E-Learning Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics and PhysicseLearning unit

‘We are absolutely delighted to receive the Vice Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award, in recognition of our team’s contribution to supporting student learning in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics and beyond. A solid foundation in mathematics is vital to so many subjects areas, and this award will help us in continuing to build new relationships with colleagues across the University who are involved in the learning, teaching and assessment of mathematical subjects.’

Specialist Learning Team, Student Health and Wellbeing Service

Specialist Learning Team

‘It is recognition of the significant support we provide to underpin the learning experience for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders/Aspergers, and confirms our approach to offer holistic programmes of support fits with University’s vision to provide all students with an inclusive student experience.’

All winners will receive their awards at a congregations ceremony in July and will also be recognised at a University Celebrating Success event. The will also receive funding to support future educational activities.

Next year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards will open in February 2020 and full details about the application process will be published on the LTDS website.

If you have any questions about the award, please contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk 

Find out more about the Academic Practice Team

By Sue Gill, Academic Practice Team Leader, LTDS 

The Academic Practice Team in LTDS supports 3 areas of activity CASAP, ILTHE and UKPSF. All three areas offer support and ideas for PGR students and staff to think about how they support student learning most effectively and have the opportunity to talk to others and share experiences, ideas

Certificate in Advanced Studies in Academic Practice (CASAP)

This programme for staff can lead to recognition with the Higher Education Academy at Descriptor 2, Fellow, of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). The first two of the three 20-credit modules on the programme form the Newcastle Teaching Award (NTA).

Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILTHE)

This blended learning programme provides training to postgraduate researchers, research associates and other part-time staff members who have infrequent teaching responsibilities.

UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF)

Support is available for staff to obtain recognition through this scheme which is accredited by the Advance HE. Our internal Experiential Route provides a flexible pathway for staff to gain HEA fellowship on the basis of their experience in teaching and supporting learning.

Links to all these areas can be found on our web page https://www.ncl.ac.uk/ltds/professional/

Meet the Teams: Educational Governance Team

The Educational Governance Team in LTDS

We are (front row left to right) Laura Johnstone, Jolein De Ridder, Janice Trewick, Jack Ennis, (left to right back row) Gilly Box, Sarah Levison, Liz Turnbull.

Some examples of the things the team lead on;

  • Responding to the student voice, surveys, student representation and so on.
  • Training in EvaSys for Surveys or the External Examiner system.
  • Development of new programmes, Degree Apprenticeships or Educational Partnerships.
  • Developing and maintaining the many policy, process, guidance documents and forms in the Quality Standards Handbook – adding to these as the University moves forward (e.g. incorporating Degree Apprenticeships).
  • Support of various committees; University Education Committee, Taught Programme Sub-Committee, INTO Strategy Group and Cross-Faculty Education Committee.
  • Monitoring and review processes such as Learning and Teaching Review, Annual Monitoring and Review.
  • Governance structures such as Board of Studies activity or supporting your Student Staff Committees.
  • Collation of key programme information such as accreditation information, management of programmes on SAP, the MOFs system and Module Catalogue.

Some random examples of things you maybe didn’t know the team did; Continue reading Meet the Teams: Educational Governance Team

Call for proposals: SEDA Spring Conference 2019

Collaboration to support the student experience and progression

09 May 2019 – 10 May 2019
Location: Clayton Hotel, Belfast

Proposals are welcome in one or more of the following areas:

· Programme, module and learning design
· Course/programme assessment and feedback strategies
· ‘Students as partners’ and related ‘change agent’ initiatives
· Professional development for staff
· Learning and mobile technologies
· Digital capability and institutional support
· Curriculum leadership and staff roles
· Internationalisation
· Widening participation
· Induction and transitions
· Apprenticeships
· Inclusivity
· Wellbeing
· Learning development

Find out full information on the conference website.  Proposals should be submitted to office@seda.ac.uk by Monday 26 November 2018 at 5pm.

 

Advance HE Membership Update: October 2018

The latest edition of the Advance HE update includes:

  • Information about Small Development Project grants and how to apply
  • The latest publication on guiding principles for teaching promotions
  • Thought pieces on employability, networking and leadership development
  • PRES Survey results
  • Information on Advance HE’s look at addressing subject challenges and how you can get involved
  • An Athena SWAN update
  • And dates for your diary

Newcastle University staff can view the newsletter here (log in needed).

Please get in touch with LTDS@ncl.ac.uk with any questions.

Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home

By Sue Robson, Emerita Professor, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Internationalization has become a key strategic priority in higher education (HE), posing both critical challenges and development opportunities for universities. While many HE institutions have an internationalisation strategy, approaches to internationalisation vary enormously. The number of international students and staff on roll, and the number of ‘mobile’ students and staff engaged in international research and teaching collaborations are highly regarded and prestigious indicators of quality and prestige in higher education institutions (Wihlborg and Robson, 2017).

Increasingly, however, universities are seeking to develop more inclusive approaches that enable all students and staff -and particularly the non-mobile majority – to experience the underlying social, academic and intercultural learning benefits of an ‘internationalised university experience‘ (Robson, Almeida and Schartner, 2018). One of the developing areas of interest for research and practice into the internationalization of higher education is the concept of Internationalization at Home (Almeida et al., 2018). This was the focus for the Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home (ATIAH) Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships Project. Internationalisation at Home is one of the Key Priority Areas of the European Commission’s Communication “European HE in the World”: ‘Promoting internationalisation at home and digital learning’ (COM/2013/499).

Continue reading Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home

June 2018 Learning and Teaching Newsletter

Information gathering: future demand for online exams and in course tests

The eAssessment and Feedback Steering Group are currently gathering information about potential demand for online exams and in course tests in the next 5 years.

We are asking all colleagues who are interested in introducing a new online exam (whether for a new module, or a change to assessment method in a current module) to complete a short online form for each potential new exam.

The information collected will be used to gauge demand and assist in planning future provision.

Continue reading June 2018 Learning and Teaching Newsletter

May 2018 Learning and Teaching Newsletter

Advance HE continuing to support the HEA Fellowship network

As you’ll probably have seen in the press Advance HE is the new agency formed from the merger of the Equality Challenge Unit, the Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

However your Fellowship post-nominals to demonstrate Fellowship status: AFHEA, FHEA, SFHEA, PFHEA will stay the same. If you’re just going through the process of applying for fellowship, it too is not changing and our accreditation for programmes is continuing.

New or innovative approaches to Learning and Teaching

The ULTSEC Innovation fund provides a fantastic opportunity for you to propose and develop projects with real benefit to learning. Continue reading May 2018 Learning and Teaching Newsletter