The fund (formerly the University Education Development Fund) provides grants of up to £10,000 to support the development of new approaches to learning and teaching across Newcastle University.
Two strands of funding are available:
Strand A – applications up to £2500. Projects can be specifically focussed within an individual academic unit, or across multiple areas as appropriate to the project.
Strand B – applications up to £10,000. Projects must involve collaboration across academic units and/or services and have potential benefits that are applicable beyond a single school or academic unit.
Chaired by the PVC Education, the fund offers a fantastic opportunity to propose and deliver projects with real benefit to student education. Applications should further the aims and key themes of the Education Strategy.
Venue/Time: 21 June 2023, University of Manchester
Network: AdvanceHE_GTA Developers Network
Who: Dangeni, Professional Development Adviser, LTDS
In the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, Postgraduates who teach, including Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) play a crucial role in shaping the academic experience of countless students. These passionate educators form the backbone of university classrooms, bringing fresh perspectives and knowledge to enhance the learning environment. My role as a Professional Development Adviser at LTDS involves delivering workshops to postgraduates who teach at Newcastle University, supporting their professional development through the various modules and pathways we offer, e.g. ILTHE and ELTS.
I had the opportunity to attend the Graduate Teaching Assistants Network event at the University of Manchester in June, which brought together researchers and practitioners from different UK universities to share insights and support each other in promoting and developing GTA support. This blog post summarises the highlights and reflections from this enriching experience.
Prior to the event, the organisers facilitated the sharing of materials, resources, ideas and approaches related to GTA development from across the institutions, which can be widely disseminated to various key stakeholders working with GTAs. For example, a practical guide New to Teaching Geography, which oﬀers a starting point for graduate teaching assistants, teaching fellows and demonstrators. Another great example is around measuring the effective teaching through designing a Teaching Observation Form based on undergraduate feedback. These resources already and will benefit GTAs by unpacking the hidden curriculum of teaching and providing practical suggestions for GTAs to take away and implement in their own contexts; it’s also valuable for practitioners like me to reflect on and embed the effective and good practice in our current provision.
What happened on the day
The session began by reflecting on our roles and perspectives, e.g. where we work centrally or in a department, in an academic contract or as professional service staff, is supporting GTAs a core element of our role or something we do in addition to our day-to-day work, understanding that institutional differences and the different roles we play in supporting PgRs with teaching responsibilities require more in-depth discussion and frequent communication to share effective practices and reflect together on potential challenges.
We had key themes running through the day-long programme, such as:
Supporting GTAs within departments, faculties and disciplines across institutions.
The new PSF and its implications for accredited programmes.
D1.1. Use of appropriate Professional Values, including at least V1 and V3
D1.2 Application of appropriate Core Knowledge, including at least K1, K2 and K3
D1.3 Effective and inclusive practice in at least two of the five Areas of Activity
Inclusion and EDI were mentioned, highlighted and discussed throughout the day, including a workshop on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion by colleagues from the University of Sheffield. This training material is a practical tool for GTAs and us to explore prejudice and discrimination and describe how it can occur in everyday teaching and learning contexts.
I presented and shared how we support GTAs through formal programmes and a recently established informal community building event at Newcastle University. In running ILTHE and ELTS and gathering feedback from participants, we found that workshop participants wanted the opportunity to continue to engage with teaching practice and develop their teaching skills after the workshops. This online community has been created based on my teaching experiences as an international GTA and my previous research projects, which looked at GTA, peer-mentoring and researcher development.
What did I think of the day?
The day was packed with insightful, exciting and innovative presentations from colleagues and GTAs from different institutions. I also had many useful resources to take away and great discussions with colleagues to reflect on. Thank you for taking the time to read this GTA-themed blog post. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to chat about our pathways and your practice!
If you are interested in finding out more about the modules and pathways we offer here at Newcastle, check out the following links:
I am a Professional Development Adviser in the Academic Practice Team at LTDS. My teaching and research focus broadly on the teaching and learning provision in the wider context of the internationalisation of higher education.
I am particularly interested in research and practices around international students’ access, engagement and success in postgraduate taught (PGT) and postgraduate research (PGR) settings.
LTDS are running an online workshop Evidencing Teaching Excellence for Promotion on 7th September from 2-3pm.
This workshop is for any member of academic staff thinking of applying for promotion in whole, or in part on the basis of their teaching (whether they are on Teaching and Research or Teaching and Scholarship contracts).
The workshop is likely to be of particular interest to academic staff who are, or may be, intending to make an application to the 2023-24 or 2025-26 promotion rounds.
Yulia Dzenkovska is a Lecturer in Marketing (NUBS) specialising in services marketing and service innovation. Her interest in design thinking dates from her time here as a PhD student when she took part in a careers service design thinking event (EIT Health Innovation Competition) and won first prize! Since then, she has developed her interest in this approach and incorporated it into her module “New Product and Service Development” with great success. She is also the Employability Lead for her Subject Group.
Lucy Hatt is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership Development and Entrepreneurship (NUBS), with a particular interest in the value of the threshold concept approach for entrepreneurship, enterprise and employability educators. She is the DPD for the MBA and leads modules on Innovation, Change and Enterprise which incorporate Design Thinking approaches.
The call for nominations for the 2024 National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) is now open and the deadline for nominations is 12 noon on Friday 3 November 2023.
The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) is a highly prestigious award which celebrates excellent practice and outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education.
The awards support individuals’ professional development in learning and teaching and provides a national focus for institutional teaching and learning excellence schemes.
The Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence (CATE) celebrate collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning.
For more information about the awards, including eligibility and the application criteria, please visit the information pages on the Learning and Teaching website:
The Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards aim to raise the status of education at Newcastle University by rewarding individuals and teams who have made a marked impact on the student educational experience.
The 2023 winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards have now been announced, with two winning submissions out of a very competitive field of nominations:
Dr Carys Watts School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences
Dr Watts receives her award for her sustained, and much valued, record of achievement and dedication to student learning and support. She is commended for her excellent work on the Support to Study, Virtual Exchange and Study Abroad initiatives, and more generally for her collegiality and passion for teaching.
Carys commented “I am delighted to receive this award and to be recognised for progressing student mobility, co-creativity and enterprise activities. Working with some incredible colleagues and teaching a diverse student community keeps me motivated, reflective and innovative in my approach to education”.
Rosalind Beaumont School X
Rosalind receives her award for her record of innovation and creativity in support of student learning and staff development, both within her School and Faculty and more widely across the University. She is praised for her teaching excellence, dedication to sustainability, and for her support and contributions to the University’s Professional Standards Framework scheme.
Rosalind remarked “It’s an honour to be recognised by my peers for my work with both students and staff in different educational contexts at Newcastle over the last 15+ years. I’m here through a lot of determination, luck, and the countless conversations with colleagues and students which have helped shape me into the educator and colleague I am today. Thank you to all of you who have been part of my development so far – there’s always more to do, so let’s get on with it!”
The panel, chaired by Ruth Valentine (Interim PVC Education), were extremely impressed with the scale of impact, breadth of activity, and the creative approaches to education and student support demonstrated by all awardees.
On Friday, at the end of this Art of the Possible event, we got together with Dr David Kennedy, Dean of Digital Education, to look back over the main themes and to find out his views on some of the common questions and challenges running through the week.
Many thanks to David for this conversation, to all our speakers and presenters who have contributed over the week, and to colleagues who have come along and shared their insights and questions.
Let’s keep these conversations going!
You can catch up on recordings and resources from links on this blog:
In this Art of the Possible presentation, Jack Ennis and Jo Robinson-Lamb from NUIT’s Digital Adoption Team walked us through some of the AI driven productivity tools that are already available in Microsoft products and then whetted our appetites with previews of Microsoft products being developed now.