EDUBITES Supporting Reflective Practice event

Guest blog by Katie Wray on behalf of EDUBITES:

Newcastle Educators held their inaugural EDUBITES event over lunch on Wednesday 27th January 2016. Dr James Field (Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry) kicked off the sharing events with a look at how we can support reflective practice.

James simulator 3

Across all disciplines, for learners and for ourselves as ‘learner-educators’, self-reflection plays an important role in enabling us to articulate what we have really learned through our study and practice by examining ‘where we have been’ and ‘where we are going’. ‘Supporting Reflective Practice’ was a great topic to begin the series of EDUBITES events, which are intended for educators to gather and discuss issues of importance to practice and personal development.

Furthermore, James demonstrated to us how we can map what we do to the UKPSF, in order to support us in obtaining recognition from the Higher Education Academy, which is becoming even more important in light of new measures such as the forthcoming TEF.

Key to this is the ability to evidence what we do, and how we do it, as we seek to achieve higher recognition for our work by demonstrating support for others, and for the leadership of teaching.

Many of you will be aware that LTDS link their development sessions to the UKPSF standards, so if you are looking to fill some gaps, you could find a relevant session here.

The Case Studies LTDS have collected are also useful. The ePortfolio can help you to record and share evidence with others, and also has a mapping to UKPSF (quite a number of the group did not know this).

James, and his colleagues have undertaken some research which shows that 96% of educators feel that reflection is important, whilst only 2% currently use a framework for reflection. Without doubt, the most important tools to help educators and their students with reflective practice are ‘being able to record and sort through evidence and commentaries, getting into the habit and sharing your experiences’.

Through his research, James has identified a gap in the availability of a dedicated reflection tool which enables you to understand and practice the various levels of reflective practice, and conduct that practice within your work/lifestyle. They are working on a reflection toolkit which could address this gap, so watch this space. At this point in the event, a lively discussion was had. We look forward to inviting you to help trial the toolkit during its development.

Finally, if you are looking for a guide for Reflective Writing to use yourself and with your students, we would recommend the 2012 text ‘Reflective Writing’ (Pocket Study Skills) by Williams et al. available in the Robinson and Walton libraries.

Are you involved in the use of reflective practice at Newcastle? You can get in touch with members of the EDUBITES group directly or contact who can pass information on.

EDUBITES – Teaching Forum Inaugural Meeting 27th January


Teaching colleagues from across the University have launched a new educator-led forum to share good practice and provide support.

The group – which is open to anyone with an interest in teaching at Newcastle – will hold its inaugural meeting on 27th January.

This first EDUBITES session will include a talk on ‘Supporting Reflective Practice’ by Dr James Field (Dental Sciences) and will include lunch.

Although the group has existed in a range of guises in recent years (Teaching Fellows Forum, NUTS Forum), this year’s coordinators are determined to provide a space for the support and discussion of teaching practice and teaching staff across the University.

The group is run by teaching staff for teaching staff and organisers are drawn from across the three faculties; James Field (Dental Sciences), Sara Marsham (Marine Sciences), JC Penet (Modern Languages), Phil Ansell (Maths and Stats.), Lindsey Ferrie (Biomedical Sciences) and Katie Wray (SAgE Faculty).

The group is partially funded by a grant from Pro-VC for Learning and Teaching, Suzanne Cholerton.

Sara said: ‘We really started it as a space for Teaching Fellows and other early career teaching staff to support each other and answer each other’s teaching related questions and queries.’

‘It can often be intimidating to come into a department and start teaching, and quite isolating too.’

‘Early career or new colleagues don’t necessary want to ask more senior staff when they’re unsure or worried about something, so we want to create an informal space for them to raise those queries, get advice from others, and share good practice.’

Although the origins of the group were around the establishment of teaching-only roles in the University, all colleagues are welcome to attend the sessions.

‘We hope everyone will be happy to come along, find out what is happening across the campus, and even propose a session to share their ideas and their practice.’

The meeting takes place on Wednesday 27th January, 12-1 in Bedson Rm 1.19. To register, fill out this form.

To find out more, or to propose a session email:


HEA Arts and Humanities Conference CFP closing

Inspire – sharing great practice in Arts and Humanities teaching and learning
3–4 March 2016
The Waterfront Hotel, Brighton

The call for papers for the HEA Arts and Humanities conference closes on 11 January 2016.

We are accepting paper, ignite sessions, workshop and poster submissions on the following themes:

  • Innovate: How are we adopting and implementing innovative practice in Arts and Humanities teaching and learning?
  • Assessment: How can we meet the assessment & feedback challenges in Arts and Humanities?
  • Achievement: How can we support student retention and attainment in Arts and Humanities?
  • Embedding employability: How can we embed employability and prepare students for their transition into the world of work or postgraduate study through our teaching and learning strategies?
  • Developing our practice: How do we drive our own practice forwards, what are effective strategies for continuing professional development?

Download the call for papers document  and guidance for contributors for more information on preparing your submission.

For more information about the conference formats, to download a submission form, and to book your place, visit the conference page.

Pizza, Pop and Practice: Sound and Vision 27th November 2015

Participants at 3Ps Workshop 27th November 2015
Participants at 3Ps Workshop 27th November 2015

The recent Pizza, Pop and Practice workshop on Sound and Vision, looking at making recordings and short video clips for use in teaching, was a tremendous success.
Participants enjoyed their pizza and pop, whilst learning about Audacity (which enables you to make short sound recordings and clips), Animoto (which allows you to make short video clips to advertise events or explain simple concepts – see Jo’s video about the workshop below), as well as looking at ways to use Microsoft Office Mix to create videos and recordings for use in powerpoints or online.

Thanks to everyone who came along and thanks in particular to Lucy Keating, Marc Bennett, Jo Robinson-Lamb and Nuala Davis for delivering such interesting workshops!
All of the materials from the workshops are now available on this blog.
Interested in using these materials in your teaching? Contact LTDS for more information and support.

Office Mix: Making PowerPoints Interactive

Office Mix is a PowerPoint plugin that enables you to take new and existing presentations and transform them into interactive online learning resources that you can easily publish to your website and/or Blackboard. You can use the tool to add:

Voice and Audio narration to your slides

Annotate you slides in real-time

Record your screen to demonstrate a program or process

Quizzes, polls and other interactive content

Videos and live web pages

An excellent range of resources, including some more advanced features, like embedding mixes in webpages, can be found at

When you come to publish your mixes you can either publish to a personal account or use your University account which Microsoft refers to as ‘Work or School Account’. Simply sign in with your (e.g. and your university password.

If you want to track your students’ progress and engagement with your mixes via your Blackboard Module you can use the integrated Office Mix tool in the VLE. This will give you stats on a range of things that you can link to individual students including how many attempts they took to answer questions and time spent on specific slides.

Using the Office Mix Blackboard tool

Please note: Office Mix is currently in Beta which means that it could change or be removed completely in the future. We believe this is very unlikely given the growing popularity of the product and as your mix PowerPoints will remain functional as presentations it is very low risk experiment should you wish to try it.

You can install Office Mix on your personal machine by clicking here

If you wish to install Office Mix on a University machine simply request that your computing officer apply the following policy: ‘4 NUIT Office Mix Beta’


Vision – Animoto

Animoto - choose a style
Animoto – choose a style

At our last 3P’s session we also ran two sessions on vision.

These looked at using Microsoft software for developing videos and image galleries, as well as Animoto, a software available free online.

Animoto can be used for free, by registering for an Educator’s account….

It’s very simple to use.

Here are some of the materials from the session to jog your memory or get you started:

1. Step-by Step guide to Animoto (docx)

2. Video guide

3. Guide to getting an Educator’s Account

Then it’s just practice really!




In session 3 of our 3P event on Friday 27th we had a look at sound recording and sound file use.  audacityHere are a few resources we used for this part of the session:

ULTSEC Innovation Fund 2015/16 – Deadlines Approaching

The University’s Innovation Fund awards are designed to encourage the development of new or innovative approaches to learning and teaching and to enable their dissemination across the University.

The Innovation Fund is a fantastic opportunity to propose and deliver projects with real benefit to learning, teaching, and the student experience.

Past projects have also offered stepping stones to other internal and external learning and teaching opportunities and funding (eg: evidence for the reward and recognition of teaching; HEA schemes).

Whilst Innovation Fund projects can offer opportunities to undertake educational research, it is essential that the primary focus of projects is on improving the student learning experience.

Responsive project proposal submission deadlines

Spring: Thursday 24 March 2016, 5pm

Summer: Friday 20 May 2016, 5pm

Strategic project proposal submission deadlines

Semester 1: Friday 15 January 2016, 5pm

Semester 2: Friday 20 May 2016, 5pm

More information is available on the LTDS website.

Workshops for prospective applicants to the Innovation Fund are available giving an overview of the purpose of the fund, and the responsive and strategic strands of funding.

Presentations will be made by winning Innovation Fund project teams.

Guidance will be available from the Careers Service about employing students as part of an Innovation Fund project.

Introduction to the application process, key dates, and where to find further information will also be included:

Monday 7th December 2015 – 10.00-11.00

Wednesday 24th February 2016 – 14.00-15.00

To book your place, please register here.

For more information about the Innovation Fund contact


NUTELA 3PS 111115NUTELA will hold it’s first Pizza, Pop and Practice workshop of this academic year in the Tees Cluster at the Robinson Library on Friday 27th November 2015.

The workshop, entitled Sound and Vision in Teaching, will showcase techniques to use video and sound editing software to create short film sequences and audio recordings for teaching.

As well as vast quantities of FREE PIZZA and POP over lunchtime, the event will offer a series of short workshops to show participants how to use Microsoft Mix to put together or mix up words and images, Vine and Animoto to make short animations and Audacity to record short sound clips.

See Animoto in action and learn more about the event:

Participants must register for catering purposes.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Inserting an Office Mix into a Blackboard Module

Follow these steps to use an Office Mix Placement inside a module in Blackboard:

  1. Go to the module you’d like to use.
  2. In the Tools menu, select Office Mix.
  3. In the Link Name box, type a name.
  4. Configure any additional settings you’d like.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. When you return to the Module, click the item that you just added.
  7. When the item appears, use one of these methods to select a mix:
    • By URL: A simple way to select a mix is to visit the Office Mix website, watch a mix, and copy/paste the URL in the dialog. This method makes it easy to include mixes that have been created by other people.
    • My Mixes: Select a mix from your My Mixes page. In order to prevent students from having to sign in to view a mix, only those mixes with permissions set to Unlisted or Public are shown. You can find our how to set these preferences here
  8. After you have selected a mix, click Yes to confirm that this is the mix you’d like to use.