Category Archives: News

Changes to the Learning and Teaching Development Programme from September 2019

Following on from a University wide consultation undertaken at the start of the academic year, LTDS have further developed the Learning and Teaching Development programme for 2019/20.

From September 2019 the Learning and Teaching Development programme will move to a combination of both face to face and online support.

This new holistic offer will include pathways through the programme which can support:

  • Staff new to Newcastle University:
    o Looking for how they can get started with Newcastle University supported teaching, learning and assessment tools, techniques and pedagogies with a set of Learning and Teaching Essentials online, face to face workshops and webinars.
    o Needing to evidence their work for professional recognition by Advance HE against the UK Professional Standards Framework through the Newcastle Education Practice Scheme for probationary requirements.
  • Professional services and academic staff wishing to take advantage of support in evidencing their work for professional recognition by Advance HE against the UK Professional Standards Framework through the Newcastle Education Practice Scheme (NEPS).
  • Existing staff in using technologies and exploring pedagogies to enhance learning, teaching and assessment through new Quick Guides online, and scheduled workshops and webinars in September and January.
  • Programme teams in developing new or revising existing programmes or programme portfolios with bespoke sessions.
  • School based bespoke sessions which build on Learning and Teaching Essentials and Quick Guides.

What’s different?

A new set of Learning and Teaching Essentials and TEL Quick Guides will be available online, for reminders and self paced familiarisation with tools, techniques and policy related to learning and teaching at Newcastle University. There will be fewer scheduled workshops and webinars, which, from September 2019 will be focussed in September and January.

Scheduled workshops continue to be listed at http://elements.ncl.ac.uk and all LTDS run workshops described there can also be offered as school based bespoke sessions.
This change in activity will enable to team in LTDS to develop new workshops based on the new VLE (currently Blackboard) staff requirements to support the roll out of the product from the successful vendor (to be announced soon).

The workshop programme on the elements site will include workshops required for NEPS but which will be available to everyone.

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

The Art of the Possible

Thank you to everyone who took part in the launch of the Education Strategy Series ‘The Art of the Possible’ on 1-5 July 2019. It was excellent to see so many staff from across the campus engaging with this first week of activities under the theme Technology Enhanced Learning.

Throughout the week we explored The Art of Accessible and Inclusive Digital Content through interactive practical workshops, lightning talks showcasing some excellent approaches to creating accessible and flexible resources, and video case studies. We also welcomed Alistair McNaught, Subject Specialist in  Accessibility and Inclusion on Thursday 4 July. Alistair delivered a mixture of practical, strategic and collaborative sessions to raise awareness and confidence in digital accessibility, and the new public sector web accessibility legislation.

Feedback from all of the events was really positive. Some of the most valuable aspects were: Continue reading The Art of the Possible

The Art of the Possible: Case Study

Dr Chloe Duckworth from the School of History, Classics and Archaeology has used engaging, bespoke online resources and a range of practical group activities to create a relaxed learning environment for her students.

Find out more from Chloe in the video below as she describes how she considers accessibility issues  and ensures an inclusive approach to teaching.

If you are interested in reading more about Chloe’s case study or other case studies of effective practice take a look at the case studies website.

 

Introducing ‘The Art of the Possible’

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education, introduces this brand new series of Education Strategy focussed events, showcasing ‘The Art of the Possible’.

This first week focusses on Technology Enhanced Learning given our commitment in the Education Strategy to an educational experience supported and enhanced by technology.

Find out more from Professor Cholerton in the video below.

All events and activities will be delivered in a light, fun and adventurous way and we are looking forward to engaging with colleagues from across the University. Take a look at the programme and find out how to register.

If you are interested in future ‘The Art of the Possible’  events and other learning and teaching news, events and case studies sign up to the learning and teaching newsletter.

#nclpossible

Accessibility for everyone: Alistair McNaught, Subject Specialist, Accessibility and Inclusion

Alistair McNaught,  Subject Specialist, Accessibility and Inclusion

A long time coming…

Disability legislation has required organisations to make “reasonable adjustments” for disabled people since 1995. Unfortunately, the legislation did not define what a reasonable adjustment might look like. For the next 23 years, equalities legislation tried to improve the lived experience of disabled people, but without clarity about what was ‘reasonable’ it often failed. Many disabled students drop out of University courses not because the intellectual challenge is too hard, but because negotiating the basic resources is a daily uphill struggle.

The new public sector web accessibility legislation changes everything. For the first time ever it makes a concrete link between a failure to make a reasonable adjustment and a failure to meet the “accessibility requirement” for websites, VLEs and VLE content. The accessibility requirement for digital content is well established – so it’s very easy to tell if resources fail the ‘reasonable adjustment’ test.

Competence more than compliance

This does not mean not every teaching professional now has to become an accessibility professional, any more than an academic referencing a paper is expected to be an information professional. What it does mean is that professional communicators are expected to communicate using conventions and practices that minimise barriers. With a significant proportion of teaching staff having self-taught IT skills it’s little surprise that we don’t always know the best way to make our resources accessible. But the relevant skills are learned very quickly. They also benefit considerably more students than the 10% with visible or invisible disabilities.

Accessibility for everyone

For too many years, accessibility has “belonged to” the disability support team. This is as unrealistic as hygiene in a restaurant belonging to the chef, with nobody else having awareness of training. Higher education institutions have complex digital ecosystems and accessibility needs to be a ‘hygiene factor’ that threads through the organisation’s policy and practice. The encouraging thing is that the vast majority of accessibility is a combination of good design, good practice, good resources, good pedagogy and good procurement policies. What is there not to like?

Find out more

In the Education Strategy Series: The Art of the Possible, Alistair McNaught will work with different groups of staff in the University to try to do what accessibility should do for everyone: enlighten, empower, support and inspire. Bring your own experience, skill and ambition – the catalysts for culture change.

Find out more about the events and book your place.

Tackling opioid prescribing for treating pain in people with cancer

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.

Dr Victoria Hewitt
Dr Victoria Hewitt
Photo of Dr Paul Coulter
Dr Paul Coulter

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

Sign up now at: www.futurelearn.com/courses/opioid-analgesics

Art of the possible

The Art of the Possible: Showcasing Technology Enhanced Learning at Newcastle University

Professor Suzanne Cholerton invites you to engage with a brand new series of Education Strategy focussed events, showcasing ‘The Art of the Possible’. Over the next year we will be running theme weeks of activities, with each theme week focussing on one of the four key themes in the Education Strategy:

  • Adopting and developing approaches to education that actively engage students in their learning.
  • A research-intensive environment that adds value to the education of all students at all stages.
  • Developing students as the whole person by supporting and preparing them to shape the societies in which they will live and the professions they choose to enter.
  • An educational experience supported and enhanced by technology.

These theme weeks will showcase the wealth of innovation and effective practice already taking place across the University, as well as focusing on new developments within the University and across higher education.

The first theme week will take place 1-5 July 2019, focusing on Technology Enhanced Learning given our commitment in the Education Strategy to an educational experience supported and enhanced by technology.

There will be a range of face to face and virtual events and activities including online case studies and videos to look out for, taster workshops, guest speakers and lightning talks. All delivered in a light, fun and adventurous way but with a clear link to the Technology Enhanced Learning Roadmap and the Graduate Framework.

We will explore the practical aspects of accessibility, inclusion and creating a variety of online content, and we will hear about effective practice taking place within schools and services, from across the University. We are also pleased to welcome Alistair McNaught, Subject Specialist in Accessibility and Inclusion, Jisc on Thursday 4 July.

Find out more about each event below:

Monday 1 July

A video introduction from Professor Suzanne Cholerton will launch this exciting programme which will run each year for the next four years.

Tuesday 2 July, 10:00-11:00

Lightning talks

Join colleagues to explore approaches to creating accessible videos, alternative models of assessment, diversifying online exams, creating accessible and flexible teaching resources and using tablets in teaching.

Thursday 4 July, 10:00-11:00

Small changes, big impacts. How technology tweaks support inclusion: NUTELA 4Bs event

Alistair McNaught, Subject Specialist, Accessibility and Inclusion

This is a practical session with a mix of presentation and activities. We explore the power of pedagogical practice in making content more meaningful. We consider the ‘accessibility profiles’ of different media and formats and identify the small practices that make big differences. We end the session by looking at a series of ‘good practice screenshots’ across the sector and reflecting on your own practice and priorities.

Friday 5 July, 15:00-16:00

Accessibility in practice

We all invest time creating documents and presentations to support teaching and learning. How can we make sure these can be used by our diverse student population? Find out more in this interactive workshop.

Registrations are open for all of these events.

Case studies

We will be promoting a variety of Case Studies over the course of the week so keep an eye on this blog to find out more about teaching ideas from colleagues across the University.

Find out more

Sign up to the Learning and Teaching Newsletter for more information about The Art of the Possible and other Learning and Teaching news.

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 

Language Resource Centre

By Holly Pennal, Language Resources Centre Assistant

The Language Resource Centre is a dedicated centre for language learning available to ALL Newcastle University students and staff. Awarded the Government’s Customer Service Excellence award, the members-only centre (register your smartcard at: ncl.ac.uk/language-resource-centre), is always staffed and has a Language Learning Support Officer on duty Monday to Friday.

  • As well as 110 work stations with 90 PCs, the LRC has bookable spaces including a Meeting Room, a 16-Seater PC cluster with teaching area, and three glass Talk Shops – perfect for group study or to watch films. These can be booked at reception, as well as one-on-one self-study advice appointments with our Language Learning Support Officer if you need some advice on how best to start learning – or improve – your target language. With most of the materials within the centre now being loanable, we also have a feedback box for any suggestions of new resources.Pods in the Language Resource Centre
  • The LRC runs the university IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) site: a world TV and film video streaming service, available for FREE to all Newcastle University students and staff. It hosts a large database of over 3000 foreign & English language films, viewable on demand, and over 20 Satellite TV channels in languages from all over the globe.

Continue reading Language Resource Centre