Category Archives: News

Learning and Teaching Conference

With over 280 delegates, 12 lightning talk videos, 9 live sessions and some creative entries to the poster competition, our first online learning and teaching conference had something for everyone. Thank you to all colleagues and students for getting involved and sharing some of their teaching and learning successes and challenges from the past year.

You can find a number of resources from the week below and we look forward to seeing you all at the next event.

Introduction from the Vice-Chancellor

Professor Chris Day introduces the conference celebrating the many collaborative, creative and impactful approaches to teaching across the University. He also highlights the achievements of Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education, who is retiring this year.

Opening Keynote Address: Education for All?

Professor Sue Rigby, Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University

Education for all slide with small image of Sue Rigby

Professor Sue Rigby opened the event with her address intended to provoke, asking colleagues and students to think about some key questions:

  • Why doesn’t everyone thrive at University?
  • Attainment gap or awarding gap?
  • Thrive or strive: Is learning purposeful? Is it effective? Is it challenging? Is it engaging?

Watch Education for All? Keynote address

Lightning Talk videos

A diverse range of approaches to teaching and learning all covered in less then 7 minutes.  With contributions from colleagues from Schools and Service across the University these are a great resource if you’re looking for some new ideas:

Poster Competition

Congratulations to Rosalind Beaumont, HaSS Faculty Office and Nuala Davies, LTDS who won this year’s poster competition with their poster:

Winning the Blended Learning Game (step by step) Flipping the HaSS PG Cert Research Training over three years.

You can still view all of this year’s poster submissions

Live sessions

All live sessions were recorded so if you missed any or want to revisit some of the talks you can at the links below:

Closing Keynote address: Keynote Address: Powerful Learning for a Challenging World

Professor Dilly Fung, Pro-Director for Education, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

A challenging world powerpoint slice, with a small image  of the speaker Dilly Fung in Zoom

Professor Dilly Fung  closed the conference with an inspiring talk which looked at the relationship between education, research and public engagement through the lens of the Connected Curriculum framework.

Meet the researcher schemes, an interdisciplinary course for all first-year students and a degree showcase portfolio are all practical examples of ways that the Connected Curriculum can be achieved.

The talk ended with some questions and examples of work already happening in these areas as well as lots of new ideas to explore.

Watch Powerful Learning for a Challenging World

Conference close

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education

Professor Suzanne Cholerton

Professor Cholerton thanked all speakers, delegates and organisers for making this year’s conference happen in spite of the current circumstances.

This was Professor Cholerton’s last learning and teaching conference and during her time as PVC Education the conference has gone from strength to strength with increased numbers of colleagues and students presenting and attending each year. This is down to Professor Cholerton’s vision and leadership and we hope we can continue to make future conferences equally as successful.

Next years event

Planning will be underway soon and if you’d like to get involved in the programme committee we’d love to hear from you. Please email LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

University Education Devleopment Fund

There’s still time to apply to the  University Education Development Fund  which supports staff to undertake projects with real benefit to students’ education at Newcastle University.   

Two strands of funding are available:   

  • Up to £2,500 for projects focused within an individual academic unit, or across multiple areas through the Responsive strand.   
  • Up to £10,000 for projects with collaboration across academic units through the Strategic strand.   

Chaired by the PVC Education this fund support projects which further the aims and key themes of the Education Strategy and applications in the areas of UN Sustainable Development Goals and decolonising the curriculum agenda would be welcome.  

Application deadline for 2020-21:  Deadline extended to Wednesday 28 April, 17:00  

Attend an Education Development Fund workshop or a webinar to find out more:   Education Development Fund webinar Thursday 25 March 2020, 15:00-15:30   

Full information and guidance notes available online.   

NUTELA Small Grants Fund

The 20/21 Small Grants Fund is now open for applications.
Apply for up to £500  to explore and embed technology-enhanced practices into  your teaching.

Perhaps you have an idea for your teaching that uses technology, but need some funding to support it or maybe you know of interesting technology enhanced learning at another institution and would like to be able to explore it further.

Applications are invited for a wide range of activities which enable you to explore and disseminate  ideas and practices, and share these with colleagues at Newcastle through the NUTELA network.

Applications for up to £500 are welcomed, and applications will be on a rolling basis, rather than at set points in the academic year so you can apply whenever you are ready.

For more information about the fund, what it can be used for and to apply, please see the NUTELA Small Grant Fund Application and Guidance Notes. 

Alternatively submit your application online here

Any queries should be sent to nutelaops@newcastle.ac.uk

Student Design Sprints

By Raghda Zahran, Learning Enhancement and Technology Adviser

How could data enhance your learning experience?

At Newcastle University we are exploring the use of student data to help improve the student learning experience. That’s why we are running a number of Design Sprints for students which will introduce you to a collaborative analysis and design process. Your input will be key to determining some of the software students will use in the future at Newcastle.  

What’s a Design Sprint? 

A design sprint is a step-by-step approach to solving problems and coming up with alternative solutions. You will work together with other students during the session.  

Why take part? 

  • Great addition to your CV/resume 
  • Certificate of Participation 
  • Have a real impact on the approach the University takes 
  • Develop your collaborative working skills 

Sign up 

So, if you’re interested in collaborating in hands-on activities to critique, analyse and design a solution to a given problem,  please sign up to a workshop below. 

SAgE Design Sprint: Using Data to Support Learning Tuesday 9 February  (For students in the SAgE Faculty: Natural and Environmental Sciences, Computing, Engineering, Maths, Stats and Physics)

 HaSS Design Sprint: Using Data to Support Learning- Wednesday 10 February  (For students in the HaSS Faculty: Law, Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Modern Languages, Arts and Cultures, English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Business School, Geography, Politics and Sociology, History, Classics and Archaeology, Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Combined Honours and Philosophical Studies)

FMS Design Sprint: Using Data to Support Learning Thursday 11 February  (For students in the Faculty of Medical Sciences: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences, Medical Education, Psychology, Pharmacy, Dental Sciences and the FMS Graduate School)

INTO Design Sprint: Using Data to Support Learning Friday 12 February  

You will receive further details when you sign up and if you have any questions get in touch with 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.

Learning and Teaching Conference 2021

1 March – 5 March 2021

The Learning and Teaching Conference 2021 will showcase effective, creative and collaborative approaches to learning and teaching from across the University.

Workshops, presentations and lightning talks will be spread across the week, for our first ever fully online conference allowing you to pop along to connect with colleagues and share new ideas. We are pleased to be welcoming keynote speakers Professor Sue Rigby Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University and Professor Dilly Fung Pro-Director for Education, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

As the 2020 event couldn’t take place we can’t wait to see you at this year’s event. Keep a note of the date in your diaries. More information to come.

If you have any questions get in touch LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

NUTELA 3Ps: Canvas Quick WIns and Engaging Students

NUTELA is back, with our first online 3Ps sessions of the year (this time the 3P’s stand for Practice Practice Practice – you’ll have to bring your own pizza and pop!). Please sign up for as many sessions as you like:

Canvas Quick Wins: Refreshing your Home and Module Pages – 15 December 2020, 14:00-15:00

See how to give your Canvas home and module pages a quick make-over, and create a fresh and engaging experience for students. The session will focus on building content with ideas and examples from colleagues.

Sign up to Canvas Quick Wins: Refreshing your Home and Module Pages

Canvas Quick Wins: Keeping Students Engaged – 16 December, 10:00-11:00

Colleagues will share how they have used course-requirement ‘tick lists’, quizzes and collaboration tools to keep students engaged. The approaches covered are all quick to implement, effective, and popular with students.

Sign up to Canvas Quick wins: Keeping students engaged

Tips and Tools for Cutting out Radio Silence: Engaging Students During Synchronous Sessions – 17 December, 14:00-15:00

In this session we will explore new and existing tools and strategies that colleagues are using to engage their students during synchronous online sessions.

Sign up to Tips and tools for cutting out radio silence

Making it accessible: Benefits of the Accssibility in Practice Course

The Accessibility in Practice online course is designed to provide you with some of the core skills and techniques for embedding accessibility into your teaching and learning practice, and in making your digital resources accessible to everyone.

Tom Harrison recently completed the online course. He shares the parts of the course he found most useful and how he has changed his practice resulting in real benefits to students.

Hi, I’m Tom Harrison; I work as a Student Recruitment Co-ordinator at Newcastle University and also teach English Literature. My roles involve designing lots of activities and presentations for a wide variety of students, so I was interested in using the Accessibility in Practice course to develop my awareness of how to adjust my materials to accommodate different learner needs.

Tom Harrison

One of the most revealing sections was an exercise to simulate difficulties that dyslexic students could have reading slides in lectures. The team presented a simple story (Aesop’s ‘Tortoise and the Hare’: a classic!) and changed the text a bit to give an idea of how reading speeds can differ.

Even with such a simple, familiar story I found the text difficult to read, and although I managed a couple of lines I got nowhere near finishing the full paragraph in the two minutes allotted by the presenter. The experience was confusing and frustrating, and made worse when the presenter spoke while the text was onscreen: at this point my attention was split between the audio and the visuals, which meant I wasn’t paying attention to either.

The manipulated text, the short reading time, and the over-talkative presenter were of course all part of the team’s cunning plan to show how difficult it can be for dyslexic students to read large blocks of text in a lecture setting. I have to confess that previously I’ve assumed that students can multi-task as I rattle through text-heavy lecture slides, and that highlighting key words and phrases in bold or in different colours was enough to focus students on what they need to know. Those visually-enhanced techniques work fine for some, but of course are no help at all to students who are colour blind, or who are accessing lecture materials through specialist software. I looked back over my old PowerPoints with fresh eyes and realised that, to some students, my beautifully colour-coded, quote-heavy slides would have just been a big blocky mess.

The biggest change the training has made to my practice is that I now appreciate that students need more time to process on-screen text, and that they may be accessing this text in a different way to how I’ve previously assumed. I now make a point of reading out any text that I include on slides to help keep students focused and avoid unnecessary distractions. As an added bonus, I’ve also learnt to cut down the size of my on-screen quotations: no one, not even me, wants to hear me reading out huge chunks of text!

If you are delivering information to students in any capacity I recommend having a look at this resource: the course is full of useful, practical tips that will help you modify what you already do rather than change it to something completely different. Well worth an hour of your time, I’d say, and your students will thank you for it!

All Newcastle University colleagues can complete the Accessibility in Practice online Canvas course on Canvas.

National recognition for Newcastle University’s teaching excellence

For the second year in a row, three Newcastle academics have been elected as National Teaching Fellows. 

Awarded by Advance HE, the fellowships recognise excellence in enhancing and transforming student outcomes and teaching. Newcastle University’s Dr Clare Guilding, Professor Simon Tate and Dr Iain Keenan are among this year’s 56 new National Teaching Fellows.  

In 2017, Dr Guilding took up the position of Dean of Academic Affairs in Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), leading the development and implementation of Newcastle’s new MBBS curriculum there. She also played a key role in developing the British Pharmacological Society’s (BPS) new undergraduate pharmacology curriculum, now used to develop pharmacology curricula nationally and internationally.  

Continue reading National recognition for Newcastle University’s teaching excellence

Flexible Learning 2020 Webinars, Drop-ins and Q & A sessions

Webinars, Drop-ins and Q & A sessions are now available to support you with the planning and delivery of your modules for 2020/21. 

Webinars  

  • Rethinking your module design 
  • Make your own module intro video 
  • Canvas: Fundamentals, Professional Services, Assignments, Collaboration and Communication, Quizzes and Online Marking and Feedback 
  • Turnitin 

Q  & A sessions  

Based on the relevant sections in the Flexible Learning 2020 course that all staff have access to via Canvas (https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/28542 ), we are running Q&A sessions on the following topics: 

Rethinking Lectures, Project Supervision, Online Assessment, Seminars and Small Group Teaching, Laboratory Based Learning, Content Accessibility, Building a Learning Community and Making, Producing and Creating. 

Come along and bring your module design questions with you. We can share examples of effective practice and talk through your ideas. 

Daily Drop-ins  

You can bring any of your questions to these drop-in sessions. We also have some themed drop-ins (covering a range of topics from audio and video to Canvas, to hosting effective online discussion), but you can bring any question or issue to any drop-in session – even if it doesn’t fit with that session’s specific theme.  

View the schedule or visit the webinars and support information pages to find out more. 

Further support is available on the Flexible Learning 2020 web pages  which includes useful resources and information and all colleagues have access to the Flexible Learning 2020 Online Course in Canvas.