Category Archives: The Art of the Possible

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.

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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.

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

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