Category Archives: Events

Learning and Teaching Workshop – 9 February

The next Learning & Teaching Workshop is being held on Thursday 9 February 2017, 4-5pm, entitled ‘Building Teaching Strategies: challenging perspectives on teacher / student interaction’.

This seminar is designed as an interactive session to support those who are interested in reflecting on the relationship between themselves and their students and the impact this may have on their teaching. Using a modified Balint group approach, attendees will have an opportunity to discuss and explore their personal challenges when teaching. This is an experimental seminar and limited to 10 attendees. To facilitate the development of this approach, a short period of time will be set aside for evaluation.

Come to the session with an open mind and prepared to talk about your own experiences.

The workshop will be held in room Med L1.0, 4-5pm.

Due to limited numbers it is important that you register your attendance with Sharon.griffin@ncl.ac.uk.

UCISA Learning Analytics Conference

On the 12th of April, I attended the UCISA event on learning analytics. This was a single day event held in Birmingham. Due to travel issues, we unfortunately missed the first speaker, Sarah Porter, Co-Chair of the National Inquiry into data in HE, High Education Commission – the author of the HEA report, “from bricks to clicks

OU Analyse (ppt)

Zdenek Zdrahal, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University

The second speaker was Zdenek Zdrahal from Media Unit at the Open University. He described the use of predictive analytics to attempt to identify at-risk students even before the first assignment had taken place, as 98.6% of students who failed the first assignment did not complete the programme. They used a combination of static data including gender and educational history, and fluid data notably VLE interactions. The accuracy of the predictions was increased greatly even when only using the count of “no of clicks” in the VLE.

In practice, each item in the VLE was given a label and different paths were mapped to view the successful students possible paths and the typical failing student path. The  data analysis involved the use of 4 different data modelling techniques. If the student failed two of those techniques they were classified as at risk and intervention was put in place by the School. Spreadsheets were sent to the School highlighting the risk levels of each student. A dashboard has been created that highlights at risk students and the data used.

A student dashboard has been created that shows the student their “nearest neighbours”. These are students showing similar engagement behaviours and the predicted outcome for those students. It also predicts whether the student will submit the next assignment. To improve the students predicted outcomes, various activities are recommended. Currently, students cannot access this dashboard but it is now a priority to release this. I think the extra step of showing suggested activity to students has a real benefit to the learning experience. There is an intervention strategy automatically suggested to the student. The key would be to make sure these suggestions are accurate and relevant.

OULA
They have released an anonymised open source dataset. – https://analyse.kmi.open.ac.uk/open_dataset

Newcastle University does not have a retention issue overall but there may be areas where the use of data in this way may be beneficial – for example distance learning programmes.

JISC Learning Analytics (ppt)

Michael Webb, the Director of Technology and Analytics at JISC talked about the history of learning analytics , then through some of the work that they are carrying out in the field of learning analytics.

Michael described their work with learning analytics as “the application of big data techniques such as machine-based learning and data mining to help learners and institutions meet their goals.”

Predictive learning analytics as seen in the Open University presentation was defined as the “statistical analysis of historical and current data derived from the learning process to create models that allow for predictions that can be used to improve learning outcomes. Models are developed by ‘mining’ large amounts of data to find hidden patterns that correlate to specific outcomes.” JISC are confident that predictive learning models would be ‘fairly’ transferable between institutions.

JISC currently have a learning analytics project that has three core strands:

  • Learning analytics architecture and service
  • Toolkit
  • Community

Learning analytics architecture and service

JISC are looking to create a national architecture that would help data modelling become transferable. They are working with several institutions to develop core services that institutions would be able to implement at a much lower cost than if developing themselves.
JISCLAJISC demonstrated their student app. It’s based on fitness apps where users can view an activity stream with their (and their peers) activity, including performance against student defined targets.
phoneLAJISC are also developing dashboards for students and for administrators:
dashboardLA dashboardLA2

Toolkit
They have released the JISC Code of Practice that outlines some of the ethical considerations institutions should make before embarking on a learning analytics project. This has been worked on with consultation from NUS. They have released their own guidance to University Students’ Unions.Michael finished off discussing what future developments may occur in learning analytics, including links to the teaching excellence framework and personalised next generation e-learning.

Beyond the dashboard: the practical application of analytics (ppt)

Ben Stein, Director, Student Success, Hobsons
Ben from Hobsons spoke about the inevitable rise in student dashboards. While dashboards are an integral part of learning analytics providing methods to display predictive statistics and recommended activities,  it is crucial that the support structures are in place that will provide positive interventions. Mark asked, “does a deeper understanding of the problem actually lead to a solution?” and stated, “ultimately it’s what you do with the information that makes the difference.” Mark then demonstrated a product from Hobsons that provide student / staff dashboards.

Personal tutor dashboards (ppt)

David Mutti, Head of Programme Management, University of Greenwich
David Mutti from the University of Greenwich showed their development of a personal tutoring system that pulls together various pieces of information about a tutee including a very basic application of learning analytics. Although feedback from academics was very positive, actual use was minimal. There was no compulsion to use the system. I thought the system was very well thought out with some good features, but the system was developed and promoted by the IT service. Would an increase in academic involvement lead to a greater take-up perhaps an academic lead?

Piloting learner analytics at the University of London International Programmes (ppt)

Dave Kenworthy, Head of Software Services , University of London Computer Centre and Tom Inkelaar, Head of Management Information, University of London
Tom described how the University of London International Programmes are using learning analytics with their students to try to improve retention. The University have 50,000 distance learning students across 100 countries.
The University implemented Bloom Thrive analytics in partnership with ULCC and Altis. They used student record data along with VLE usage to determine at-risk students. As part of this data, they created a happiness block in their Moodle environments where students could say how happy they were as well as providing some free text comments.
happyLA
The University found it relatively easy to determine which students were at risk but the intervention is more difficult when spread across such a wide geographical area. Another challenge they faced was regarding the data protection and whether the appropriate consent has been received for all students.

The conference was a very useful event to attend, and it demonstrated that although we are not currently implementing any centralised learning analytics we are in a good place to do so as required. The data sets we have could provide a rich learning experience for students.

PTES Opens!

7078PTES or the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey opens today, allowing your postgraduate students to submit feedback on courses, teaching and their overall experience at Newcastle.

The survey, open from today until 16 June, gives students a great opportunity to highlight what works at Newcastle and what doesn’t.

All eligible students that submit a completed PTES survey are entered automatically in a prize draw to win one of the following prizes: a 9.7-inch iPad Pro; an iPad mini 4 (2 available); or a £20 Amazon gift card (20 available).

Eligible students include all full-time and most part-time UK, EU, and international PGT students studying a programme of at least 60 credits.

It also allows the University and its staff to make changes and improve postgraduate taught programmes in accordance with the comments.

Students are asked questions on the following topics:

  • The experience of teaching and learning, including: staff, learning materials, working with other students, workload, and feeding back on experience;
  • Assessment and feedback, including supervisor support for dissertation or major project;
  • Organisation and management, including induction and involvement in course decisions;
  • Resources and services, including learning resources and overall support;
  • Skills development, including independent learning, research skills and career skills;
  • Motivation for taking the programme and information provided by the institution to help course choice;
  • Demographic details, including on previous education and fluency in English.

Their responses are:

The University uses the You Said, We Did website to provide students feedback on how the University has listened to what they have said when we gather student opinions.

For more information on eligibility and for previous results from the scheme go to the LTDS website.

If you go down to the Robinson Library today…

Psst! Do encourage your students to get down to the Robinson Library today for some Easter treats!
All they have to do to get a free creme egg (or a £1) and to be in with a chance of winning £20 is to visit the NSS Student Awareness table between 11.15 and 14.45.

Elliot Chapin (BA History and Archaeology) won £20
Elliot Chapin (BA History and Archaeology) won £20

Final Year students can fill out the NSS there and then if they wish.
There’ll be more opportunities for students to take part across campus over the next few weeks: Continue reading If you go down to the Robinson Library today…

Event: Internationalisation of higher education: perspectives from Brazil and the UK

4 April, 10-3.00pm in Room 2.22 the Research Beehive

 You are invited to a seminar on 4 April, 10-3.00pm in the Research Beehive. The seminar will be led by Sue Robson and Alina Schartner from the Teaching and Learning in HE Research Group in ECLS, and Professor Marilia Morosini and colleagues from PUCRS

The seminar will address the following key questions:

  • In an era of globalisation, how can HE institutions maximise opportunities to provide an internationalised university experience for home and international students from all socio-economic backgrounds?
  • How can HE internationalisation be conceptualised in educational, social, cultural and experiential rather than economic terms?
  • How can HE institutions promote a high quality, equitable and global learning experience for all students, including the non-mobile majority?

Continue reading Event: Internationalisation of higher education: perspectives from Brazil and the UK

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 ltds@ncl.ac.uk who can pass information on.

PIZZA POP AND PRACTICE: SOUND AND VISION IN TEACHING

Pizza, Po and Practice Sound and Vision PosterNUTELA, Newcastle University’s Technology Enhanced Learning Advocates, 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.

Want to advertise this in your department? Download the Poster!

We look forward to seeing you there!