Category Archives: NUTELA

Who are NUTELA?

Newcastle University Technology Enhanced Learning Advocates

NUTELA are a a group of individuals who support good practice using technology in education.

NUTELA logo

We are a group of academics, professional service staff and technicians, who care about improving learning and teaching at Newcastle University.

We have termly 3Ps (Pizza, Pop and Practice) sessions which are hands-on sessions learning about and trying technologies that you can use in your teaching, all over a slice of pizza and a can of pop.

Microsoft Team

Join the NUTELA Team to continue the conversation about using technology in your teaching.  The Team includes resources, upcoming events and the chance to connect with colleagues across the University. NUTELA advocates are also on hand to answer any NUTELA related questions you might have.

All are welcome to join us.

Mailing list

For information about upcoming events and other related news join the NUTELA mailing list.

Share your ideas

Have you got an idea for a session, or something you’d like to share? Contact us at nutelaops@newcastle.ac.uk

Small grants fund

There is a NUTELA  small grants fund to enable colleagues to explore and embed technology-enhanced practices into their learning and 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 visit to explore it further.

Applications are invited for a wide range of activities which enable you to explore, disseminate or import 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.

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

NUTELA Small Grants Fund: Short videos as an additional learning resource

Whilst I’m normally on this blog talking about Numbas, this post is dedicated to something else that I take a keen interest in: lecture capture. It describes a pilot project that was funded by the NUTELA group to deploy short, re-purposed ReCap videos in a large engineering module. These were made available to students in addition to the full length ReCap lecture capture, and sat alongside formative tests associated with the content.An example video

A disclaimer, before I go any further… this is a dump of my current thoughts on the topic, and it will save the next person who asks me about ReCap/short videos from suffering me talking at them for an hour! As a result, it’s part project report, opinion piece and tutorial! Despite lacking any focus whatsoever, I hope that you find something interesting…

Motivation

I have been interested for some time in the use of lecture capture. I originally wasn’t a fan, mainly citing a hatred of hearing my own voice!  I have managed to get over that though, and spend a lot of time in computer clusters, where I see first-hand the benefits of ReCap for students. I am particularly fond of telling the story of asking a student which ‘psych-up’ music he was listening to on his headphones before a big class test… he was listening to me giving a lecture!

So I read with interest the results of the 2017 NUSU survey “How Students use ReCap”, and in particular these two results:

How Students use ReCap 2017 Report

Whilst the opportunity to catch up on lectures is clearly very beneficial – in particular, as the associated report mentions, for students with disabilities and those competing in elite sport (and I’ll also throw in those with families or caring responsibilities) – it does not appear to be the primary use of ReCap. This aligns completely with what I see in our computer clusters, which is predominantly students using the resource to prepare for class tests and exams.

Let me reiterate that I’m a big fan of the ReCap provision, before going on to make the following two observations:

1) Our current set up of teaching resources is often very siloed within the VLE. Typically a module might have a separate Blackboard folder for each of lecture notes, additional resources, formative assessments, whatever else… and certainly the default is a separate folder of ReCap videos. But if students are revising a topic for an exam, putting practicalities aside, it seems to make sense for the video content on a topic to sit side-by-side with the other course material.

This was just one of the motivations for our course material tool “Coursebuilder” (which will be the topic of my next blog post here as it happens), to have a stronger integration between different course resources. And it is surprisingly easy (after discovering the method as part of this project) to embed videos next to your lecture notes in Blackboard itself. See the Process for creating videos section below.

2) Slightly more pertinent to this post, our ReCap videos are presented to students as a separate video for each teaching session. Again from a practicality perspective, this seems like the only sensible thing to do, but from the student perspective, is this box-set of lectures the best way for the “series” to be divided, if it is being used for revision? Often topics are split over multiple lectures, or multiple topics are covered in one lecture. In maths, the subject of this project, lectures often contain distinct sections of theory and application/exercises. The student might only be interested in one of those when they come to revise.

A note on the indexing of ReCap videos for mathematics… You may have noticed that ReCap videos containing PowerPoint automatically generate a list of contents. Panopto basically identifies section headings in the presentation. In mathematics, it is rare to see a PowerPoint presentation, they are usually delivered using the visualiser or whiteboard, or as a LaTeX document. Content information  can be added, but only manually after the fact.

The Project

Last Spring, colleagues in engineering maths, David Swailes and John Appleby, approached me to discuss short videos in the ENG1001 Engineering Mathematics module. David had heard of the work of Professor Chris Howls at the University of Southampton, who had successfully used short personal capture videos to enhance a calculus course. We discussed several possible formats for short videos, including something on the lines of what Chris had done, but the nature of the ENG1001 module lent itself to a slightly different and straightforward approach: to re-use a previous year’s ReCap collection. This is because almost precisely the same module content has been delivered (very successfully) over a number of years; last year’s ReCap videos would be almost identical to this year’s.

Continue reading NUTELA Small Grants Fund: Short videos as an additional learning resource

NUTELA Small Grants Fund: Enhancing student learning through innovative scholarship conference, Bristol 2018

Alison Clapp, Lecturer, Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Thanks to NUTELA funding my travel, and the FMS Graduate School funding my attendance, I spent two days in Bristol University last summer listening to what other universities (and Newcastle too!) are doing to enhance their students’ learning. Overall it emphasised the practicalities with many presentations on enhancing feedback, technology enhanced learning and student wellbeing. Here is a flavour of the conference:

There was much about student mental health which, in my role with older, part-time, distance students, is not something I have paid much attention to. We should be considering this…. the government is going to make it mandatory for undergraduates (‘UK Step-Change Framework’) and we do need to show we are thinking about it for postgraduates including our online students. We are not meant to be qualified counsellors, but we do need to flag up problems and communicate with students about them including suggestions for getting professional help. The keynote speaker, Fabienne Vailes, will be at the Three Rivers Conference in September. Continue reading NUTELA Small Grants Fund: Enhancing student learning through innovative scholarship conference, Bristol 2018

NUTELA 3Ps: Using Video in your teaching

Are you interested in using video in your teaching?  The latest NUTELA pizza, pop and practice event looked using ReCap outside of the lecture theatre, Microsoft Stream and Box of Broadcasts.

Resources

If you are interested in finding out more  and accessing some of the resources join the NUTELA Team where you can also share ideas with colleagues.

Thanks to Carol Summerside, LTDS, Dr Chris Graham, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, Graeme Redshaw-Boxwell, LTDS and Marc Bennett, NUIT, for delivering the session.

Find out more about NUTELA

Get in touch with the Steering Group if you want to find out more about NUTELA and future events.

NUTELA Small Grants Fund

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 visit to explore it further.

Applications are invited for a wide range of activities which enable you to explore, disseminate or import 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.

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

Accessibility Stocking Fillers

Do you want to find out how to make your content accessible for everyone?

In our latest 3Ps we covered a range of accessibility tools and tips to ensure that we can quickly and easily make new and existing materials accessible to everyone.

In the session we covered three topics:

  • How to use styles, colours, alt text to create accessible content.
  • Tools available to students and staff so make content accessible and support the
  • Some of the frustrations staff and students might experience and how to overcome them.

If you weren’t able to attend the session you can have a go and test your accessibility knowledge with the Accessibility Checking Activities.

Resources

Microsoft Office

The Microsoft Office Accessibility Center is a great place to look for handy guides on producing accessible Office documents with out of the box accessible templates. Microsoft Office is available for free to all staff and students and has some great Microsoft Accessibility Features built in.

Adobe Acrobat PDFs

Staff and Students have access to Adobe Acrobat Pro from University Machines. Acrobat has a built in PDF Accessibility Checker which can automatically fix issues with your PDFs and also advise you on why certain elements aren’t accessible.

Video Captions

The session focused mainly of text and images but if you’d like to find out more about creating accessible audio and video content you check out our blog post on creating captions.

On Campus

For disabled users accessing IT services on campus we offer specialist software and hardware available to staff and students via our Easy Access Accessibility Service.

Printable Checklists

Download and print copies of our A4 checklists for Word, Powerpoint, PDFs and Blackboard and keep them with you for quick reference.

What support is available?

The Student Health and Wellbeing Service provides information, advice and guidance on a wide range of student support issues, helping students to maximise their potential whilst at university.

If you have any queries about creating accessible content get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to offer advice and guidance – contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

NUTELA weeding and seeding

The last NUTELA 3Ps (pizza, pop and practice) of this academic year took place last week . It’s been a productive year for the group and we are looking forward to arranging another exciting programme of sessions for next year.

Our excellent presenters showed everyone the new online reading lists system, gave tips about cleaning up Blackboard modules, as well as well as how to explore new ways of adding value with collaboration tools, groups and tests. There was time for attendees to ask lots of questions and give some of the technologies a go.

Special thanks to Paula Fitzpatrick and Stephen Harding from Digital Library Services and Rebecca Gill and Carol Summerside from LTDS for delivering such informative sessions.

We’ve included some resources  below but please feel free to get in touch with LTDS@ncl.ac.uk with any questions.

Online Reading Lists

Quick instructions for creating your own reading lists.

Blackboard Weeding and Seeding resources

Session presentation: Covering student feedback, Blackboard Baseline,  enhancement and mobile accessibility

Blackboard module checklist: A handy resource to help you consider whether your module meets the recommendations set out in the Blackboard Baseline.

Interested in NUTELA

We are always looking to engage with more members of staff and we have a mailing list which we use to keep people up to date with events and opportunities. Anyone who would like to sign up to the mailing list can email  nutelaops@newcastle.ac.uk

Also if there are any technologies that you would like to try or find out more about let us know. We can try to include these in our Pizza, Pop and Practice Programme next year.

NUTELA Small Grants Fund: Deadline 1st June 2018

The application deadline  for the NUTELA Small Grants Fund is approaching quickly but there is still time to submit an application this academic year.

Key facts about the fund:

  • Funding is available to help you  explore technology-enhanced practices in your learning and teaching.
  • Activities might include; conferences, visits to other institutions, or trialing new software. Other ideas are also welcome.
  • In your application you should identify how you will disseminate ideas among colleagues.
  • Apply for up to £500; this might fully fund or part fund an activity.

Previous successful applicants

This is the first year that the fund has been available but we have already received some successful applications. Read more about the applications from Sonia Bussey and Dr Jo Matthan here:  https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/ltdev/2018/04/27/success-for-nutela-small-grants-fund-applicants/ 

Ready to apply?

You can find full guidance notes and application forms for the fund on this blog post https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/ltdev/2017/01/07/nutela/

If you have any questions get in touch with nutelaops@newcastle.ac.uk

The Digital Scholar Webinar

By Laura Delgaty, Senior Lecturer and Chair of NUTELA

Martin Weller,  Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University gave us an excellent update on the digital scholar during a webinar held on 30 April 2018.

Picture of audience participating in The Digital Scholar Webinar
Attendees at The Digital Scholar Webinar

Using Boyer’s model of scholarship  as a framework, he explained that digital scholarship increases student recruitment, engagement and research impact. By addressing scholarship and increasing open resources, we are able to attract different and larger audiences and this in itself can be a valuable research tool and method.  He reviewed some valuable opportunities and threats and highlighted the value of digital scholarship for early career researchers, academics and encouraged collaboration for both staff and students.

Overall, fantastic presentation and  great questions. You can find the recording here

Find out more information about NUTELA

Success for NUTELA Small Grants Fund applicants

Sonia Bussey and Dr Jo Matthan are the first successful recipients of the NUTELA Small Grants Fund. The fund was set up this academic year with the aim of helping colleagues explore and embed technology-enhanced practices into their learning and teaching.

Sonia  will be using the funds to support her submission to the Three Rivers Conference where she will be delivering a ‘show and tell’ session to introduce delegates to Adobe Connect web-conferencing software as an innovative platform to support student learning at distance.

Joanna is going to be attending the International Conference AMEE to present the results of The Darkside of Technology Enhanced Learning in Medical Education.

“I am delighted to be one of the first applicants to receive a NUTELA small grant. It will allow me to explore technology-enhanced practices utilised elsewhere, disseminate some of the experiences we have gleaned from our project to a wider audience and help evaluate practices that I hope will enhance the overall student experience. The grant is an important statement to those of us on the shop-floor and, on a very practical level, illustrates that Newcastle University values even the small-scale projects we do to promote innovation in technology-enhanced learning and to evaluate the real implications of these innovations for staff and students.”

Dr Jo Matthan, School of Medical Education Continue reading Success for NUTELA Small Grants Fund applicants