Do you want to help inform the University’s decision on the future VLE?
The University is well underway with the review of its Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and following the in-depth consultation that has taken place with staff and students over the past 18 months, the project team have worked hard to ensure the University’s requirements have been captured in the official tender which will be published later in February.
Once we receive suppliers’ responses to our tender, members of the project team will analyse these and will initially determine which suppliers meet our mandatory (pass/fail) requirements. The project team will then score suppliers based on their responses to our highly desirable/desirable requirements.
We need your input….
The quality of the user experience is a very important element to our tender and will have significant weighting in our scoring process. We would really like both staff and students to get involved with this. During April to June, we will have access to test accounts for the systems that have met our mandatory requirements and volunteers will be asked to undertake a series of tasks, assessing each for ease of use, anticipated support required and system confidence.
It is essential that colleagues involved in this process review all systems that meet our mandatory requirements but it is not anticipated that this will take more than half a day. You will have the option of an organised workshop or completing the tasks in your own time and further details will be provided in the coming weeks.
We need representation from both academic and professional service staff with varying degrees of VLE experience from absolute beginners to expert users.
If you are interested in being involved, please complete this expression of interest form.
On behalf of the project team, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your engagement throughout the consultation period which has been crucial in getting us to the point of publishing our tender documentation. I look forward to working with you during the next exciting phase.
Workshop 1: Student perceptions: what is ‘academic support’ and ‘digital academic support’ – Andrew Pye – University of Exeter
Peer support scheme has been running for 6 years, based on academic support and led by second year peer leaders. This is formed of group and individual tutorials and they aim to meet 2-3 times a term. The scheme also sees close work with the careers and welfare services. Problem that students do not turn up for tutorials with staff, and if they do turn up they have a quick 5 minutes conversation and leave – how productive was this? Look to offer online support to augment the tutorial system.
Project: Online survey to students based on NSS questions, pastoral system, peer support, online materials and what they might do with new apps. Set up Yammer groups and trialled these. Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Student perceptions: what is ‘academic support’ and ‘digital academic support’
Since my last post we have held three more focus groups to gather requirements for the University’s future VLE provision.
A group of Professional Service staff from across the University met on the 24th January and had a very productive discussion which resulted in a lot of requirement gathering. This was a more general focus group spanning all themes; course build, assessment and feedback and communication/collaboration. It was very important to hear about the features in our current provision that staff feel are essential. We need to ensure that these are not lost through the procurement process.
On the 25th January we ran the only communication and collaboration focus group as the first session was cancelled due to low numbers. Unfortunately, only half of the staff who had signed up were able to attend but we were still able to gather many requirements. A big focus of the session was on discussion boards which were seen as an essential tool within the VLE, particularly on modules that have online elements. Improving the interface and user experience across many of the collaboration tools was a common feature of the discussions.
Yesterday, 29th January, the second of the assessment and feedback focus groups took place. This was a well attended focus group with very lively discussions. The session had representation from staff who use Blackboard and staff who use the LSE, the VLE used on the MBBS programme. It was interesting to hear about the functionality currently available on the LSE and how this would be useful on other courses outside of the MBBS programme.
We are running one more Course Build staff focus group on 1st February and then two student focus groups with a more general theme on the 15th February and the 21st February. Please encourage your students to sign up by sharing the links below:
There will be free pizza!!!
The next stage of the consultation phase will be to invite suppliers in (March-April) to present their product to us based on the outcomes of the survey and focus groups so look out for invites to these events soon.
If you have trouble remembering what goes where, or have never had to fill in the academic fields of Newcastle University’s Module Outline Forms (MOFs) then this video may be a useful reminder.
Available from both NUVision and YouTube, it should be easy to embed in school webpages, on Blackboard, and to share with colleagues.
Made in a collaboration between FMS and LTDS, we hope it is useful across all schools. We welcome your feedback or ideas of how you might use it locally.
A number of key themes have emerged from the free text comments provided in the VLE Review staff survey which will be explored in a series of staff focus groups in January 2018.
These will help us to determine what you want to be able to do on a course /module and the functionality that you require in the VLE to meet these aims.
All staff are welcome. An additional Professional Services staff focus group will also be held.
The dates and themes are: Continue reading Have your say – Virtual Learning Environment staff focus groups
The Learning and Teaching Development Service has moved offices.
From January 2018 we can be found in a new dedicated space on the first floor of the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms. Continue reading LTDS has a new home!
QAA/Jisc/HESA Business Intelligence Labs
Over the past few months three members of the LTDS team have undertaken the role of ‘Development Team Member’ as part of a QAA team within the QAA/Jisc/HESA Business Intelligence labs project. The idea is that members of the Higher Education community develop data ‘dashboards’ that analyse existing data in new ways. If deemed of interest to wider sector these dashboards may be published on HESA’s HeidiPlus Community Dashboard site.
Using ‘Agile’ methodology and working with colleagues from Durham, Cardiff Met, Queen’s University Belfast and Bournemouth University (alongside support from a QAA ‘scrum master’ and data and tableau experts), we set out to develop a data dashboard that would allow a university to consider the student journey/value added/learning gain, by looking at different factors and how they affect outcomes and leaning gain, so that support and gap areas and effectiveness of interventions can be identified.
Working remotely with only four face to face meetings the team narrowed down the data source to HESA and DLHE data to analyse the outcomes of students from different backgrounds and answer the following questions;
- How can we demonstrate that as an institution we add value to students?
- Does everyone get the same level of value from studying or do some groups continue to be disadvantaged?
- How do our outcomes compare with the sector
- How do we compare at subject level with our comparators
The final outcome was a set of data dashboards that can aid an institution to assess their position in terms of adding value. The dashboards were presented to a Jisc/HESA experts group with a voting session at the end. The work produced by the team received strong support and it is hoped that some of it will be earmarked to be made available in Heidi Plus Community Dashboards Beta in 2018.
You can find out more about the Business Intelligence labs project by following the link. If you would like further information regarding the project please contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk
If you have been thinking about more flexible forms of module or programme delivery, then there are some resources which you may find helpful.
You will find:
- An introduction to online and blended learning
- Some definitions of online and blended learning
- How LTDS can support online or blended course development
- Some tips on designing online or blended learning
- Advice on producing online or blended learning
There is also guidance on tailored workshops available and a ‘How To Build a Great Futurelearn Course’ course (approx 8 hours) which we can add you to. For further information or to discuss your ideas contact firstname.lastname@example.org
UKCISA (The UK Council for International Student Affairs) is offering small grants for projects (£2,000) and research (up to £5,000) to support the international student experience. Continue reading Funding Opportunity: UKCISA Supporting International Students
Workshop: Exploring career development via teaching and learning
3rd July 2017 – The Core
This one-day workshop is for all academic staff interested in developing their career on the basis of teaching.
This interactive day will involve: identifying activities that may lead to reward and recognition, reflections from successful colleagues both internally and externally, and developing action plans.
It will be a space to discuss approaches to building your career, gaining internal, or external, validation of excellence and to consider your individual development path.
See the programme of the day: programme_final
Places are limited. To attend please complete the booking form.