Category Archives: Other

Programme of talks released for international EAMS 2018 Conference 

The programme for the E-Assessment in Mathematical Sciences (EAMS) conference has been released, with speakers from across the globe presenting the latest developments in the field of maths e-assessment and offering a unique opportunity to get hands-on with software, whether you are a user, a developer, or just a bit interested!

The conference takes place over 3 days here at Newcastle University, between 28th and 30th August, and is being hosted by the e-learning unit in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics.

Mohamad Jebara, CEO of the award-winning Australian platform MathSpace, will open the conference, focussing on the innovative ways that MathSpace adapts to learners. Other highlights of day one include longer talks by senior figures from Vretta and DigitalEd, both with origins in Canada, and updates from EAMS 2016 keynote speakers, our own Christian Lawson-Perfect and Chris Sangwin, the lead developers of Numbas and STACK, respectively.

Opening proceedings on day two, Paul Milner, development manager at National Numeracy, will discuss the technology behind the charity’s online platform, which aims to improve the everyday maths of the UK’s adult population. The day will continue with a series of lightning talks covering topics including blended learning, online exams, and applications to subjects including statistics, engineering, physics and chemistry.

Day three will follow a new format, with the opportunity to take part in a ‘sprint’ to collaborate on new developments, to document best practice or exchange ideas. The format and content will be responsive to the topics and discussions arising from the proceedings in the first two days.

The conference takes place in the Boiler House, which will also host the conference dinner on the Wednesday night. Registration is free for Newcastle University staff and you are welcome to drop in and out of the conference sessions, however please do register on the EAMS website.

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Student perceptions: what is ‘academic support’ and ‘digital academic support’

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’

VLE Review Focus Group Updates

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.

Module Outline Forms – new video to guide you through the key fields

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.

Have your say – Virtual Learning Environment staff focus groups

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

LTDS Working with QAA

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

 

Resources to support designing, developing or delivering flipped, blended, or online learning

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 online-courses@ncl.ac.uk

Workshop: Exploring career development via teaching and learning

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.