Category Archives: Other

Reading group in LTDS

A little while ago we started a small reading group for colleagues in the Learning and Teaching Development Service to share ideas and discuss current issues and publications related to learning and teaching in Higher Education.

We set ourselves a couple of parameters to encourage engagement, as we had tried a journal club previously to not a great deal of success.

This time we decided to limit ourselves:

  • to things that could be read or digested in around less than half an hour
  • to try too keep the readings short and digestible
  • to keep the discussion sessions to 30 minutes
  • to use small groups for discussion of themes, impressions etc

Over the past few groups we have:

Our next group will explore microcredentials by looking at the recent QAA quality compass paper – which way for micro credentials.  

This will be the first meeting of a slightly expanded group which includes colleagues from FMS TEL .

We have one person running the group for 6 months (Me!) and I look after collating suggestions which come in from anyone who wants to suggest something. I try to have a range of different types of materials and cover a range of learning and teaching related viewpoints as our group has people who work in policy, practice, pedagogy, quality assurance, data and governance, professional development and all the intersections thereof.

Last time we listened to a radio programme about closed captions, which really made me think about how we approach captioning in HE. Some great ideas resulted from the session and it certainly got us talking!

Sharing effective practice from Strategic projects in blended learning

A recent DELT Forum here at Newcastle looked at the outputs, lessons learned and what works from four strategic projects which are now running with students.

As the covid-19 crisis hit, these projects were the four which needed to carry on, as they were, about a year ago, in active recruitment.

The four projects were:

  1. Level 7 degree apprenticeships and CPD in the School of Computing, under the Institute of Coding project
  2. Executive Education PG programmes in the Newcastle University Business School including case studies onLearner-Centred Curriculum Design using the ABC Method and Engaging work-based learners in online spaces through the development of digital residency
  3. Laboratory safety work in the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences including the FMS BNS Health and Safety Case Study
  4. Flexible first year, General Engineering UG programme in the School of Engineering. Including a case study on using OneNote class notebooks as digital logbooks.

The last three were supported by strategic investment by the University in developing capability and capacity under Priority Actions 10 & 11 of our Education Strategy (formerly known as the TEL Roadmap).

The outcomes from all four were fascinating with intriguing insights into the programme level design processes which took place, the types of content produced to support learning key concepts, and the blends of online and face to face delivery which stood the teams in good stead as they had to move to wholly online.

The teams produced videos, presentations and case studies for each project and presented headlines at the DELT Forum, for which a slide deck is available to Newcastle University staff.

Each project above is linked to a webpage where you can see finished films and case studies – which will grow in number.

If you have ideas for strategic projects, please talk to your Faculty in the first instance. Or you can contact ltds@ncl.ac.uk

the art of the possible 2021

Following the success of The Art of The Possible in July 2019 which focussed on accessibility, you are invited to The Art of The Possible 2021 with focusses on blended learning, effective practice, ways to share, and opportunities to learn from each other. 

The Art of the Possible 2021 will:

  • Showcase the excellent practice developed across the University in blended and online learning over the past year by spotlighting case studies and interviews with colleagues across the University.
  • Inspire ideas for blended learning proposals for consideration by Faculties
  • Re-focus minds on the education strategy objective for Newcastle University to become recognised nationally as a leading university for the use of technology enhanced learning to support campus-based education

The second Art of the Possible week will take place the week commencing 5 July 2021. The week of online events will include presentations, workshops, case studies, and the launch of the Newcastle University Learning and Teaching Podcast. 

All delivered in a light, fun and adventurous way but with a clear link to the Education Strategy and the Graduate Framework. 

The week will begin with a presentation from Professor Helen O’Sullivan Chair of the Association for Learning Technology, Provost and DVC, Chester University, who will deliver a keynote session on the lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic. And what can we take from the pandemic into the future.

Find out more about each day below :

Monday 5th July

Keynote Session with Professor Helen O’Sullivan Chair Association for Learning Technology, Provost and DVC, Chester University 

Preparing students for their future, not our past: How the pandemic pushed us past the tipping point into education 4.0 

Time: 11am-12noon 

Designing online activities for university learning  (Part One) with Helen Beetham  

Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Tuesday 6 July

Saving time and enriching your courses with Canvas Commons with Nuala Davis & Graeme Redshaw-Boxwell, LTDS 

Time: 4pm – 5pm

Wednesday 7 July

A Series of lightning talks and Q&A about virtual fieldwork and virtual labs with Cees van Der Land 

Time: 10am – 11:30am 

Launch of the Newcastle University Learning and Teaching Podcast 

Thursday 8 July

Saving time and enriching your courses with Canvas Commons (repeat of Tuesday’s workshop) with Nuala Davis & Graeme Redshaw-Boxwell, LTDS 

Time 11am – 12noon

Friday 9 July

Designing online activities for university learning  (Part Two) with Helen Beetham   

Time 12:30pm – 1:30pm

You can register for any of the sessions above through our Elements page. Please note, if you sign up to Helen Beetham’s session, you will need to sign up to both parts.

Learning analytics resources

The University is currently exploring the use of learning analytics to support students’ learning. To find out more about our approach to analytics and how you can use analytics to enhance the student experience, visit the learning analytics pages on the Digital Learning website. 

Here you will be able to find out more about the benefits of using analytics in your programmes, how you can use the analytics tools available to you, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Canvas New Analytics

As part of the learning analytics available to colleagues, Canvas New Analytics is an interactive tool that offers insights into students’ performance and engagement within courses in Canvas. The Canvas New Analytics pages on the Digital Learning website have been updated to include guidance on using New Analytics in your courses, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, and possible scenarios where analytics can be used to support student engagement and performance. 

Canvas New Analytics workshop

An Introduction to Canvas New Analytics workshop will take place on 27 May 2021 at 13:00. The workshop is available to all colleagues who would like to know more about using the New Analytics tool within Canvas courses. 

The workshop will provide an introduction to the tool, and explore how you can use it to measure student participation and engagement with course materials.

If you would like to know more about learning analytics at the University, please contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk

Assessment resources on Digital Learning website

Resources are available to help staff prepare for the semester 2 assessment period, including: 

Exams

Assignment set up 

  • Guidance is available on whether to use a Canvas Assignment or a Turnitin Assignment
  • It is important that module teams agree which assignment type to use before it is set up in Canvas, and that marking is done in the correct tool. SpeedGrader (link to Canvas Orientation course) must be used for a Canvas Assignment, Turnitin Feedback Studio (link to screencast) must for a Turnitin Assignment. 
  • When an assignment is created, the maximum number of marks available (for example 100) must be entered in the Points field.  The points should never be set as zero, as this causes technical issues. 

Marking and moderation 

Further help 

Sharing video – ReCap or Stream?

In an earlier post we showed demonstrated how to host videos on ReCap and Stream and then add them to Canvas.  But how do they compare?

Let’s take a student perspective what are the differences between these two as a consumer?  If you are making notes from video you’ll value things like variable playback speed, the ability to view full screen and the option of viewing or searching the caption/transcript — all of these are easy to find whether video is hosted on Stream or ReCap.

ReCap

ReCap has a handy rewind facility – if you miss something you can go back 10 seconds with one click. It also lets you make private timestamped notes on the video – so you can mark places you want to go back to.  If the video is long you can help students find their way around by adding Content items.

Stream

Stream videos can be added to a watchlist, they can be liked and, if you permit it, students can add comments to the videos.  These will be visible by anyone with permissions to view the video.  Stream helps you find your way around content by converting any timestamps you put in comments or the video description into clickable links.

There are good reasons to turn comments for particular circumstsances – eg are providing feedback, pointing out helpful sections or taking part in peer review.

Permissions

Stream videos are only available to people with @newcastle.ac.uk email addresses, so you’ll need to sign in to view the content above. ReCap videos are normally shared with those on a particular course, but you can make them public as we have done with the first video here.

What works? Sharing effective practice with online/blended learning

A recent DELT Forum was a great impetus for collecting some new examples of what works with online/blended learning here at Newcastle University as the current situation has meant that lots of colleagues have been doing lots of really great stuff to make student learning experiences rich and meaningful.

There are 9 new case studies to explore right now and more to come soon at the case studies site.

A team drawn from LTDS and FMS TEL drew together examples of effective practice in action on three themes:

  1. Supporting and promoting a sense of community for students in online environments.
  2. Providing pathways for students through online modules/programmes to help them structure their studies and learning.
  3. Achieving, promoting and maintaining student engagement with online learning. 

The slide deck from this event is available to all Newcastle University staff.

It contains examples from all three Faculties together with supporting resources and pointers to more developed case studies and contact details for colleagues.

If you have something you’d like to share please let us know by emailing ltds@ncl.ac.uk and we will get back to you.

Guiding students through your Course

When you are working remotely it is really easy for students to be confused about what needs to be done and what’s important week by week.

Here are 3 simple ideas to help.

1. A module “roadmap”

Here are examples of roadmaps from a number of modules – they show what is happening week by week and help make connections between what is happening.

View examples from Law, NUBS and HaSS PGCert in more detail or read the case study from Ros Beaumont to find out more.

2. Use Canvas modules to set a flow through your course

Use your Canvas modules to direct student’s activity week by week or topic by topic. Every Canvas course has a sample structure that you can adapt to match your teaching pattern. You can hide or lock materials that aren’t yet relevant and even set requirements so that student need to view or complete certain conditions before they can move on.

See our updated information on Canvas modules in the Canvas Orientation course.

3. Suggest timings for activities

Without the normal structure of face to face time on campus it’s harder for many students to structure their time.

HSS8007 indicationg timings on activities

Add a weekly overview to give students an idea of your expectations for how much time to spend on the activities for a given week. This will help them plan their time, and make sure they give their attention to the things that you signpost as being most important.

From overwhelmed to ordered

It will take a bit of time to consider ordering, signposting, and setting a flow in your modules, but this need not be onerous and it’s one way you can help your students feel less overwhelmed in these strange times.

Hosting videos using different platforms

Videos have become an important medium for remote learning. Video is a great way to communicate with students and an excellent learning resource. Information and guides to support you with the creation and editing of videos that can be found on the digital learning website. But once you have created our video content, where do you host it?

ReCap

When it to comes to choosing a platform to host your videos, it is personal preference. However, we recommend that you use ReCap wherever possible. ReCap is centrally supported by Newcastle University, it’s free to use, and all videos are hosted online. Importantly ReCap is also fully integrated into Canvas which makes the process of embedding videos into a Canvas course very straight forward.

ReCap allows you to add embedded questions (e.g knowledge checks and quizzes) within the video. Videos can be sorted in group teaching folders that will make it easy for all teachers even if they didn’t create it, to embed the video content into a canvas course if you are unavailable.

Microsoft Stream

You may use Microsoft Stream to host your videos, this option comes with a couple more considerations. Embedding a video from Microsoft Stream into your Canvas course is only a few extra steps, please be aware Microsoft Stream is not fully integrated into Canvas and will required using embed codes as you will see in the video below. Students will also need to be logged into Microsoft Office 365 for any Stream videos to play. It is also worth pointing out that at this moment (December 2020), Microsoft Steam is having difficulty functioning on Safari.

Captions and Transcripts

Accessibility is essential, and ReCap and Stream will auto caption your videos quickly and with a good level of accuracy, however it is important to review them for any errors. There is more information about captions and transcripts available at the digital learning website.

Additional Resources

How or where to host your video is a very important consideration and there are various options available to you. The following page will give you more information on the three options we recommend with how to guides for using these systems including how to publish and embed a ReCap recording as well as content about streaming videos through Stream.

The videos below are a quick step by step guide to using ReCap and Microsoft Stream.

ReCap

Stream

If you want further information and guidance on ReCap and how to use it, please see our guides and videos.

Have your say: staff focus groups on enhancing the student learning experience

With increased emphasis on online and remote learning, and the need to focus on innovative ways to support students, Newcastle University is currently reviewing the use of student data to support students’ learning, and how to incorporate reflective learning as part of staff and student practices.

We need your input…

The University is running focus groups that will offer you the opportunity to contribute to two topics that impact on the student learning experience and provide you with the tools to enhance student engagement and attainment. Please see below for details.

Using data to support student learning

We would like to invite you to take part in an online focus group on the use of student data to support teaching and learning. Newcastle University aims to understand whether staff and students would benefit from the use of a learning analytics system to enhance teaching, personal tutoring and student attainment.

Learning analytics can be understood as the process of making meaning of students’ participation in online content and activities with the aim of providing informed feedback to optimize learning.

The focus groups give us the opportunity to share ideas, needs, and challenges with the use of learning analytics, and your valuable opinions will help inform the University’s investigation into the use of student data to enhance the student learning experience. 

DateTime
Monday 30 November 202010.00 – 11.30
Monday 30 November 202013.00 -14.30
Tuesday 1 December 202010.00 – 11.30
Tuesday 1 December 202013.00 -14.30
Wednesday 2 December 202010.00 – 11.30
Dates and times of analytics focus groups

If you are able to take part in a learning analytics focus group, please complete the following form by Thursday 26 November 2020: data focus group sign-up sheet 

Re-defining ePortfolio

We would like to invite you to take part in a focus group on how best to incorporate student reflective learning, both academic and personal, within your practice.

Driven by a need to engage better with reflective practice, the University’s current ePortfolio system is under review. We are returning to a baseline of what we need to achieve to support students and staff to understand, undertake, provide evidence for, and in some cases assess, reflective practice.  

This gives us the opportunity to share ideas, needs and challenges with reflective practice in order to identify what is needed from a ‘system’ that is relevant to all students. Furthermore, we aim to identify technology that will work in parallel with current University systems to ensure streamlined working processes for staff and students. 

We need your valuable opinions to help shape the University’s ePortfolio review process. If you are able to take part in a focus group, please complete the following short form by Thursday 3 December 2020: ePortfolio focus group sign-up sheet

DateTime
Tuesday 8 December 202010.00 – 11.00
Tuesday 8 December 202015.00 – 16.00
Wednesday 9 December 202010.00 – 11.00
Wednesday 9 December 202015.00 – 16.00
Dates and times of ePortfolio focus groups

If you have any questions about the focus groups, please contact ltds@ncl.ac.uk 

More control over your content in Microsoft 365

We’ve just rolled out a new way you can control how your students and colleagues interact with content stored in Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365).

From this week, module and community enrolments appear as Security Groups in Microsoft 365. You can use these groups to apply permissions to content or add members to a Microsoft Team.

To look up a module or community in a Microsoft app use the following naming conventions:

  • Module-ModuleCode-AcademicYear e.g. Module-ACC1011-2021
  • Communities-CommunityCode e.g. Communities-COMMUN68

Easily control who can view your Microsoft Stream content

Over the last few months, we’ve seen an increased use of Microsoft Stream for sharing video content with colleagues and students. Up until now to share you either had to:

  • make your Stream videos visible to everyone in the organisation
  • manually add people to a permissions group
  • share content with an existing Microsoft Team

Now you can share your videos with a Canvas Course by typing the relevant module or community code.

Applying Stream permissions

Find out more about publishing Stream videos in Canvas

Quickly create a Microsoft Team for your Canvas Course

Microsoft Teams is being used across the institution to compliment modules requiring a collaboration space and supporting group projects.

Originally, the only option you had to add students to your team was by using a Join code but now you can leverage the enrolment groups to bulk add your module or community members to a team.

Adding a community to a Team

If you’d like to find more about how colleagues are using Teams in teaching or have questions about setting up for certain scenarios why not join our Teams@Newcastle community.

Collaborate on files in OneDrive and SharePoint

You can use security groups to give view/edit access to files or folders stored in OneDrive or SharePoint. For example, you could create folder where students can view content, but the teaching team can edit. This can be useful if documents will change regularly over time such as a live data set.

You can try this out by giving Direct access to a file or folder.

Granting access to a module in SharePoint

Note: Module and community enrolments are based on SAP data. Users manually added to a Canvas Course will not be part of the group and will need to be granted permissions separately.