Category Archives: Events and Awards

CALLOUT FOR COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE: Using Images in Lectures, Loughborough University

Researchers based at Loughborough University have developed a visual learning experience and are looking for collaborators to build a cross-institutional project.

Based on growing evidence to suggest that the prevalence on media – from TV to social media – means that students are increasingly exposed to and interpreting a number of images in daily life.

The method involves decreasing text and increasing the use of images in the learning environment.

It has already  worked well in control group tests conducted at Loughborough. The literature suggests this is because it exploits cognitive ‘dual’ processing innate to all sighted people.

The investigators argue that this technique ‘reduces wasteful overload of our short-term memory and simultaneously
engages under-used visual processing capacity.’

The group are now looking for colleagues from a diversity of institutions to see if this method works well beyond Loughborough students.

Organisers will also be showcasing  a simple, free, web-based research tool we developed to include and engage distance learners and other students sometimes excluded from pedagogic research.

The intention, as a Community of Practice (CoP), is to discuss, critique and share new practice and develop a bid for funding to develop and test this visual method further, at your own institutions, in academic year 2016-2017.

The data we develop will underpin a range of publishing opportunities and perhaps impact case studies as well. Below are a few ways suggested by organisers who encourage those interested to bring their own ideas:
1) You might create a short image-based presentation on the topic of your choice and give it to students at your own institution (mirroring my own methods), after which they complete an online survey regarding engagement and understanding. You might expand the survey questions as you see fit;
2) You might disseminate a web-based research tool through your own student communities, which students then view and respond to online within a fixed time-frame;
3)  You might create a short image-based presentation on the topic of your choice and place it on a home-made website linked to a survey;
4) You might create a different approach able to generate appropriate data.

The group are looking for colleagues from a diversity of institutions to see if this method works well beyond Loughborough students. If you’re interested in attending an informal half-day session at Loughborough university before July, where Dr David Roberts  will briefly outline the project  been doing and share the test results, please email him: by May 20th 2016.

Callout for Community of Practice



PGR Innovation Fund 2016 now open

Post-Graduate Research Innovation Fund 2016

The University is pleased to announce the fourth annual call for proposals to provide funding for groups of students working on projects to support and improve the postgraduate research student experience. The PGR Innovation Fund 2016 is now accepting project proposals. The closing date for proposals is 14 June 2016.

PGR Innovation Fund awards are designed to pump-prime the development of responsive and/or innovative projects to improve the student experience.  The awards will not fund individual student research. It is anticipated that 5-8 projects will be funded, each for up to £4K. Proposals do not have to be for the full £4K.

Interested parties are encouraged to attend a “launch” and information event on 11 May 2016 from 9-11 a.m. (Barbara Strang Teaching Centre G34). The booking form for the launch event is available here:

PVC of Learning and Teaching Professor Suzanne Cholerton will launch the funding call, and last year’s successful project teams will participate with PG Deans and academic staff in a panel on strategies for enhancing the PGR student experience. The
application process will also be explained, and any questions you have will be answered.

The contact for initial queries about the PGR Innovation Fund 2016 is Graeme Redshaw-Boxwell in LTDS (  / Ext. 83903).

PGR Innovation Fund_Call for Project Proposals_2016

Sample PGR proposal



Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teacher and Professional Support Staff Awards open Monday 4th April

The Vice-Chancellor’s award nominations for 2016 open Monday 4th April.

Following consultation with the Vice-Chancellor and feedback the nomination and selection processes have changed.

Full details can be found here VC’s award web page.
If you have any queries or questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sue Gill, LTDS.

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?

The seminar theme will allow participants from NU and PUCRS to analyse and critique existing conceptualisations of HE internationalisation at individual and institutional levels, leading to fresh perspectives on pedagogy, curriculum and international graduate competences.  The seminar is intended be the first step towards the formation of a joint UK-Brazil research and practice network on inclusive and values-based HE internationalisation. They will act as a forum for multidisciplinary dialogue and help to identify network partners and themes of mutual interest for collaborative enquiry.

To register for the seminar, please email

Learning and Teaching Conference 14 March 2016 – Bookings now open

Our 12th annual Learning and Teaching Conference is only a month away and bookings are now open. You are welcome to attend for the whole day or the morning or afternoon.
The theme this year is Assessment and Feedback and we’re looking forward to a lively day of discussion and examples of interesting and effective practice. In particular we’ll be welcoming a panel of teachers to help us understand more about the assessment students undertake before they come to university.

The booking form can be found here – booking form

The programme is here

9-9.30 Registration and Coffee
9.30 Opening with Prof Suzanne Cholerton, PVC (L&T)
10.00 Students’ Perspectives on Feedback and Assessment

Matt Price, Education Officer

10:50 Coffee
11:10-11:40 12 Years On…How Far We’ve Come With Feedback and Assessment

Short presentations

11:40-11:50 Break
11.50-12:35 Technology in Assessment and Feedback

Short presentations

12.35 Lunch


Writing surface capture demo

13.15 Samuel Elkington, Academic Lead (Assessment and Feedback), HEA

Tools and Tips, how the HEA can support academics in assessment and feedback

14.15 Current projects in assessment and feedback

Micro presentations

14:45-15:00 Tea
15.00 Teacher Panel: How Does Feedback and Assessment at School Impact University Transitions?
16:00 Finish

4Ps: The Awards, 4th March

NUTELA is delighted to announce that we will be celebrating the winners and nominees of our inaugral Peer Recognition Awards, with a feast of pizza, plonk, pop and practice!

To be held at the University’s swanky new Marjorie Robinson Rooms on Sandyford Road, the event will take place on Friday 4th March at 3.30pm.

It will showcase best practice as well as rewarding the hard work of staff who go above and beyond to help colleagues to employ technology in their teaching.

Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching Suzanne Cholerton will present awards to our 2015 award winners, Graeme Patterson (CEGS) and Gigi Herbert (Careers).


The winners will talk about their award-winning practice and there will be posters to celebrate the work of runners-up.

Details of this year’s competition will also be available at the event.

We hope that you will join us!

To do so please fill out the online form.

HEA Arts and Humanities Conference CFP closing

Inspire – sharing great practice in Arts and Humanities teaching and learning
3–4 March 2016
The Waterfront Hotel, Brighton

The call for papers for the HEA Arts and Humanities conference closes on 11 January 2016.

We are accepting paper, ignite sessions, workshop and poster submissions on the following themes:

  • Innovate: How are we adopting and implementing innovative practice in Arts and Humanities teaching and learning?
  • Assessment: How can we meet the assessment & feedback challenges in Arts and Humanities?
  • Achievement: How can we support student retention and attainment in Arts and Humanities?
  • Embedding employability: How can we embed employability and prepare students for their transition into the world of work or postgraduate study through our teaching and learning strategies?
  • Developing our practice: How do we drive our own practice forwards, what are effective strategies for continuing professional development?

Download the call for papers document  and guidance for contributors for more information on preparing your submission.

For more information about the conference formats, to download a submission form, and to book your place, visit the conference page.

ULTSEC Innovation Fund 2015/16 – Deadlines Approaching

The University’s Innovation Fund awards are designed to encourage the development of new or innovative approaches to learning and teaching and to enable their dissemination across the University.

The Innovation Fund is a fantastic opportunity to propose and deliver projects with real benefit to learning, teaching, and the student experience.

Past projects have also offered stepping stones to other internal and external learning and teaching opportunities and funding (eg: evidence for the reward and recognition of teaching; HEA schemes).

Whilst Innovation Fund projects can offer opportunities to undertake educational research, it is essential that the primary focus of projects is on improving the student learning experience.

Responsive project proposal submission deadlines

Spring: Thursday 24 March 2016, 5pm

Summer: Friday 20 May 2016, 5pm

Strategic project proposal submission deadlines

Semester 1: Friday 15 January 2016, 5pm

Semester 2: Friday 20 May 2016, 5pm

More information is available on the LTDS website.

Workshops for prospective applicants to the Innovation Fund are available giving an overview of the purpose of the fund, and the responsive and strategic strands of funding.

Presentations will be made by winning Innovation Fund project teams.

Guidance will be available from the Careers Service about employing students as part of an Innovation Fund project.

Introduction to the application process, key dates, and where to find further information will also be included:

Monday 7th December 2015 – 10.00-11.00

Wednesday 24th February 2016 – 14.00-15.00

To book your place, please register here.

For more information about the Innovation Fund contact

Learning and Teaching Conference 2014

Learning and Teaching Conference 2014, 18th-19th June 2014

Group Work

Our annual Learning and Teaching Conference was on 18th-19th June 2014.  The conference theme was ‘Learning, Teaching and the Student Experience’.

The main purpose of the Conference, hosted by Suzanne Cholerton (PVC Learning and Teaching), is working with staff to enhance the student learning experience. All staff at Newcastle University were invited to take part in the Conference, students presented on their own as along side staff.

Most sessions were 20 minutes long, scheduled in themed 2 hour blocks of 4 to 6 sessions. There were refreshment breaks between blocks, and discussion time within blocks.

If you attended the conference this year please complete the feedback form if you have not already done so.

Colleagues were welcome to tweet about the Conference using the hashtag #ncllt. Please find links to the tweets below;

Day 1:

Day 2:

June 18th – Robert Boyle Lecture Theatre, Armstrong Building





Suzanne Cholerton

Introduction by Suzanne Cholerton

Raising the Bar  – implications for Learning, Teaching and the Student Experience The session will set Newcastle University’s Raising the Bar initiative in the context of the broader, strategic HE environment, with particular emphasis on our ambitions to grow and the implications for learning, teaching and the student experience.


Bev Robinson (workshop)

The Learning process- how do we create the right environment?

 Focusing on the Raising the Bar initiative, this workshop aims to generate 10 key principles to develop suitable learning spaces. We will explore innovative practices and how the academic and student community can work with ESS and ISS to help design the type of spaces required.


Spaces session doc


Transitions into, during and beyond university study

Laura Heels (Transition Officer, School of Computing Science), with Lindsay Marshall and Marie Devlin

It’s the transition that is troublesome.

This presentation introduces  our new Transition Officer and outlines the activities and processes she has implemented to help first year Computing Science students with their academic and pastoral issues.Presentation


Ann Musk, Jen Stewart, Laura Fletcher

Building Bridges: Successful Transition and Innovative Practice.

A workshop to explore the transitional challenges faced by current and prospective students and the innovations, which can empower students whilst supporting retention and achievement. Presentation


Sandra Salin and Damien Hall

Better French Living Through Independent Learning.

The main objectives of this project funded by the Innovation Fund are:

  • to collaborate with NU students in the development of online resources which will be specifically designed to help other students prepare for a placement in a francophone country.
  • to pilot an initiative that will integrate French Linguistics into French Language learning and teaching. Presentation


Dawn Jones

Helping students to succeed.

The presentation will address the challenges students face and the strategies used to try to enable students to understand what it is we require in order for them to succeed. Presentation



History Room, Students’ Union

Sue Thorpe- Poster

Iain Keenan- Poster

Alison Clapp- Poster


Students’ professional development & career planning

Phil Ansell

Enhancing the Employability of Stage 2 Maths & Stats students through the School of Maths & Stats Careers Management Skills Award.

The School of Maths & Stats Careers Management Skills Award is for Stage 2 students who have taken part in non-compulsory (but timetabled) events and activities. We will describe the development of the award, what we have learned, what was successful and what we will change in the future. Presentation


Bryan Burford

Two approaches to developing medical student preparedness.

Graduating medical students must be ready to be core members of the healthcare workforce. Two recent projects looked at the contributions of clinical placements and simulated practice to developing preparedness.Presentation

Tom Hill and Jessica Strudwick

Enhancing skills in analysis and resolution of complex issues of relevance to Food and Human Nutrition.

This presentation will discuss the experiences gained from attending a major international symposium on “Dietary Guidelines: Scientific substantiation and public health impact” which took place at The Royal Society of Medicine earlier in the year.


Gigi Herbert & Salome Bolton

To Boldly Go: roundtable reflections on engaging students with (personal) enterprise.

Roundtable presenters will discuss key areas of practice in cultivating enterprising skills and behaviours and reflect on some of the tensions and contradictions involved in the context of assessed modules.

Twilight session HERB.1 Red & Blue Zone PC 104 Herschel Building

App Swap

Graeme Boxwell and Marc Bennett

Learning and Teaching App Swap Event

Is your mobile device improving your learning and teaching? Would you like it to? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then this is the event for you.

We will be demonstrating some L & T apps, and would also like you to show your favourites at this interactive app swap. Bring your device and learn what apps are out there to support your teaching. The apps demonstrated will be usable on Apple or Android devices.

Day 2 of Learning & Teaching Conference

June 19th – History Room, Students’ Union



Students as partners

Glenn Hurst

NPCEC: Postgraduate Innovation in Research and Professional Development.

The Northern Postgraduate Chemical Engineering Conference (NPCEC) received national attention in Summer 2013 for being the first event to serve as a platform for postgraduates to present their research in a prestigious yet supportive environment. This presentation outlines the positive impact and skills developed this conference had from the point of view of presenters, audience and organisers; all of whom were postgraduates. Presentation


Colin Bryson

Creating partnership opportunities in the curriculum

In Combined Honours we have co-designed modules with students that enable them to really take ownership – through projects they choose – many of which enhance the student experience more broadly.Presentation



Aimee Cook

Herbal Magic: Cross campus collaboration, outreach and the student experience:

Hear more about Herbal Magic, an outreach project involving the Library, AFRD and Newcastle students. Student involvement helped turn this successful project into an unusual example of collaboration, with real impact and benefits for all involved. Presentation


Dr Gill Vance

Student Involvement in Medical Education Research.

This presentation shares a number of strategies that we use to involve medical students in medical education research. These include optional rotations in medical education research and a research advisory group, comprising students from all years of the MBBS programme.Presentation


Innovative approaches to learning & teaching

Mark Backhouse, Michael Fitzpatrick, Jocelyn Selwyn-Gotha, Ayat Bashir (Stage 4 MBBS), Rachael Allen (Professional Artist, Gateshead), Iain D Keenan (School of Medical Sciences Education Development) (Presentation)

Transdiscipline student partner approaches for evidence-based development and evaluation of a novel cyclical ORDER (observe-reflect-draw-edit-repeat) artistic learning technique in anatomy education.

Medical and artist partners have developed ORDER to increase the variety of anatomy learning methods. Our data from a mixed-method evaluation shows ORDER can enhance student learning, engagement and experience. Presentation

Innovative Approaches to Learning & Teaching

Patrick Rosenkranz, Amy Fielden, Efstathia Tzemou

Teaching psychological research methods through a pragmatic and programmatic approach.

In this talk we will present our experience and evaluation of the first delivery of a revised research methods module in psychology.  We will focus on the students’ perception and explore how the module can support the development of psychological literacy.Presentation


Venda Pollock

Creative Difference: Feedback and Assessment in Fine Art.

This presentation investigates the Open Studios feedback and assessment model in Fine Art, looking at the role of feedback within the learning environment of the studio. Presentation


Brian Lunn

Improving feedback for students: Less effort for a greater return

The greatest potential benefit from assessment is from constructive feedback. We have developed a system that  automatically generates meaningful feedback without requiring significant time investment by academic staff. Presentation.


Rebecca Wassall and Divya Vedapuri

Time to listen – embedding patient feedback in student assessment (phase 1 pilot)

Patient experience is fundamental to providing high quality care. The outcomes of this pilot provide learning opportunities for student dentists, teaching staff and the NWE placement student. Presentation


Lunch Martin Luther King Room, Students Union

Technology-enhanced learning

Feng Hao

Enhancing teaching and learning with electronic voting

I will present a smart phone based Verifiable Classroom Voting system (, which was developed at the School of Computing Science, trialled in real classroom teaching with positive student feedback and is being made available to all schools in Newcastle University. Presentation Blog


James Gerrard and Emma Gooch

Getting the Romans online: e-learning, student engagement and contextual knowledge in the humanities.Getting the Romans online

This presentation explores a recent initiative by Archaeology to augment student learning through the provision of additional Blackboard based resources, which allow undergraduates to develop their contextual knowledge base. Presentation.


Antony Mullen

An Evaluation of ePortfolio for Personal Tutoring.

This presentation shares the findings of the investigation into ePortfolio’s efficacy as a personal tutoring tool, covering tutors’ views and best practice. Presentation


Chris Thomson

Title: Teaching and Training Online – learning from the Netskills experience

Abstract: Jisc Netskills, based in Computer Sciences, has been successfully running full day online workshops for several years now. This presentation describes how Netskills runs a typical online workshop in a way that ensures an engaging and interactive experience and details some of the lessons we have learnt in a way that can help anyone considering using tools like Adobe Connect or Blackboard Collaborate for their own teaching practice. Presentation


Twilight session HERB.1 Red & Blue Zone PC 104 Herschel Building

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

Mike Cameron and Nuala Davis

What can we learn from MOOCs?

What are the lessons learnt so far from developing ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ for the FutureLearn social learning platform? How can we apply these lessons to distance and campus based education?

Previous ULTSEC Innovation Fund Winners 2014-15

Past years’ awards

2014-15 Awards

In 2014-15 the following awards were made:

  • 7 Responsive Projects, each for up to £2,500
  • 5 Strategic Projects, each for up to £10,000

Details of all the projects can be found in the 2014/15 list of funded projects.

2014 Awards: Strengthening the relationship between research and teaching, Diversifying our portfolio of programmes, and Assessment and feedback.

In 2014 the panel funded 14 projects, each for up to £5k. Six projects were funded under the priority theme ofAssessment and feedback.  Five projects were funded under the priority theme of Diversifying our portfolio of programmes.  Three projects were funded under the priority themes Strengthening the relationship between research and teaching. Relevant resources are:

  • the 2014 list of funded projects – congratulations to all the award winners
  • guidance notes for applicants, including suggestions for projects aligned with each of the priority themes
  • resources from the Innovation Fund dissemination and welcome event on 9th December 2013 which included presentations from a number of Innovation Fund 2013 project teams. Here is the running order for the event and here is the ReCap recording (the recording lets you navigate between presentations). The table below has links to speakers’ slides and other materials
  • this short video for applicants, talking through the application process and judging criteria.
Chris Phillips and Simon Pallett (Introduction to the Innovation Fund): slides Laura Greaves and Ellen Tullo: slides
Rene Koglbauer and Paul Miller: slides, school visit news article Jarka Glassey, Katie Wray and Jess Jung: slides
Lynne Rawles, Alison Clapp and Laura Delgaty:slides Michelle Robson/Kate Aitchison and Marie Devlin: slides
Lindsey Ferrie and Simon Cotterill: slides Jean-Christophe Penet: slides
Kathryn Hollingsworth: slides John Lockey, Didier Talamona, Kenny Dalgarno: slides
Lee Fawcett: slides, ACC1012/3 course website Sara Marsham, Alison Graham, Jon Goss and Christie Harner: slides, Assessment & Student Dialogue event resources
Storify archive of tweets from the event