New to NU Reflect: structured reflective templates

Example of Templates area of NU Reflect

You told us that reflective templates would help you to make more of students’ learning. Structured reflective templates give students prompts to enable them to record their learning and add tags that will help look back and build up a portfolio of learning to demonstrate competencies, knowledge and skills that secure that next step.

Following demand from colleagues and students, and a successful pilot in academic year 2021/22, structured reflective templates will be available within NU Reflect from the 1st August 2022. The Templates area will allow you to create bespoke reflective templates or choose from predefined templates, to support structured student reflection within your programme/module contexts. 

Each template will offer guidance text to support students to write qualitative, impactful reflections in different context, e.g., for personal development, against course specific competencies, etc., providing a meaningful way to engage with reflection, leading to a developed understanding of the reflective process and more autonomy to engage with it throughout the learning journey. 

More information on the Templates area of NU Reflect is available on the Learning and Teaching @ Newcastle website. Case studies from pilot participants highlighting the positive impact the templates had on teaching and learning will be available soon.

If you would like to find out more about how you can implement reflective practice within your programmes/modules, please contact LTDS@newcastle.ac.uk  

Learning Analytics system usability testing

Are you interested in using student engagement data to support the student learning journey?

The University has entered a tender process to acquire a Learning Analytics system that informs and supports students’ attainment, engagement, and wellbeing journeys in one centralised interface, putting students at the heart of decision-making about their ongoing development.

We are looking for volunteers to take part in usability testing as part of the system procurement process. Testing will take place between 1st August to 12th August 2022, and you can complete the testing tasks at any time over this period.

If you are interested and have capacity to participate, your contribution will be a key part of the evaluation stage of the tender process and will have a direct impact on which Learning Analytics system the University introduces from next academic year.   

Usability testing is open to all University colleagues. To participate you need to commit to test all systems that meet the University’s mandatory requirements, which we estimate may be between 2 and 4 systems, to ensure that the evaluation process is fair. We will be able to confirm the number of systems being tested the week before testing begins.   

Full instructions will be provided for each testing task, and you can complete the tasks at any time that suits your schedule over the usability testing period.

To register your interest please complete this form by Wednesday 27th July 2022.  Please contact LTDS@newcastle.ac.uk with any queries. 

EAMS: 13 – 24 June, 2022

The School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics will host the fifth international conference on E-Assessment in Mathematical Sciences (EAMS). The conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners with an interest in e-assessment for mathematics and the sciences. It will consist of a mix of presentations of new techniques and pedagogic research, as well as workshops where you can get hands-on with leading e-assessment software including our own Numbas.

EAMS 2022 is an entirely online conference with a mix of live sessions and web-based activities, and plenty of opportunity for discussion and collaboration. Before the conference starts there will be a programme of optional training workshops available for participants to get hands-on with state-of-the-art maths e-assessment software.

Live talks will take place over Zoom at 9am and 4pm BST (UTC +1) each weekday, with recordings available later. The online format and longer timescale allow participants to engage more deeply with the material presented.

The call for talk and workshop proposals is currently open. If you have some research or an innovative technique related to mathematical e-assessment that you would like to present, then please submit an abstract at eams.ncl.ac.uk/call-for-speakers by 13th May. We’re actively seeking to increase the diversity of our attendees and speakers, and particularly encourage speakers from groups under-represented in previous editions of EAMS to submit proposals.

To attend the conference please register for free at eams.ncl.ac.uk/register.

Learning and Teaching Drop-Ins

Need advice on getting ready for semester 2, assessment and feedback, or how to make best use of university-supported digital technologies? Colleagues can pop into an LTDS online drop-in session and speak to one of our advisors.

We have a fixed pattern for our drop-in times this month:

  • Every Monday 11:00 – 12:00
  • Every Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00
  • Every Friday 15:00 – 16:00

For log-in and access information please refer to our joining instructions.

Connect with colleagues by joining the Canvas Team

Canvas logo

Join the Canvas Team for:  

  • Announcements – Hear about Canvas updates, upcoming features and Newcastle specific Canvas resources. 
  • Ask the Community – Ask other Newcastle Canvas users a question. This channel will not be managed by LTDS or NUIT colleagues but is a usefulchannel for the user community to help each other.  
  • Sharing Practice – A channel for you to share effective practice and find out about the fantastic things your colleagues are doing with Canvas. 
  • Support – This channel links off to all of the Canvas support and resources available to you. 

If you have any queries about the Canvas Team get in touch at LTDS@ncl.ac.uk

Inspera Assessment, Digital Exams Launch – Presentation Recording

Inspera joined us via zoom for a presentation about the new Inspera Assessment software.

The presentation was delivered by Graeme Redshaw-Boxwell and Susan Barfield from the Learning and Teaching Development Service, who were joined by Suzanne Keys and Harvey Tayman from Inspera. Graeme and Susan discussed the journey Newcastle has taken with Digital Exams, why we are excited about the new software and what it will allow future digital exams to do. Suzanne and Harvey went on to demonstrate the assessment software, from a student and academics perspective.

This is the link to the recording from the session.

The following questions and answers were discussed during the sessions

I want to introduce a digital exam using Inspera, what can I do next? 

Digital exams for semester 1 are only available for modules that have this listed in their 2021-22 MOFS. If you wish to run a digital exam for 2022-23, when you complete your 2022-23 MOF select “PC Examination” for  the Assessment Component.  

If you are interested in running a digital exam in future and would like to find out more, please see our Digital Exams webpages, or contact digital.exams@newcastle.ac.uk .  

We would like to pilot it on some modules, where do we start? 

Please see the  Digital Exams webpages for information on how to get started. I you have a semester 2 exam that you would like to turn into a digital exam, please email digital.exams@newcastle.ac.uk to discuss. 

What capacity is there for digital exams with large cohorts?  
We have previously supported exams with over 400 students and it possible to manage large cohorts, although this may be over several venues. 

Can external examiners access? 

All Canvas users have access to Inspera. If your external examiner has been set up with a Canvas account, they can access Inspera. 

Can you download a copy of the exam paper? 

It is possible to download a PDF version of the exam. 

Can I download feedback 

It is possible to download students’ submissions, feedback annotations and marks as two separate PDFs. 

Can you use Turnitin to check for similarity on typed essay questions? 

Turnitin has been integrated into Inspera, so it possible to check a student’s submission for similarity. The Turnitin marking tools are not available, so it is not possible to use QuickMarks. 

How do we ensure the academic integrity of digital exams? 

It is possible to use a lock down browser on cluster room PCs and students’ own devices exam for digital exams. Ahead of the exam, the students will be asked to install the Safe Exam Browser software on their own laptop if it is bring your own device exam. To start the exam, they must run Safe Exam Browser, which will lock their PC from being able to access anything else. When they submit their exam and close lockdown browser, they can use laptop as normal.

It is not possible for a student to access an exam that requires use of Safe Exam Browser without using Safe Exam Browser. There are warnings in the monitor module if a student had tried to exit the lockdown browser. 

The Inspera Assessment, Digital Exam Launch will continue with two more sessions taking place in person on the 9th and 10th November, click for further details and to book a place

Inspera Assessment – Digital Exams Launch Events: 12 October, 9 and 10 November 2021

Typing on laptop

Inspera Assessment is the University’s new system for centrally supported digital exams. Academic colleagues, Professional Services colleagues and Postgraduate Students who teach are invited to Inspera Launch Events for live demonstrations, the chance to meet with our Inspera colleagues and to find out more from the Digital Assessment Service here at Newcastle. The events will showcase:

  • The student experience of taking a digital exam, and the tools they have available.  
  • Different question types including automatically marked questions, for example Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blank and Hot Spot questions. 
  • Essay questions- students can type their answers and incorporate drawings or written calculations into their online answers where needed.  
  • Setting up exams in Inspera and some of the key options available. 
  • Multiple ways to grade assessments so you can choose the best approach for your assessment.
  • How you can easily schedule an Inspera exam if you’d like to introduce this in your module. 

There will also be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Following feedback from colleagues we have moved the in-person sessions to the 9 and 10 November. The online session will still take place on the 12 October.

View all sessions and sign up here

“The introduction of Inspera Assessment for digital exams is a big step forward for education, assessment and feedback at Newcastle University. This new system enables us to ensure digital exams are accessible to all our students, increases the University’s digital exam capacity in the long term and will play an important role in supporting more authentic assessment.” 

Professor Tom Ward , Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education

If you’d like to find out more about Inspera visit the Digital Exams with Inspera Assessment webpages.  There is also an Inspera Guidance Canvas course, simply click the link to self-enrol.  

If you have any questions about the launch events or Inspera Assessment, please email digital.exams@newcastle.ac.uk

Learning Communities Toolkit

Students around a table

Working alongside student interns, Newcastle University HaSS colleagues have developed a new Learning Communities toolkit – a range of accessible and reusable ice-breaker and community-building resources. Available via Canvas Commons, this toolkit is ideal for educators looking for ways to encourage and facilitate effective learning communities within their module groups.

Why is a learning community needed?
Developing a learning community amongst a group of students can be hugely beneficial. Not only does it provide students with the opportunity to come together in a safe place to share opinions and ask questions, but it also allows them to feel a sense of belonging and connection with other students (this is particularly useful where minority groups are concerned). Learning communities also provide academic benefits: encouraging attendance at lectures, active engagement, and group collaboration. This toolkit provides a range of ideas to get you started and support you along the way in the development of your learning community.

How to use this toolkit
We’ve published our Learning Communities toolkit on Canvas Commons to make it easy to find, download and reuse in your own courses. To help you find activities quickly, we have organised them into three separate categories: Icebreakers, Building Community Activities, and Maintaining Community Activities.

You can preview and download the toolkit here:

https://lor.instructure.com/resources/bb4c049eeff34e15b2091c6fd4755651?shared

NU Reflect is live

NU Reflect has been developed to help support personal, professional, and academic reflection in both modular and non-modular contexts and is now live. NU Reflect is integrated in Canvas and is accessible in both Account and in any Course menu, or at reflect.ncl.ac.uk 

The new system provides users with the ability to record and share reflections, recognise, and categorise personal skills being developed, e.g., against the Graduate Framework, and to collaborate with other users. Furthermore, Personal Tutoring is supported with options to engage with tutors/tutees, create and manage individual and group meetings, and for students to access School specific and global support and guidance materials.

NU Reflect is continually being developed to enhance the user experience, with new features and tools to come throughout the academic year. To find out more about using NU Reflect, please go to the NU Reflect page on the Learning and Teaching @ Newcastle website, where guidance and support materials will be available soon. Furthermore, the Start Here area of NU Reflect provides a tutorial on the benefits of reflection, as well as approaches you could use to incorporate it into your practice.

If you have any questions regarding NU Reflect, please contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk

Canvas & Turnitin Assignments: Key Issues

LTDS have offered each School the opportunity to receive a presentation ahead of the new academic year highlighting the key issues that should be considered when deciding how to implement coursework submission and marking procedures.​

For Schools and subject areas who are not able to take up this offer, or as a refresher for those who have been able to, a recording of the presentation and the presentation slides are now available.

​The presentation includes issues that have occurred across the last academic year that have caused extra workload for colleagues and impacted the student experience​, including:

Assignment Types

Canvas or Turnitin Assignment?

Using Similarity Checking 

Online assignment submission principles

Assessment and Feedback Procedure​

Avoiding common issues

Assignment, online marking and feedback guides

Student assignment submission guidance (ASK Website)

​Delegated Marking​

Canvas Delegated Marking

Turnitin delegated marking

Moderated Marking​

Moderated grading and double blind marking

Where to find help

Canvas orientation

All L&T Workshops and webinars

To discuss any of the issues raised further, or if are any issues that we have not captured, please contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk