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

Getting ready for the new academic year

Colleague typing on a laptop

With the new academic year fast approaching, we at LTDS are offering a week of online interactive learning sessions to help you get ready for the new academic year.

Here are more details about the new and exciting sessions. You can enrol on each of the six sessions below.

Learning from strategic digital education projects 

This session will take place on Thursday 9 September, 12.00 – 13.00.

This session will outline the achievements made in three strategic blended learning projects in the School of Engineering, Newcastle University Business School and the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences. It will demonstrate the changes made to programmes and provide an opportunity to ask how it was done in a Q & A.

Sign up to the session through elements.

How to Make a Podcast

This session will take place on Friday 10 September, 13.00 – 14.00.

Newcastle University Learning and Teaching podcast was launched recently. The appetite for podcasting in education is going through a surge in interest in using this engaging medium with students. This workshop will take you through everything you need to know to feel confident and capable to make your own podcast.  

Sign up to the session through elements.

Saving time and enriching your courses with Canvas Commons  

There are two sessions available on Tuesday 7 September, 14:00 – 15:00 and Thursday 9 September, 11:00 -12:00.

Canvas Commons gives us a really easy way of sharing, finding and importing course content into Canvas courses.  We can use Commons to share a whole range of content types including, assignments, pages, quizzes, images as well as entire modules.      

This hands-on webinar provides an opportunity to explore  Canvas  Commons.  You’ll add content from Commons to your sandbox course.  We will consider what you need to do before sharing content and  discuss  examples of how sharing content can save time and enrich your courses. 

Sign up to the session through elements.

Getting your Canvas course ready for next year  

There is a session taking place on Monday 6 September, 15.00 – 16.00 and you can find further dates here.

The aim of this short webinar is to support you while you create your new Canvas courses for the 2021/22 academic year.   You will learn the process for new course creation, how to build your canvas course, and how to check your content is accessible.

The topics that are covered include, blueprints, content and assignment import from the previous year’s course. As well as homepage, curse navigation menu, accessibility, and publishing your content and your canvas course.

Sign up to the session through elements.

Using H5P to create engaging digital content

There are three H5P sessions over the course of this week. Monday 6 September at 13.00, Wednesday 8  September at 9.00, and Thursday 9 September at 14.00.

What is H5P? H5P is a resource that lets you create simple interactive content like interactive videos, quizzes, games, presentations, and more.

This training webinar offers a 30-minute introduction to H5P looking at some of the benefits in using this tool, followed by an optional 30-minute task where you can try creating some H5P content, with guidance.

Sign up to the session through elements.

Digital assessment – outlining the possibilities and processes

This session will take place on Thursday 9 September, 15.00 -16.00.

Assessing students in new ways and delivering feedback remotely during the pandemic has given us as a community of educators and learners a wealth of new experiences and ideas.  As we begin to return to campus, further digital assessment opportunities open up with the introduction of the Unversity’s new digital exam system Inspera Assessment

This session will share some of these new possibilities and provide an opportunity to reflect on what to retain from our recent experiences, as well as exploring how digital assessment can further enhance authentic assessment and ensure it is accessible to all our students. 

Sign up to the session through elements.

If you have any questions please get in touch with LTDS@ncl.ac.uk.

Interactive Content with H5P

Introducing H5P in Canvas (5 min video tour)

Adding engaging and interactive content to your online course materials just got easier with H5P.  

This new online tool allows you to create custom learning resources such as branching scenarios, accordions, interactive images and videos, 360 degree virtual tours, simple formative quizzes, and so much more.   

The feedback we have from colleagues is that it is easy to use and that the built-in tutorials walk you through what to do.  No coding or software is required – all you need is a web browser.   

In Canvas you can work with H5P from the Rich Content Editor. 

H5P icon on the Canvas editing toolbar

MLE and blog authors can create H5P content to embed in pages and posts. 

Try it out 

Announcing the University’s new Digital Exam System: Inspera Assessment

In September 2021 we will be launching a new system for centrally supported digital exams, called Inspera Assessment. Implementing the system will enable the Digital Exam Service to: 

  • Deliver secure locked down present-in-person exams on University computers and students’ own laptops, monitored by University invigilators 
  • Ensure that digital exams are accessible to all our students, and enhance the student experience of exams 
  • Increase the University’s digital exam capacity in the long term 
  • Enable more authentic exams by introducing new functionality

New exam types possible with Inspera will include:  

  • Students taking written exams online, by typing their answers on computer, and incorporating drawings or written calculations done on paper into their online answers where needed. 
  • Allowing access to specific online resources or applications during a secure exam, using allow listing functionality. 

Introducing Inspera is a big step forward for education, assessment and feedback at Newcastle University.  Adopting a specialist digital exam system allows us to do much more than would be possible if we continued to use the Virtual Learning Environment for digital exams.

Choosing a digital exam system 

Inspera has been selected as our digital exam system following a rigorous procurement process, which began with requirements mapping workshops in February 2020, attended by over 60 academic and professional services staff.  The procurement was postponed for a year as a result of the global pandemic, and restarted in semester 2 2020/21 when colleagues had the opportunity to feed in any new or updated requirements via an online survey.   

Once the tender was issued key digital exams stakeholders contributed to a rigorous evaluation process to decide on the system that best fit our requirements.  Students and staff were invited to volunteer for usability testing in each system that met the mandatory technical requirements. The team are very grateful to the 36 colleagues, and 13 undergraduate and postgraduate students, who completed a total of approximately 150 hours of usability testing between them! 

Inspera scored the highest overall for both usability, and for technical and functional requirements. 

Rolling out Inspera 

As standard all 2021/22 modules that have a present-in-person digital exam in MOFS will use Inspera.  If the public health situation requires, it will be possible for these modules to use the system for open book take home exams.

Numbas maths assessment system remains an option digital exams that need specialist mathematics functionality.

The system will be available for additional new digital exams from 2022/23 onwards.  There will be opportunities in the coming months to see demonstrations of the software, and learn more about the new types of assessment that it makes possible.  If you would like to learn more now, please contact digital.exams@newcastle.ac.uk

How to get started  

The Digital Exams Service team will contact all 2021/22 module teams with a digital exam in their MOF at the beginning of September, with details of the process for preparing their exam. 

Training will also launch in September 2021, and all colleagues who will be using Inspera in the new academic year are encouraged to sign up.   

Online resources to help students prepare for a digital exam will be published in September, and students will also be able to try out a demo exam in Inspera to help familiarise themselves with the system. 

If you are interested in introducing a new digital exam using Inspera in future, or if you have any queries about a 2021/22 digital exam, please contact digital.exams@newcastle.ac.uk

NU Reflect: engaging with reflective practice

ePortfolio is being redeveloped and relaunched as NU Reflect for September 2021 to help support personal, professional, and academic reflection in both modular and non-modular contexts. For improved functionality and ease of use, the system will be split into two landing pages in Canvas:

The NU Reflect landing page will provide the opportunity to record and share reflections, recognise and categorise personal skills being developed, e.g., against the Graduate Framework, and to participate in Groups and collaborate with other students in Communities.

The Personal Tutoring and Support landing page will provide 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.

The benefits of reflective practice

Incorporating reflection in programmes and modules provides an effective way to support students to understand their own learning processes, and to develop their awareness of their own skills and abilities and evidence these, applying theoretical knowledge to real experiences and supporting employability. Guidance and case studies on how colleagues at the University have incorporated reflective practice are available.

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

Coming Soon: Interactive Content Made Easy with H5P

Example H5P Hotspot item – click the + to try it out

Adding engaging and interactive content to your online course materials will get easier very soon.  The University has bought an enterprise licence for H5P for use by colleagues for a year.  Towards the end of August we’ll be making it available to all Canvas and MLE Teachers giving them the ability to make accessible interactive widgets, like the ones on this post. H5P isn’t just restricted to Canvas and MLE, it can be used on web sites too. 

We’re particularly excited about H5P!  Once it is turned on there will no longer be a need to be an HTML guru to do things like: 

  • Add accordions 
  • Add single question formative quiz questions 
  • Generate branching scenarios 
  • Create 360 degree virtual tours … and much more 

H5P has been successfully used by our friends in other universities– it’s very well documented and each content type has its own tutorial. 

We will be using the fully supported (H5P.com) version of H5P and, while we are plumbing this in, if you would like to have a peek at what is in store do check out H5Ps web pages for their documentation.  We would recommend holding fire on creating accounts on H5P.org and wait instead until we have our Newcastle H5P site up and running. It won’t be long! 

How you can help us? 

We have H5P for a one-year pilot initially – so we will need feedback on how you are using it, how your students are finding it, and how you would like our H5P support to develop. 

If you would like to get early access to H5P, receive updates, or help our evaluation please  JOIN OUR H5P COMMUNITY by filling out this form.

Sample H5P Course Presentation – try moving between the slides and answering the questions