Newcastle Educators 2023 – 2024 Programme – Progressive Curriculum approaches

The next Newcastle Educators session will take place on Monday 13th November2023 in Henry Daysh Building 1.06 Learning Lab.

Join us for this interactive session focusing on: Progressive Curriculum approaches 12.00 – 1.30, with snack lunch provided!

In this session participants will:

  • Hear from colleagues who have embedded Sustainable Development Goals across a programme in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Gain ideas and suggestions to further develop sustainable curriculum design in your own practice
  • Hear how colleagues are working across the university to embed employability skills in their curriculum

Please sign up to the event via this MS Form.

Remember to save the date in your diary!

Expressions of interest sought for an Academic Lead in Digital Assessment

Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday November 3, 2023 

We are seeking an enthusiastic Academic Lead to oversee the development of Digital Assessment at Newcastle University and drive improvements in line with our Education for Life strategy. The Digital Assessment Group supports the use of digital assessment and feedback tools such as Inspera, NUMBAS, Turnitin and Canvas. Reporting to the Digital Education Sub-Committee (DESC), the postholder will work with representatives from across the university to help guide, enable and support the innovative use of digital assessment and feedback tools. 

For more details see the Academic Lead for Digital Assessment Role Description

This is a non-remunerated role but has potential to enable demonstration of positive educational impact across the institution. 

To express your interest in this role, please provide a short biography and outline for how you see Digital Assessment evolving in the future. This should be no more than 1 side of A4 and submitted to Susan Barfield (susan.barfield@ncl.ac.uk). Selection will be based on the expression of interest and an informal interview of shortlisted applicants (w/c 13 November 2023). 

If you would like to learn more about what this opportunity involves please contact David Kennedy, Dean of Digital Education (david.kennedy@ncl.ac.uk) or Susan Barfield, Lead for Digital Assessment LTDS (susan.barfield@ncl.ac.uk). 

Applications for the Education Enhancement Fund are now open!

The fund (formerly the University Education Development Fund) provides grants of up to £10,000 to support the development of new approaches to learning and teaching across Newcastle University.

Group of students chatting

Two strands of funding are available: 

  • Strand A – applications up to £2500. Projects can be specifically focussed within an individual academic unit, or across multiple areas as appropriate to the project.
  • Strand B – applications up to £10,000. Projects must involve collaboration across academic units and/or services and have potential benefits that are applicable beyond a single school or academic unit.

Chaired by the PVC Education, the fund offers a fantastic opportunity to propose and deliver projects with real benefit to student education. Applications should further the aims and key themes of the Education Strategy.

Application deadline for Semester 1:

Applications must be sent to educationdevfund@newcastle.ac.uk by 12 noon (UK time) on Monday 20 November 2023.

Full information, guidance notes, and the application forms are available on the Learning and Teaching @ Newcastle website. 

For queries please contact educationdevfund@newcastle.ac.uk. 

Graduate Teaching Assistants Developers Network – Summer Event 2023: A blog post

Venue/Time:    21 June 2023, University of Manchester

Network:            AdvanceHE_GTA Developers Network

Who:                    Dangeni, Professional Development Adviser, LTDS

In the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, Postgraduates who teach, including Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) play a crucial role in shaping the academic experience of countless students. These passionate educators form the backbone of university classrooms, bringing fresh perspectives and knowledge to enhance the learning environment. My role as a Professional Development Adviser at LTDS involves delivering workshops to postgraduates who teach at Newcastle University, supporting their professional development through the various modules and pathways we offer, e.g. ILTHE and ELTS.

I had the opportunity to attend the Graduate Teaching Assistants Network event at the University of Manchester in June, which brought together researchers and practitioners from different UK universities to share insights and support each other in promoting and developing GTA support. This blog post summarises the highlights and reflections from this enriching experience.

Prior to the event, the organisers facilitated the sharing of materials, resources, ideas and approaches related to GTA development from across the institutions, which can be widely disseminated to various key stakeholders working with GTAs. For example, a practical guide New to Teaching Geography, which offers a starting point for graduate teaching assistants, teaching fellows and demonstrators. Another great example is around measuring the effective teaching through designing a Teaching Observation Form based on undergraduate feedback. These resources already and will benefit GTAs by unpacking the hidden curriculum of teaching and providing practical suggestions for GTAs to take away and implement in their own contexts; it’s also valuable for practitioners like me to reflect on and embed the effective and good practice in our current provision.

What happened on the day

The session began by reflecting on our roles and perspectives, e.g. where we work centrally or in a department, in an academic contract or as professional service staff, is supporting GTAs a core element of our role or something we do in addition to our day-to-day work, understanding that institutional differences and the different roles we play in supporting PgRs with teaching responsibilities require more in-depth discussion and frequent communication to share effective practices and reflect together on potential challenges.

We had key themes running through the day-long programme, such as:

  1. Supporting GTAs within departments, faculties and disciplines across institutions.
  2. The new PSF and its implications for accredited programmes.
  3. Developments in GTA professional learning.

As our Academic Practice Team is working on the reaccreditation, the second theme provide helpful information  regarding support and guidance, such as Advance HE PSF 2023 Associate Fellowship Guidance, Calibration events and Accreditation Policy 2023 (and guidance). The key changes were highlighted regarding D1, Associate Fellow, i.e., for individuals whose practice enables them to evidence some Dimensions. Effectiveness of practice in teaching and/or support of learning is demonstrated through evidence of:

D1.1. Use of appropriate Professional Values, including at least V1 and V3

D1.2 Application of appropriate Core Knowledge, including at least K1, K2 and K3

D1.3 Effective and inclusive practice in at least two of the five Areas of Activity

Inclusion and EDI were mentioned, highlighted and discussed throughout the day, including a workshop on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion by colleagues from the University of Sheffield. This training material is a practical tool for GTAs and us to explore prejudice and discrimination and describe how it can occur in everyday teaching and learning contexts.

My presentation

I presented and shared how we support GTAs through formal programmes and a recently established informal community building event at Newcastle University. In running ILTHE and ELTS and gathering feedback from participants, we found that workshop participants wanted the opportunity to continue to engage with teaching practice and develop their teaching skills after the workshops. This online community has been created based on my teaching experiences as an international GTA and my previous research projects, which looked at GTA, peer-mentoring and researcher development.

What did I think of the day?

The day was packed with insightful, exciting and innovative presentations from colleagues and GTAs from different institutions. I also had many useful resources to take away and great discussions with colleagues to reflect on. Thank you for taking the time to read this GTA-themed blog post. Please get in touch at apt.lts@newcastle.ac.uk if you’d like to chat about our pathways and your practice!

If you are interested in finding out more about the modules and pathways we offer here at Newcastle, check out the following links:

Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILTHE)

Evidencing Learning and Teaching Skills (ELTS)

Professional Development (Learning and Teaching @ Newcastle website)

Meet Dangeni!

I am a Professional Development Adviser in the Academic Practice Team at LTDS. My teaching and research focus broadly on the teaching and learning provision in the wider context of the internationalisation of higher education.

I am particularly interested in research and practices around international students’ access, engagement and success in postgraduate taught (PGT) and postgraduate research (PGR) settings.

Digital Assessment Webinar Training Programme Available

A photo of hands typing on a laptop keyboard.

We are pleased to share our Digital Assessment Training Programme for 2023-24. Our training sessions are delivered as webinars via Microsoft Teams.

Inspera Assessment (the university system for centrally supported digital exams) is supported by the Learning and Teaching Development Service with a range of training options open to all staff.

Follow the links below to find out more about each session and to book onto individual sessions via the University’s elements system. 

Inspera Webinars

Inspera for Professional Service Colleagues

  • 9 October 2023 – 11:00-12:00
  • 8 February 2024 – 10:00-11:00

Creating and Managing Exam Questions in Inspera

  • 23 October 2023 – 9:00-10:00
  • 19 February 2024 – 14:00-15:00

How to Grade using Rubric in Inspera

  • 9 November 2023 – 10:00-11:00
  • 26 February 2024 – 14:00-15:00

Marking and moderating an Inspera exam with manually marked questions

  • 13 December 2023 – 09:00-10:00 
  • 25th January 2024 – 10:00-11:00 
  • 1st May 2024 – 14:00-15:00  
  • 6th June 2024 – 14:00-15:00 

Marking an Inspera exam with auto marked questions

  • 14 December 2023 – 09:00-10:00 
  • 24 January 2024 – 09:00-10:00 
  • 29 April 2024 – 14:00-15:00 
  • 3 June 2024 – 14:00-15:00 

Digital Assignments: Canvas and Turnitin

Creating and Managing Digital Assignments

  • 19 October 2023 – 11:00-12:00 
  • 29 January 2024 – 15:00-16:00 

Online Marking and Feedback (Canvas)

  • 5 December 2023 – 14:00-15:00 
  • 24 April 2024 – 14:00-15:00 

Online Marking and Feedback (Turnitin)

  • 4 December 2023 – 14:00-15:00 
  • 22 April 2024 – 14:00–15:00 

Any queries?

If you have any queries on any of the above sessions, please contact digital.exams@newcastle.ac.uk.

Meet the Team

You can meet the Digital Assessment Team in this LTDS Blog post.

Meet the Digital Exams Team

As the new 2023-24 academic year begins, we’d like to introduce the Digital Exams Team here in LTDS, who lead on the University’s Digital Exams via Inspera. A team of Learning Enhancement and Technology Advisers work together to facilitate digital exams through Inspera Assessment. Inspera Assessment is the University’s Digital Exam system used for present-in-person secure online assessments.

Meet the Team

First up we’ve got Maddie Kinnair who is one of our two Inspera Co-Leads. Maddie joined the team in September 2022 and has worked within the area of Learning and Teaching for 6 years. Maddie first joined HE in 2014 and has previously worked in the School of Computing, HaSS Faculty and within Central Services.

Maddie is also the lead for our peer assessment and feedback tool Buddycheck.

Next up, we’ve got Kimberly May-O’Brien, our second Inspera Co-Lead. Kimberly joined the team in July 2023, having worked at the University since 2019. Kimberly previously worked in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, as well as the central Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team.

Finally, we have Susan Barfield who started working at the University 13 years ago, initially in NUIT as part of the ReCap team, she then joined LTDS in 2019 as lead on online marking and feedback using Canvas and Turnitin, whilst also supporting digital exams.

More Information

You can find out more about Inspera and the training webinars and videos available to colleagues via the LTDS website.

If you have any queries around Digital Exams, you can contact the Digital Exams Team via Digital.Exams@newcastle.ac.uk.

Numbas is the other centrally supported Digital Exam platform. You can contact the Numbas team via Numbas@ncl.ac.uk.

Evidencing Teaching Excellence for Promotion – Online Workshop

LTDS are running an online workshop Evidencing Teaching Excellence for Promotion on 7th September from 2-3pm.

This workshop is for any member of academic staff thinking of applying for promotion in whole, or in part on the basis of their teaching (whether they are on Teaching and Research or Teaching and Scholarship contracts).

The workshop is likely to be of particular interest to academic staff who are, or may be, intending to make an application to the 2023-24 or 2025-26 promotion rounds.

For more details, and to sign up for the workshop go to: https://elements.ncl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=644.

If you have any queries, please contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk.

Vevox is the University’s Audience Interaction System

Following a period of evaluation and testing by colleagues from across the University, Vevox is replacing Ombea as the University’s centrally supported audience interaction system from 1 September 2023. Vevox was selected as the preferred replacement for Ombea as it provides additional functionality and an improved user experience.

Some of the benefits of Vevox:

  • Integration with PowerPoint or standalone web-based software – choose what works best for you
  • ‘Convert to poll’ button in the PowerPoint add-in enabling easy conversion of Ombea slides to Vevox polls
  • A wider range of question types than was possible with Ombea including pin on image and LaTeX notation polls
  • Integration with single-sign-on (SSO) technology to avoid the need for a separate username and password
  • Integrations with Canvas and Teams

From September 2023, Ombea will no longer be centrally supported by LTDS and NUIT and the software will no longer function in teaching spaces.

Training

Training is available for colleagues who are new to Vevox and audience interaction systems. Initial training sessions will be delivered by Vevox and will begin on 12th September. An additional session is also scheduled for current users of Ombea who need to convert their Ombea slides to the new Vevox format (please note: existing Ombea presentations are not compatible with Vevox). Please click on the links below to sign up to a session:

12 September – 15:00 – 16:00 Getting Started with Vevox

12 September – 11:00 – 12:00 Getting Started with Vevox for Ombea Users

If any colleagues need to use Vevox for a session during the first two weeks of September, they are asked to get in touch with LTDS to arrange additional support.

Find out more on the Vevox website, and if you are interested in hearing about the benefits of Vevox from colleagues at other institutions, please see this YouTube video.

Please contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk with any queries.

Newcastle Educators – Using design thinking in the classroom

Newcastle Educators logo consisting of 3 stick figures with their arms around each other and the description: A peer community of educators at Newcastle University

Thursday 14 September 2023

Henry Daysh Building – 6.16 PGR Training Space

12:00 – 13:30 (with snack lunch provided!)

Newcastle Educators 2023 – 2024 Programme

Join us for this interactive session and by the end of this session participants will:

  • Have a basic understanding of design thinking and its potential in the classroom,
  • Have an idea how you might apply an aspect of design thinking in your own classroom,
  • Be invited to join our community of practice of educators interested using design thinking in the classroom.

The session will be delivered by Yulia Dzenkovska and Lucy Hatt from Newcastle University Business School.


Yulia Dzenkovska is a Lecturer in Marketing (NUBS) specialising in services marketing and service innovation. Her interest in design thinking dates from her time here as a PhD student when she took part in a careers service design thinking event (EIT Health Innovation Competition) and won first prize!  Since then, she has developed her interest in this approach and incorporated it into her module “New Product and Service Development” with great success.  She is also the Employability Lead for her Subject Group.

Lucy Hatt is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership Development and Entrepreneurship (NUBS), with a particular interest in the value of the threshold concept approach for entrepreneurship, enterprise and employability educators.  She is the DPD for the MBA and leads modules on Innovation, Change and Enterprise which incorporate Design Thinking approaches.

Important Service Update – ReCap

upgrade and move to cloud hosting – amended date for planned downtime

As previously communicated, the University will upgrade the ReCap service to the latest version of Panopto (the software that powers ReCap) and transition the service to being cloud hosted for academic year 2023/24.

In preparation for this transition the University IT Team are working closely with Panopto to transfer our recordings to the cloud and ensure that all existing integrations with other University systems (e.g. Canvas and timetabling) continue to work correctly.

To complete this work a period of system downtime is required and this will take place later than initially planned due to the transfer of existing recordings taking longer than Panopto anticipated.

The downtime will now take place during early September (likely to be week commencing 4 September, the exact date to be confirmed when available) and the impact will be as follows:

  • Viewing of recordings – during the downtime recordings will continue to be available for viewing although users may experience short outage periods of a few minutes.
  • Creation and editing of recordings – the following activities should not be attempted during the downtime as they will not be transferred to the upgraded system:
    • creation of new recordings
    • copying of existing recordings
    • editing of existing recordings
    • interactions with recordings (e.g. taking a quiz, making a note, subscribing to a playlist, adding a bookmark)

We are aware that some teaching is due to take place during the downtime and plans have been made to ensure that these sessions can still be recorded using ReCap. Those with teaching sessions scheduled during the downtime will be contacted directly with information about the plans. This will not involve any changes to what presenters are required to do but will mean recordings will not be available as quickly as they normally would.

If you have any queries regarding the ReCap upgrade, contact ltds@newcastle.ac.uk.