The 20/21 Small Grants Fund is now open for applications.
Apply for up to £500 to explore and embed technology-enhanced practices into your teaching.
Perhaps you have an idea for your teaching that uses technology, but need some funding to support it or maybe you know of interesting technology enhanced learning at another institution and would like to be able to explore it further.
Applications are invited for a wide range of activities which enable you to explore and disseminate ideas and practices, and share these with colleagues at Newcastle through the NUTELA network.
Applications for up to £500 are welcomed, and applications will be on a rolling basis, rather than at set points in the academic year so you can apply whenever you are ready.
NUTELA is back, with our first online 3Ps sessions of the year (this time the 3P’s stand for Practice Practice Practice – you’ll have to bring your own pizza and pop!). Please sign up for as many sessions as you like:
Canvas Quick Wins: Refreshing your Home and Module Pages – 15 December 2020, 14:00-15:00
See how to give your Canvas home and module pages a quick make-over, and create a fresh and engaging experience for students. The session will focus on building content with ideas and examples from colleagues.
Canvas Quick Wins: Keeping Students Engaged – 16 December, 10:00-11:00
Colleagues will share how they have used course-requirement ‘tick lists’, quizzes and collaboration tools to keep students engaged. The approaches covered are all quick to implement, effective, and popular with students.
David De La Haye, Music Technician, School of Arts and Cultures
‘Silurian’ is the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust’s research vessel and for ten days in September I joined the crew on a voyage around the Inner and Outer Hebrides. A citizen science project that was established in 2002, the trust has collected one of the largest visual and acoustic datasets of cetacean activity in the region.
Awake to the tide crashing on the shores of an uninhabited island, the sound of snapping shrimp beneath the waters in a secluded bay. Listen to the amplified strains and groans of the vessel in swell before drifting asleep to the eerie howls of grey seals. Perhaps register the echolocation of Risso’s dolphins or the distant pulse of minke whales. The seas are awash with sounds, revealed through acoustic technologies. As we begin to explore these rich soundscapes we start to understand the impact of other anthropogenic noise, persistent throughout.
The NUTELA fund afforded me time for real-life creative practice, developing the tools needed to assist students who are beginning to embrace the growing trend towards field-recording. Realising sonic opportunity in the everyday, understanding which technologies are best suited to given tasks and advising on appropriate methods of sound diffusion within the studio environment are topics covered within my demonstrator role; this award provided invaluable experience and insight. The work-in-progress was performed as a multi-channel piece at the ‘LIVE in the Kings Hall’ series alongside other practitioners in ICMuS.
The voyage included incredible audio-finds! Recordings of unusual animal behaviour captured onboard Silurian were confirmed on Twitter and the project has already captured the imagination of the Institute of Creative Arts Practice (NICAP) who recently awarded me a ‘Pioneer Award’. This will be used to conduct an experimental research project that intercepts the acoustic data collected by HWDT and marine acoustic systems developed in SAgE, inviting listeners to imagine an oceanic perspective through the generation of sound installations, crossing boundaries between Marine Science, Bioacoustics, Electronic Engineering and Digital Arts.
“Given my major project’s use of recorded sound, I thought it would be important to get some advice in order to learn more about technology and production techniques. The project focused around the Hebridean islands set in motion ideas for my project so i thought it would good to speak with David De La Haye for further development of my own work.”
David was awarded a NUTELA Small Grants Fund to explore the use of technology enhanced practices in learning and teaching. Find out more about the NUTELA Small Grants Fund.
11 December 2019, 12-2pm , G.56, Frederick Douglass Centre
you interested in using technology for large group lectures?
The next NUTELA pizza, pop and practice event
will look at a variety of technology-based strategies to increase
interactivity, offer real time feedback, and reinforce learning.
You will hear more about a range of tools that
are being used well across the University. We will also be welcoming lecturers
from HaSS, SAgE and FMS who will each deliver a 10 minute interactive session
giving you the opportunity to experience the technologies first hand, as a
Come along for some pizza, pop and the chance to
practice in one of our newest large lecture theatres. Book
your place now.
We will be sharing resources and keeping the conversation going in our NUTELA Team after the event. Everyone is welcome to join the team.
Remember to bring your own device to the session so that you can take part in the interactive aspects. Any questions please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
At the Newcastle Teaching and Learning conference in April, I received a NUTELA award for my presentation “Who wants to be millionaire as a game for Pharmacy Curriculum”. I have used an adapted version of this game as part of my biology seminars for Stage 1 Pharmacy-students. I did this to make the seminar sessions more fun and engaging thanks the competitive nature of the game, but at the same time to test a new approach to facilitate student knowledge retention on a difficult topic of biology, such as immunology is.
The game worked well and the data collected showed that it augments student knowledge retention. Student feedback showed that the game activity was very engaging and that students appreciated working in teams for the game. Therefore, a second aim to keep this game in the seminar sessions, is to help students to practise the team-work skills that they will need in their career. In the feedback form, students acknowledged that they prefer a game activity to a seminar and underlined how enjoyable this is. One student said: “Much better than seminars” Another student said: “Thoroughly enjoyed the session”.
Thanks to the NUTELA award, I was able to fund part of my journey to the Biennal Monash Pharmacy symposium in Prato (Italy) last July, where I presented my work to Pharmacy educators coming from all the world. It was a great experience, I networked with a number of colleagues who expressed interest in the game and in applying it in their own institutions.
Whilst I’m normally on this blog talking about Numbas, this post is dedicated to something else that I take a keen interest in: lecture capture. It describes a pilot project that was funded by the NUTELA group to deploy short, re-purposed ReCap videos in a large engineering module. These were made available to students in addition to the full length ReCap lecture capture, and sat alongside formative tests associated with the content.
A disclaimer, before I go any further… this is a dump of my current thoughts on the topic, and it will save the next person who asks me about ReCap/short videos from suffering me talking at them for an hour! As a result, it’s part project report, opinion piece and tutorial! Despite lacking any focus whatsoever, I hope that you find something interesting…
I have been interested for some time in the use of lecture capture. I originally wasn’t a fan, mainly citing a hatred of hearing my own voice! I have managed to get over that though, and spend a lot of time in computer clusters, where I see first-hand the benefits of ReCap for students. I am particularly fond of telling the story of asking a student which ‘psych-up’ music he was listening to on his headphones before a big class test… he was listening to me giving a lecture!
Whilst the opportunity to catch up on lectures is clearly very beneficial – in particular, as the associated report mentions, for students with disabilities and those competing in elite sport (and I’ll also throw in those with families or caring responsibilities) – it does not appear to be the primary use of ReCap. This aligns completely with what I see in our computer clusters, which is predominantly students using the resource to prepare for class tests and exams.
Let me reiterate that I’m a big fan of the ReCap provision, before going on to make the following two observations:
1) Our current set up of teaching resources is often very siloed within the VLE. Typically a module might have a separate Blackboard folder for each of lecture notes, additional resources, formative assessments, whatever else… and certainly the default is a separate folder of ReCap videos. But if students are revising a topic for an exam, putting practicalities aside, it seems to make sense for the video content on a topic to sit side-by-side with the other course material.
This was just one of the motivations for our course material tool “Coursebuilder” (which will be the topic of my next blog post here as it happens), to have a stronger integration between different course resources. And it is surprisingly easy (after discovering the method as part of this project) to embed videos next to your lecture notes in Blackboard itself. See the Process for creating videos section below.
2) Slightly more pertinent to this post, our ReCap videos are presented to students as a separate video for each teaching session. Again from a practicality perspective, this seems like the only sensible thing to do, but from the student perspective, is this box-set of lectures the best way for the “series” to be divided, if it is being used for revision? Often topics are split over multiple lectures, or multiple topics are covered in one lecture. In maths, the subject of this project, lectures often contain distinct sections of theory and application/exercises. The student might only be interested in one of those when they come to revise.
A note on the indexing of ReCap videos for mathematics… You may have noticed that ReCap videos containing PowerPoint automatically generate a list of contents. Panopto basically identifies section headings in the presentation. In mathematics, it is rare to see a PowerPoint presentation, they are usually delivered using the visualiser or whiteboard, or as a LaTeX document. Content information can be added, but only manually after the fact.
Last Spring, colleagues in engineering maths, David Swailes and John Appleby, approached me to discuss short videos in the ENG1001 Engineering Mathematics module. David had heard of the work of Professor Chris Howls at the University of Southampton, who had successfully used short personal capture videos to enhance a calculus course. We discussed several possible formats for short videos, including something on the lines of what Chris had done, but the nature of the ENG1001 module lent itself to a slightly different and straightforward approach: to re-use a previous year’s ReCap collection. This is because almost precisely the same module content has been delivered (very successfully) over a number of years; last year’s ReCap videos would be almost identical to this year’s.
Alison Clapp, Lecturer, Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School
Thanks to NUTELA funding my travel, and the FMS Graduate School funding my attendance, I spent two days in Bristol University last summer listening to what other universities (and Newcastle too!) are doing to enhance their students’ learning. Overall it emphasised the practicalities with many presentations on enhancing feedback, technology enhanced learning and student wellbeing. Here is a flavour of the conference:
There was much about student mental health which, in my role with older, part-time, distance students, is not something I have paid much attention to. We should be considering this…. the government is going to make it mandatory for undergraduates (‘UK Step-Change Framework’) and we do need to show we are thinking about it for postgraduates including our online students. We are not meant to be qualified counsellors, but we do need to flag up problems and communicate with students about them including suggestions for getting professional help. The keynote speaker, Fabienne Vailes, will be at the Three Rivers Conference in September. Continue reading “NUTELA Small Grants Fund: Enhancing student learning through innovative scholarship conference, Bristol 2018”
The 2019 Newcastle University Learning and Teaching Conference takes place at the start of April, with the theme “The changing landscape of Higher Education”. We are looking forward to hearing about what has been going on around the University over the past year, as well as disseminating info on some of the projects we’ve been involved with here in the MSP E-Learning Unit.
Last year, we were delighted to accept the NUTELA award for best Technology Enhanced Learning submission at the conference, for our poster “Mathematical skills catch-up: Developing a University-wide solution through online formative tests”. The poster described a project, supported by the University Education Development Fund (then ULTSEC Strategic Fund), which was carried out in 2017 to develop online formative Numbas tests for departments outside of our own.
The project is described in detail in this blog post and outputted nearly 150 questions, packaged into over 20 tests, covering everything from the volume of ice cream cones to the probability of rolling three sixes. The poster describes not just the resources created, but also how the collaboration between six students and several staff members worked, which might be of interest for anyone thinking of applying for the latest round of funding to work with students on a project. It also discusses how to easily add Numbas content to Blackboard, which is described in the following video:
If you don’t know about the excellent activities put on by the NUTELA (Newcastle University Teaching Enhanced Learning Advocates) team, then do check out their section of this blog. As part of the award we received a small amount of money from them to support further activities. This was used to help fund a (mainly Yorkshire-wide) tour last summer, where I was involved in talks and workshops at Durham, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam and Huddersfield, introducing Numbas and promoting the resources we have been creating, which we make available through our public editor and database. Since last summer’s conference, I am delighted to have been invited to also actually be “a NUTELA”, so I look forward to being on the voting/awarding side of the poster presentations this year!
I am certain that technology enhanced learning will be a running theme at this year’s learning and teaching conference. I’m pleased to know of at least one submission talking about Numbas applications outside of maths, as well as another poster in the pipeline from our unit (talk about conflict of interest 😆), this time on the slightly different topic of web-based / accessible lecture notes.
Our institutional VLE Blackboard can be made to look more interesting. It’s down to you…
add images to items
think about what you can embed – Video, Slideshare, Polls and quizzes
Add links to discussion boards – and if you use these make sure you have time to contribute and set the tone (be a good cocktail party host at the start). Create an introductory post on each discussion board – it’s far too scary to be the first one who posts.
Make the journey really clear on your course and use weekly emails/announcements to reinforce what’s to be done and reflect on what’s been good.