Keynote announcement: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: Professor Lisa Taylor

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce this year’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference speaker.

Professor Lisa Taylor from the University of East Anglia will be joining us to present on employability in the curriculum. Lisa is Professor of Employability and Learning Innovation and Associate Dean for Employability for the Faculty of Medicine and Health.

Lisa is an Occupational Therapist by background with ten years of clinical experience within the NHS whilst also completing her MSc and PhD.

For the last twelve years Lisa has worked in higher education as a lecturer within the Occupational Therapy academic team at the University of East Anglia. Lisa has held employability leadership roles alongside her lecturing role for eleven of those years, initially as employability director for the School of Health Sciences and then as Associate Dean for Employability for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Lisa is passionate about employability and learning innovations, maximising the impact for students/learners, academic colleagues, and external partners. A prestigious Advance HE National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) was awarded to Lisa based on her sustained ability to facilitate and influence quality student learning.

Lisa has helped developed the wider employability agenda through supporting and engaging with colleagues locally, nationally, and internationally, impacting on student learning outcomes and experience, through teaching, strategic initiatives and learning innovations. The award of an NTF positions Lisa as a sector leader in employability and learning innovations. Lisa publishes and presents widely, helping to steer the national conversation about employability. 

One of Lisa’s learning innovations is the Peer Enhanced e-Placement (PEEP). Lisa has won multiple awards for the pioneering PEEP and has published a book based on its design and delivery principles, Constructing Online Work-Based Learning Placements: Approaches to Pedagogy Design, Planning and Implementation. The PEEP will be presented as part of Lisa’s keynote lecture.

The Learning and Teaching Conference will be taking place between 10 and 12 September. Colleagues are welcome to submit proposals and bookings are now open.

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: Registration now open

Registration for the twelfth annual Learning and Teaching conference is now open.

This year’s Learning and Teaching conference has the theme Equipping for Excellence: Pioneering Learning and Teaching Design and will be taking place between Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 September 2024.

You can register for the conference online.

Call for Proposals

Staff, postgraduate teaching assistants, and students are invited to submit proposals for the 12th Annual Aberystwyth University Learning and Teaching Conference held 10-12 September 2024.

Submit and view the call for proposals online.

Please complete this form no later than 24 May 2024.

Staff Workshop on Artificial Intelligence

Information Services is pleased to announce a special half-day event looking at ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used in academic contexts.

The event will be held on Thursday 11 April between 09:00-13:00 in the International Politics Main Hall.  

You can sign up for the event on the Session Booking page.

The aim of the event is to look across the 2 academic functions:

  • Research
  • Learning and Teaching

And to reflect on ways in which AI can be used to enhance these activities, increase productivity, and save time.

We’d also like to explore the challenges and obstacles that you face in using AI in these contexts and establish ways in which the University can best support you.

The session will be interactive, with participants encouraged to share their own experiences and examples of best practice. All colleagues are welcome to attend – from those who have been using AI for a while to those who haven’t used it before.

Attendees are welcome to join the session throughout the morning and a timetable for those who have registered will be circulated closer to the event.

Exemplary Course Award 2023-24

Exemplary Course Award image

Lauren Harvey and Caroline Whitby, from the Department of Law and Criminology, have been awarded the Exemplary Course Award for the module LC31520: Dispute Resolution in Contract and Tort

In addition to the winner, the following module achieved Highly Commended:

  • Panna Karlinger from the School of Education for the module ED20820: Making Sense of the Curriculum

The aim of the Exemplary Course Award, now in its ninth year, is to recognise the very best learning and teaching practices. It gives staff members the opportunity to share their work with colleagues, enhance their current modules in Blackboard, and receive feedback on to improve.

Modules are assessed across 4 areas: course design, interaction and collaboration, assessment, and learner support. The self-assessed nature of the award gives staff the opportunity to reflect on their course and enhance aspects of their module before a panel assesses each application against the rubric.

The panel and the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit would like to thank all of the applicants for the time and effort that they have put into their applications and modules this year.

We’re looking forward to receiving more applications next year and many congratulations to the recipients of this year’s award.

Blackboard Learn Ultra Course Creation 2024-25

The recent Academic Enhancement Committee approved some changes to the annual course creation process:

  • Courses will be created blank with the University approved template
  • Course creation will always take place on the first Monday in June (this will be Monday 3rd June this year).

Some staff have asked for more information about why courses will be created blank. This blog post is designed to help explain the reasons for this decision.

Previous years’ course copy process was done using Building Blocks. Building Blocks are no longer supported by Blackboard and can’t be used (you may remember that this was one of the reasons for moving to Ultra). The Blackboard course copy tool hasn’t been updated, so we don’t have a technical way of copying courses.

The course copy workflow is easier in Ultra than it was in Original. And as we will be copying from Ultra to Ultra courses, you’ll be able to copy larger blocks of content.

Blank courses means that template updates and additional settings can be applied to  courses. Blackboard has changed a lot since last summer, and there are new settings that will be useful for next year’s courses. To use these staff would need to add them to each courses manually.

Previous course copies included gradebook columns. After several years this started to get confusing for staff and made the gradebook difficult to navigate. Copying over the links for Turnitin, Panopto and Talis also has the potential for confusion – it isn’t easy to tell whether these links have been updated or not, and staff would need to check each one manually.

Some courses won’t have been created in Ultra (for example courses that only run every two years). These need to be created blank as Ultra courses anyway.

Blank course creation will also help to avoid out-of-date content being copied over as standard.

Information about how to copy content can be found on the Blackboard help site. Guidance and support will be available over the summer, but if you have any questions, please contact us on elearning@aber.ac.uk.

Call for Proposals: Learning and Teaching Conference 2024

We are now inviting proposals for the 12th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, Tuesday 10-Thursday 12 September 2024.

Submit and view the call for proposals online. 

The theme for this year’s conference is:

Equipping for Excellence: Pioneering Learning and Teaching Design.

The main strands of this year’s conference are:

  • Embedding employability skills across the curriculum and beyond
  • Harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence and other technologies to enhance learning
  • Creating dynamic learning activities to motivate and engage
  • Designing inclusive learning for all

Staff, postgraduate teaching assistants, and students are welcome to propose sessions on any topic relating to learning and teaching, especially those that focus on the incorporation and use of technology. Even if your suggestion doesn’t fit a particular strand, other topics are welcome.

We seek to encourage presenters to consider using alternative formats that reflect and suit the content of their sessions. As such, we are not specifying a standardised presentation format.

Please complete this form no later than 24 May 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit at lteu@aber.ac.uk.

Vevox webinar series

Vevox, our polling software, runs a series of webinars showcasing the best practices of integrating polling into learning and teaching activities.

These sessions take place online.

On 22 March at 3pm, Patrick Cadwell from Dublin City University will be showcasing how they use polling software for translation studies.

On 26 April at 3pm, Liam Bagley from Manchester Metropolitan University will be showcasing how they use polling software for real world scenario training within a health and healthy aging context.

For further information and to book a place, see Vevox’s webpage.

12th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: Conference Theme Announcement

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce the theme for our 12th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference.
The Learning and Teaching Conference will be taking place from Tuesday 10 – Thursday 12 September 2024.
The theme and strands for this year’s conference are:
Equipping for Excellence: Pioneering Learning and Teaching Design

  • Embedding employability skills across the curriculum and beyond
  • Harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence and other technologies to enhance learning
  • Creating dynamic learning activities to motivate and engage
  • Designing inclusive learning for all

Keep a look out for our forthcoming call for proposals and for booking onto the conference.

Blogpost: Blackboard Learn Ultra Organisations: Important Information

As part of the Blackboard Learn Ultra project, we are now turning our attention to Organisations ready for September 2024.

Organisations are Blackboard sites for non-academic purposes. They have the same functionality as a Blackboard Course and can be used to provide information, online training, and access to materials. Unlike Courses, Organisations are created with no template. Organisations have the same features and functionality as Courses.

There are 3 types of Organisations:

Departmental Organisations

Every department has got 3 departmental Organisations: 1 for Undergraduate students, 1 for Postgraduate students, and 1 for Departmental staff. These are automatically created.

Bespoke and Training Organisations

These are Organisations that have been requested by individuals. They can be created with automatic feeds, such as types of students, students on specific study schemes, or staff members in a particular department. Some of these Organisations hold training packages that we are asked to undertake.

Practice Organisations

These are individual for each staff member and have no students enrolled on them. As part of the move to Ultra, we created all staff their own Ultra practice Organisation.

As we move to Blackboard Learn Ultra for Organisations, we have worked on a new Organisation policy outlining the types of activities they can be used for as well as their retention period. This new policy was approved by Academic Enhancement Committee on 7 February and can be viewed on our webpages.

Departmental Organisations

New Ultra Departmental Organisations will be created shortly but  will not be made available to students until September 2024.

All departments will have a separate Organisation for UG, PG, and Staff in their department.  

These are in the form: 

DEPT-[departmental letter]-UG (e.g. DEPT-N-UG) 

New students and staff members will automatically feed onto the Organisation once they have activated their account. Once these Organisations are available, we will contact Departmental Directors of Learning and Teaching, Faculty Registrars, and Heads of Department to help facilitate the move to Ultra Organisations.

Bespoke and Training Organisations

These are Organisations that have been requested individually for a specific purpose. We have never removed or deleted Organisations before (unless this has been requested).

As part of this work, we will:

  1. Remove access to all bespoke Organisations that have not been accessed in 3 years with a view to retire the Organisation.
  2. Contact those who still have responsibility for an existing Organisation to see if they are required and facilitate the move to Ultra for these Organisations.

Practice Organisations

Staff members currently have access to two practice Organisations – one in Original and one in Ultra.

We will be retiring the Original Organisations in September 2024. Colleagues need to copy any materials they want to retain onto the Ultra version of the Organisation.

If you have any questions about Organisations, please contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (elearning@aber.ac.uk).

Save the Date: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit are excited to announce the date for the 12th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference. The conference will be taking place between Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 September 2024.

Look out for Calls for Proposals and the announcement of the conference theme. As usual, we will be updating our Learning and Teaching Conference Webpages and also our blog to keep you up-to-date with how things are progressing.