Weekly Resource Roundup – 22/5/2024

As leader of our PGCTHE programme, I keep an eye out for resources to help staff teach effectively. These include webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more. Topics include active learning, online/blended teaching, accessibility/inclusion, and effective learning design based on cognitive science. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery. 

Online events and webinars

May

June

July

Resources and publications

Resources on Generative AI

Other resources

Other

  • Monthly series European Network for Academic Integrity, ENAI monthly webinars free open webinars on various topics related to academic integrity.
  • Subscribe to SEDA’s mailing list for email discussions about educational development and emerging teaching practices. This is one of the sources I use when identifying useful material for the Roundup.
  • Follow University of Birmingham’s Higher Education Futures institute HEFi on Twitter for daily posts with links to pedagogical literature and more. This is one of the sources I use when identifying useful material for the Roundup.
  • Join the #LTHEchat on Twitter Wednesday nights for one hour of lively discussion about learning and teaching in HE. I often find out about good resources for the Roundup from the chat.

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff. I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.

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.

Learned Society of Wales medals

The Learned Society of Wales  (LSW) annually awards medals to researchers who excel in their field. The medal categories celebrate excellence in several areas of achievements, with further information on each medal at –

If you would like to nominate a colleague or an Early Career Researcher (ECR) please see the guidelines and nomination forms on the LSW web page.

To be eligible for any of the medals, nominees must be resident in Wales, born in Wales, or otherwise particularly connected with Wales.

The deadline for 2024 medal nominations is 5.00pm on 30 June 2024. Each medal has a dedicated committee to assess the nominations and decide who should receive the award.

Winners will be announced in October 2024 and will receive a specially struck medal and a cash prize of £500.

Please read the guidelines before you complete the medal nomination form. If you have any questions, please contact the LSW Fellowship Officer, Fiona Gaskell – fgaskell@lsw.wales.ac.uk. For further information about the LSW Medals, including past winners, visit www.learnedsociety.wales/medals or you can have an informal conversation with Annette Edwards, LTEU aee@aber.ac.uk

What’s New in Blackboard Learn Ultra April 2024 

The April update to Blackboard Learn Ultra includes a much-requested feature; Anonymous posts for discussions. Additionally, there are improvements to feedback and Gradebook calculations. 

Anonymous posts for Discussions  

Discussions play a pivotal role in nurturing peer-to-peer interaction and critical thinking. Students need to feel free to express their ideas and opinions without fear of judgement. To support this, Blackboard have added an option for instructors to allow anonymous posts in ungraded discussions. This feature provides flexibility for instructors. They can toggle anonymity on or off as the discussion progresses. Any existing anonymous posts keep their anonymity.  

Image below: Setting to turn on anonymous posts 

Note: When intending to post anonymously a student must tick Post anonymously. 

Image below: A student making an anonymous post with Post anonymously ticked (highlighted)

A student making an anonymous post with Post anonymously ticked (highlighted)

Image below: An anonymous post in a discussion 

An anonymous post in a discussion

Add question feedback when grading by student 

Instructors can now provide contextual feedback by student on all question types. Question level feedback promotes deeper understanding and personal growth among students. Question level feedback complements the existing capabilities of overall submission feedback and automated feedback for auto-graded questions. 

Note: Blackboard are targeting the May release for per-question feedback when grading tests by questions rather than by student. 

Image below: Instructor view of adding per question feedback 

Instructor view of adding per question feedback 

Image below: Instructor view of question with saved feedback   

Instructor view of question with saved feedback

Once students have submitted their tests and scores are posted, students can access the feedback. Students can access both overall feedback and question-specific feedback. 

Image below: Student view of feedback added to an essay question 

Student view of feedback added to an essay question 

Student feedback remains visible to students regardless of release condition settings 

Instructors may want to control access to course content using release conditions. This is helpful for providing custom learning paths through course content. The release conditions include an option to show or hide content to/from students before they meet release conditions. Blackboard have modified how these settings impact the students’ view of feedback from instructors. Now instructors can set release conditions without any impact to feedback to students.   

In the past, when an instructor selected the option to hide content, students could view associated grades but not the feedback. Blackboard have corrected this to ensure that students can always review feedback.   

Image below: Instructor view of release conditions settings with date/time release condition set in combination with Hide state in “When will content appear?” 

Instructor view of release conditions settings with date/time release condition set in combination with Hide state in “When will content appear?”

Image below: Student gradebook view with display of student’s feedback and grade regardless of the release condition setting in the above image. 

Student gradebook view with display of student’s feedback and grade regardless of the release condition setting in the above image.

Persistent navigation for Learning Modules 

To improve students’ navigation in a learning module, Blackboard have updated the navigation bar. Now the navigation bar is sticky and remains visible as students vertically scroll through content. Students no longer need to scroll back up to the top of content to access the navigation tools.  

Image below: The navigation bar is always visible 

The navigation bar is always visible

Calculations changed from using BigDecimal to BigFraction 

Instructors need a gradebook that supports diverse grading scenarios. Blackboard are changing the software library used to perform calculations in calculated columns and the overall course grade. 

Example: A course contains 3 assignments worth 22 points each. The student scores 13/22 on the first assignment, 14/22 on the second assignment, and 15/22 on the third assignment. An instructor creates a calculated column to calculate the average of these assignments.   

Using the new software library, BigFraction, the average will calculate as 14/22. 

With the former software library, BigDecimal, the average would incorrectly calculate to 13.99/22. The new software library ensures calculations compute as expected. 

Digwyddiad Rhannu Arfer Da – Sharing Good Practice Event

Aberystwyth University will be running a two-day Digwyddiad Rhannu Arfer Da – Rhagoriaeth Academaidd on the 2nd (face to face) and 3rd (on-line) July 2024. The event will be held through the medium of Welsh only. This event has been made possible due to the Small Grant Project money from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

The aim of the two-day event is to present papers under the theme of Teaching Excellence – for example:

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Dysgu trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg
  • Student Support
  • Supervision
  • Personal Tutoring

The academic papers will be an opportunity for staff across Wales to present their research, under the theme of academic practice – through papers, posters, panels etc. Presentations at the event are welcome from anyone teaching from staff to PhD students.

The Call for Proposals, at the following link Galwad am Bapurau – Digwyddiad Rhannu Arfer Da (jisc.ac.uk)  asks for submissions of no more than 500 words, through the medium of Welsh. We welcome contributions to the event in the form of:

  • 20 minutes presentations
  • 45 minutes presentations
  • An individual or a group presentation
  • Posters from individuals or groups
  • Sharing good practice Panels

The deadline for these proposals is midday on Wednesday 27 March 2024.

I would be grateful if you could share this more widely with colleagues who maybe in interested in attending this event. 

If you would like to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Annette Edwards (aee@aber.ac.uk)  01970 622386

Learned Society of Wales ‘meet and greet’

Tuesday 13th February 2024

12.30 – 1.30pm with hot drinks and Welsh cakes available throughout.

Location: Research Dialogue Hub, Visualisation Centre, Penglais Campus.

Tŷ Trafod Ymchwil | Research Dialogue Hub – The Dialogue Centre (aber.ac.uk)

The Learned Society of Wales would like to invite you and a guest to join us at a drop in ‘meet and greet’ session being held at Aberystwyth University on Tuesday 13th February 2024.

Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be served and you are welcome to join us for as long as you wish between 12.30 and 1.30pm.

You will be able to meet and talk to staff from the Learned Society including Olivia Harrison (CEO) and Helen Willson (Strategic Engagement Manager) as well as our University Representatives at Aberystwyth University – Emeritus Professor Eleri Pryse and Professor Iwan Morus.  We will also be joined by the President of the Learned Society of Wales – Professor Hywel Thomas.

It will be an opportunity for Fellows of the Learned Society to come together and for all those who attend to meet others who are interested in research and its impact in Wales as well as network and find out more about the Learned Society of Wales including its work with Early Career Researchers.

Who is this event for?

  • Current Fellows of the LSW
  • Anyone interested in research in or about Wales and its impact on policy
  • People interested in learning more about becoming a Fellow of the LSW
  • Early Career Researchers who would find benefit from joining an interdisciplinary network to engage with and learn from

You can find out more about the LSW and our work here. This is a drop-in session and there is no obligation to sign up or formally accept this invitation.  However, we would appreciate an indication of numbers so If you know you’ll be coming along or if you would like further information please email us on lsw@wales.ac.uk

Weekly Resource Roundup – 24/1/2024

As leader of our PGCTHE programme, I keep an eye out for resources to help staff teach effectively. These include webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more. Topics include active learning, online/blended teaching, accessibility/inclusion, and effective learning design based on cognitive science. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery. 

Online events and webinars

January

February

March

  • 11-15/3/2023 Active Learning Network, Global Festival of Active Learning: Back to the future – looking ahead for active learning (Call for proposals open until 26/1/2024)
  • 12-13/3/2024 Jisc, Digifest 2024: Imagining the future of education and research (hybrid in-person in Birmingham and online)

Resources and publications

Resources on Artificial Intelligence

Other resources

Other

  • Monthly series European Network for Academic Integrity, ENAI monthly webinars free open webinars on various topics related to academic integrity.
  • Subscribe to SEDA’s mailing list for email discussions about educational development and emerging teaching practices. This is one of the sources I use when identifying useful material for the Roundup.
  • Follow University of Birmingham’s Higher Education Futures institute HEFi on Twitter for daily posts with links to pedagogical literature and more. This is one of the sources I use when identifying useful material for the Roundup.
  • Join the #LTHEchat on Twitter Wednesday nights for one hour of lively discussion about learning and teaching in HE. I often find out about good resources for the Roundup from the chat.

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff. I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.

Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year from the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit

Season’s greetings from all of us at the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit.

A big congratulations to those of you who completed the Teaching for Postgraduate at AU qualification. Congratulations to PGCTHE participants who attended Graduation back in July as well as those who submitted their final coursework this month. Also, congratulations to those who achieved the Associate, Fellow or Senior Fellowship status through the ARCHE scheme, as well as our Exemplary Course Award Winners.

This year, we’ve really enjoyed working with you on topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Supervisory Framework, active learning and other aspects of learning design, and of course, Blackboard Learn Ultra.

Thank you to our external speakers who have joined us over the year, and all of the speakers at this year’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference in July, which was our biggest one yet. Thanks as well to colleagues from other departments who have run sessions for us and to all of you who have attended.

We hope you have a restful break, and we look forward to seeing you in 2024 – a Happy New Year to you all!

December 2023 Blackboard Learn Ultra Update

This month there are three improvements in Blackboard Learn Ultra that the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit would like to highlight for Instructors.

Additional image insertion options

Images enhance comprehension of and engagement with course content. Instructors and students want to use high-quality images in content and submissions. To help with this, a new image button has been added in the content editor in the following places:

  • Announcements
  • Assessment Questions
  • Student answers on questions (local file upload only)
  • Submission feedback (standard view)
  • Journal entries and comments

Image below: Instructor view – image button on content editor for Announcements.

Flexible grading – sorting control on students tab

Grading large numbers of submissions without a way to organize them can be tedious. Now, instructors can apply various sorting options in flexible grading:

  • Submission date (oldest – newest) of latest attempt
  • Submission date (newest – oldest) of latest attempt
  • Last Name (A – Z)
  • Last Name (Z – A)
  • First Name (A – Z)
  • First Name (Z-A)
  • Student ID (ascending)
  • Student ID (descending)

The grading interface stores the most recently used sorting option. If an instructor stops grading an assessment and resumes grading later, the last sorting option is applied.

Also, if sorting the submissions by last name or grading status, the chosen sorting option carries over into the grading interface.

Image below: Sorting options as shown from Students tab in flexible grading.

Group assessment due date exceptions

Instructors may want to set different due dates for each group working on a group assessment.

In the past, there was no way to assign varying due dates for each group working on a group assessment. Now, instructors can assign a unique due date to each group using the exceptions workflow.

On the group assessment Submissions page, the instructor may add or edit exceptions for a group.

Image below: Instructor view – add or edit exceptions option on the group assessment Submissions page.

The Exceptions panel displays relevant information such as the assignment name and selected group name. This helps ensure the accuracy of an exception. Instructors can select a due date for the group using the date and time picker.

Image below: Instructor view – exceptions panel.

Image below: Instructor view – group assessment Submissions page displays the exceptions indicator for Project Group 1.

Upcoming Trace CPD Workshops

Sara Childs will be delivering two workshops over the coming weeks based on the findings of ongoing research on trauma-informed communication. Aberystwyth University is committed to becoming one of Wales’s only two trauma-informed universities along with Wrexham university. We are currently in the self-assessment phase of a two-year project, of which the next phase will identify individual projects for enhancing our trauma-informed approach. In parallel, sessions are being offered to the community which raise awareness of trauma-informed approaches.

The upcoming workshops will provide an opportunity for those engaged in teaching, or roles that involve direct contact with students, to develop their practice to incorporate this ground-breaking research.

Towards a trauma-informed approach – theory and reflective practice Part 1

Date: 5/12/23 15.00-16.00

Location: Hugh Owen E3

Towards a trauma-informed approach – theory and reflective practice Part 2

Date: 12/12/23 14.00-16.00

Location: Hugh Owen E3