Active Learning Network satellite group

The university’s APEX learning and teaching strategy emphasises active learning. To support staff in using active learning effectively, we have established an Active Learning Network (ALN) satellite group here at Aberystwyth University.

Our aim is to create a community of practice for staff so that you can exchange ideas and support each other in active learning.

The ALN offers access to a global community of inspiring practitioners, free publications, and online conferences and training sessions. There are opportunities for you to share your good practice by publishing case studies or presenting at events. Subscribe to the ALN JiscMail list to join the conversation. See the ALN website for further details and resources.

Our first step will be to bring together interested staff for an informal idea exchange. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Mary Jacob.

UKCGE Research Supervision Recognition Programme

Graduate School/Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit

Are you an established research degree supervisor?

Would you like your supervisory practice acknowledged at a national level?

The UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) has developed the Good Supervisory Practice Framework and the Research Supervision Recognition Programme to allow established supervisors to gain recognition for this challenging, but rewarding, role.

In May 2022, Professor Stephen Tooth from the Department of Geography & Earth Sciences became the first member of academic staff across the University to receive recognition for their approach to graduate supervision.

We are keen to support supervisors who wish to achieve this accreditation. For further details about the framework and how to apply please visit our web page https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/grad-school/supervisory-framework/ or contact Annette Edwards via the Supervisory Framework (sfastaff@aber.ac.uk).

Weekly Resource Roundup – 13/7/2022

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

Resources and publications

Other

  • 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.

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.

Weekly Resource Roundup – 6/7/2022

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

Resources and publications

Other

  • 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.

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.

Digital Insights Assistant – Joseph

Hi! I’m Joseph and I will be working with the LTEU team on analysing and disseminating the results from the Students Digital Experience Insights Survey 2022. As the digital experience has become integral to the continuation and development of student learning this survey allows us to understand how the implementation of digital systems has affected students. As a student who went through the introduction of these newer systems, I have experience and a firm grasp of the student perspective. This will allow me to better analyse and place these results.

When I first was deciding upon universities, I had three I wanted to apply for and was able to make it to the open days of two of these. However, due to travel issues I couldn’t attend the Aberystwyth open day. When finally deciding which one to choose I realised both my sisters were attending those other two universities, so in order to have a lot more freedom I chose to apply for Aberystwyth and only saw it for the first time just before my first lecture.

Despite me not knowing anything about Aberystwyth I fell in love with it throughout my degree and thoroughly enjoyed my joint course. I’ve learned to not only create rigid and complex essays on English literature but also how to plan and setup a filming area entirely on my own (Camera Included). I also became the president for an academic society for a department I’m not a part of. This gave me a lot more insight into other degree schemes and student opinions as I found each department has very distinct and varying perspectives to their learning.

Throughout filming escapades and society committees I’ve learned great cooperative skills and filled in various positions in group dynamics in order to be more effective. I’m hoping to carry these skills over when working with the LTEU team in order to facilitate the detailed analysis of the Students Digital Experience Insights Survey 2022 as well as aiding the team with suggesting ideas and helping in the planning of projects.

XOXO

LTEU 2022 Summer Update

Update to Turnitin

For the academic year 2022/23 we will be using a new version of Turnitin.
On Tuesday 5 July 2022 Information Services will be enabling the new version of Turnitin on Blackboard. Whilst most of Turnitin’s current functionality will remain the same, there will be some changes. To help staff with this change, we have arranged the following FAQs.
Further information can be found on our Changes to Turnitin: Information for Staff blogpost.

Updated E-Learning Policies

Updated versions of all e-learning policies are available from the Information Services Regulations and Policies site.
Blackboard RMP and E-submission policies remain unchanged from last years. There have been some updates to the lecture capture policy. These include clarification on the retention period for recordings and guidance on using Panopto for assessment.

10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

We will be hosting our 10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference between 12-14 September 2022.
Conference Registration is now open. Further information, including the conference programme will be available on our Annual Learning and Teaching Conference webpage.

Digital Insight Survey

The student Digital Insights Survey has recently closed, with over 660 responses. Overseen by JISC, the survey asks students about their use of technology in learning and teaching, and provides a benchmark for comparisons with other institutions.
The results of the survey can be used to inform strategic decisions to enhance the digital experience and enable digital transformation.
Last year’s key findings can be found in the Student Digital Insights Survey Results blog post. Key findings of the 2022 survey will be published soon. Subscribe to the LTEU blog for notifications.

ARCHE

The ARCHE programme is a means by which Aberystwyth University (AU) staff can apply for Fellowship in the Higher Education Academy (now part of Advance HE). See the ARCHE scheme handbook for full details.
The next deadline for applications is 07/09/2022. To express an interest in applying, please email felstaff@aber.ac.uk.

PGCTHE

The PGCTHE is open to staff teaching on Aberystwyth University courses. Participants should have at least 40 hours contact teaching time at higher education level over the duration of each module, but there is scope to consider staff with other scenarios on a case-by-case basis. Please email the course team for more information.
The next intake for both module 1 and module 2 will be in January 2023. The deadline for applications is 1 November. Attendance at induction is required for all students.

TPAU 2022-23 Competition Opens in May

We will start recruiting for the next cohort of the Teaching for Postgraduates at Aberystwyth University programme this month. Any interested PGRs who are teaching can apply for a place on the programme up until 24th June. The compulsory Induction for the programme will take place on 20th and 21st September. Further information.

Subscribe to the LTEU Blog

Subscribe to the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Blog so that you receive an email notification whenever a new post is written. Keep up-to-date with software developments, new initiatives, training sessions and events that help support teaching activities and technology-enhanced learning.

Weekly Resource Roundup

The Weekly Resource Roundup includes resources to help staff teach effectively, such as external webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more.

CPD

Attend sessions in our annual CPD programme.
The programme includes sessions on e-learning, as well as lots of sessions on learning and teaching topics such as assessment and feedback, presentation skills, accessibility, and more.
We deliver some sessions ourselves, while others are delivered by university staff whose teaching features good practice in those areas. Look for (L&T) in the session title.

Weekly Resource Roundup – 22/4/2022

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

Resources and publications

Other

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.  

Hello

View of Aberystwyth and the sea from the National Library
View of Aberystwyth from the National Library. KGS Aug 2021

Su’mae! I’m Keziah, I joined the LTEU in 2022 as a Support Assistant, so I will be helping out the team in a variety of ways from dealing with enquiries to supporting CPD sessions and the annual Learning and Teaching conference. I first came to Aber in 2012 as an undergraduate with the History and Welsh History department. Having graduated I stayed on to complete an MA, before having a brief interlude in Leicester. Afterwards I was lucky enough to be able to take up a PhD here researching Ceredigion’s early modern history through the use of criminal records in the National Library of Wales.
During my PhD I was given the opportunity to do some teaching within the department and to take part in the TPAU programme. I quickly became passionate about finding new ways to improve teaching in Higher Education, especially the problem-solving aspects of balancing all of the different elements that go into designing a rewarding and engaging programme.
My current areas of interest outside of my research, are learning Welsh and looking at ways in which ideas about leadership training from business and industry can be used in undergraduate teaching to build confidence and initiative in students.
I’m looking forward to supporting staff and students at Aberystwyth in their ongoing development, and meeting new people from around the university.

Weekly Resource Roundup – 6/1/2022

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

Resources and publications

Other

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.  

What is a well-designed Blackboard module? Project

Distance Learner Banner

Written by Ania Udalowska

A well-designed Blackboard module may mean different things for different people. We asked our group of Student Learning Ambassadors to brainstorm what does it mean to them that a module is well-design. The findings of this discussion divided into categories can be found below.

Module Information

Teaching schedule – showing what is expected throughout the semester (which is carried out throughout the design of the module in folders). It is not necessary to have to release all content at the start of the module rather a roadmap showing students what they need to plan for. Download the teaching schedule example:

Module handbook – one of the students explained that the handbook is almost like a contract between a student and a module coordinator. It should include all essential information (which may be, and in some cases, should be also included in different sections, e.g., all assessment-related information in Assessment & Feedback). Take a look at this blog post on comprehensive handbooks.

FAQs on the module – FAQs could be generated throughout the module based on queries received by the module coordinator and could be then used to help future students, e.g., what textbook is best / how do you set the assignment out/ suggestions of resources to help with a tricky concept etc. You could use the discussion board functionality to ask students for questions they want to know answers to.

Short introduction video – it would be nice to include a video that welcomes students into the module, explains how to navigate it and briefly outlines what will the teaching schedule look like. It does not have to be long nor formal!

Learning Materials

Folders – content should be divided into weeks (or topics). It should correspond with the teaching schedule. Consistency within folders is just as important, try to include the same type of learning materials in each folder (you can use small icons to indicate the type of activity) and keep them in a consistent order:

  • Live session preparation tasks – make it clear what needs to be done.
  • Teams links to live sessions.
  • Pre-recorded lectures (clear/ small chunks/ and no background noise)
  • Lecture slides and lecture handouts with space for notes (how to convert PowerPoint slides into handouts)
  • Activities to complete that give instant results/feedback to test knowledge. You could use Blackboard tests or Panopto quizzes.
  • Examples, relating theory to real-world as much as possible.
  • Reading – which items from the reading list refer to that week’s content.

Note: Where possible use review status and adaptive release – students progress at a different pace, some prefer for the content to be released all at once, others in stages. Having the review status and adaptive release can give students control over how much content they see at once and it also helps them to stay organised.

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