The first EDUBITES of the year kicked off with a look at what Newcastle University has to offer in support of learning. Marc Lintern, Director of the Careers Service started off with insight they have collected about students’ perceived readiness for employment. They have used an interesting metric of Decide, Plan, Complete and Confirm, which was very useful. You will not be surprised to hear that the vast majority place themselves in the ‘still deciding’, and ‘planning’ stages. When comparing subjects, we might assume there are significant variations, but the data also shows the situation to be the same. The Careers Service have also had a look at how many students have work experience, and so we look forward to receiving the full outcomes of the study when they are available. Our Careers Service play a significant role in the exploration of careers and the support for learning which will enable students to identify a suitable route for them (acknowledging the constant increase in portfolio careers). It was pleasing to hear the emphasis on happiness in our careers. Next up we had Jo Geary from the Library, who showed us the ways in which our libraries are collecting student feedback and using an iterative approach to get our spaces right. From spaces that provide a ‘place to think’, which went unused, to mirroring the working environments that graduates will experience in their careers, which works very well, Jo’s emphasis was on creating spaces that promote learning, and that the success of those spaces is measured through the student voice. Dr Chris Graham, Director of eLearning for Maths unpeeled a sandwich of services which they have designed to support the learning of maths and related subjects. A student-led approach has unpacked some of the most common issues for learning, and his work has unpacked some accessibility issues with online content across devices. Finally, Dr Helen Webster gave us a brief digest of the wealth of approaches The Writing Development Centre use to build skills they can apply to future work. It is still the case that writing is the most common end product to demonstrate learning, what are your favourite routes to evidence and demonstrate learning?

We hope that this session gave a taster of the challenges and approaches at Newcastle University to aid learning, and that you can reflect on these services and the approach you take in your own teaching. The four guests we heard from are more than willing to help support your learning approach, so just get in touch via the links above – the slides from the event are available on our SlideShare page.

We will ask at each EDUBITES this year what you have to share and what needs you have that this community might be able to help with, either through EDUBITES sessions or through identifying and shaping other events across the University. Here is a snapshot of your responses this time. If you have anything to offer, or to ask, please do. We will let you know what progress we make with these at the next EDUBITES event on 13th December 2017.

NEEDS:

  • More exploration of tools to present learning resources online and engagement with resources
  • Tools to make students participate during lectures
  • Volunteers to talk PGRs through applications to HEA for Associate Fellowship (pilot programme via experiential route)
  • Ideas to deliver a lecture in a more exciting way (for educator and students)

YOU WILL BLOG ABOUT:

  • Careers provision
  • International educator community
  • Teaching study skills and understanding student perspective

YOU WANT SESSION ON:

  • Engagement / Student awareness of their development / Partnership
  • How we can get involved in careers advice in schools
  • Pop up specialist learning sessions; e.g. referencing, speed reading

If you see something here that you can help with, or that takes your interest, please drop us a line at educators@ncl.ac.uk.

Posted by Katie Wray (katie.wray@ncl.ac.uk)

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