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Newsletter November 2020

Centre for Educational Development Newsletter

November 2020

Keeping you up to date with the latest news in Educational Development

Centre for Educational Development

The Centre for Educational Development (CED) provides expert support and facilitation to enhance education provision within the University. CED offers consultancy and a range of professional development activities supporting key educational initiatives, curriculum development, learning, teaching and assessment, student engagement and progression.

Meet the team!

Latest news and projects
Handbook of Assessment Guidance and Support 2020-21
Assessment handbook

The Handbook of Assessment Guidance and Support 2020-21 is now available on Queen’s Online and on the CED website. The guidance outlined within the Handbook is the University’s preferred practice on assessment. Queries can be directed to Dr Claire Dewhirst, Head of CED.

Call for submissions

Reflections is the University’s newsletter, published twice per year by the Centre for Educational Development, and it provides a platform for colleagues to discuss their approaches to teaching and learning support.  The most recent issue focussed on Student Partnership and student-led initiatives taking place across the University.

The next issue, which is due to be published at the end of Semester 1, will focus on the ways academic and professional support staff have been providing students with a valuable learning and/or support experience since March, and any plans they might have to develop these further.  If you would be interested in writing an article for this issue, please contact for further details.   The closing date for submission of articles is Friday 4 December 2020.

Examples of the topics an article could address include:

  • Discussion on effective blended learning approaches; what has worked well with your approach and/or what didn’t work as well as you had anticipated and how you might address that.
  • Ways you have found of connecting with students online;
  • How you have been able to support students to build social connections with other students;
  • Innovative ways you have used the Canvas and/or MS Teams platforms to support student learning;
  • Ways in which you have supported students to deal with challenges with their work and/or other issues.
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Submission Deadlines
National Teaching Fellowship Scheme and Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence 2021

Advance HE has opened this year’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) with submission deadlines of 3 March 2021 and 10 March 20201 respectively.

The NTFS recognises and rewards individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession. In 2021, the University can nominate up to 3 individual members of staff for the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme. A nominee to the NTFS should be a HEA Fellow (any category) or working towards HEA Fellowship. The NTFS 2021 Guidance provides details about the Scheme and the criteria.

The CATE recognises and celebrates collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning. The University can nominate one team that can clearly demonstrate impact on teaching and learning through collaboration. The CATE 2021 Guidance provides details about the Scheme and the criteria.

To apply to go forward as a nominee to either Scheme, colleagues are invited to submit an expression of interest and detailed bullet points indicating how they would meet the criteria outlined in the Award guidelines. This should be emailed to Liz McDowell ( by Thursday 14 January 2021.

Further details about the Schemes are available on the Advance HE website and Guidance materials are available on the CED website. Queries can be directed to

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L&T Conference 2018
National Teaching Fellowship Scheme
Writing Workshop

CED will be running a 2-part Writing Workshop for colleagues who are interested in applying to the NTFS this year, or want to start preparing an application for next year, or some time in the future. The workshops will focus on supporting potential nominees to effectively address the NTF criteria.

You can register to attend this 2-part event on iTrent by 30 November 2020.

Part 1: 8 December 2020– 3 pm to 4.30 pm. Registration for Part 1 here.

Part 2: 6 January 2020– 2.30 pm to 4 pm. Registration for Part 2 here.
Digital Accessibility
Supporting staff to develop inclusive and accessible content to enhance the learner experience

CED have designed an acronym THRIVES for staff to easily remember key basic accessibility requirements to be compliant to the UK digital accessibility legislation when creating course content and resources.

The THRIVES image has seven basics to get you started on your accessibility journey and is an easy way to recall the fundamentals of accessibility, that can be easily printed, and includes an audio file.

For staff to make small changes to practice in relation to Accessibility, there is also an:

To further assist staff CED and the VLE team are collaborating on an Accessibility Toolkit through a Canvas course (forthcoming) that will focus on the VLE, accessible content design, mobile use, Blackboard Ally, 3rd party tool tips, assistive technologies and useful templates.

For more information contact CED.

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Digital Experience Insights Survey for Teaching Staff. Use your power to enhance the quality of the digital experience at Queen's
Teaching Staff Survey – Digital Experience Insights

Findings from the Digital Experience Insights 2019/20 Survey for Teaching Staff are now available to view. This survey, launched for the first time in late June 2020, complements the student version which ran last year in November 2019.

Due to the impact of Covid the survey was open only for a short period of time and was administered out of teaching semester. However, it still managed to attract a total of 189 responses and captured some interesting insights about the digital experiences of Queen’s teaching staff. Any queries about these findings please contact CED.

Window with coloured glass QUB crest
QUB Teaching Awards 2020
Recognising excellent practice

We are delighted to announce that 11 colleagues across the University received Teaching Awards in 2020.  Congratulations to all the recipients as follows:

Sustained Excellence Category

Dr Ramona Wray, Arts, English and Languages

Ruth Craig, Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS)

Student-nominated Category

Dr Chi-Wai Chan, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Rising Stars Category

Dr Louise Pick, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dr Lilian Simones, Graduate School

Dr Melie Le Roy, School of Natural and Built Environment

Dr Rebecca Craig, School of Pharmacy

Dr Gary Mitchell, School of Nursing and Midwifery

Dr Helen Reid, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Excellence in Teaching by a Team

Dr Briegeen Girvin, Dr Mary-Carmel Kearney and Dr Sharon Haughey, School of Pharmacy

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Student Digital Champions
Engaging with students

Queen’s have appointed their first-ever Student Digital Champions. Working in partnership with CED and the Students’ Union they are currently involved in a number of initiatives:

  • Digital drop-in sessions for students who are struggling with Canvas and Teams;
  • Promotional social media campaigns on digital wellbeing for students and around digital tools that students can use for learning;
  • A university-wide brief pulse survey for students about their first semester experience including feelings of connection in digital spaces, and the dissemination of these findings in staff and student channels.

For more information please contact or

Digital Experience Insights Survey for students
Student Digital Experience Insights Survey 2020/21
Out Now!

The Student Digital Experience Insights Survey for the period 2020/21 is now live at Queen’s for the second year running. The survey will be open until the end of the semester and hopes to attract a good response from the student body at Queen’s.

Virtual promotional activity is underway including social media, Canvas and a mail-out to students from the Students’ Union. If you are a member of teaching staff please encourage your students to participate as their voice about their digital experience is more important than ever. For further details please contact CED.

#CEDTip of the Week
Social Media

This academic year @QUB_CED are running #CEDTipOfTheWeek series on Twitter.

Every Thursday morning we deliver a useful, practical and educational tip for our followers.

Remember to give us a follow to hear the latest news and find out about upcoming courses and events! And if you think you have a useful tip to share, give us a shout on or directly @QUB_CED.

Collection for South Belfast Food Bank
Supporting local community

This year the QUB annual collection for South Belfast Food Bank is going virtual.

Now more than ever local food banks need our support to provide vital help to people in the local community. So a virtual collection has been set up to give Queen's staff the opportunity to donate to the South Belfast Food Bank.

Donate here.

Select your bundle and choose the campaign code Christmas – QUB South Belfast Food Bank Collection for the donation to be counted as part of the Queen's-wide campaign.

This campaign runs from Sunday 1 November to 11 December.

Thank you for supporting local people in crisis. Find out more about the South Belfast Food Bank or contact Lina and Jenny.

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Upcoming Training Courses
Continuing Professional Development
Upcoming Canvas Courses

Canvas training schedule and recordings of previous sessions are available for the teaching staff on Connected Learning at Queen's course page: