University of Tasmania virtual learning environment – Strategy and Direction


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Dr Gary Williams, Co-Head, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning
Mr John Parry, Director, Information Technology Resources, University of Tasmania
UTAS has over the past 12 months considered its virtual learning environment from various angles including consultation with staff through an enterprise ‘Your voice’ (staff satisfaction) survey, and consultation around, and development of, an eLearning strategy. Additionally UTAS has operated the Blackboard WebCT product since 2001, and with the emergence of the Learn 9.1 integrated product, is now considering LMS options through an environmental scan process. The presentation will summarise the overall key elements of UTAS’s strategy and direction of our virtual learning environment, including major service developments, our overall product suite, and the current review process around the LMS refresh.

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University of Tasmania virtual learning environment – Strategy and Direction

  1. 1. UTASLearning Environment<br />Melanie Pittard – Manager, Web & Learning Services<br />Gary Williams – Co-Head, CALT<br />
  2. 2. UTAS is an international university based in Tasmania<br />Founded on 1 January 1890 – 4th oldest in Australia<br />2,500 Staff<br />25,000 Students (Enrolments 2009)<br />31 sites<br />1600 units with online content<br />Encompassing: Australian Maritime College, Menzies Research Institute, Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies<br />University of Tasmania (UTAS)<br />
  3. 3. UTAS Learning Environment<br />
  4. 4. UTAS Learning Management System<br />MyLO (My Learning Online)<br />Blackboard Vista Enterprise License (Release Vista 8.0.3), Version 8, service pack 3)<br />UTAS Wikis<br />Atlassian Confluence version 3.2; internally hosted<br />UTAS Blogs<br />WordPress MU version 2.8.6; internally hosted<br />Other learning systems<br />Elluminate<br />Lectopia (Echo 360)<br />PebblePad<br />Impatica<br />Turnitin<br />Respondus<br />Equella ...<br />Major Learning Systems<br />
  5. 5. MyLO - 2010<br />Central administration/ support and support into two faculties<br />Faculty/school support<br />UTAS learning technologies<br />accessed via MyLO<br />Copyright ManagementSystem: Equella (hosted UTAS, plugin to MyLO)<br />Contact: Derek Rowlands, Library<br />Currently using Equella 3<br />Recorded LecturesScreen/audio captureSystem: Lectopia (hosted UTAS, plugin to MyLO)<br />Contact: Aaron Holmes, ITR<br />Currently using Lectopia 2.5 (Echo 360). <br />Academic integrity<br />System: Turnitin (hosted Turnitin, plugin to MyLO)<br />Contact: Doug Colbeck, CALT<br />ePortfolio<br />System: PebblePad (hosted PebblePad, plugin to MyLO)<br />Contact: Bronwyn Davies, ITR<br />Currently using PebblePad 2.4.3<br />Integration with UTAS systems<br />Staff details<br />Student details<br />Enrolment information<br />Course and unit offerings<br />Wiki<br />System: Confluence (hosted UTAS, plugin to MyLO)<br />Contact: Bronwyn Davies, ITR<br />Currently using Confluence 3.2<br />
  6. 6. During 2010 UTAS undertook two separate studies to establish the requirements of staff and students to ensure UTAS’ future as a university of international standing recognised for its distinctive coursework programs and research strengths.<br /><ul><li>eLearning Strategy
  7. 7. Your Voice @ UTAS</li></ul>Future Needs<br />
  8. 8. In November 2008, the University Teaching and Learning Committee endorsed a proposal that a UTAS eLearning strategy be developed in order to improve decision making about the deployment and use of technologies for the enhancement of learning. <br />The project was led by CALT.<br />The enquiry sought to collect evidence about current practice and to discover perceived strengths and weaknesses in our provision, delivery and management of eLearning. <br />eLearning Strategy<br />
  9. 9. The Centre for the Advancement of Learning & Teaching (CALT) provides leadership & support for the advancement of teaching & learning at UTAS. The clients of CALT are all UTAS staff and students. <br />CALT<br />
  10. 10. Systems – To provide & support a robust set of core teaching & learning systems, extended by additional targeted systems, to enable better practice in eLearning and multicampus operations & to expanded the reach of the institution. <br />Students – To embed eLearning in existing support & transition initiatives for all students, distance & on-campus, to ensure their ongoing participation in higher education & their attainment of graduate attributes. <br />eLearning Strategy Recommendations<br />
  11. 11. Staff – To establish support structures for eLearning that enable faculties & schools to achieve growth in targeted areas, & to assist, recognise & reward staff advancing eLearning practice &scholarship.<br />Organisation & decisions – To align organisational areas responsible for eLearning planning, provision & support, & to establish formal governance structures. <br />eLearning Strategy Recommendations (cont)<br />
  12. 12. Quality – To actively address equivalence of experience for students studying on & off campus, &harness current good practice in eLearning at UTAS in the development of contextualised quality guidelines, standards & evaluation schemes. <br />eLearning Strategy Recommendations (cont)<br />
  13. 13. The Your Voice @ UTAS staff satisfaction is a project sponsored by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) & Provost designed to:<br />give employees a chance to “voice” their opinions about how well UTAS is functioning<br />help us track the health of UTAS and identify areas for improvement<br />lead to worthwhile improvements in the working environment<br />establish a data “benchmark” so that we can compare ourselves with other Australian universities and track how we are doing over time.<br />Your Voice @ UTAS<br />
  14. 14. Survey & Analysis<br />The Your Voice @ UTAS survey was carried out in April-May 2009 to better understand staff attitudes and levels of engagement with the University, and to identify issues of concern to them.<br />Your Voice – Stage 1<br />
  15. 15. Recommendations for Action<br />Three working parties were established in November 2009 to investigate the results of Stage 1 in more detail and to develop recommendations on University-wide actions to respond to the findings.<br />Culture and Communications<br />People<br />Technology<br />Your Voice – Stage 2<br />
  16. 16. The Your Voice Action Plan was endorsed by University Council on 11 June 2010. Reference groups for the three areas will now be established. <br />Your Voice – Stage 3<br />
  17. 17. The provision of technology, & services to support its use, which enables the effective operation of a multicampus university & supports teaching & learning.<br />Including to:<br />Expand the use of innovative teaching & learning technologies <br />Provide the UTAS community with campus-wide mobile, anywhere, anytime, network access<br />Encourage more flexible delivery<br />Increase rich media content<br />Your Voice - Technology<br />
  18. 18. Commencing now<br />Following PMM@UTAS based on Prince2 project management methodology<br />Investigate systems in use, being considered & to be implemented in the Australian HE sector<br />Provide a robust, user-friendly & feature-rich LMS to meet the current & future needs of staff & students<br />Implementation & change management processes completed ready for Semester 1, 2012<br />LMS Review<br />
  19. 19. Establish Project Board<br />Chair: Pro-Vice Chancellor (Students &Education)<br />Representatives from UT&LC, CALT, Library, ITR, Staff, Project Leader<br />Reports to Teaching Systems Management Group and then to UT&LC<br />Establish Working Group: Website & Blog<br />Determine requirements<br />Focus groups: Technology, Academic, Educational Developers, Students<br />Conduct requirements survey<br />Information forums<br />Compare alternatives – run pilots<br />Decision<br />Implementation<br />LMS Review - Approach<br />
  20. 20. Minimum online presence<br />Online teaching evaluations (SETL)<br />eLearning quality standards<br />Assignment management<br />Mobile delivery<br />Cloud services<br />LAMS<br />Interoperability/integration<br />Possible future directions<br />