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RMIT eLearning Advancement Program


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Dr Garry Allen, Principal Advisor Academic ICT Integration, RMIT
At the end of 2010 RMIT will complete a three year program addressing strategic development in its elearning capability. The program, which is described at: has been undertaken in three phases across
1. Minimum online presence,
2. Enhanced learning environments and
3. Active learning.
This presentation will cover the outcomes from REAP that are relevant to other University contexts, along with trend directions for learning technologies that influence university-level planning.

Published in: Education
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RMIT eLearning Advancement Program

  1. 1. RMIT’s E-learning Advancement Program (REAP) Dr Garry Allan Educational Technology Advancement Group RMIT
  2. 2. Introduction – The context <ul><li>Trends and Challenges affecting learning and teaching over the next 5 years: </li></ul><ul><li>Abundance of resources and relationships readily accessible via the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Student work is increasingly collaborative by nature </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 – the read/write web. Knowledge work is increasingly knowledge networking </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility of information is critical (An illustrative aside – Course Hero) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Trends and Challenges affecting learning and teaching over the next 5 years (cont.): <ul><li>Students expect to be able to learn at a time and place of their choosing and arrive at University with an array of personal Web 2.0 environments </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Web 2.0 environments typically no-fee, advertising subsidised </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies are increasingly cloud based </li></ul>
  4. 4. Student patterns - Web 2.0 and mobile devices <ul><li>Australian Metrics October 2009 – Neilson Online </li></ul><ul><li>- 29 per cent of all time spent online by Australians is in Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>- Facebook's &quot;unique audience&quot; was 8.1 million, YouTube 5.8 million, Wikipedia 5.2 million, MySpace 2.3 million  </li></ul><ul><li>- Australians now average 15 mins/day in social media (highest in the world) </li></ul><ul><li>RMIT Undergraduate student mobile phone use </li></ul><ul><li>n = 242, Nov. 2009 93% Mobile phone ownership, ~ 45% Smartphones accessing the Internet on RMIT Wifi or Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Of these smartphone users, usage pattern is: Social Networking: 60%, Email: 30%, Uni-related: 18% </li></ul>
  5. 5. Web 2.0 - opportunities <ul><li>Web 2.0 offers the promise of building a University experience based on an ‘architecture of participation’ </li></ul><ul><li>Increased capability for mass-managed individual learning experiences – the Personal Learning Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Increased ability to use online resources and networks to create valuable learning experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Addressing cost-sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Harnessing no-fee Web 2.0 services to support the mission of the University (Resolution of privacy issues, effective identity management into University systems, Culture of student utilisation of social spaces for University learning?) </li></ul><ul><li>To the illustrative aside  </li></ul>
  6. 6. Illustrative aside: An example of academic knowledge networking external to Universities – Course Hero
  7. 7. An example of academic knowledge networking external to Universities – Course Hero <ul><li>Strong and direct link to Facebook ID </li></ul><ul><li>Results placed back to students in Facebook account </li></ul><ul><li>Course Hero: ‘social learning network’ </li></ul><ul><li>“ On  Course Hero , for example, students can type in a college name and course number to unearth the previous semester’s particle physics final exam. They can find examples of research papers on, say, the causes of World War I ” NY Times May 2009 </li></ul> (LMS) Student 1 Student 2
  8. 8. <ul><li>Course Hero offers three million student-submitted items from 400,000 courses at more than 3,500 institutions, ….. Users who submit such items can navigate the site free of charge; others pay a monthly fee. </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Kim also said that Course Hero , which warns users against cheating and plagiarism , had honoured a handful of requests from professors to remove certain notes. “They felt that some material was released only to their students and they didn’t want it disseminated beyond that,” he said. </li></ul><ul><li>NY Times May 2009 </li></ul>
  9. 11. RMIT’s E-learning Advancement Program (REAP) <ul><li>Subservient to the University Academic Plan, </li></ul><ul><li>University dimensions: 71,000 students, 12,000+ courses </li></ul><ul><li>REAP strategic development of elearning capability, completes at the end of 2010. See: </li></ul><ul><li>Three phases: </li></ul><ul><li>1.) Minimum online presence - All courses/subjects have a presence in the LMS (Blackboard) </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent increase from 2006 to 2009. HE the percentage of courses that had some level of activity rose from approx 33% - 80%. In TAFE during the same period it rose from approx 0.3% to approx 40%. </li></ul><ul><li>2.) Enhanced learning environments </li></ul><ul><li>3.) Active learning. </li></ul>
  10. 12. REAP Phase 2: Enhanced learning environments <ul><li>Lecture recording: Flexible access to educational content via web-based lecture recordings (Lectopia) provided through Blackboard: 82 venues </li></ul><ul><li>Uptake rate 2008-9: 63% increase in lecture recordings, 110% increase in student downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced student/student and student/teacher interaction through the systematic deployment of educational Blogs (reflective journals) and Wikis (collaborative workspaces) within the Blackboard System </li></ul><ul><li>Scaling of AV/IT-enriched learning spaces in a systematic and cost-effective deployment: 93 venues </li></ul><ul><li>- Standard high-quality push-button environment </li></ul><ul><li>- Digital technologies </li></ul><ul><li>- Remote and immediate service support </li></ul>
  11. 13. REAP Phase 3: Active Learning <ul><li>LMS review: upgrade to Blackboard 9.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard Enhancement: Elluminate, Equella Learning Content Management System </li></ul><ul><li>ePortfolio: </li></ul><ul><li>See: </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment transformation, Accreditation/mobility, Career Development Learning, Work Integrated Learning, Graduate Attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Response Systems: </li></ul><ul><li>See: </li></ul><ul><li>Student-instructor in-class interaction </li></ul>
  12. 14. <ul><li>1.) Foundation technology : which address all of the issues necessary to scale the technology in support of RMIT’s Global Learning and Teaching operations. </li></ul><ul><li>2.) Staged implementation : Focused on program accreditation requirements, and supporting key University strategic initiatives, an implementation path that incrementally builds ePortfolio usage within RMIT programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Development: </li></ul><ul><li>Initiated ePortfolio Leader - Embedded, Meaningful and Purposeful </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Development Groups, ITS Training (educationally contextualised) </li></ul><ul><li>3.) Ongoing expertise development : Continued evaluation and research, in collaboration with key university partners, to inform, refine and optimise the use of ePortfolios at RMIT. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. Uni S.A. Partnership, Biannual ePortfolio Forum </li></ul>The RMIT ePortfolio initiative
  13. 15. Approach at RMIT, a managed implementation <ul><li>Resources at: </li></ul><ul><li>Staff accounts available at this URL, Staff and student support resources, Program/Course usage tracked, Only placed in priority areas, all staff can get an account </li></ul><ul><li>Platform: PebblePad (UK) Hosted: Sydney/Melb. </li></ul><ul><li>Licencing : 5200 users (48 Programs) </li></ul><ul><li>PebblePad considered the ePortfolio tool valued by students, provides ready access to individuals outside of institution, Web 2.0 functionality, IMS standards compliant, Profiler functionality </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid technology change with ePortfolio tools 50+ to be rationalised </li></ul><ul><li>Peoplesoft (Student Management System) integration is required to facilitate scaling </li></ul><ul><li>Same process for deployment globally (inc. Vietnam Campus) </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution path to Personal Learning Environment </li></ul>
  14. 16. Conceptual structure of PebblePad <ul><li> PebblePad PebblePad </li></ul>Student Student ePortfolio Content Gateway Program/Course Vacation Reporting Content owned and managed by the student Digital artifacts and evidence accumulated over University program enrolment. Presented and published to internal and external audiences as required Linking to personal Web 2.0 resources Building and demonstrating Career readiness External Industry/Work placement/External Collaboration RMIT institutional space Employer Profiler Customised capability checkpoints Academic Template Professional Practice CareerTrack Accreditation Personal Web services Zoho, Twitter RSS Youtube, Flickr
  15. 17. How students are working with ePortfolios…. <ul><li>1. Students can produce many times the volume of work compared to 15 years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Students can use many different file types – photo, video, audio, specialist data formats etc. ANY digital object can be used to evidence learning </li></ul><ul><li>3. A mobile phone (with inbuilt camera) is now a portable data collection device (as well as computer in the case of Smartphones) </li></ul><ul><li>4. Some of the work students do is integrally linked with sites outside the University and work undertaken external to the University. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Students and staff engage in interactions through e-mail, blogs, wikis, chat, conferencing software, etc., and these interactions can be preserved and used as evidence of learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples…. </li></ul>
  16. 18. Personal Response Systems (PRS) <ul><li>In an era of streamed lecture delivery, we must have a clear rationale for bringing students on campus. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating an active on-campus learning experience with personal response technology </li></ul><ul><li>See: </li></ul><ul><li>Providing the capacity for individual engagement with the on-campus lecture/teaching experience </li></ul><ul><li>Technically mediated real-time instructor/group/individual communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently hybrid technology model at RMIT: </li></ul><ul><li>- traditional ‘clicker’ type KeePad feedback devices </li></ul><ul><li>standardised process and loans system: ~ 1000 units 91% utilisation </li></ul><ul><li>student mobile phone based feedback (Full alphanumeric keypad) </li></ul>
  17. 19. Personal Response Systems (PRS) <ul><li>PRS Usage on smartphones: </li></ul><ul><li>Effectively student provision of University infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Question: Is this a workable model? </li></ul><ul><li>Using hosted (US) server environment: KeePad Interactive Responseware </li></ul><ul><li>Utilising RMIT WiFi network - $0 cost to student </li></ul><ul><li>Website access or downloadable application </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for more expansive student response i.e. assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><li>Student willingness to use personal (social) device as an active part of their University learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Distraction technology in the teaching space </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy management </li></ul><ul><li>Policy framework to support assessment in this form </li></ul>
  18. 20. Firewall <ul><li>Turning Technologies Server (US) </li></ul><ul><li>Hosted institutional account </li></ul>Student smartphone RMIT Wifi Basestation Instructor PC PowerPoint University WiFi Schematic Responseware interaction path Teaching Space
  19. 21. Personal Response Systems <ul><li>Would you be willing to use your phone, iPod, laptop, netbook or other device in a lecture or tute to interact with the lecturer during a lecture (using the WiFi at no cost)? </li></ul>
  20. 22. Questions? Reference sites: REAP: ePortfolio: PRS: