On the 4th of July, I was fortunate to attend a seminar at AGSM by Chris Rust, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, Oxford Brookes University, UK. As Macquarie University is currently engaged in program review, the topic Redesigning course assessment was timely. Over the course of three hours, Chris shared his thoughts and insights into improving programs and unit assessments. I summarise some of the key points and ideas that intrigued me and may interest you.
A new learning analytics tool in iLearn is available for session 1. The Moodle Engagement Analytics Plugin (MEAP) tracks which students you deem at risk of falling behind. It allows you to create a customised profile of an “at-risk student” in your unit, send personalised, tailored emails to students that meet that profile. It can also provide you (and your HOD) with a record of what you have done to help your students.
Have you often wondered what your students were up to in the maze that is iLearn? There are so many things to keep track of! Students spending time (or not) on iLearn. Students submitting assignments on time (or not). Students responding to forums posts (or not). Students doing well in assignments (or not). Continue reading Understanding student behaviours in iLearn with Learning Analytics
Like 18th Century travellers embarking on a Grand Tour of Europe to broaden their perspectives, staff at Macquarie University from Monday 5 December, will have iLearn opened to them in the Open iLearn initiative. To start searching what iLearn has to offer, go here http://ilearn.mq.edu.au/course/search.php. If you’d like some ideas about which units to visit, read on.
Congratulations, you’ve almost made it to the end of the session. But, before you start thinking about the upcoming break or what you’ll be teaching next year, you should consider sweeping the cobwebs, changing the sheets and opening the windows on your iLearn site. In short, now is a good time for spring cleaning your unit.
At the end of the session, unit convenors ask themselves, how did my students do in the unit, and how can I improve it for next time? Of course, they have access to grades, anecdotal feedback from tutors and students and various survey instruments such as LEUs. However, using Reports they can also see what is going on under the “hood” of their iLearn site. The Reports section in the Toolbar of iLearn can give convenors access to reports and data that can tell them how students are using resources and navigating throughout the site.
We’ve often heard that assessments and feedback can help drive learning. As convenors, you go to great lengths to develop assessments and provide feedback that supports learning. However, are you optimising the impact of assessments and feedback on student learning?
There are many ways to represent information that can help students learn. One of the least utilised is using visual representations with text. In some instances, using text together with visuals leads to improved learning, compared to using only text. This has been called the multimedia principle by Mayer and others. Here we will unpack what the implication of the multimedia principle is for teachers and students and look at a specific type of graphical representation, the concept map. Continue reading Mapping your way to improved student learning
Are you interested in finding out what drives Peter Keegan, Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching for the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University? Do you want to know what he thinks about teaching and practice at university and his views on convening a blended learning unit? If so, join us for a chat with Peter. Continue reading Thoughts on teaching and practice: A chat with Peter Keegan
With a new Assessment Policy coming into effect for session 2 at Macquarie University, there is a requirement for “students to have access to the standards expected and examples of relevant and related assessment tasks.” (5.1.3). This post offers some suggestions about how staff can meet this requirement.