Category Archives: iLearn

Understanding student behaviours in iLearn with Learning Analytics

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

New for session 1 2017: How can I know what my students are doing?

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).

How can you identify students that may be struggling and at risk of falling behind, and even perhaps, either withdrawing or failing? There are reports in iLearn you can use. However, from session 1 this year there is a new plugin that brings learning analytics to iLearn.

The Moodle Engagement Analytics Plugin (MEAP) can track 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. Provide you (and your HOD) with a record of what you have done to help your students.

“MEAP mailer” by Chris Froissard © Macquarie University
“MEAP mailer” by Chris Froissard © Macquarie University

MQU staff have been piloting MEAP for three sessions and it is now available to convenors on iLearn. However, to ensure that students have a quality learning experience and that convenors get the most out of MEAP, convenors must attend a  MEAP workshop before it is activated in their unit. Alternatively, if you are one of the convenors that have already used MEAP during the pilot, the workshop is optional and MEAP can be activated in your unit.

What now?

Interested?

Register for the MEAP workshop on Wednesday 22 February (11-12) or (if you have already used MEAP) contact chris.froissard@mq.edu.au to activate MEAP.

For more information

If you are interested in finding out more about MEAP why not read Can we use learning analytics to improve student unit completion?

5 tips to improve the accessibility of your iLearn unit.

What comes to mind when you hear ‘accessibility’?

For many people accessibility is associated with supporting students with special needs. However, accessibility is important for all students, as it provides a better browsing experience, especially on mobiles and tablets, which are rapidly gaining in popularity.

This post will give you 5 high-impact practical steps to improve the accessibility of your unit. Continue reading 5 tips to improve the accessibility of your iLearn unit.

A Grand Tour of iLearn: Open iLearn initiative

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.

Continue reading A Grand Tour of iLearn: Open iLearn initiative

Spring is in the air: time for an iLearn unit review

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.

Continue reading Spring is in the air: time for an iLearn unit review

A countdown to Opening iLearn [important]

Have you ever wondered what is being covered in other units of study at Macquarie?

You may be a unit convenor looking to incorporate interdisciplinary examples in your unit to help students connect the dots between your and other units. Or you might want to see how your colleagues are designing their online units to get some fresh ideas and inspiration. Continue reading A countdown to Opening iLearn [important]

Opening iLearn

Macquarie University is moving toward an Open iLearn environment. The information below is designed to provide context for this initiative and to answer key questions about making iLearn content accessible to all Macquarie staff.

What Open iLearn means:

A ‘view-only’ access to all iLearn units will be given to all university staff.  Currently only selected staff (e.g. learning and teaching support staff) have access to all iLearn spaces.  Open iLearn is a project within the Learning and Teaching strategic framework, and led by the Office of the PVC Learning and Teaching in collaboration with Faculty Associate Deans of Learning and Teaching. It has been endorsed by Academic Senate.

Providing an Open iLearn environment is a step towards a Learning Commons. It

  • empowers organizational learning and the exchange of ideas;
  • supports innovation;
  • contributes to Macquarie’s connected learning community; and
  • aligns with best practice in leading universities worldwide.

Benefits of Open iLearn:

  1. Efficient and effective use of iLearn.

Practical examples speak louder than words. There is so much learning and teaching expertise on display in iLearn – and taking up the opportunity to share our pedagogy and practice is exciting. Open iLearn affords opportunities to engage with new ideas on how to organize your online learning and teaching spaces, how to save time on some tasks, and how to use tools that you may not have tried yet.

  1. Better-aligned and more diverse programs

As the university moves towards a program-based approach for its teaching, connecting with your colleagues’ iLearn spaces will become crucial. Open iLearn will allow you to build on your colleagues’ units, align topics, avoid duplication and provide students with a diverse range of tasks and activities.

  1. Collaboration within and between disciplines

Being able to see other iLearn spaces can act as a catalyst for collaborations with colleagues in your department or across the university, both in teaching and research.

  1. Easier peer-review and other professional development

Asking peers to review your units and provide feedback is an excellent way to set teaching goals and ensure your development as an educator. Open iLearn makes peer-review a much easier and faster process.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What will happen?

The content of the most recent iLearn spaces will become visible (via a search function) to all Macquarie staff as observers. Student details and contributions will not be visible to observers. For example, staff will be able to see that there is a forum, but won’t be able to see forum contributions or students’ names.

When will it happen?

December 2016

Will all the units become available, including all the past units?

No, only units on iLearn from January 2016.

What will it look like? Will my iLearn become cluttered with hundreds of iLearn spaces?

Your iLearn landing page will remain the same. You will be able to search for other iLearn spaces via ilearn.mq.edu.au/course/

Will I need to do anything to open up my unit?

Open iLearn will happen automatically. Staff will not be required to do anything.

What if I have copyright materials in my unit?

If you own copyright in the materials and would like to control distribution, you can consider adding a copyright note (e.g. “This material is copyright by …) or a copyright symbol © to the content.

If the material was licensed specifically for use by your students you may need to take additional measures. Feel free to contact copyright@mq.edu.au with any queries.

What if I have ‘commercial-in-confidence’ or ethics-protected content in my unit, or if the materials contain sensitive or private information?

Requests for exceptions to the Open iLearn initiative should be discussed with the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching in your Faculty.

What if I would like to see a unit that has received an Open iLearn exception?

Such requests will be considered by the relevant Faculty’s Associate Dean:

Faculty of Arts: Dr. Peter Keegan, peter.keegan@mq.edu.au, W6A 236, Ext. 8819

Faculty of Business and Economics: Dr Leigh Wood, leigh.wood@mq.edu.au, E4A 714, Ext. 4756

Faculty of Human Sciences: Dr. Mitch Parsell, mitch.parsell@mq.edu.au, C3A309 Ext. 1040

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences: Professor Cath Dean, catherine.dean@mq.edu.au F10, Ext. 6620

Faculty of Science and Engineering: Dr James Downes, james.downes@mq.edu.au, E6B 710, Ext. 8900