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

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 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,, W6A 236, Ext. 8819

Faculty of Business and Economics: Dr Leigh Wood,, E4A 714, Ext. 4756

Faculty of Human Sciences: Dr. Mitch Parsell,, C3A309 Ext. 1040

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences: Professor Cath Dean, F10, Ext. 6620

Faculty of Science and Engineering: Dr James Downes,, E6B 710, Ext. 8900

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