Student support services in open, distance and flexible education

Latest Articles on Student Support Services from Open Praxis

Open Praxis is a peer-reviewed open access scholarly journal focusing on research and innovation in open, distance and flexible education. It is published by the International Council for Open and Distance Education – ICDE.

OpenPraxisThe latest issue of Open Praxis features an interesting range of papers on student support services including:

  • The move from geographical to pedagogical student support at the Open University, UK;
  • Wellness promotion in online learning with examples from the US and a set of recommendations;
  • Open education resources (OER) in teaching and in learner support;
  • Student drop-out rates at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia;
  • Accessibility improvements for disabled students through cloud services at SUNY Empire State College, US;
  • Course-embedded student support for online english language learners; and
  • The introduction of an online student support platform at Wawasan Open University, Malaysia.

 

Never fear, help is here! iLearn Drop-in Clinic is open for business.

The iLearn Drop-in Clinic is jumping!

The doors of the iLearn Drop-in Clinic are open in 2014 and we are ready for business!

Come along and get all the help you need with iLearn, iTeach and UNITS for Session 1, 2014.  No need to register, just swing on by.

Come prepared and make the most of your time at the Drop-in:

  • If you are a new staff member, activate your ID before you come
  • Check that you have been allocated your teaching units in UNITS
  • Check that you have been allocated your teaching units in iTeach

Where?  When?

Monday 17 Feb – Friday 28 Feb, 10am-4pm weekdays, C5A 204
Monday 3 Mar – Friday 7 Mar, 10am-4pm weekdays, E4B 308

Free Event: Transforming Higher Education with Augmented Reality

Augmented RealityCome along and listen to Dr Matt Bower and Mr David Grover, both from the School of Education, talk about the fascinating topic of Augmented Reality in Higher Education.

By enabling users to overlay multimedia information on the world around us, Augmented Reality has immense potential to transform tertiary education. This presentation outlines what Augmented Reality is, how it works, applications available to educators, and how it might be infused into the curriculum. The presentation will also provide an overview of the Augmented Reality knowledge base that has been developed as part of this project, which includes examples, resources and guides.

2pm – 3pm, Thursday 27 February, 2014
To join this informative and captivating session, please click here to register

Guides for Academics from Students with Disabilities

Braille_reader
A blind person using a BrailleNote Apex BT 18 Braille Notetaker

At some point in a career every teacher will encounter students with some level of disability or impairment.

 The University of Melbourne has recently released another two of their informative guides providing tips and advice that students with disabilities want teachers to know.  The new guides are the ones about Acquired Brain Injury and Anxiety.  Other guides cover topics such as Hearing Impairment, Mental Illness, Blindness, Dyslexia, MS, and mobility problems.  The guides can be found at http://www.unimelb.edu.au/accessibility/guide/.

 You might also be interested in some of the Inclusive Practice resources produced by Macquarie.

– Tony Dwyer, LTC’s Head of Web, Media and Development Services

See what’s hot off the press!

Alana Workshop bookletCheck out what the Learning and Teaching Centre’s upcoming workshops are for Session 1, 2014.

There are exciting programs coming up such as the Foundations in Learning and Teaching (FiLT),  Flexible Learning at Macquare (FLaMe), to name but a couple. You can pick a printed copy up from C3B 315, or we can send you a copy in the mail.  Email ltc@mq.edu.au or phone x9721 to request a copy.

You can also check out all the workshops online at https://www.mq.edu.au/ltc/Workshops/index.php

Happy “workshopping”!

 

When the wind blows, when iLearn upgrades… these are a few of my faaaavourite things…

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Yes, it’s the first of the twice yearly upgrade of iLearn time and I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite features of this upgrade:

1.  A word count on forums (while you can’t [yet] set a word limit in the settings of a forum, you can now see how many words a student [or your own] post is).

Screen Shot: word count display in a forum post

 

2.  Assignment improvement – show students rubrics BEFORE they submit!

3.  Drop and drag onto the main page of the unit directly instead of uploading a file or adding an image into a label

4. Collapsed edit activity forms – what the??
When adding an activity to your iLearn unit, kiss the long, confusing options goodbye.  Just remember if you are allocating a mark, to open the Grading section!

The road to an awesome LMS is a long one, an iterative process, you might say.  iLearn runs on Moodle and this latest upgrade is to Moodle v2.5. We are always keen to hear your ideas for enhancements, so why not email ilearn.help@mq.edu.au with your suggestions.

For any help with iLearn, please either lodge a OneHelp ticket or email ilearn.help@mq.edu.au

Does work-integrated learning actually make students work ready?

Dr Calvin Smith from Griffith University will present and discuss the results of a landmark project that assessed the impact of work-integrated learning on student work-readiness:

Monday 17 February
9.30-11.30am in E6A116
Details and registration

WiL - by NASA Goddard Photo and Video http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/8185441736/sizes/m/Work ready students are those who possess the basic skills and competencies needed to work within specific occupations. Specifically, work-ready students have “a combination of content knowledge and employability skills, such as communication, team work and problem solving, which enables effective professional practice”.[1]

Continue reading Does work-integrated learning actually make students work ready?

Top 25!

international uni photoOn Friday 24th of January 2014 The Times Higher Education published its list of the top 100 most international universities in the world. Macquarie University was not only one of the many  well established institutions named in this list, but made it to the top 25. Our university is in fact  number 9 on the list, a position higher than many prestigious international universities, like the University of Oxford and all other New South Wales Universities.

About 10 years ago Macquarie  launched a  global marketing campaign to attract and sign up international students. This has resulted over the years  in an increased number of international students studying at Macquarie but also in an increasing number of partnerships with overseas universities, both in terms of research and teaching.

But how well placed is Macquarie to respond to the challenges of internationalisation? A response to this question can be found at Macquarie’s Strategic Plan document ” Our University: A Framework of Futures”.  According to our Strategic Plan, we are not only interested in effectively recruiting international students, but we take an holistic approach to internationalisation that involves enhancing the international student experience, developing staff capability of internationalisation and enhancing the international experience of our home students (See Figure 1).

MQ internationalisation
Figure 1: Extract from ‘Our university” A Framing of Futures” (page 20)

The Learning and Teaching Centre has developed some useful resources that can support academics with understanding the challenges and opportunities  of our internationalisation agenda.  It also runs hands-on workshops on teaching culturally diverse tutorials .

 

 

10 Reasons Why Your Unit Guide Might Not Be Approved

Unit GuidesAre you a Unit Convenor preparing your Unit Guide for publication?

Before you submit your Unit Guide to be approved on UNITS, check this list of the most common reasons Heads of Department give for sending Unit Guides back.

    1. Learning Outcomes don’t start with an action verb.
      Think about how to finish the sentence: ‘at the end of this unit of study, students will be able to….’ . The next word should be the ‘action’ verb that begins your Learning Outcome. This resource on writing Learning Outcomes offers more guidance.
    2. Readings aren’t listed.
      List all unit materials, including textbooks, required and recommended readings.
    3. Curriculum Mapping is incomplete.  You need to map Learning Outcomes, Assessment Tasks and Graduate Capabilities against each other. Click here for some instructions.
    4. Learning Outcomes and Assessment Tasks must all be mapped against each other, and against Graduate Capabilities.
    5. Typos, factual errors or broken links.
      Make sure information from last year is updated, such as teaching staff contact details, or hyperlinks.
    6. Assessments don’t meet the requirements of the Assessment Policy.
      Check the requirements here.
    7. All the Graduate Capabilities are mapped.
      You should select only the Graduate Capabilities which are addressed most in your unit.  Check the LTC’s resources on Graduate Capabilities for more information.
    8. Some of the Assessment details are missing.
      Macquarie’s Unit Guide Policy specifies certain information that must be included about assessments, including dates, length, weightings, submission method, grading criteria or standards, and more.
    9. There’s no explanation of changes from previous offering.
      If you’ve made changes to the unit since last time, it’s a Unit Guide Policy requirement that these are listed in the Unit Guide.
    10. Technology Used and Required is not listed.
      You should list all technology students will need to use in the Unit, including broadband internet, iLearn, and any software.

Did you know?

Students may have grounds for appeal of their grade if the Unit Guide was not in accordance with the Unit Guide Policy, or the student had been disadvantaged by variation of the assessment requirements or feedback provisions laid out in the Unit Guide.  Check the Grade Appeal Policy for further details.

What’s on the Horizon? Macquarie connection

NMC and ELI Release the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition

horizon at RhodesThe New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)  jointly released the 11th edition of the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education today. The NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education.

Continue reading What’s on the Horizon? Macquarie connection

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