4 Hidden Gems in iLearn

Want to freshen up your iLearn unit? Previous posts have reported staff and student experiences of iLearn. This post looks at ways to use 4 “hidden gems” in iLearn that are popular with students but not widely used.

In the 2014 iLearn Student Experience Survey, we asked students if they had used certain tools in iLearn, and if so, to rate their usefulness. We found 4 “hidden gems” – iLearn tools that are great for collaboratively building knowledge and online interaction, and are ones that students consider useful, but are not used in many units.

  1. BLOGS

65% of students agreed that iLearn Blogs help them engage with learning activities. But in Session 2, 2014, only 6% of iLearn units had Blogs.

Blogs can be set up for students to reflect on their learning journey. They can be private or for sharing within a cohort where students can respond to each other’s posts (see Technology Options in Learning and Teaching for more details).

Ready to use the Blog? View the Quick Guide.

  1. WIKIS

60% of students surveyed who had used the iLearn Wiki agreed that Wikis helped their engagement with learning. Only 4% of iLearn units had Wikis in Session 2 2014.

Wikis can enable students to contribute collaboratively to a document and have their individual input captured, allowing them to apply creative, critical thinking. (see Technology Options in Learning and Teaching for more details).

See our Quick Guide for the process of setting up a Wiki-step-by-step .


69% of students who had used the iLearn Glossary agreed that it helped them engage with unit content. Only 12% of iLearn units had the Glossary in Session 2.

A Glossary helps students become familiar with important terms and concepts relevant to the unit of student. Teaching staff can set-up the Glossary for their entries only, or allow students to create and maintain the words and definitions themselves as a learning activity or assessment task.

Set up a Glossary with using the Quick Guide that shows you a step-by-step process.

  1. CHAT

Chat was rated as one of the most useful features of iLearn by students who had used it – 78% agreed it helps them engage with learning activities. Only 5% of iLearn units used the Chat module in Session 2.

The Chat activity allows teaching staff and learners in a unit to have a real-time synchronous discussion. The Chat activity is particularly useful in situations where the group is not able to meet face-to-face such as: the student cohort are dispersed participating in PACE related activities; students planning a group presentation; connecting external students to one another for real-time discussion sessions; or Q & A sessions with a Tutor/Convenor (see Using Communication Activities Effectively within iLearn for more details).

Consult our Quick Guide for guidance on setting up a Chat activity.

You can read the full details in the 2014 iLearn Evaluation report here . For advice on using any of these activities in your unit, please contact your Faculty’s Educational Designer or by emailing ilearn.help@mq.edu.au.