Learning activities that occur or are facilitated online are likely to be a part of all units offered by the University of Tasmania. For units with an online delivery mode, all of the learning activities will be facilitated online, but this does not mean that students will need to be online the whole time they are engaging in the activities. High Impact Learning Experiences that occur online are as varied, if not more so, as those which occur on-campus or situated in the workplace or field.
Just as the University provides lecture theatres, tutorial rooms and laboratories as part of the on-campus learning environment, so too are systems and tools provided as part of the online learning environment. At the centre of the University's online learning environment is MyLO (My Learning Online) which uses the Brightspace by D2L platform. MyLO is home to a range of online tools to deliver content, mediate discussions, build quizzes, manage assessment, schedule activities, and so on. There is also a suite of complementary external tools and resources that can be used to maximise the student online experience, many of which are listed below in Online Learning and Teaching Systems and Tools at UTAS. Understanding when and how to use different learning technologies forms part of the core knowledge [K4] expected of University educators, as outlined in the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF).
It is important to note, however, that as with on-campus delivery, the design of the learning activities to be delivered online should be determined by the learning outcomes of the unit or session/module, not the space in which they will occur. For example, just because you will be teaching in an on-campus lecture theatre doesn't mean that you should design learning activities where in every session students listen to a monologue accompanied by visual aids. Equally, just because there is a discussion board doesn't mean that you should present a statement or question each week for students to respond to in a discussion post. Sometimes these activities will be the most appropriate one to support progress towards the ILOs and preparation for the assessment, but providing a variety of activities and approaches is more likely to lead to increased student engagement, resulting in enhanced student learning and achievement.
Detailed information and support resources for the use of MyLO by teaching staff can be found within MyLO itself:
- Teaching Online in MyLO: a MyLO site that contains all the support materials developed by TILT, including interactive and print resources (all staff are enrolled in this full-year unit as students, and it provides a space where questions can be asked, case studies can be accessed, and models of good practice can be found. It also provides links to step-by-step Desktop Guides).
- University Repositories: a search tool found on the homepage of every unit in MyLO. This can be used to search for video and print resources for staff and students - look for resources from the MyLO Staff Resources repository or the Resources for students repository
For staff who have not taught with MyLO before, it is recommended that you start with:
- The Essentials: an interactive resource that provides an overview, guided tour, and ideas to get started. (This resource
can also be accessed from within Teaching Online in MyLO)
Or start now with this video:
Teaching and Learning literature provides an excellent source of information about learning activities that can be facilitated online. The Education subject guide from the Library is a good place to start looking. In addition, we have provided a small selection of ideas and examples of learning activities for UTAS units to get you started.
Online Learning and Teaching Systems and Tools at UTAS
- MyLO: the online learning environment used as a central point of unit management of communication, interactions, and learning activities. MyLO is built on the Brightspace by D2L platform.
- MyMedia: the lecture recording system and streaming media system used to provide students with access to all types of audio and video files. MyMedia uses the Echo360 platform.
- Web conferencing: a tool for real-time interactions online. Enables you to connect with staff and students using voice, webcam, whiteboard tools, text-chat and shared applications. Available within MyLO through the Online Rooms tool. Online Rooms use the Blackboard Collaborate platform.
- Blogs and wikis: online tools that enable creation of online content by students, working individually or collaboratively. UTAS blogs use the WordPress platform. UTAS wikis use the Atlassian Confluence platform.
- ePortfolio: a tool for the collection, organisation, annotation and presentation of evidence of learning, ideas, experiences, achievements and reflections. ePortfolios are provided within MyLO, using the D2L ePortfolio.
- Videoconferencing: this is not an online system, and is most suited to on-campus or situated delivery modes. This system enables students and teaching staff in different locations to engage in real-time interactions facilitated through video screens.
Online teaching and learning resources
- Learning to Teach Online - a free professional development resource designed to help teachers from any discipline, whether experienced in online teaching or not, to gain a working understanding of successful online teaching pedagogies that they can apply in their own unique teaching situations.
- Horizon Report - identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education, published annually.
- Jisc Guides - a searchable mix of general and detailed information and ideas for teaching with technology, from the UK.
- ACODE - the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and e-Learning (ACODE) is the peak Australasian organisation for universities engaged or interested in flexible and e-learning and has a number of interesting publications available from their website.
- Ascilite is a vibrant professional community of innovators, leaders and scholars engaged with the application of technology to enhance teaching and learning in higher education. They provide links to past conference proceedings, and the Australian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET)