Unit set up

Unit set up

There are many different factors to setting up a unit in iLearn. Through the iLearn system you can manage staff access, create, and edit calendars, add blocks, and format your unit page. Explore the links below to learn how to accomplish these different features effectively.


Blocks allow you to build your unit by adding different functions and activities to it. Blocks appear down the right hand side of the unit.

Available blocks include:

Activities Displays links to all available activities in the iLearn unit.
Announcements Displays links to recent announcements made.
Calendar Displays a monthly calendar that can be used to highlight important dates e.g. assessment due dates.
Comments Enables comments to be made and displayed.
Echo Recordings Displays a link to the Echo Center to access lecture recordings.
Unit ReadingsDisplays a link to unit readings.
HTML Is a blank block that you can customise for your own purpose. You can use this block to display information particular to your online unit e.g. Unit convenor contact details.
People Displays a link to students participating in the iLearn unit.
Quiz Results Displays the highest and/or lowest grades achieved on a quiz.
Random glossary entry Displays an entry from the glossary. This changes daily.
Remote RSS Feeds Displays links to feeds from external websites.
Test Students Allows you to create test student accounts.
Unit & Teaching evaluation Obtain information about student experience of a unit.
UnitsDisplays links to all iLearn units you have access to.
Upcoming events Displays future events in a summarized list. The number of days in advance is determined by the calendar _lookahead setting.
Voice AuthoringDisplays any individual audio recordings uploaded.
Voice EmailEnables Voice Emails to be created.

add block 2

Adding a block

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Locate the Add a block block in the column on the right hand side of the screen.
  3. Use the dropdown menu to select the block you wish to add.
  4. The new block will appear in the right hand column of the unit.

Moving a block

  1. Click and hold your mouse on the block you wish to move.
  2. A solid line will appear around the block.
  3. Drag the block to its new position and release your mouseThe page will reload with the block in the space you have selected.

Editing a block

Once placed, you will need to edit your new block.  If you do not, the block will have no content and students will not be able to use it for the purpose for which it is there.

  1. Click on the Actions icon  and select Configure.
  2. Complete the relevant fields that are displayed when you click on the icon.

Click Save changes.

Calendar: Highlighting important dates for students

The calendar block can be enabled in your online unit to highlight upcoming events for the course. Events can be assessment due dates, session start dates, and other administrative dates that are worth noting.

Add the calendar block

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Locate the Add a block block in the column on the right hand side of the screen.
  3. Select Calendar for Add…
  4. The calendar block will appear in the right hand column of the unit.

Calendar features

  1. Links to previous month and next month
  2. Monthly view block with significant dates highlighted
  3. New event button to add an event to the calendar
  4. Event key block showing event types
  5. Event details can be viewed by clicking on the start date of the event
  6. Preferences button to customize the calendar settings
  7. Export capability
  8. Individuals can enter their own User events

Event types

There are four event types defined for calendar: User, Unit, Group, and Global.

  1. A User event will only be visible by the user currently logged in (i.e. the person who created the event).
  2. A Unit event will be visible to users enrolled in the unit. Only users with the capability to manage calendar entries at the unit level can add unit events.
  3. A Group event will be visible to a particular Group (assigned from the Group event list).
  4. A Global event is visible in every online unit. Only users with the capability to manage calendar entries at the system level can add site events.

Add an event in the calendar

  1. Locate the calendar block and click on the enabled month link.
  2. Click on the New event button located above the current month block.
  3. Assign Type of event from the available options. For a group event you will need to assign a Group event i.e. the name of the group the event is applicable to.
  4. Enter a short Name for thenew event.
  5. Enter a Description of thenew event.
  6. Select the Date and a Duration (if applicable).
  7. Click Save changes.

Highlighting a topic or week

Highlight topic allows you to highlight a week/topic in your unit so that students can easily keep track of which information and activities are current.

Highlight topic is shown by the lightbulb icon on the left hand side above each topic after editing is turned on.

To highlight a week/topic:

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Search for the week/topic you wish to highlight.
  3. Click on the Lightbulb icon above the topic to highlight the week/topic. You can only highlight one week/topic at a time.

Managing staff access to iLearn

You can add or remove other teaching staff to your iLearn space via iTeach.



If you cannot find the person you are trying to add to your iLearn space, they may be new to the University and their account may not be ready. Please raise this as an access issue via OneHelp under the iTeach category (Learning and Teaching Systems > iTeach).

If you have student tutors, they would normally have two accounts – staff and student. They should be using their staff account to access the iLearn space as a tutor. You can only find individual staff via iTeach.

Access iTeach:

  1. Log into iTeach.
  2. Enter your MQ OneID and Password.

To add or remove staff:

  1. Click on My iLearn spaces and locate the iLearn space where you wish to add or remove staff.
  2. Click Edit under the Actions column.
  3. Locate the Teaching Staff section and click Edit. This is now a repeat of the steps found in Activating an iLearn space.
  4. In the Staff Name field, enter the staff member’s name. You will notice that the system will try to predict the name you are entering. Once you find the right person, select by clicking on their name.
  5. Assign Role from the available options.
  6. Click Add Teaching Staff and the staff member’s details will appear in the list above.
  7. Click OK .
  8. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Update this iLearn space.

Student Tracking Reports

The reports and participants menus allow you to track student access, activity and other useful statistics in your unit. The menu you will see in the reports sub menu will depend on the report context and the permissions of your current role.

Participants - to check the last access of students in a unit:

  1. Go to the Navigation block.
  2.  Select the unit you wish to look at by clicking on the small arrow next to the unit heading.
  3. Click Participants.
  4. Last access column shows the time elapsed since a user has accessed that particular unit only.
  5. Assign Inactive for more than from the available options to check for users who have been inactive for that specified period of time.

Participation report - to check students’ participation in specific activities or resources:

  1. Go to the Tools block.
  2.  Select Reports.
  3. Click Unit Participation.
  4. Assign Activity module from the available options.
  5. Assign Look back from the available options to check the activity within a certain timeframe.
  6. Assign Show only from the available options to limit the users shown to a specific role (eg student).
  7. Assign Show actions from the available options to look at users’ posts, views or both to track viewing of activities as well as participation.
  8. Click Go.

To follow up on inactive students

  1. Follow the steps above in the participation report section.
  2. Select all students with No in the All Actions field.
  3. In With selected users select Send a message and click OK.
  4. Type in the message you would like to send to the selected students and click Preview.
  5. A preview of the message will appear.  Click Send message.

Activity report - to check and compare the views of activities:

  1. Go to the Tools block.
  2.  Select Reports.
  3. Click Activity report.
  4. This report allows you to see the views on specific activities (this is all views not just students’) as well as the last access by anyone to the activity or resource.

Statistics - to view statistics on unit access and activity:

  1. Go to the Tools block.
  2.  Select Reports.
  3. Click Statistics.
  4. This report allows you to see a number of unit statistics. Assign Report type from the available options depending on the roles and activities you wish to view statistics for.
  5. Assign Time period from the available options you wish to view statistics for.
  6. Click View.

Course activity logs - to view in-depth logs of course activity:

  1. Click into a resource or activity in your unit such as a quiz or assignment.
  2. Go to the Tools block.
  3. Select Logs.
  4. This will display the list of logs for that particular resource or activity. You can then use the available options from the drop-down menus to search the logs for other resources and activities in your unit.

Switch Role to Student: Viewing your unit as a student

You are able to temporarily switch to and from any of the other roles available. There are five different roles:

  1. Convenor
  2. Lecturer
  3. Tutor
  4. Student
  5. Observer

This is particularly useful to test your unit from the studentview.

To change to a student:

  1. Go to the Tools block.
  2. Select Switch role to…
  3. Click Student.

Test students: Testing your unit as a student

You will be able to access a student view of your iLearn unit by using the Test Student block interface. This is handy for testing the look and feel of your unit as a student, as a student within a group that you have setup, and test functionality of activities.

To add the test student block:

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Locate the Add a block block in the column on the right hand side of the screen.
  3. Select Test Students for Add…
    test 1
  4. The Test Students block will appear.
    test 2 
  5. Click on the Create new test student link to add a test student.
  6. A link to login as the test student will display within the Test Students block.
    test 3 
  7. To add another test student, click on the Create new test student link again. There can be at most 3 test students enrolled in your unit.

To log in as a test student:

  1. Click on the link to a test student.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. You have now logged in as the test student.
  4. If you wish to return to your normal role, you will need to log out of iLearn and log back in.

Adding a Unit and Teaching Evaluation Block for Online Surveys


Evaluation of learning, teaching and curriculum is an integral component of the University's quality enhancement framework and accountability obligations. The findings of evaluation processes inform our assessment of where we are succeeding and where we have opportunities for improvement.

Student feedback can play an important role in this process, enabling convenors, teachers, and planners and leaders obtain information about the student experience of unit and teaching at a number of levels, linking it to reflective practice, action and quality enhancement.

At Macquarie, surveys are created by the Teaching Evaluation for Development Services (TEDS), part of the Learning & Teaching Centre. Surveys are initiated by requests made by unit convenors, lecturers, and tutors. TEDS uses a software program called EvaSys to create and manage the surveys.

Once a survey has been created, it can be linked to your unit by adding the Unit & Teaching Evaluation block.

How to add a Unit & Teaching Evaluation block

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Locate the Add a block block in the column on the right hand side of the screen.
  3. Use the dropdown menu to select Unit & Teaching Evaluation.
  4. The Unit & Teaching Evaluation block will appear in the right hand column of the unit.

Students View

Once the survey has been connected to the unit, the link to the survey will appear in the block. Your students simply need to click on the link to complete the survey.

Note: unless you are a student enrolled in the unit on Student One, you will not be able to see the link.

Activation and de-activation

The block will become visible to the student once you activate it but, until the start date of the survey it will show “You have no outstanding surveys…”. For this reason it is recommended that you not activate the link until the survey start date otherwise it is unlikely to catch the attention of the student even when the survey is live.

Students will continue to receive notification emails at the commencement of the survey and a reminder email, sent approximately a week before the survey closing date, for students who have not yet completed the survey.

Unit Format: Formatting the weeks/topics in your unit

Your unit is divided into different sections with the layout determined by the unit format you have chosen. There are three most frequently used formats: topics, collapsed topics and weekly formats.

Topics format

The topics format organises the unit into different numbered sections. You can edit the title and number of topics. Topics can be added throughout the unit as needed. Topics in this format cannot be collapsed.

Collapsed topics format

The collapsed topics format is the same as the topics format above, however each topic can be collapsed and expanded by either clicking on the arrow located on the left of each topic or by clicking anywhere on the topic heading bar. This feature allows faster navigation and a neater finish to your unit, particularly if each topic contains a lot of content.

Weekly format

The weekly format organises the unit into weeks with dates. You can select the start date and the number of weeks you require. (Note the system does not allow for the mid-semester break). Weeks can be added throughout the unit as needed.

To set your unit format:

  1. Click on the Tools block.
  2. Select Edit settings.
  3. Click to expand Unit format and Appearance.
  4. Format – Select your desired format from the dropdown list.
  5. Number of sections – Select the number of weeks/topics you would like in your unit. You can come back and change this at any time.
  6. Unit layout – Choose whether you want students to have the option to display just one section per page. If you do, choose Show one section per page; otherwise, choose Show all sections on one page. 
  7. Force theme – If you would like your topics to be numbered, select your faculty name_numbered (e.g. arts_numbered) from the drop-down list. If you do not want numbered topics, select faculty name_unnumbered.]
  8. Click Save changes.

How do I change the number of weeks/topics in an iLearn unit?

  1. Go to the Tools block and select Edit settings.
  2. Assign Number of sections from the available options.
  3. Click Save changes.

How do I delete weeks/topics from my iLearn unit?

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Move the week/topic (you wish to delete) to the end of the list by using the Move icon.
  3. Go to the Tools block and select Edit settings.
  4. Change the Number of sections from the available options. To remove the last week/topic you will need to reduce the number by 1.
  5. Click Save changes.

When you return to your unit’s home page you will notice the week/topic will have disappeared. If the week/topic contained any unit content then these will show up in an invisible week/topic called Orphaned items. You can choose to ignore these or move them to an available week/topic for use.

Topic 0

Topic 0 is the first section that appears in the list of sections in your unit. This is a permanent section that cannot be removed.

Topic 0 can contain elements such as a heading, a welcome message, an image, announcements, unit guide, or anything else you want your students to see first when they land on your unit page.

Week/Topic heading and summary

Your topic name can be customised to reflect the theme or content for that week or topic.  This makes it easier for students to navigate the unit. The summary text prepares students for the activities within each week/topic. You can also include links, images and other multimedia using the HTML editor. The summary appears on the unit page under the week/topic name.

To edit a week/topic heading and summary

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Click on the Edit icon.  
  3. Un-tick Use default section name.
  4. Enter a Section name.
  5. Enter the Summary you would like to include using the HTML editor.
  6. Click Save changes.

How do I restrict access to a topic by grouping?

This feature allows you to restrict access to the contents of an entire topic to a particular grouping you have created within your unit. For example, you might have different activities for internal and external students in your unit and create topics devoted to each group. This feature is also handy in co-taught units where different resources and activities must be released to postgraduate and undergraduate student groups.

To restrict access to a week/topic by grouping:

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Click on the Edit icon.
  3. Click to expand the Restrict Access heading.
  4. Click Add restriction and assign a grouping name from the Grouping restriction.
  5. Click Add restriction again and add restrictions for, Date, Grade, Group, User profile, Restriction set (if required).
  6. Click Save changes.
Back to the top of this page