Learning Technologies

Learning Technologies

SUMMARY

The Learning Technologies Policy establishes the principles that underpin the University’s approach to the use and management of learning technologies at Macquarie   University. The Procedure provides further information on the governance, management and use of learning technologies on iLearn and through other technologies.

POLICY

PurposeTo define the use and management of learning technologies at Macquarie University.

Overview

There are a variety of learning technologies used by the University to support learning and teaching. They cover a broad range of digital tools including those embedded in the curriculum and those managed and supported by parties external to the University.
Learning technologies will be used to enable and enhance the learning and teaching experience through:
  • seamless connections between people        and places across the globe;
  • efficient and effective access to        information and resources ;
  • new ways to participate, interact,        communicate and collaborate; and
  • creative opportunities to generate,        present and disseminate knowledge.
The use of technologies for learning and teaching is not regarded as a distinct and separate eLearning occurrence. At Macquarie, these technologies are integrated into the curriculum and the student experience.
The University maintains a university-wide learning technologies platform (iLearn) which houses:
  • the University’s Learning Management        System;
  • applications that support specific        learning and teaching processes;and
  • applications that support        administration and content management (eg. iTeach, iShare)
In addition to the learning technologies available on iLearn, some Faculties and Departments maintain their own learning technologies or enable staff to make use of applications hosted on external sites to support learning and teaching in the programs they offer.

Scope

This policy covers the management and use of learning technologies on iLearn, as well as those managed by Faculties and Departments for learning and teaching purposes. It will be of relevance to all learning and teaching staff including staff involved in the management of learning technologies and all students enrolled at Macquarie.  

Policy

1. TECHNOLOGIES FOR LEARNING AND TEACHING
Learning technologies are provided to enable   access to programs and resources and to enhance the student learning   experience. Their use will take into account the right of students to privacy   and the confidentiality of the work they produce as part of their studies.   The University aims not to disadvantage students in their learning through   lack of access to the technologies or knowledge and skills in their use.

Decisions about the technologies to be used for   learning and teaching are vested with unit convenors in accordance with   Faculty and Departmental arrangements.

When   using learning technologies (such as iLearn) and external sites (such as third party blogs, social   networking), students and staff are required to behave in a courteous and   respectful manner, and in compliance with applicable laws (such as privacy   laws, copyright laws and laws relating to trademark and cyber-bullying) and   Rules, Codes, Policies, Procedures and Schedules of the University (such as   the University’s IT Policies) and any applicable terms of use.

2. LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES ON iLEARN
The learning technologies on iLearn will support the learning and   teaching goals of the University.

Access to iLearn
The learning technologies on iLearn will be available to Macquarie staff involved in learning and teaching and students enrolled in approved University units.
Access to learning technologies on iLearn by staff and students will:
  • be subject to any applicable licensing        agreements and hosting arrangements;
  • require appropriate authentication and        authorisation of users.

Use of iLearn
Users are authorised to access iLearn if they have an MQ ID or have   been approved by the Head, Learning Technologies and Services.

Management of iLearn
The University will endeavour to provide a   robust and reliable service for learning technologies. In accordance with   accepted commercial guidelines, the University will endeavour to provide a   service that is available 99.7% of the time, excluding scheduled outages.

The University recognises that technology failure   is unavoidable and will advise staff and students to consider this when   undertaking their work.

In the event of unscheduled outages due to   extreme or unforeseen circumstances, students will not be disadvantaged.

Risk management procedures, including a record of   outages as well as backup and disaster recovery, will be in place and   documented for all iLearn learning technologies.

Resources will be provided by the University for   the development and maintenance of iLearn to ensure a reliable and robust   resource for use in learning and teaching.

Resources will be provided by the University for   the provision of training and support to staff and students using   applications on iLearn to ensure capability in their use.

Arrangements for compliance with University   policies and relevant legislative requirements when using iLearn will be provided.

Quality Assurance of iLearn
Quality assurance procedures will be in place to ensure both the technical   and academic integrity of the learning technologies on iLearn. Such technologies   will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are fit for purpose.

New learning technologies will be added to or retired from iLearn based on demonstrated   need and the availability of sufficient resources to properly manage and   maintain them.

3. LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES NOT ON iLEARN
Faculties and Departments may make other learning technologies available to   their staff or enable staff to make use of applications hosted on external sites   to support specific learning and teaching requirements. This may be through   hosting applications on their own servers or by authorising the use of such applications.

All learning technologies or applications not on iLearn that are made available to students (if not already covered by existing University policies, procedures or processes) will have documented processes and procedures, similar to technologies on the iLearn, covering:
  • adequate resourcing;
  • compliance with University policy and        relevant legislative requirements;
  • risk management;
  • quality assurance;
  • training and support; and
  • appropriate authentication and        authorisation of users.

Students will be informed of hosting arrangements   outside iLearn and any implications for their learning will be made   transparent.

4.   COMPLIANCE AND BREACHES
The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

Policy Information

Contact OfficerHead, Learning Technologies and Services; LIH Strategic and Innovation Lead
Date Approved3 June 2014
Approval AuthorityAcademic Senate (Resolution 14/86)
Date of Commencement3 June 2014
Amendment History18 January 2018 – Following restructure, updated references from Director, Learning and Teaching Centre to Head, Learning Technologies and Services. LIH Strategic and Innovation Lead also added as a Contact Officer.
August 2016 - Following introduction of new Assessment Policy, replacement of link from the old to the new Assessment Policy in Key Related documents
Date for Next ReviewMay 2016
Related Documents

Academic Integrity Policy
Acceptable Use of IT Resources  Policy
Assessment Policy
Learning Technologies Procedure (see tab above)
Quality Enhancement Policy
Technologies in Learning and Teaching - Guidelines   for Good Practice
iLearn   Confidentiality and Privacy Statement
Public Comment Policy
Staff Code   of Conduct
Student Code of   Conduct
Unit Guide Policy / Procedure

Standards
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
Policies / Rules Superseded by this PolicyLearning Technologies Policy approved 8 June 2010
KeywordsiLearn, Learning Technologies Platform, Learning Management System, Online Units, Systems, Software Applications, Distance Education, eLearning, Learning Technologies, Teaching.

PROCEDURE

Purpose

To facilitate the management and use of learning technologies on Macquarie University’s Learning Technologies Platform (iLearn) as well as learning technologies managed by Faculties, Departments and Offices.

Procedure

This procedure requires actions by the following:
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Head, Learning Technologies and Services
  • Unit Convenors and Program Directors
  • Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching
  • Head of Department
  • Faculty or Department Information Technology Manager
This procedure consists of the following topics:
  1. Governance of Learning Technologies
  2. Management and Use of Learning        Technologies
    1. 2.1 Management and Use of Learning Technologies on iLearn
      2.2 Management and Use of Learning technologies not on iLearn
1. GOVERNANCE OF   LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES
Academic Senate Governance of Learning Technologies is with Academic Senate or a designated Subcommittee thereof.   
2. MANAGEMENT AND USE OF LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES
Overview  statement

The management of learning   technologies is a shared responsibility across the University. An overview of   responsibilities is given below and further elaborated in Section 2.1   Management of Learning Technologies on iLearn and Section 2.2 Management of   Learning Technologies not on iLearn.

The Learning Innovation Hub (LIH) and Information Technology (IT) are responsible for working together to ensure   that the requirements of iLearn can be catered for within the University’s information technology (IT) infrastructure.

Information Technology is responsible for providing the University-wide technical infrastructure upon   which learning technologies reside.

The Learning Innovation Hub (LIH) is responsible for developing and maintaining iLearn and a suite of services to support staff and students in its use.

Faculties and their Departments are   responsible for the management and quality assurance of   learning technologies (other than those on iLearn) that are used to support   learning and teaching on their programs and courses.

Unit Convenors are responsible for the integration of learning technologies into the   curriculum and the learning and teaching activities and processes pertaining   to their use. Students are not to be disadvantaged in using technologies   through lack of knowledge of, or access to the technologies.

Students are responsible for their conduct when using technologies to support their learning. The ‘Student Code of Conduct’ is binding on all students and gives notice of general conduct which is prohibited. The Code is sufficiently broad to cover almost all conceivable circumstances that may result from student misuse of learning technologies. The Code is a policy of the University and is supported by the Student Misconduct and Discipline Rules.
 2.1 MANAGEMENT AND USE OF LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES ON iLEARN
Pro–Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching

The PVC-Learning and Teaching has overall responsibility for the strategic and integrated approach to the development management of learning technologies at   Macquarie University.

Chief   Information Officer

Information Technology is responsible for providing the University-wide IT infrastructure to support Learning and Teaching including:
  • the policy, standards and guidelines to guide the enterprise systems of the University
  • robust and reliable infrastructure and services
    • data networks;
    • back-up;
    • security of systems and data;
    • hosting arrangements;
    • software licenses.
Scheduled outages for regular maintenance and upgrades are to be negotiated with the LIH and all organisational units involved in the delivery of learning and teaching. Organisational units, students and staff are to be informed of scheduled outages in advance so appropriate arrangements can be put in place.

Head, Learning Technologies and Services

All learning technologies   have different capabilities, licensing agreements, technical and compliance   related requirements which need to be taken into consideration in their   management and use by staff and students.

The LIH has overall   responsibility and accountability for the management of technologies on iLearn   These responsibilities cover:

Technical   infrastructure
Partnerships and service level agreements are to be established, where appropriate, with the service providers, organisational units and / or faculties to include but not necessarily be restricted to:
  • operating requirements (eg hosting arrangements, licenses, patches, upgrades);
  • interoperability with related university systems eg Academic Management Information System (AMIS), Human Resource (HR) systems;
  • identification and management of risks;
  • compliance with Macquarie University policies and legislative requirements;
  • management of quality assurance over the lifecycle of technologies; and
  • management of the integration of new and retirement of old technologies.

Access to and use   of learning technologies on iLearn
Arrangements are to be in place and documented for the management of users. Macquarie students and staff are eligible to have access to the learning   technologies on iLearn via an authenticated account which is only valid for   the duration of their employment or enrolment.

Authentication and authorisation decisions should take into account software   licensing agreements, the teaching context, the need to respect the privacy   of students and staff, and compliance with Macquarie University policy and legislative requirements.

Access may be restricted on the basis of:
  • compliance with software licenses and hosting arrangements;
  • the availability of LIH and IT staff to accommodate any additional workload involved in the customisation, administration, maintenance and support of the learning technologies application; and
  • disciplinary action by the University due to misconduct of users.
In setting up access rights and privileges to various technologies:
  • Heads of Departments will have access to online units and technologies for quality assurance and enhancement purposes or as defined in faculty and departmental level procedures;
  • Software administrators and support personnel identified by the Manager of iLearn may be assigned access to units and technologies for administrative and troubleshooting purposes
  • Unit convenors will control all other access to learning; and technologies being used in their units, including access by other staff members and guests.
Relevant operating procedures are to be in place for:
  • the management and administration of user information and content;
  • activation, deletion and archiving of online units on iLearn; and
  • activation, deletion and archiving of information and content on other learning technologies deployed through iLearn.
Support and   training for staff and students
First level support and training for iLearn is to be available for staff including:
  • training and resources to enable technical competence in the use the systems and applications;
  • pedagogical support and guidelines to enable effective curriculum design, teaching and learning;
  • just-in-time help-desk technical support during working hours

Second level support for   students is to be provided to Student IT Help and other service units   supporting students in the use of technologies on iLearn.

Student Misconduct
In the event of student misconduct on iLearn:
  • The Unit Convenor will raise the issue with the student in the first instance.
  • Should the behaviour continue then the issue will be escalated by the   Unit Convenor through the established Faculty and Departmental procedures for   student misconduct.
  • The Head of Department or the Faculty Associate Dean Learning and   Teaching can make a formal request to  the Head of Learning Technologies and Services (or nominee) to suspend the student’s access to iLearn while academic   disciplinary procedures are in place.
  • This suspension can include ‘hiding’ any offensive material on iLearn, however, such material must be kept as evidence for the relevant academic   disciplinary panel.
  • In urgent cases where student misconduct has occurred outside work hours, the Unit Convenor can approach the Head of Learning Technologies and Services (or nominee) to request that the student’s access to iLearn   be suspended as an interim measure until misconduct procedures are enacted.   Students will be informed of all actions.

Compliance with   academic policies and legislative requirements
The suite of technologies of which iLearn is comprised will comply with University   policy and legislative requirements.

To support academics in complying with policies and requirements, the LIH will:
  • provide guidelines for good practice in using iLearn and other technologies for teaching and   learning; and
  • advise staff on the implications of the use of learning technologies that may arise in relation   to policy contexts (e.g. accessibility, confidentiality and privacy, information management, assessment, Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright).
Quality Assurance   and Enhancement: evaluation, reviews and reporting
As part of the quality assurance and enhancement cycle the LIH will:
  • assure and monitor the quality of iLearn technologies and associated support services;
  • monitor the ‘fit for purpose’ of learning technologies through a 3-5 year cycle of review of learning technologies on iLearn. The review criteria should include but not be limited to:
    • relevance to the goals of the University;
    • robustness (reliability and security);
    • effectiveness in supporting learning and teaching; and
    • efficiency for staff and students to use.
A consolidated annual report on iLearn is to be submitted to Academic Senate (or designated sub-committee) which includes, but is not be limited to:  
  • performance of iLearn;
  • uptake of the various technologies;
  • support and training for staff and students;
  • issues arising in relation to maintenance, development and compliance;
  • quality enhancement initiatives including the addition and retirements of technologies; and
  • resource and funding implications.

Provision of data   for research, quality enhancement and planning purposes
A range of data can be automatically collected from the server logs of   systems and technologies on iLearn.

The LIH is responsible for ensuring:
  • approving requests for access to data stored on iLearn;
  • confidentiality and privacy of systems data pertaining to technologies on iLearn, including technologies hosted by IT, LIH or contracted hosting agencies;
  • the ethical use of this data for planning and development purposes within the University; and requests to use the data for research purposes have been pre-approved by the University Ethics Committee prior to its release.

Unit Convenors   and Program Directors

Unit convenors and Program Directors are responsible for:
  • compliance with University policy and procedures;
  • adherence to the LIH procedures pertaining to the use of technologies on iLearn; and
  • compliance with the relevant web content accessibility requirements, as appropriate to the   learning and teaching context.
 2.2 MANAGEMENT AND USE OF LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES NOT ON iLEARN
 

Faculties and Departments are responsible for the   resourcing, management and quality assurance of learning technologies not on iLearn   that are used for learning and teaching in the programs and units they offer.

It is recognised that the   resourcing requirements and the conditions around the use of learning   technologies will vary depending on the particular technology and the   learning and teaching context in which it is being used.

Nevertheless it is expected   that any learning technologies made available for learning and teaching will have   a commensurate level of reliability and security to that of iLearn as   outlined in Section 2.1.

Within this context the particular roles and responsibilities of faculties, departments and individual staff members are outlined below.
Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching

An annual report on the   learning technologies (not included on the iLearn platform) supported within   the Faculty is to be submitted to Academic Senate (or designated   sub-committee).  The purpose of   the report is to monitor the use of technologies for university-wide planning   and development purposes.

Head of   Department

Heads of Department are   responsible for assuring the ‘fit for purpose’ and quality of learning   technologies used by their staff for learning and teaching purposes.

When using technologies not supported by iLearn arrangements are to be in place for:
  • resourcing the development, maintenance and implementation of the technologies;
  • ensuring the quality of the learning and teaching experience of staff and students;
  • ensuring staff are aware of the implications for using technologies not supported on iLearn;
  • ensuring Unit convenors have met their responsibilities as outlined below;
  • compliance with University IT and academic policies;
  • ensuring the relevant information about the learning technologies used in individual teaching units is  entered into iTeach (Macquarie’s online unit information system); and
  • maintaining records on the  scope and frequency of use of learning technologies (outside iLearn)  for Faculty and University-wide reporting and planning purposes.

Unit Convenors,   Program Directors

Every teaching context is different and the way in which the technologies are used will depend on a   range of interrelated factors including: the capabilities of the technologies,   unit / programs aims and outcomes, class size, enrolment modes, students’   backgrounds and experiences. Decisions about which technologies and how they   are used are therefore best placed with those responsible for teaching and   learning on particular units and programs.

To ensure the technologies   have commensurate levels of reliability and security to that of iLearn, the LIH   and  Faculty IT managers are to  be consulted in regard to technical   integrity, interoperability with the University’s IT infrastructure and   iLearn, and policy implications.

Convenors and / or Program Directors will consider and make appropriate arrangements for: 
  • management of risks;
  • training and support for staff and students;
  • access and   accessibility;
  • compliance with the   relevant authoring tool accessibility requirements;
  • authentication and authorisation of users;
  • confidentiality, privacy and security of user information and content;
  • management and archiving of content and user information at the end of the teaching session;   and
  • management and archiving of assessment processes and outputs generated through use of the   technologies.
Unit Convenors are responsible for advising students through the iTeach unit guide of:
  • the technologies   that are used and required for coursework activities;
  • any implications   that may arise for their learning including access, support, security,   privacy and confidentiality of the work they produce as part of their studies; and
  • support   arrangements and that the technologies are not part of iLearn.

Faculty or   Department IT Managers

The Faculty or Department IT Managers are responsible for:
  • the development and maintenance of the learning technologies supported within their Faculty or Department;
  • advising on the technical integrity of any learning technologies being hosted on sites external to the University;
  • compatibility with the University’s IT infrastructure; and
  • implications for compliance with policy and legislative requirement.

Procedure Information

Contact OfficerHead, Learning Technologies and Services; LIH Strategic and Innovation Lead
Date Approved12 May 2014
Approval AuthoritySenate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC)
Date of Commencement12 May 2014
Amendment History18 January 2018 - Changed UNITS to iTeach to reflect system change. The following updates were made due to restructure: Updated contact officer/LIH contact from Director, Learning and Teaching Centre to Head, Learning Technologies and Services; LIH Strategic and Innovation Lead. Updated Pro-Vice Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Diversity to Pro-Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching. Updated Learning and Teaching Centre to Learning Innovation Hub.
August 2016 - Following introduction of new Assessment Policy, replacement of link from the old to the new Assessment Policy in Key Related documents
Date for Next ReviewMay 2016
Related Documents

Academic Integrity Policy
Assessment Policy
Information Technology Rules and Conditions of Use  
Learning Technologies Policy
Quality Enhancement Policy
Technologies in Learning and Teaching - Guidelines for Good Practice
Acceptable Use of IT Resources  Policy
iLearn Confidentiality and Privacy Statement
Staff Code of Conduct
Student Code of Conduct
Unit Guide Policy / Procedure

Standards
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Procedure Superseded by this PolicyLearning Technologies Procedure approved 8 July 2010 for commencement 1 January 2011
KeywordsLearning Technologies Platform, Learning Management System, Online Units, System, Software Applications, e-Learning, Distance Education, eLearning.
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