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 Director of Learning and Teaching.

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 OfficerDirector, Learning and Teaching Centre
Date Approved3 June 2014
Approval AuthorityAcademic Senate (Resolution 14/86)
Date of Commencement3 June 2014
Amendment HistoryAugust 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 Honesty 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: 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 and Teaching Centre (LTC) and Informatics are responsible for working together to ensure that the requirements of iLearn can be catered for within the University’s information technology (IT) infrastructure.

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

The Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) 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, Teaching and Diversity

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

Chief Information Officer

Informatics 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 LTC 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.

Director, Learning and Teaching Centre

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 LTC 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 LTC and Informatics 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 Director of the Learning and Teaching Centre (or delegate) 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 Director of the Learning and Teaching Centre (or delegate) 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 LTC 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 LTC 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 LTC 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 Informatics, LTC or contracted hosting agencies;
  • the ethical use of this data for planning and development purposes within the University; andrequests 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 LTC 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 UNITS (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 LTC 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 UNITS 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 OfficerDirector, Learning and Teaching Centre
Date Approved12 May 2014
Approval AuthoritySenate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC)
Date of Commencement12 May 2014
Amendment HistoryAugust 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 Honesty 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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