LTQ Creative Connections An update from the Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning, Teaching and Quality)
Welcome to the first edition of LTQ Creative Connections LTQ Creative Connections highlights in brief some of the great work, news and events happening within LT&Q and across USQ. We hope you enjoy our first edition and we look forward to ongoing updates. If you would like to include something in our LTQ Creative Connections please do not hesitate to be in touch. In my role as the PVC (Learning, Teaching and Quality) I have been working towards defining the direction of the LTQ portfolio
generally as well as the specific activities for which it is responsible. This includes several key initiatives. These are:
revision of the Learning and Teaching Policy development of both an academic and staff support journey implementation of LITE teams; developing and innovating our digital core of learning systems and processes rolling out Moodle 2.2 and a new virtual classroom
Inside this issue
supporting our students through a variety of complementary support mechanisms and drawing on University initiatives like DART; redesigning our learning materials with an online and interactive focus in a core mode offering. We hope that you find something useful in this edition and look forward to your feedback. Why not have a go at the self-audit of your studydesk—see page 6.There is much more to tell—look out for future issues! Belinda
New Learning Centre open for learning The new Learning Centre in the USQ Toowoomba campus opened its doors on the 20th February in time for the new semester. Previously located on the third floor of R Block within the Library area it is now located on the first level next to the USQ Bookshop in the Hub area.
2012 Learning & Teaching Snapshots
COAT (Certificate for Online Adjunct Teaching)
ePortfolio—creative content for music students
LITE teams (Learning Innovation Teaching Enhancement) 3 A new beginning in distributed content hosting 3 USQ Teaching Academy relaunch
Have your say— revising USQ’s learning and teaching policy 4 Meet-Up
Good practice principles
Australian Qualifications Framework
The Learning Centre provides help to USQ students to develop academic literacy and maths skills for success at university. It offers support to all USQ students, no matter where they are, in several ways: by face-to-face consultation and workshops on-campus at Toowoomba, Springfield or Fraser Coast, or externally through online workshops, phone or email consultations. The Learning Centre provides a comfortable environment for students to ask questions to Learning and Teaching Support lecturers to assist them with their studies. The Centre is open Monday—Friday and by appointment by visiting the website: www.usq.edu.au/learningcentre or by telephone +61 7 4631 2751
May 2012 Issue 1.
The new Toowoomba campusLearning Centre offering quiet learning space
The Learning Centre had over 500 contacts from students over three campuses so far this semester.
Learning Systems Support has attended over 1300 separate enquiries this year.
LTQ Creative Connections
2012 Learning & Teaching Snapshots
Dr Geoff Mitchell, Director of Learning Environments, QUT.
USQ’s first Learning and Teaching Snapshots event, held in mid-March, allowed USQ staff to share their teaching experiences and approaches to student learning and learn how their colleagues approach their teaching.
campuses was Dr Geoff Mitchell, Director of Learning Environments at the Queensland University of Technology, who talked about designing and developing learning spaces with innovative uses of technology.
Over four days, USQ’s Toowoomba, Springfield and Fraser Coast campuses held a range of presentations, activities and presentations about innovative, successful and useful teaching and learning practices.
Pro Vice-Chancellor of Learning, Teaching and Quality Professor Belinda Tynan said that innovation, creativity and taking advantage of the affordances of new learning spaces were important topics in education.
The special guest speaker at the Toowoomba and Springfield
‘The Learning and Teaching Snapshots event wasn’t just
about professional development, it also celebrated the great work from our learning and teaching staff at USQ,’ Professor Tynan said. ‘Staff shared their experiences, met with other staff, talked about their individual approaches to teaching and learning and debate on how new technologies are impacting on learning design and workload.’ The event was launched in Toowoomba, by ViceChancellor, Professor Jan Thomas and Professor Tynan at on March 13, 2012.
COAT— online teaching ‘Participants found it valuable to be given the opportunity to focus on learning both through a student’s eyes and an instructors.’
Over 40 Academic and Professional staff from the PVC (LTQ) office have been completing a Certificate for Online Adjunct Teaching (COAT) course offered through Maryland Online, Maryland, USA. The course is focused on helping academic and professional staff transition to the online teaching environment. It is a paced, cohort course which follows a 9-week schedule. To date there have been two intakes with a third planned for June.
Topics covered include; · Orienting students online · Technology skills · Learning management system skills · Instructional design principles · Pedagogy/Andragogy · Social process and presence · Managing assessment. The course is fully online with participants generally spending a minimum eight hours a week on course related activities. Feedback from participants in the course indicated that they have found it valuable to be
given the opportunity to focus on learning both through a student’s and teacher’s eyes. Participants included members of Digital Media Services, Learning Systems Support, Learning Resources Development, Learning and Teaching Support and Information and Communications Technology. If you are interested in taking this course please email email@example.com
Visiting scholars, Franziska Mueller and Prof Katharina Kilian-Yasin with Michael Sankey and Dr Gillian Colclough.
PVC (LTQ) Prof Belinda Tynan with visiting scholar, Prof Cath Ellis.
Professor Katharina Kilian-Yasin and Research Assistant Franziska Mueller, Faculty of Engineering, Pforzhiem University, Germany visited USAQon 6 & 7 February 2012. During their visit they met with the Faculty of Engineering and Surveying and also presented a general workshop to demonstrate their program that crosses disciplinary boundaries as it uses ePortfolio to develop business management skills in engineering students,
enhancing their employability in a global setting. Prof Kilian-Yasin and Franziska Mueller’s biography can be found at www.usq.edu.au/ learnteach/learnres/vsarchive/ kkilianyasin
Professor Cath Ellis, University of Huddersfield UK visited USQ on 16 February 2012. During her stay Prof Ellis shared experiences of eMarking considering the challenges that electronic assignment handling
presents, the benefits it accrues for students, teachers and academics as well as considering the risks. During a presentation to staff Professor Ellis explored specifically the diagnostic potential that electronic marking brings and how this might be effectively embedded into the curriculum. Prof Ellis’s biography can be found at www.usq.edu.au/ learnteach/learnres/vsarchive/cellis
May 2012 Issue 1.
ePortfolio—creative content for music students The Music Practice courses within the School of Creative Arts have undergone significant and exciting changes this year to immediately increase the retention of music students. Students beginning Music in 2012 are the first to learn within a dynamic group environment where they are challenged every week to arrange and perform music from a wide variety of genres in small ensembles. Our young musicians engage in structured, experimental, collaborative activities aimed at developing prototype behaviours of a functional
musician, such as leadership, reliability, interpersonal skills and self-reflections. These essential attributes are buttressed by learning solid technical skills on their chosen instrument. Class performances are videoed and posted on StudyDesk for further review and analysis. As part of their assessment, students create an ePortfolio where they compile reflections on their learning. These reflections can be written (like a traditional journal), or they can be audio or video entries.
When this particular cohort of students graduates from the Bachelor of Creative Arts program, they will have collected three years of personal reflection, as well as audio and video artefacts of performances and creative processes. It is important for creative artists to build a ‘living’ curriculum vitae, in which they can provide examples of their work, rather than mere descriptions. Alumni can maintain their ePortfolio, even after graduation, providing private links to, for example, prospective employers, of their artistic works.
By Melissa Forbes, Faculty of Arts
Using Mahara (ePortfolio) to reflect on their student learning journey.
LITE teams—enhancing learning and teaching Learning Innovation Teaching Enhancement (LITE) is a teambased, collaborative form of Professional Development that supports faculty academic staff to enhance learning and teaching. LITE teams are made up of a range of support staff from these areas who work collaboratively with faculty academic staff on learning and teaching enhancement projects nominated by faculties. Each LITE team project involves a number of courses and work is
guided by program aims, or an agreed-upon theme or purpose – for eg. adapting a group of courses for online learning. Progress to date There are currently ten confirmed LITE team projects across USQ for 2012. All Faculties are now represented and in various stages of development. Work so far includes activities such as curriculum mapping, team-based online delivery planning sessions, Open Education Resource searches
and on-demand Professional Development sessions. Many of the proposed LITE team enhancements are exciting and we hope to showcase some of this work later in the year. One example is the Law School project, which will develop online assessments and activities in chosen courses that enable external students to demonstrate key discipline, threshold learning outcomes, such as those related to communication and collaboration, thinking skills and self-management.
‘LITE teams... work collaboratively with faculty academic staff on learning and teaching enhancement projects nominated by faculties.’
A new beginning in distributed content hosting Staff of Digital Media Services (DMS) have been increasingly concerned that existing USQ audio-visual media, (which has served the University well for the past ten years) are less able to perform all of the functionality now expected. DMS recommended that a complimentary system be investigated to share the current load that resides exclusively in USQ.
Three systems were trialled – Vimeo, SoundCloud and blip.TV. The trial results have been overwhelmingly positive, and everything that DMS hoped they would be. Video is served (or downloaded) in scalable HD in the best compressed quality , and using bandwidth-negotiation technologies. The SoundCloud audio only solution streams reliably and quickly. The integration with established DMS workflows is seamless.
This is just one strategy that will ensure that our USQ course material is seamlessly integrated in course delivery systems— other possibilities are waiting to be explored. This is potentially a new beginning, where all new production could be served on distributed content hosts, with legacy material slowly replaced by current USQ generated or Creative Commons assets.
Preparing audio material for upload to
Digital Media Services has completed 217 audio/ visual productions this year.
LTQ Creative Connections
USQ Teaching Academy Relaunch The USQ Teaching Academy was relaunched by ViceChancellor Professor Jan Thomas on 16 March 2012.
PVC Professor Belinda Tynan and VC Professor Jan Thomas with new Teaching Academy member Lynne Stuart
The 2012 USQ Teaching Academy is a recasting of the 2008 Teaching Academy initiative and brings together recognised individuals from within the University to form an exemplar community on learning and teaching. The USQ Teaching Academy celebrates excellence in
learning and teaching at USQ through profiling USQ success in learning and teaching, collegiality and knowledge sharing, providing leadership opportunities, enhancing university-wide participation in learning and teaching initiatives and providing opportunities for collaboration. Vicki Horner and Lynne Stuart from the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty
of Sciences, were inducted into the Academy at the relaunch. They are recipients of a 2011 Australian Learning & Teaching Council Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, for developing retention and support strategies that enable Indigenous nursing students to realise their university dreaming journeys.
Have your say—revising USQ’s Learning and Teaching policy
...a collective process methodology has been chosen to develop a set of new learning and teaching principles.
The definition of Learning and Teaching Principles (Review of the current Learning and Teaching Policy) is currently being addressed. Under the approval of the USQ Academic Board, a collective process methodology has been chosen to develop a set of new learning and teaching principles. The collective process ensures that a number of key stakeholders at various levels at USQ can collectively come to a shared understanding.
To date four (4) workshops for academic and professional staff across all campuses have occurred and one (1) workshop with students and another planned for May. Over 70 people have been involved in these workshops. Thank you to all staff who have been involved in this first round of consultation. The first of the academic staff workshops involved staff nominated by their Dean to participate while the remainder were advertised the entire USQ community and staff volunteered their attendance.
At the conclusion of the consultation activity the information gathered at the workshops will be used to update the current Learning and Teaching Policy. A new draft Learning and Teaching Policy will be fed back to participants for feedback and refined. Once finalised the draft will be reviewed by the USQ Learning & Teaching Committee and with its approval forwarded to Academic Board for endorsement.
Meet-Up Meet-Up, USQ’s specifically adapted peer-assisted program, is enjoying increasing support from lecturers. Currently, it is running in approximately 36 courses/programs with 64 leaders.
Law Meet-Up students
Meet-Up is not a mentoring program; it is based on peerlearning principles and collaborative and social learning strategies. Successful students are trained to lead sessions in which they provide academic advice and assistance based on
their own experience, with the endorsement of the lecturer. The program is run at all campuses and across all faculties, both online and oncampus. Lecturers indicate they find the program assists their students and themselves: ‘I can see the quality of on-campus students’ assignments have improved ...’ (lecturer S1 2011). Similarly, students find the support invaluable. ‘As to the effectiveness of this [Meet-Up]
program, I can confidently say that it was a tremendous success. I personally gained new study tips and learned new processes to tackle exams. Every student who attended these sessions gave the same feedback to me. I would love to see this program continue for our external students... ’ (student S2 2011). Any lecturer interested in running Meet-Up should contact Lindy Kimmins, Learning and Teaching Support.
May 2012 Issue 1.
Academic profile: Associate Professor Laurie Johnson Assoc Prof Laurie Johnson has been with USQ for 10 years. Interested in academia since his undergraduate studies, the goal of working in a university has long been a strong motivation for him. ‘I love the idea of universities, the idea of institutions devoted to learning and to new knowledge,’ he said. Currently he teaches Introduction to Literature and a course in the Art of Storytelling, as well as graduate courses in Critical and Cultural Theory and in Shakespeare. His passion is in the Elizabethan stage and Renaissance Literature. His current research on Shakespeare more specifically
focuses on the relationship between the players and the printers who committed these plays to print. He considers that Shakespeare was not primarily a writer but rather a playwright, an actor who wrote for his company and who collaborated with other actors to produce a play. ‘By looking at these relationships, we are forced to re-think the way in which we read those plays,’ Assoc Prof Johnson said. In March next year, Assoc Prof Johnson will be leading a seminar at the Shakespeare Association of America Congress titled Patrons, Professional Drama and Print Culture in Toronto, Canada.
In 2011 he received a citation from ALTC (now OLT) for (among other things) innovation in English literature. “I like to have students thinking before they finish their undergraduate degree that they are participating in the creation of knowledge as well as absorbing the knowledge of the past.” Something you may not know about Assoc Prof Johnson is that he has published some poems and stories, and that he has written two comedic novels—not published yet. He also likes to draw and once aspired to be a cartoonist.
Associate Professor Lawrence Johnson
Moodle 2 Moodle 2 is on track to be released just prior to the beginning of Semester 2 this year. Staff will find quite a few new features in Moodle 2 that will help them make better use of the environment. The new interface allows for a greater level of customisation for both staff and students. USQ will be also introducing a
mobile theme to Moodle 2, this will make it easier to access the USQStudyDesk from any mobile device. If you haven’t yet seen this short (3 min) video cast on Moodle 2 please see: Moodle 2 – It’s on its way – Hip Hooray at: http://screencast.com/t/ yxQoEo3mm4gP .
A new Moodle 2 StaffDesk environment has been established, so you can create a play area for yourself and test out the new functionality prior to Semester 2. If you would like to do this please email the project team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching Excellence News
2nd Round of National Competitive Learning and Teaching Grants - Now Open
FYHE (First Year Higher Education) 26 – 29 June 2012 Brisbane, Queensland http://www.fyhe.com.au/?utm_source=First+Year+in+Higher+Educ ation+Conference&utm_campaign=fc05e9e468FYHE_2012_Call_for_Submissions11_9_2011&utm_medium=email
The Second round of national Competitive Learning and Teaching Grants offered through the recently established Office for Learning and Teaching (formerly offered through ALTC) close on 3 August, 2012.
Creative Media Services completed 827 jobs so far this year.
HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia) 2 – 5 July 2012 Hobart, Tasmania http://conference.herdsa.org.au/2012/
Learning Resources Development produced 876 book 375 CD/DVD’s 438 online courses for S1 2012
2012 full program
LTQ Creative Connections
Learning and Teaching Support: Information for staff Good practice principles for online learning & teaching The following principles are based on educational research, which identifies related teaching strategies that have a positive impact on student learning success online.
Good practice principle Course design is inclusive
Learning and teaching strategies
Provide resources and design activities using
different modes and formats Use captioning or provide scripts/text alternatives
for audio-visual resources Ensure PDF files are text rather than image based Write meaningful descriptions as ‘alternative text’
Learners have access to required resources and support
Provide resources students may need to be
successful online learners on your course website Provide links to available support services students
Course website is clear and well structured
may require to complete their assessments Ensure the course website is clear, uncluttered and easy to navigate Establish a website structure that reflects the aims of
the course and the sequence of student learning within it Use block titles that are meaningful Where possible, use folders and secondary web
Course website reflects institutional and legal requirements
Ensure course and assessment objectives on website
are consistent with those stated on course specification Check that materials used for the course comply with
academic integrity and copyright requirements Resources are kept up-to-date
Develop/choose resources that will form a stable
core of content for students Supplement these with up-to-date resources. Eg:
Expectations about student participation are clear
online articles, websites, vimeos or (appropriately copyrighted) Youtube videos and audio. Establish communication protocols and netiquette guidelines Make explicit how different communication tools will
be used (forums, emails etc.) Clarify online teaching and consultation times for
course team members Provide information about required coursework
hours per week Establish assessment protocols and expectations Adapted from Graham, C. et al, 2001, Seven principles of effective teaching: a practical lens for evaluating online courses: http://technologysource.org/ article/seven_principles_of_effective_teaching/; Teaching Development Unit, Basic Standards for e-learning sites. University of Western Sydney: http:// www.tdu.uws.edu.au/qilt/downloads/basic_standards_LR.pdf
May 2012 Issue 1.
Good practice principle The teacher develops an ‘online presence’
Learning and teaching strategies Post announcements on a regular basis (minimum 3
times a week Set up, and be present in, discussion forums Use email to answer queries that are not appropriate
for discussion forums Develop Camtasia presentations, video introductions
There is a supportive ‘online community.’ Target the development of student – teacher and student – student dialogue and debate
or Mp3 audio files with still portrait. Design introductory ‘get-to-know-you’ activities for the first three weeks Give students space to answer each others’ questions Use targeted forums for assessment and other
important topics Develop interactive online activities to sequence or
support assessments Seek input on student aspirations and expectations of
the course at the start of the course Prompt feedback is provided. Focus on providing information and acknowledgement Active online learning is encouraged
Set online group or teamwork tasks. Answer student questions promptly (within 48 Hours) Acknowledge student contributions, achievements,
and issues: use email to individuals and/or forum posts to address groups or class as a whole
Design assessment that requires student to post and evaluate work online
Design assessment that requires students to present their work to each other online
Deadlines are provided for online activities and tasks
Design online assessment that requires students to collectively develop and assess a product. Sequence assessments so that components are due at different stages of the course Use announcements to keep students up-to-date with
requirements of the course Establish due dates for student contributions to
specific forums. Closure is provided at the end of the course
Establish a wrap-up forum with a targeted question
about students’ experience Establish a forum to celebrate students’ achievement
in finishing the course Post an announcement that reviews what has been
achieved in the course against course objectives.
LTQ Creative Connections
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) The AQF is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. It incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector (e.g. schools, vocational education and training, higher education) into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework. In 2011 the AQF was revised to ensure that qualification outcomes remain relevant and nationally consistent, support pathways and enable portability and comparability of qualifications. The AQF provides standards for Australian qualifications. For each AQF level the requirements are defined including those related to
learning outcomes for each level; specifications relating to accreditation; requirements for use of qualifications; requirements for student pathways (including exemption/ recognition of prior learning requirements). The implementation of the AQF commenced in July 2011 and all requirements must be met from January 2015. Late last year Academic Board requested that the PVC (LTQ) be responsible for ensuring that all the programs offered by USQ are AQF compliant.
in order to meet the AQF guidelines have been identified and work has commenced on implementing the necessary changes. The PVC (LTQ) at USQ along with the DVC (L&T) at QUT will jointly host a Qld Universities Roundtable on 1 June at QUT. This event is designed to give senior representatives from Qld universities the opportunity to focus on sharing approaches and challenges to implement the new AQF within the context of the new Threshold Standards and clarifying potential ambiguities that they
Next issue HTML5 MoodleMoot SoundCloud Social media
Since then, with the assistance of Faculty an audit of all programs against the AQF guidelines has been undertaken. Those programs that may require modification
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning,Teaching and Quality)
Third Floor S Block (S305) University of Southern Queensland West Street Toowoomba Qld 4350 AUSTRALIA
Phone: +61 7 4631 1676 Fax: +61 7 4631 2407 email: LTQ@usq.edu.au
we enable sustainable creative learning connections
Mission we provide quality innovative services to enhance the student learning journey Web: www.usq.edu.au/ltq
creative and innovative, explorative and engaging, open and inclusive, clear and simple
Published on May 2, 2012