The initiatives below form a pick-list of options for units to consider in order to take advantage of UQ's eLearning capabilities.

The list considers: a) current and planned capabilities, b) current gaps in usage at UQ,  c) previous success at other Universities or UQ faculties.

Online Assignment Submission Initiative

A unit can ask course coordinators to move to online assignment submission in place of paper based assignments where appropriate, using either Turnitin or the Blackboard Assignment tool. Such an initiative would improve the efficiency and reliability of assignment handling. For example the BEL Faculty went from 5% online assignment submission to 70%+ in 12 months. Components of this initiative could include: a) an executive decision to adopt online submission across all courses where applicable; b) a training programme in online assignment submission; and c) educational designer support. Some staff would attend existing workshops, plus custom faculty workshops can be organised in collaboration with Faculty administration staff.

Online Grading Initiative

Following an online assignment submission initiative, a unit could encourage course coordinators to make use of online annotation and grading tools, in order to provide feedback to students in greater quantities and more quickly, and in time to have a formative effect pre-exams.

Flip One Lecture Initiative

Staff can be encouraged to flip a single class in each course. This becomes a learning experience for the course coordinator. Each coordinator would have to: a) prepare suitable pre-class online materials, and b) design face-to-face and/or online activities in place of the lecture, that help students engage more deeply with the content and work collaboratively. Components of this initiative would include: a) an executive decision to move one class in each courses to the flipped model where appropriate; and b) faculty promotion of the existing UQ flipped classroom workshop, complimented with a custom faculty training sessions by educational designers if they exist. Other workshops that could be promoted would include the short video generation, quizzes, and student response systems.

Peer Referencing Initiative

School or Faculty level Teaching and Learning committees can make use of the guest access capability of UQ's learning management environment to create a webpage showcase of exemplar courses. Presentations could be arranged and a teaching technologies showcase day could be created with different tables highlighting different technologies and how they improve efficiency or learning outcomes.

Rubrics Initiative

The development of quality online school/faculty rubric samples that staff could use as a starting point for designing their own rubrics. School/Faculty marking policies are compatible with using online rubrics to more reliably and efficiently mark assignments. Best practice pedagogy design can be use to develop quality rubrics that are made available as a file that can be imported into TurnItIn / Blackboard courses by instructors.

Catchment Schools Initiative

In this initiative a short non credit first year course could be created and made available to schools making use of the schoolsnet network. The goal would be to increase the quality or quantity of students from catchment schools by giving potential students a taste of the courses they may attend. If students have a better understanding of the material and delivery of a course they will make more informed decisions before enrolment.

Retention Initiative

This initiative would combine the LMS's student retention report functionality with a team in student affairs to provide early intervention guidance for students at risk of failure. Instructors would be encouraged to include an early assessment work, with feedback. Students who did not engage with these assessment items successfully would be identified and contacted early with offers of support.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Equity Initiative

A whole range of in-class learning tools would enrich the UQ learning experience if we could assume all students had a smart device to use them with (laptop, tablet, smartphone). Given that more than 90% of students own a smart device already, an equity program could fill the gap by providing all students or disadvantaged students with access to a basic device for study. A program level smart device initiative (BYOD) is another option.

Protect Diversity Initiative

In order to enhance the sustainability of courses a unit could seek out partnerships with other institutions to co-deliver courses that would otherwise be unsustainable.

Reach New Markets

By moving some of the courses in a program to a blended intensive mode, busy working students or interstate or foreign students might be attracted to increase the quality or quantity of students.

eAssessment Initiative

To alleviate the shortage of physical space for exams, a unit can pilot and encourage coordinators to move towards online exams.

Pedagogical Training Initiative

In line with the TEQSA threshold standards requirement to demonstrate our instructors “understand pedagogical and/or adult learning principles" (TEQSA 2011) a unit can encourage course coordinators to attend TEDI training on course design.

Student Feedback Initiative

Studies show early formative feedback has a very positive effect on student performance and satisfaction (Milton 2013). A unit could ask coordinators to ensure they include an assessment early in each course as an opportunity to provide feedback. The Turnitin Grademark feature may help in efficiently processing the feedback for the student, and when combined with the Retention Initiative above, students in need of support can be identified and helped.

References

JISC (2008). "Exploring Tangible Benefits of e-Learning: Does investment yield interest?"

Milton, J. Assessment and feedback to students, Accessed 2013

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (2011) Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) Section 4.2

U.S. Department of Education (2010). "Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies."