Projects

Faculty Online Presence Project

The project, which began with 2014’s five new postgraduate coursework degree programs in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Art Curating, Economic Analysis, English Studies, and Museum and Heritage Studies - has grown to include International Security and Public Policy. Arts eLearning, in concert with the degree directors, designs and constructs Blackboard Learn sites for the corresponding Units of Study to deliver a blended learning experience for enrolled students.

By-products of this project include the creation and maintenance of a series of Quicktips (short guides to remind instructors and students on processes and procedures) as well as two Faculty templates for use in the construction of blended learning sites.

For more information, please contact

Executive Master of Arts and Social Sciences (EMASS)

Together with the Faculties of Law, Education And Social Work, and Science, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences launched the Executive Master of Arts and Social Sciences (EMAS) on 30 August, 2014. Heralded as a cross-disciplinary leadership program, the EMASS allows students to tailor their degree to focus on problem-solving as well as critical reasoning skills. With 282 Units of Study on offer, this is by far the largest and most diverse degree offered to date.

Springboarding off the Faculty Online Presence Project, each Unit of Study in the EMASS is expected to have a site on the University’s LMS, ensuring that all students are able to participate fully in the EMASS experience.

For more information, please contact

Voice Tools

Charles has been working closely with a number of academics to implement the use of Voice Tools (mostly Voice Boards and Voice Authoring) in various stages of learning activities and assessment tasks.

SLC coordinators and tutors are using audio, and in particular Voice Tools, within Blackboard for a variety of purposes such as:

Using voice to supplement text in online teaching and learning adds a different dimension and makes the interaction warmer, more human. This can be especially beneficial for the First Year Experience.
Encouraging students to go beyond text in their online learning environment and to communicate orally makes it easier to address some issues of academic and professional communication. This oral communication taking place with the help of Blackboard Voice Tools also gives opportunities for language students to practice in a safe place before being asked to interact in a foreign language during the face-to-face tutorials.

  • Teachers giving oral feedback
  • Teachers introducing and clarifying assignments
  • Teachers or other instructors giving a prompt in an assignment
  • Students responding to teachers or to other students

Using voice to supplement text in online teaching and learning adds a different dimension and makes the interaction warmer, more human. This can be especially beneficial for the First Year Experience.

Encouraging students to go beyond text in their online learning environment and to communicate orally makes it easier to address some issues of academic and professional communication. This oral communication taking place with the help of Blackboard Voice Tools also gives opportunities for language students to practice in a safe place before being asked to interact in a foreign language during the face-to-face tutorials.

For more information, please contact

SOPHI - Fully Online Assignment Submission Trial


In Semester 1, 2015, all assignments in SOPHI will be submitted online, and the School Office will no longer accept paper copies of assignments. Arts eLearning will work with coordinators and tutors to make the process run as smoothly as possible. Assignment marking and returns need not be done online, though coordinators may wish to take the opportunity to experiment with fully online methods.

Major reasons for moving away from paper-based assessment submission include:

  • Meeting student expectations of flexibility and convenience in managing the administrative side of university;
  • Improved record keeping, with less likelihood of papers being lost at any stage;
  • Likely imminent loss of student support from School Offices, with the University foreshadowing a move to three Student Hubs to manage all student admin across the campus.

The Steering Group is chaired by Head of School, Barbara Caine, and has a representative from each deprtment in SOPHI, the School Office, and Sydney eLearning.

For more information, please contact

eReadings

ICT, Faculties and Library representatives for SEG Education (Educational Technology).

This project is looking at improving the Library’s Reserve / eReading lists for units of study, and the way they are used in Blackboard.

Intended outcomes
Improved student experience:

  • Easier to locate and access readings and resources.
  • Readings better integrated into elearning sites.
  • Less time / cognitive load spent on admin tasks, more time for learning.
  • More flexible access to materials, as we move to more digital / digitised items.
  • More consistent and predictable access to basic materials across units / courses.

Improved staff experience of Library-integrated reading lists:

  • Automate linking from Blackboard elearning sites.
  • Streamline and speed up creation, and allow easier updating.
  • Allow annotation and ordering of list items.
  • Add flexibility, allowing inclusion of non-catalogue items such as web resources.

For more information, please contact

eLearning Resources

Will is currently adding to the bank of Quick Tips developed by the Arts eLearning team. Where necessary he is including further Quick Tips with complementary versions for staff and students to follow regarding the use of Blackboard and assessment tools (such as Turnitin and Dropbox).

Also, Will is currently working on is the Diploma of Languages, particularly the development of scripts for the production of video lectures, and some assistance with site maintenance.

For more information, please contact