Faculty technology for learning and teaching
The Digital Innovation and Knowledge Management team has designed, developed and customised various major software applications and technologies dedicated to supporting teaching and learning in the faculty. The most notable of these applications is the Study Unit Manager and Organiser (SUMO) which has been recognised with a Vice-Chancellor's Award for Systems that Achieve Collective Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
Study Unit Manager and Organiser (SUMO)
SUMO began as an initiative of the faculty's Division of Teaching and Learning, which identified the need for a standardised and centralised repository for Unit of Study (UoS) outline information.
The division asked the Digital Innovation and Knowledge Management team to design an application that would facilitate the publishing of UoS outlines in various formats all from one place; automatically collate UoS timetables and report overlaps, attributes and other information; and assist in the quality-assurance process. SUMO which has since undergone two major upgrades was the result.
SUMO stores all UoS Outlines from across the faculty. It uses this data to produce pdfs, webpages, and reports, and provides group management and peer feedback tools. The Digital Innovation and Knowledge Management team has also created a series of how-to videos, cheat sheets and a comprehensive user guide SUMO. The faculty intranet page that describes Learning and Teaching technology, contains links to these features and the details of who to contact for user support.
Responding to the need for a centralised database of scholarship information, the Digital Innovation and Knowledge Management team consulted with the Division of Research to create the scholarships online database. This application allows students to apply online for scholarships and provides valuable information about how to construct the best possible application.
The faculty's Division of Professional Experience raised the need for a more efficient and online system of registering students' applications for teaching practicums, as well as for advising them of the outcome of their requests.
The Digital Innovation and Knowledge Management team then designed and developed the myPrac system which is accessible from the faculty website.
While most courses use the centrally supported WebCT [Web Course Tools] system for their online components, the faculty also needed a research-supportive system, for when lecturers require a customisable tool that allows for the collection of research data; integration of emerging technologies; or experimentation with innovative teaching methods all instances unsuited to WebCT delivery.
The Digital Innovation and Knowledge Management team, in consultation with the CoCo Research Centre, created LearnLab, which runs Moodle (the open-source learning-management system most familiar to teachers). The LearnLab system is maintained on faculty servers while staff members who use LearnLab for teaching and research are able to access documentation and support from the large Moodle online community.