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Learning Technologies Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to define the use and management of learning technologies at Macquarie University.

Background

(2) 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.

(3) Learning technologies will be used to enable and enhance the learning and teaching experience through:

  1. seamless connections between people and places across the globe;
  2. efficient and effective access to information and resources;
  3. new ways to participate, interact, communicate and collaborate; and
  4. creative opportunities to generate, present and disseminate knowledge.

(4) 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.

(5) The University maintains a university-wide learning technologies platform (iLearn) which houses:

  1. the University’s Learning Management System;
  2. applications that support specific learning and teaching processes; and
  3. applications that support administration and content management (eg iTeach, iShare).

(6) 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 courses  they offer.

Scope

(7) 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.   

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Section 2 - Policy

Technologies for Learning and Teaching

(8) Learning technologies are provided to enable access to courses 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.

(9) Decisions about the technologies to be used for learning and teaching are vested with unit convenors in accordance with Faculty and Departmental arrangements.

(10) 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.

Learning Technologies on iLearn

(11) The learning technologies on iLearn will support the learning and teaching goals of the University.

Access to iLearn

(12) The learning technologies on iLearn will be available to Macquarie staff involved in learning and teaching and students enrolled in approved University units.

(13) Access to learning technologies on iLearn by staff and students will:

  1. be subject to any applicable licensing agreements and hosting arrangements; and
  2. require appropriate authentication and authorisation of users.  

Use of iLearn

(14) Users are authorised to access iLearn if they have an MQ ID or have been approved by the Head, Learning Technologies and Services.

Management of iLearn

(15) 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.

(16) The University recognises that technology failure is unavoidable and will advise staff and students to consider this when undertaking their work.

(17) In the event of unscheduled outages due to extreme or unforeseen circumstances, students will not be disadvantaged.

(18) 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.

(19) 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.

(20) 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.

(21) Arrangements for compliance with University policies and relevant legislative requirements when using iLearn will be provided.

Quality Assurance of iLearn

(22) 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.

(23) 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.

Learning Technologies not on iLearn

(24) 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.

(25) 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:

  1. adequate resourcing;
  2. compliance with University policy and relevant legislative requirements;
  3. risk management;
  4. quality assurance;
  5. training and support; and
  6. appropriate authentication and authorisation of users.

(26) Students will be informed of hosting arrangements outside iLearn and any implications for their learning will be made transparent.

Compliance and Breaches

(27) The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related Procedures).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(28) Refer to the Learning Technologies Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(29) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(30) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.