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Learning Technologies Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy specifies the principles, procedures, and practices that govern the use and management of learning technologies at Macquarie University.

Scope

(2) This Policy applies to all learning technologies used by the University to support learning and teaching. It includes digital tools embedded in the curriculum and those managed and supported by parties external to the University.

(3) This Policy applies to University enterprise learning technologies and the learning technologies that Faculties and Departments maintain or enable staff to use. This includes applications hosted on external sites to support learning and teaching.

(4) This Policy applies to all learning and teaching staff including staff involved in the management of learning technologies and all students enrolled at the University.

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Section 2 - Policy

(5) The learning technologies provided to staff and students will support the learning and teaching strategic goals of the University.

(6) Faculties and Departments will establish guidelines for how specific technologies to be used for learning and teaching in units will be determined, including learning technologies that are not supported by the University. Unit Convenors will make decisions about the specific technologies to be used for learning and teaching in their units in accordance with Faculty and Department guidelines.

(7) When using learning technologies (such as iLearn) and external sites (such as third party blogs, social networking), students and staff must behave in a courteous and respectful manner, and comply with applicable laws (such as privacy laws, copyright laws and laws relating to trademark and cyber-bullying) and rules, codes, policies, procedures and guidelines of the University (such as the University’s IT Policies) and any applicable terms of use.

(8) Staff are responsible for their compliance with copyright law and University licensing agreements when using material (text, image, video, and sound recordings) on learning technologies and external sites. Material available through the Library cannot be copied and uploaded online. This is not permitted by licensing and copyright agreements.

(9) Staff and student access to the University’s learning technologies will:

  1. be subject to any applicable licensing agreements and hosting arrangements; and
  2. require appropriate authentication and authorised access.

(10) The University will advise staff and students of anticipated and unanticipated technology failures, providing updates and projected resolution timeframes.

(11) In the event of unscheduled outages, students will be appropriately accommodated (e.g. special considerations, submission extension applied) to ensure they are not disadvantaged.

(12) Risk management procedures, including a record of outages as well as backup and disaster recovery, will be in place and documented for all learning technologies.

(13) Resources will be provided by the University for the development and maintenance of learning technologies to ensure they are reliable and robust for use in learning and teaching.

(14) Resources, training, and support will be provided by the University to staff and students to ensure capability in their use of learning technologies.

(15) Students’ learning should not be disadvantaged through lack of access to learning technologies or knowledge and skills in the use of learning technologies. If specific learning technologies are required, these should be provided by the University. If knowledge and skills in using the learning technology is required, appropriate measures (e.g. resources, support, guidance) to build these must be planned and implemented.

(16) The protection of users privacy, confidential information and information security must be maintained in relation to the use of learning technologies.

Quality Assurance of Learning Technologies

(17) Quality assurance procedures will be in place to ensure the technical and educational integrity of all learning technologies. These learning technologies will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

(18) Learning technologies will be added to or retired based on demonstrated need and the availability of sufficient resources to properly manage, implement, support, and maintain them.

(19) Faculties and Departments may permit their staff to use learning technologies hosted on external sites. This may be administered through hosting applications on their own servers or by authorising the use of such applications.

(20) Students will be informed of any learning technology hosting arrangements outside the University’s IT infrastructure and systems as well as the implications of these on their learning.

(21) Learning technologies made available to students outside the University’s IT infrastructure and systems must consider and, where necessary (depending on level of risk and extent of use), have documented processes and procedures covering:

  1. the provision of 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.
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Section 3 - Procedures

Part A - Management and Use of Learning Technologies

(22) The management of learning technologies is a shared responsibility across the University.

(23) The Chief Information and Digital Officer and Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) are responsible for working together to ensure that the requirements for learning technologies can be catered for within the University’s information technology (IT) infrastructure and systems.

(24) The Chief Information and Digital Officer and Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) are responsible for the management, maintenance, quality assurance and support of learning technologies hosted on University IT infrastructure and systems.

(25) Faculties and Departments are responsible for the management and quality assurance of learning technologies that are used to support learning and teaching in their programs and courses which are hosted on external sites.

(26) Unit Convenors are responsible for:

  1. the integration of learning technologies into curricula, learning and teaching activities;
  2. ensuring that students are informed of any applicable laws (such as privacy laws, copyright laws and laws relating to trademark and cyber-bullying) and rules, codes, policies, procedures and guidelines of the University (such as the University’s IT Policies) and any applicable terms of use of learning technologies. This information is standard in all Unit Guides;
  3. ensuring they are compliant with copyright law and University licensing agreements when using material (text, image, video, and sound recordings) on learning technologies;
  4. designing and delivering curricula, and learning and teaching activities in accordance with University Standards and Templates; and
  5. ensuring that appropriate measures are in place, so that students are not disadvantaged in using designated learning technologies.

(27) Students are responsible for their conduct when using technologies to support their learning.

Management and Use of Learning Technologies

Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

(28) The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) has overall responsibility for the:

  1. strategic and integrated use of learning technologies to support positive student success, engagement, and experience;
  2. development of staff capacity in the use of learning technologies to support and progress pedagogical practice;
  3. management and resolution of issues related to the implementation of learning technologies to support and progress pedagogical practice; and
  4. provision of support to staff and students, as appropriate, in the use of learning technologies to enable technical competence, just-in-time technical assistance, and pedagogically sound curriculum, learning and teaching design.

Chief Information and Digital Officer

(29) The Chief Information and Digital Officer is responsible for providing the University-wide IT infrastructure and systems to host university supported learning technologies.

(30) The Chief Information and Digital Officer is responsible for providing University-wide IT infrastructure to support learning and teaching including:

  1. the policy, standards, and guidelines governing the use and management of the University learning technologies and associated systems;
  2. infrastructure to ensure robust and reliable learning technologies and systems;
  3. just-in-time technical assistance, as appropriate, to staff and students;
  4. appropriate data networks for reliable and consistent provision of learning technologies;
  5. appropriate back-up systems and redundancy processes;
  6. adequate security of systems and data and compliance with any legislative requirements;
  7. ensuring currency and suitability of hosting arrangements;
  8. management of associated software licenses; and
  9. confidentiality and privacy of systems data pertaining to learning technologies, including technologies hosted by IT or contracted hosting agencies.

(31) The Chief Information and Digital Officer will ensure that:

  1. scheduled outages for maintenance and upgrades are negotiated with relevant stakeholders to ensure that delivery of learning and teaching is not compromised; and
  2. timely notification of scheduled outages are provided to organisational units, students, and staff so that appropriate mitigation arrangements can be established.

Manager, Application Services (Learning and Teaching)

(32) The Manager, Application Services (Learning and Teaching) has overall responsibility for the management of learning technologies including:

  1. IT infrastructure:
    1. ensuring interoperability between learning technologies and related University systems;
    2. identification and management of risks;
    3. compliance with University policies and legislative requirements;
    4. maintenance of quality and function of learning technologies; and
    5. management of the integration of new and the retirement of revoked learning technologies.
  2. access to and use of learning technologies:
    1. ensuring that appropriate procedures are established and implemented for the access and use of learning technologies;
    2. providing authentication and authorisation protocols that take into account software licensing agreements, the teaching context, privacy obligations, and compliance with University policy and legislative requirements; and
    3. determining and facilitating access rights and privileges to learning technologies for quality assurance and enhancement purposes; to complete Faculty and Department level operating procedures; or for administrative and troubleshooting purposes, noting that Unit Convenors will determine and facilitate access rights and privileges to learning technologies used in their units;
    4. determining necessary access restrictions on the basis of compliance with software licenses and hosting arrangements; customisation, administration, maintenance and application imperatives; and
    5. developing and implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the management, administration, activation, deletion, and archiving of information and content related to learning technologies and users.

Course Directors and Unit Convenors

(33) Course Directors and Unit Convenors are responsible for:

  1. selecting the learning technologies that will be integrated into learning activities in their courses, units, and programs. These decisions will be informed by a range of interrelated factors including: the capabilities of the technologies, unit/course aims and outcomes, class size, enrolment modes, students’ backgrounds and experiences;
  2. ensuring the quality of learning technologies and their integration in learning and teaching;
  3. assuring the suitability of learning technologies used in their courses, units, and programs;
  4. compliance with University rules, codes, policies, procedures, and guidelines (including IT procedures pertaining to the use of learning technologies);
  5. compliance with copyright law and University agreements relating to the use of material (text, image, video sound recordings) on learning technologies; and
  6. compliance with relevant web content accessibility requirements as appropriate to the learning and teaching context.

(34) Unit Convenors will also determine and facilitate access rights and privileges to learning technologies used in their units.

(35) Course Directors and Unit Convenors are responsible for advising students of:

  1. the learning technologies that are required for their course, unit, or program activities;
  2. learning technology implications including access, support, security, privacy, and confidentiality of the work they produce as part of their studies; and
  3. support arrangements for the learning technologies.

Quality Assurance, Enhancement, and Improvement of Learning Technologies

(36) As part of the quality assurance, enhancement, and improvement cycle the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) will:

  1. assure and monitor the quality of learning technologies and associated support services;
  2. monitor and maintain the suitability of learning technologies including but not limited to:
    1. relevance;
    2. robustness (reliability and security);
    3. effectiveness in supporting learning and teaching; and
    4. ease of use for staff and students (e.g. intuitiveness).

(37) In order to promote the quality assurance, enhancement, and improvement of learning technologies the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) will:

  1. provide staff, Departments, and Faculties with advice and guidance on opportunities to enhance and improve the use of learning technologies in curriculum, learning and teaching;
  2. provide guidance and resources on good practice in using learning technologies for teaching and learning; and
  3. advise staff on legal and policy considerations related to the use of learning technologies (e.g. accessibility, confidentiality and privacy, information management, assessment, Intellectual Property and copyright).

Management and Use of Learning Technologies Hosted on External Sites

(38) Faculties and Departments are responsible for the resourcing, management, and quality assurance functions as specified in clauses 25, 26, and 33 - 35 for learning technologies hosted on external sites that are embedded in their courses, units, and programs.

(39) Faculties and Departments are responsible for ensuring the reliability and security functions as specified in clauses 33-35 for learning technologies hosted on external sites that are embedded in their courses, units, and programs.

(40) Faculties and Departments are responsible for ensuring that the use of learning technologies by all staff, including part-time and sessional staff:

  1. is consistent across courses;
  2. is quality assured to identify opportunities to improve students’ technology-enabled learning experience; and
  3. complies with this Policy.

(41) Faculties and Departments are responsible for:

  1. the development and maintenance of the learning technologies hosted on external sites but supported for use within their Faculty or Department;
  2. ensuring compatibility of the learning technologies hosted on external sites with the University’s IT infrastructure and systems; and
  3. compliance with policy and legislative requirements for learning technologies hosted on external sites including ensuring compliance with copyright law and University agreements relating to the use of material online.

(42) When using learning technologies hosted on external sites, the Faculty/Department or relevant authority are responsible for:

  1. consulting IT regarding the technical integrity, interoperability, reliability, and security of the learning technologies;
  2. resourcing the integration, maintenance, and implementation of the learning technologies;
  3. ensuring staff are aware of the implications of using learning technologies hosted on external sites;
  4. complying with University IT and academic policies; and
  5. maintaining relevant records and information in accordance with the University’s Records and Information Management Policy.

(43) When using learning technologies hosted on external sites, Course Directors and Unit Convenors must consider and make appropriate arrangements for:

  1. management of risks;
  2. training and support for staff and students;
  3. access and accessibility;
  4. compliance with the relevant authoring tool accessibility requirements;
  5. authentication and authorisation of users;
  6. ensuring compliance with copyright law and University agreements relating to the use of material (text, image, video, and sound recordings) online, including the management and security of University intellectual property on external sites;
  7. confidentiality, privacy, and security of user information and content;
  8. management and archiving of content and user information at the end of the teaching period; and
  9. management and archiving of assessment processes and outputs generated through use of the learning technologies.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(44) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(45) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Learning Technologies - refers to the overarching term identifying the digital tools and technologies used to support and enhance learning, teaching and assessment at the University.