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Learning Technologies Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to facilitate the management and use of learning technologies on Macquarie University’s Learning Technologies Platform (iLearn) as well as learning technologies managed by Faculties, Departments and Offices.

Scope

(2) This Procedure requires actions by the following:

  1. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching);
  2. Chief Information Officer;
  3. Head, Learning Technologies and Services Unit;
  4. Unit Convenors and Course Directors;
  5. Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching;
  6. Head of Department; and
  7. Faculty or Department Information Technology Manager.
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Section 2 - Policy

(3) Refer to the Learning Technologies Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Responsibilities and Required Actions

(4) This Procedure consists of the following topics:

  1. Governance of Learning Technologies;
  2. Management and Use of Learning Technologies:
    1. Management and Use of Learning Technologies on iLearn; and
    2. Management and Use of Learning technologies not on iLearn.

Part A - Governance of Learning Technologies

Academic Senate

(5) Governance of Learning Technologies is with Academic Senate or a designated Subcommittee thereof.   

Part B - Management and Use of Learning Technologies

Overview Statement

(6) The management of learning technologies is a shared responsibility across the University. An overview of responsibilities is given below and further elaborated under the section headings Management and Use of Learning Technologies on iLearn Clauses 13 to 33 and Management and Use of Learning Technologies Not on iLearn Clauses 34 to 45.

(7) The Learning Innovation Hub (LIH) and Information Technology (IT) are responsible for working together to ensure that the requirements of iLearn can be catered for within the University’s information technology (IT) infrastructure.

(8) Information Technology is responsible for providing the University-wide technical infrastructure upon which learning technologies reside.

(9) The Learning Innovation Hub (LIH) is responsible for developing and maintaining iLearn and a suite of services to support staff and students in its use.

(10) Faculties and their Departments are responsible for the management and quality assurance of learning technologies (other than those on iLearn) that are used to support learning and teaching on their programs and courses.

(11) Unit Convenors are responsible for the integration of learning technologies into the curriculum and the learning and teaching activities and processes pertaining to their use. Students are not to be disadvantaged in using technologies through lack of knowledge of, or access to the technologies.

(12) Students are responsible for their conduct when using technologies to support their learning. The Student Code of Conduct is binding on all students and gives notice of general conduct which is prohibited. The Student Code of Conduct is sufficiently broad to cover almost all conceivable circumstances that may result from student misuse of learning technologies. The Student Code of Conduct is a Policy of the University and is supported by the Student Discipline Rules and Student Discipline Procedure.

Management and Use of Learning Technologies on iLearn

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

(13) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) has overall responsibility for the strategic and integrated approach to the development management of learning technologies at Macquarie University.

Chief Information Officer

(14) Information Technology is responsible for providing the University-wide IT infrastructure to support Learning and Teaching including:

  1. the policy, standards and guidelines to guide the enterprise systems of the University;
  2. robust and reliable infrastructure and services;
  3. data networks;
  4. back-up;
  5. security of systems and data;
  6. hosting arrangements; and
  7. software licenses.

(15) Scheduled outages for regular maintenance and upgrades are to be negotiated with the LIH and all organisational units involved in the delivery of learning and teaching. Organisational units, students and staff are to be informed of scheduled outages in advance so appropriate arrangements can be put in place.

Head, Learning Technologies and Services

(16) All learning technologies have different capabilities, licensing agreements, technical and compliance related requirements which need to be taken into consideration in their management and use by staff and students.

(17) The LIH has overall responsibility and accountability for the management of technologies on iLearn. These responsibilities cover:

Technical infrastructure

(18) Partnerships and service level agreements are to be established, where appropriate, with the service providers, organisational units and / or faculties to include but not necessarily be restricted to:

  1. operating requirements (eg hosting arrangements, licenses, patches, upgrades);
  2. interoperability with related university systems eg Academic Management Information System (AMIS), Human Resources (HR) systems;
  3. identification and management of risks;
  4. compliance with Macquarie University policies and legislative requirements;
  5. management of quality assurance over the lifecycle of technologies; and
  6. management of the integration of new and retirement of old technologies.

Access to and Use of Learning Technologies on iLearn

(19) Arrangements are to be in place and documented for the management of users. Macquarie students and staff are eligible to have access to the learning technologies on iLearn via an authenticated account which is only valid for the duration of their employment or enrolment.

(20) Authentication and authorisation decisions should take into account software licensing agreements, the teaching context, the need to respect the privacy of students and staff, and compliance with Macquarie University policy and legislative requirements.

(21) Access may be restricted on the basis of:

  1. compliance with software licenses and hosting arrangements;
  2. the availability of LIH and IT staff to accommodate any additional workload involved in the customisation, administration, maintenance and support of the learning technologies application; and
  3. disciplinary action by the University due to misconduct of users.

(22) In setting up access rights and privileges to various technologies:

  1. Heads of Departments will have access to online units and technologies for quality assurance and enhancement purposes or as defined in Faculty and Departmental level procedures;
  2. Software administrators and support personnel identified by the Manager of iLearn may be assigned access to units and technologies for administrative and troubleshooting purposes; and
  3. Unit convenors will control all other access to learning and technologies being used in their units, including access by other staff members and guests.

(23) Relevant operating procedures are to be in place for:

  1. the management and administration of user information and content;
  2. activation, deletion and archiving of online units on iLearn; and
  3. activation, deletion and archiving of information and content on other learning technologies deployed through iLearn.

Support and Training for Staff and Students

(24) First level support and training for iLearn is to be available for staff including:

  1. training and resources to enable technical competence in the use the systems and applications;
  2. pedagogical support and guidelines to enable effective curriculum design, teaching and learning; and
  3. just-in-time help-desk technical support during working hours.

(25) Second level support for students is to be provided to Student IT Help and other service units supporting students in the use of technologies on iLearn.

Student Misconduct

(26) In the event of student misconduct on iLearn:

  1. The Unit Convenor will raise the issue with the student in the first instance.
  2. Should the behaviour continue then the issue will be escalated by the Unit Convenor through the established Faculty and Departmental procedures for student misconduct.
  3. The Head of Department or the Faculty Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching can make a formal request to the Head of Learning Technologies and Services (or nominee) to suspend the student’s access to iLearn while academic disciplinary procedures are in place.
  4. This suspension can include ‘hiding’ any offensive material on iLearn, however, such material must be kept as evidence for the relevant academic disciplinary panel.
  5. In urgent cases where student misconduct has occurred outside work hours, the Unit Convenor can approach the Head, Learning Technologies and Services (or nominee) to request that the student’s access to iLearn be suspended as an interim measure until misconduct procedures are enacted. Students will be informed of all actions.

Compliance with Academic Policies and Legislative Requirements

(27) The suite of technologies of which iLearn is comprised will comply with University policy and legislative requirements.

(28) To support academics in complying with policies and requirements, the LIH will:

  1. provide guidelines for good practice in using iLearn and other technologies for teaching and learning; and
  2. advise staff on the implications of the use of learning technologies that may arise in relation to policy contexts (e.g. accessibility, confidentiality and privacy, information management, assessment, Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright).

Quality Assurance and Enhancement: Evaluation, Reviews and Reporting

(29) As part of the quality assurance and enhancement cycle the LIH will:

  1. assure and monitor the quality of iLearn technologies and associated support services;
  2. monitor the ‘fit for purpose’ of learning technologies through a three (3) – five (5) year cycle of review of learning technologies on iLearn. The review criteria should include but not be limited to:
    1. relevance to the goals of the University;
    2. robustness (reliability and security);
    3. effectiveness in supporting learning and teaching; and
    4. efficiency for staff and students to use.

(30) A consolidated annual report on iLearn is to be submitted to Academic Senate (or designated sub-committee) which includes, but is not be limited to:  

  1. performance of iLearn;
  2. uptake of the various technologies;
  3. support and training for staff and students;
  4. issues arising in relation to maintenance, development and compliance;
  5. quality enhancement initiatives including the addition and retirements of technologies; and
  6. resource and funding implications.

Provision of data for research, quality enhancement and planning purposes

(31) A range of data can be automatically collected from the server logs of systems and technologies on iLearn.

(32) The LIH is responsible for ensuring:

  1. approving requests for access to data stored on iLearn;
  2. confidentiality and privacy of systems data pertaining to technologies on iLearn, including technologies hosted by IT, LIH or contracted hosting agencies;
  3. the ethical use of this data for planning and development purposes within the University; and
  4. requests to use the data for research purposes have been pre-approved by the University Ethics Committee prior to its release.

Unit Convenors and Course Directors

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

  1. compliance with University policy and procedures;
  2. adherence to the LIH procedures pertaining to the use of technologies on iLearn; and
  3. compliance with the relevant web content accessibility requirements, as appropriate to the learning and teaching context.

Management and Use of Learning Technologies Not on iLearn

(34) Faculties and Departments are responsible for the resourcing, management and quality assurance of learning technologies not on iLearn that are used for learning and teaching in the programs, courses, and units they offer.

(35) It is recognised that the resourcing requirements and the conditions around the use of learning technologies will vary depending on the particular technology and the learning and teaching context in which it is being used.

(36) Nevertheless it is expected that any learning technologies made available for learning and teaching will have a commensurate level of reliability and security to that of iLearn as outlined in the section Management and Use of Learning Technologies on iLearn Clauses 12 to 32.

(37) Within this context the particular roles and responsibilities of Faculties, Departments and individual staff members are outlined below.

Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching

(38) An annual report on the learning technologies (not included on the iLearn platform) supported within the Faculty is to be submitted to Academic Senate (or designated sub-committee).  The purpose of the report is to monitor the use of technologies for University-wide planning and development purposes.

Head of Department

(39) Heads of Department are responsible for assuring the ‘fit for purpose’ and quality of learning technologies used by their staff for learning and teaching purposes.

(40) When using technologies not supported by iLearn arrangements are to be in place for:

  1. resourcing the development, maintenance and implementation of the technologies;
  2. ensuring the quality of the learning and teaching experience of staff and students;
  3. ensuring staff are aware of the implications for using technologies not supported on iLearn;
  4. ensuring Unit Convenors have met their responsibilities as outlined below;
  5. compliance with University IT and academic policies;
  6. ensuring the relevant information about the learning technologies used in individual teaching units is  entered into iTeach (Macquarie’s online unit information system); and
  7. maintaining records on the  scope and frequency of use of learning technologies (outside iLearn)  for Faculty and University-wide reporting and planning purposes.

Unit Convenors, Course Directors

(41) Every teaching context is different and the way in which the technologies are used will depend on a range of interrelated factors including: the capabilities of the technologies, unit / course aims and outcomes, class size, enrolment modes, students’ backgrounds and experiences. Decisions about which technologies and how they are used are therefore best placed with those responsible for teaching and learning on particular units and courses.

(42) To ensure the technologies have commensurate levels of reliability and security to that of iLearn, the LIH and Faculty IT managers are to  be consulted in regard to technical integrity, interoperability with the University’s IT infrastructure and iLearn, and policy implications.

(43) Unit Convenors and / or Course Directors will 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. confidentiality, privacy and security of user information and content;
  7. management and archiving of content and user information at the end of the teaching session; and
  8. management and archiving of assessment processes and outputs generated through use of the technologies.

(44) Unit Convenors are responsible for advising students through the iTeach unit guide of:

  1. the technologies that are used and required for coursework activities;
  2. any implications that may arise for their learning including access, support, security, privacy and confidentiality of the work they produce as part of their studies; and
  3. support arrangements and that the technologies are not part of iLearn

Faculty or Department IT Managers

(45) The Faculty or Department IT Managers are responsible for:

  1. the development and maintenance of the learning technologies supported within their Faculty or Department;
  2. advising on the technical integrity of any learning technologies being hosted on sites external to the University;
  3. compatibility with the University’s IT infrastructure; and
  4. implications for compliance with policy and legislative requirements.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(46) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

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