Our Faculty is four weeks into the Transform Online Learning (TOL) pilots, which involve the inclusion of TOL elements within a number of subjects and courses. We have also identified 97 subjects to be worked on as part of the next phase of TOL in 2018, and will use what we learn from the pilots to inform the work conducted during this next stage.
The Faculty TOL project team has now been formed. Acting ADA Jenny Kent will lead the team with Blaze Coops appointed to the role of Project and Administrative Officer to support the project. Jason Howarth has been appointed Sub Dean (TOL) to undertake a project management role. Warwick Baines (Sub Dean Learning and Teaching) will be involved in professional development and quality aspects of the TOL project and Tegan Taylor will provide logistics and finance support. Carole Hunter will serve as a consultant expert until the Design Team is in place.
Three Learning Experience Designer appointments have been made and we will be pleased to welcome the familiar faces of Michelle Yeo, Deborah Scheele and Karissa Taylor to the TOL Project over the coming weeks. Recruitment for a number of other positions in the Design Team is currently underway. This will ensure that we have the people and resources needed to implement the necessary TOL elements within our targeted 97 subjects for this year.
In addition to the TOL subject pilots, Division of Student Services and Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences are also trialling the use of Online Study Advisors (OSAs) using three distinct pilot models to reflect the different needs of each course and the subjects in the trial. Student engagement with the OSA’s is now underway and we are looking at how our current CRM and Learning Analytics can assist the OSAs in their roles.
The pilot of the Six Intake Model is progressing smoothly. Our first additional intake took place in 201815 (commencing January 8th) where we gained an additional 9 postgraduate students. 201845 looks more promising, with applications currently standing at 30 and acceptances at 12. Subjects offered within the additional terms of the six intake model (201815, 201845, 201875) are also trialling the use of eExams and eBooks.
So far we have received positive feedback from students regarding the use of eBooks, a strategy that has also allowed the Faculty to distribute texts more efficiently. In addition, we have uploaded the first batch of eExams to the Interact2 online test system, with students in 201815 due to sit these exams under the supervision of an online proctor (ProctorU) in early April.
To gain a broader update on TOL progress you may also have attended one of Toni Downes’ DVC-A roadshows in the past fortnight. I encourage everyone to attend the upcoming sessions on your campus to hear and contribute to the information sharing about this important initiative.
To provide further information about the subject pilots within our Faculty, I have asked Sam Parker to share his experiences across his 201830 subject MGT220 E-Commerce.
Flexible assessment & automated feedback
To implement flexible assessment and automated feedback I have explored the use of online quizzes. Using online quizzes that can be completed by students at a time they nominate is a relatively straightforward extension of our current online quiz process. For equity and integrity, a large question pool was first developed using tools in Interact. This ensures that students do not get the same set of questions and cannot ‘cheat the system’.
For longer form assessments, I created a pool of assessments that require students to address very different case studies e.g., reviewing a client in retail, reviewing a client in manufacturing, reviewing a client in motoring, reviewing a client in pharmaceuticals. The base assessment is standard, but students have to apply the theory to different industry scenarios. It was important to not create too much variation in the assessments since that could increase the amount of marking time (another element of the trial) or create inequity.
In terms of flexible submission times, quite a number of students are opting to modify the standard assessment schedule which had the first assessment task due prior to Easter. These students are nominating to submit after the holiday period – better fitting study around their lives.
To explore this TOL element I am using the full suite of tools in NORFOLK (a MSWord-based marking tool) to pilot what might be achievable in delivering faster turnaround of assessments. To give students the option of being able to self-determine when they hand in assignments I have used the EASTS notification system to give me daily digest updates on any assessments that have been submitted. This semester I have 65 students in my cohort so it will be interesting to see what can be achieved in this space.