Picture these two scenarios – you have created a really great learning or teaching resource, maybe it’s a marking rubric or a report writing exemplar for students, you’re pretty confident that it would be useful to others on campus but don’t have a readily available way to share it, or, you are preparing your next teaching unit and are looking for existing academic literacy resources to include in the iLearn unit, where would you look?
What about a central online repository where you can both share and find quality teaching and learning support resources which have been created or curated here at Macquarie?
The Connecting Literacies project team have been working with colleagues across campus to find the best way of doing just that and we are now ready to launch the pilot Connecting Literacies iLearn site.
there is a need for a better sharing network to allow staff to access resources from each other.
Connecting Literacies was a two phase, cross campus project, that looked at how we collect and connect quality learning resources we produce at Macquarie that help our students develop a range of literacies, such as career, indigenous, sustainability, and other academic literacies.
The first phase of the project focused on what sorts of resources are available across campus and developed a prototype repository using iShare. iShare has the potential to host a wide range of Macquarie produced learning and teaching resources and enables teaching staff to locate and then re-use these resources in their units (read more about iShare here). Project team members were drawn from Learning Skills, the Learning Innovation Hub (LIH), Career and Employment, Sustainability, Walanga Muru and the Library.
Phase two focused more on the end user – academics and students – and sought to understand attitudes and explore the concepts of sharing, re-use and student produced resources. To do this, the project team ran workshops, and, using external user experience (UX) consultants, interviewed staff and students to further investigate how people across the University access and use learning objects.
Building on feedback and insights gained from the user experience (UX) testing, the project group developed a Connecting Literacies site as a community unit in iLearn. The initial development includes portals for six literacies – Career; Research; Indigenous; Sustainability; Big History, and Academic Literacies, including HDR resources.
Each portal contains a landing page with background information, including details of content owners. It then lists various resources (videos, documents, website pages, and contacts), which are all downloadable, re-linkable or re-usable. For more information on using iShare, check out the guides on the Staff Portal.
As it is, the current site is just a beginning. Let’s work together to grow it into a vibrant hub for showcasing and sharing the great content developed here at Macquarie and a platform where we actively connect – a connected learning community.
To access the site – either follow this link (logging into iLearn), or on your iLearn home page, type Connecting Literacies into the Search bar.
The key is to become familiar with iShare, MQ’s resource repository. Check out this earlier Teche post about how to get the most out of iShare. It’s a very valuable tool, the more community members use it, the more of a Connected Community we become. A key goal of the Learning for the Future Strategic Framework is building a Learning Commons. This is one of many pathways towards a Learning Commons.
If you would like add and contribute resources to one of these pages, please contact the page owners listed at the bottom of each page.
The Connecting Literacies projects were funded by Learning and Teaching Strategic Priority grants.
By Melinda Stewart, Connecting Literacies Project Manager and Research Librarian