A set of MQ Online Learning Standards and a university-wide iLearn Template are being developed to improve the consistency of the online learning experience for Macquarie University students.

Give your input and feedback to shape the future of online learning at MQ by 30 August to LTfeedback@mq.edu.au

In student feedback gathered since 2020 when online learning was significantly scaled up, students have been telling us very loudly that they want consistency across their iLearn units because they were experiencing difficulty finding important learning material and assessment information.

Students’ confusion and frustration with the vast differences in iLearn units across faculties, departments and even the same course, are evidenced in comments such as:

  • Each unit works completely differently. I find it very hard to keep track with each individual unit. It has created lots of extra stress.”
  • The iLearn pages for all units are not consistent, hence it took a really long time to get used to. Finding submission dates and assignments were difficult.”
  • The uni work to be complete each week was set out inconsistently between units and weeks– this made it very hard to keep track of the workload.

This project seeks to address these issues and ultimately achieve a consistently high-quality learning experience for our students in line with the Operating Plan priority of Students First. 

What are the Online Learning Standards and iLearn Template?

The MQ Online Learning Standards will provide a set of minimum threshold standards and can be used as a resource to guide teaching staff when designing and setting up their iLearn units. The draft standards presented here will be formatted into a more interactive resource once finalised, with each standard accompanied by links to supporting resources.

The iLearn Template is the practical representation of the MQ Online Learning Standards, making it easy for teaching staff to meet most of the standards by simply following the template.

Some faculties and departments have already implemented iLearn unit templates and this project seeks to bring these together into a consistent university-wide iLearn unit design and layout. This will increase efficiencies through centralised automatic reporting on template use, replace current manual checking processes, and the possible automation of structures in the template could replace the manual work of moving items into the correct place every session.

The MQ Online Learning Standards and iLearn Template focus on the design of an iLearn unit and do not seek to address teaching content, what is taught or how it is taught or assessed. A second phase of this project is proposed to focus on the development of standards for the delivery of online teaching.

How have the Draft Online Learning Standards and iLearn Template been developed?

The project has involved students as partners from the very beginning, and the current draft has been reached through collaboration with students, faculties, IT, Library and Student Wellbeing.

Now is the time for wider consultation. Your feedback is valuable. Please provide your feedback by 30 August, 2021 via one of the options outlined at the end of this post.

The Online Learning Standards outline proposed criteria across 4 key areas:

  1. Online learning design structure
  2. Communication
  3. Resources and activities
  4. Assessment and feedback

We’ve created a demo iLearn unit to show what the template might look like

In the below screen shots, the numbers correspond to criteria from the standards document.

Graphical user interface, application, Teams

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When will the Draft Online Learning Standards and iLearn Template be implemented? 

Once university-wide consultation has been completed, feedback will be incorporated and drafts finalised for endorsement. The Online Learning Standards and iLearn Template will be piloted in Session 3, 2021 and implemented in 2022.   

Give your feedback by 30 August 

Here’s how you can provide your feedback:

  1. Email LTfeedback@mq.edu.au   
  2. Attend the Staff Forum (via Zoom) Tuesday 17 August 2pm – 3pm

Students can also provide feedback

A Student Forum about the Online Learning Standards has been organised for the 16th August (via Zoom). Here’s the Student Forum link for students to register to attend. Please share this link with your students.


Email amanda.parker@mq.edu.au

Posted by Amanda Parker

Learning Enhancement Manager, PVC L&T

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