In this BLT podcast episode, I talk with Amanda Parker, Learning Enhancement Manager in the PCV L&T portfolio about developing the MQ Online Learning Standards and the university-wide iLearn template – both developed in direct response to extensive feedback from Macquarie students on their 2020 online learning experience, and in line with the Operating Plan priority Students First.


BLT Podcast: Episode 2 (9 mins 34 secs)

Guest: Amanda Parker

Learning Enhancement Manager

Amanda manages the Learning Enhancement team that provides learning and teaching support for staff across the university, including learning design and educational media services. A key focus for her team is supporting online learning, and they work closely with the learning and teaching teams in each faculty/office to support staff in utilising iLearn and all of Macquarie’s learning technologies.


iLearn Template and Online Learning Standards

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.

Current roadmap:

S3, 2021: Pilot with a small number of units

S1, 2022: University roll-out

Additional information:

Online Learning Standards Teche post

Learn more about the Learning Enhancement Team

Learn more about iLearn

For any questions and clarifications about the Online Learning Standards and iLearn template, please feel free to get in touch with Amanda at: amanda.parker@mq.edu.au

Wait, hold on, just what is BLT?

BLT or Bite Size-Learning Technology is an initiative that I came up with early this year, as a way to both up-skill in audio production as well as meet some of the ever-increasing need for more resources around our learning technologies. A BLT is more colloquially known as a ‘bacon, lettuce and tomato’ sandwich, a meal that can be prepared in 15 minutes or less – and is my inspiration for creating learning resources that are easy, quick, and that meet a real need!

Part of my motivation here is also to show that creating a podcast (or any audio recording for that matter) is an easy way to discuss a topic and engage students. Audio requires less time to produce than a video, can be recorded from anywhere (though ideally in a quiet environment), uses technology that many of us have (mobile phone, headsets with microphones) and can be edited (ums, ahs and mistakes can be deleted!). Another benefit is that an audio file is small enough to be emailed, uploaded and embedded in iLearn.

One more thing: it’s produced for the Macquarie University context, so it’s specific to the technologies used by our students and academic and professional staff. So, if you would like to be part of this initiative, or if you have any suggestions for podcast topics or improvements, please reach out!

Previous episodes:

Episode 1: E-portfolio (at MQ)

Posted by Fidel Fernando

I am a Learning Designer constantly curious about how to design and facilitate learning through the use of stories, art and technology. I am also inexplicably fond of ferrets.

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