In this post we answer Unit Convenor questions on the what, why and how of MyLearn.
Many thanks to the Unit Convenors who joined the MyLearn UC Forum on Thursday 21 April. The aims of the Forum were to a) widen UCs’ awareness of MyLearn and b) provide information about how to optimise iLearn design and settings to maximise the utility of MyLearn for students. We (Shamim Joarder – Senior Learning Analytics Adviser and Cathy Rytmeister – Learning Analytics Manager) were delighted to see the interest in MyLearn and to receive comments, suggestions and questions from the Unit Convenors who attended.
If you missed the MyLearn Unit Convenor forum, you can view the recording here:
Questions, comments and issues raised during the forum fell into four broad categories:
- MyLearn purpose, functionality and displays (what, how, why)
- The relationship between MyLearn displays and iLearn design
- Pedagogical and student experience issues
- Policy, procedure and Faculty-specific requirements
Below are responses to practical questions and issues relating to the the purpose of MyLearn, it’s functionality and the displays which we hope will be useful to those who were unable to attend the forum, and to those who did and would like a handy reminder/reference. We’ll cover the relationship between MyLearn and iLearn in a separate post (coming soon). The pedagogical and policy issues will be addressed in a later post, as they encompass wider matters that we’ll be discussing with the PVC-L&T and Chair of SLTC later this month.
If you would be interested in attending a repeat offering of this forum, please let us know via the MyLearn@mq.edu.au email.
Q Does MyLearn add anything to the information already available in iLearn? Is it possible that students might be misled or confused if there is conflicting information in different places?
The great advantage of MyLearn is that students can see information for all of their units at once, which can help them plan their work and monitor their progress.
MyLearn is based solely on information from iLearn activities (settings, due dates) and log data (student usage). In that sense there is no “new” information in MyLearn, and no possibility of conflicting information.
What MyLearn does that iLearn doesn’t do is collate and display this information in a “dashboard” format. This provides context and reminders (through colour-coded alerts) to support their study planning and keep them “on track”. Students can access a graphical representation of activities and due dates, and can see the key activities and links that their classmates are accessing. MyLearn also provides notifications of Announcements, approaching due dates, and any assessments that are overdue.
What MyLearn cannot do is provide students with information that is not contained in iLearn activity settings or iLearn logs. See below for more information about the relationship between iLearn and MyLearn, and suggestions for setting up iLearn in ways that optimise the utility of MyLearn for students.
Q Is it made clear to students that this is not the source of truth for their assessment deadlines, and they must engage with the Unit Guide? Some tasks are not timed in this way, and other kinds of tasks and activities can’t be picked up by this system at all.
Yes, the following text is set out prominently at the top of the MyLearn report page.
Q Can I see what students can see in MyLearn?
Yes. This was an early request from staff that we received at the launch of MyLearn in March. The Student MyLearn view for staff has now been implemented for Unit Convenors. Look in the Unit Participants Report within iLearn Insights and you will see a column called ‘MyLearn Student View’.
Staff will be redirected to MyLearn to view a ‘student view page’ but note it will only show the unit/s for which you have convenor or category access. This is a single page report without any menu and clearly states ‘This is a student view of [student name]’.
Q Would it be possible to differentiate between weighted assessment tasks and formative quizzes/activities (which often also have deadlines)? They are currently all grouped together – could they be separated?
This is a good idea, and could be implemented if these were differentiated clearly in iLearn. If Unit Convenors follow the iLearn template which categorises weighted assessment tasks and formative quizzes/activities, then this can be reflected in MyLearn; however, this may clutter the MyLearn displays and become confusing for students. We will explore the possibility of showing graded and ungraded activities in MyLearn.
Note: We have only included graded activities in MyLearn as the priority for this initial release was assisting students with planning their work to meet the assessment requirements for their units.
The comparative display of assessment outcomes (student outcome vs unit average – see below) was the subject of several questions, comments and suggestions during the UC Forum.
How this information is represented in MyLearn is dealt with here; wider issues of policy, pedagogy and student impact will be the subject of a subsequent post and further consultation with both students and Academic staff. Students are now able to hide the comparative display if they wish to do so, via the MyLearn Settings page.
Q Instead of displaying the comparison with the average, is it possible to take a “personal goals” approach, where a student nominates their desired grade and the display shows how close they are to that?
This is a good idea, and something we will aim to implement in MyLearn. This would also better align with the University’s standards-based assessment approach. This might be a complex task as it requires a level of interactivity in the displays that we have not yet explored. We will definitely investigate ways of making this display available.
Q Would it be possible to have a required reading list shown in MyLearn, maybe with an indicator of whether or not the student had accessed each reading?
It would be relatively easy to provide the required reading list if the iLearn Template is applied in the online unit. There may be some difficulty tracking student access via Leganto or other Library access. We will investigate whether this is possible, as it would help students keep track of their reading.
Tell your students about these MyLearn Quick Guides
A series of ‘how to’ guides has been created for students to configure and understand MyLearn:
- All they need to know about the dashboard – how to filter to display one or all units it and what the reports are telling them
- Using the Alerts Centre – what the different types of alerts mean
- Customising the MyLearn dashboard
Please direct your students to the MyLearn website: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/technology/systems/mylearn
Let us know if you have any ideas for enhancing MyLearn
Remember (and please remind students!) that you can request new (and enhancements to) MyLearn functions via MyLearn@mq.edu.au
See previous TECHE posts about MyLearn:
MyLearn – Key information about this learning analytic tool for students
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