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eLearning Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Procedure outlines:

  1. the minimum course components required to be in active course sites on the University’s Learning Management System (LMS), including course availability and access;
  2. the requirements for preparing the course site for teaching activities; and 
  3. the requirements for the availability and archiving of teaching materials and course content stored on centrally-managed systems, following the conclusion of any semester/teaching period.

(2) This Procedure applies to:

  1. all sites created in the LMS including:
    1. course sites related to a coursework course offered at the University into which students enrol via SI-net (hereafter SI-net courses); and
    2. organisation sites and courses sites not related to a SI-net course (see clauses 13-20); and
  2. and all teaching or delegated administrative staff responsible for the administration and use of LMS course sites. 
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Section 2 - Process and Key Controls

(3) All active undergraduate SI-net courses, and all postgraduate coursework courses from 2021, must have a course site in the University’s LMS available to students and comply with the requirements outlined in this Procedure.

(4) Despite clause 3, a postgraduate coursework course may be exempt by the Head of School for extenuating circumstances (for example, low course enrolment numbers).

(5) The requirements for organisation and non SI-net courses sites including structure and access are set by the approving authority.

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Section 3 - Key Requirements

Availability of SI-net Course Sites on the Learning Management System (LMS)

(6) Publication of the course profile will prompt creation of the course site in the LMS. 

(7) To request manual creation of a course site without a course profile, the Course/Organisation Site Request Form is available on the LMS Staff tab.

(8) When created, course sites are, by default, initially unavailable to enrolled students. It is the Course Coordinator's responsibility to make the course site available (with at least a welcome message) to students as early as possible but no later than the deadline specified in the ‘Development and Release of Course Profiles’ provisions of the Course Design Policy for the release of course profiles to students.

Components of a SI-net Course Site

(9) The minimum presence requirements below specify the elements that must be present on SI-net course sites before the first teaching activity, throughout the teaching semester/period and for the duration the course is available on the LMS:

  1. Announcements: This section is used to post the course welcome message, updates and announcements.
  2. Course Profile: Automatic link to the course profile.
  3. Discussion Board: A link to the default LMS discussion board or an alternative discussion forum for the course.
  4. Learning Resources: This content area is where course materials and lecture notes must be uploaded, or links to other sites if the content is held in different systems. Learning resources must be organised logically for students to find materials easily. The lecture recordings link is automatically created in the Lecture Resources section upon publication of the first recording for a course. Recordings are published automatically up to 24 hours after the timetabled lecture.
  5. UQ Library Links: Single sign-on for students to link to Library resources which links to the student Reading List and the Library 101 online tutorial.

    The template automatically applied to all course sites incorporates these requirements as menu items. Individual staff are able to add menu items to their course sites.

(10) With permission from the Associate Dean (Academic), templates may be customised and alternative mechanisms implemented which provide similar functionality provided:

  1. Any school and faculty templates used must contain the minimum presence requirements; and
  2. Where a school or faculty has a formal convention of hosting learning materials in an alternate system, this material must be linked from the Learning Resources section of the LMS course site.

(11) Course Coordinators must ensure that visible content meets University copyright requirements. Some copyright usage permissions may restrict access to enrolled course students only. In this circumstance, the Course Coordinator may elect to create a new private content area to host copyright restricted material, or request altered permissions for existing content areas. Staff can access legal advice regarding copyright via the UQ Copyright website.

(12) Staff should consider the best practice guidelines made available by the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation on the UQ eLearning website.

Organisation Sites and Non SI-net Courses

(13) Organisation sites or non SI-net course sites may be used for the purposes of student support or improvement of administration within the University, but must be related to teaching, learning, research, staff development and induction activities.

  1. Examples of organisation sites include:
    1. 1st year experience programs;
    2. school and/or faculty teaching communities;
    3. scholarship groups; and 
    4. research sites.
  2. Examples of non SI-net courses include:
    1. bridging courses; and
    2. staff development sites.

(14) Organisation sites and non SI-net course sites are approved by the Associate Dean (Academic) or a delegate of the relevant faculty, school or organisational unit.

(15) The following non SI-net course or organisation requests are unlikely to be approved:

  1. requests relating to clubs and societies (unless the Faculty/School has a special purpose for this);
  2. any sites not meeting the criteria outlined under clause 13; and
  3. communities for Alumni – the LMS is not an appropriate platform for Alumni Engagement.

(16) Organisation and non SI-net courses are established with a duration of one academic year. Approval must be sought to extend the use beyond this timeframe. An expiry period of less than one year can be given.

(17) In circumstances where a postgraduate student wishes to use an LMS site for teaching, learning and/or research purposes, a UQ staff member may request a site on their behalf. The staff member assumes all responsibility for that site and its content.

Process for Approving an Organisation/Non SI-net Course

(18) Requests are submitted using the ‘Course/Organisation Site Request Form’ found on the LMS Staff tab.

(19) UQ eLearning Support receive the request and forward it to the approving authority.

(20) On approval (with or without conditions) the site is then created by UQ eLearning Support, and the Course Coordinator is notified of the outcome of the request.

Access to Course Sites in the LMS

Guest Access

(21) All SI-net course sites within the LMS must have specific guest access settings enabled for all University staff and students. The required settings are configured by default in all newly created course sites. The guest access requirement is limited to learning materials and resources only; collaborative content or assessment information must remain unavailable to guests.

(22) Permission to change the default settings must be sought from the relevant Associate Dean (Academic) by submitting an IT support request.

(23) Guest access may be disabled at the course level with permission from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). This may occur where it is deemed that there is a risk to copyright or information security.

(24) Guest access to course site information within the LMS is managed at three levels:

  1. system level – managed by Information Technology Services;
  2. course site level – managed by UQ Course Instructors and Coordinators or support staff; and
  3. content areas – UQ Course Instructors and Coordinators or support staff (guest access is activated by default for Announcements, Course Profile and Learning Resources).

(25) All authenticated UQ staff or students can locate any course site using the search tool when logged into the LMS. Courses can be searched by subject code or description.

(26) Course Instructors must comply with the Privacy Management Policy and ensure that private student information cannot be viewed by guests to their course site. Student information, grades, assessment attempts or communications must not be located in the content areas available to guests.

(27) Course Instructors must ensure that assessment material is not available to guests (for example, not uploaded to the Learning Resources content area).

(28) To configure guest access availability, locate the course site in the LMS and use the Course Management menu.

External Access

(29) Course Instructors can provision access to SI-net course sites in the LMS for people external to UQ (including guest lecturers, professional peers and those involved in research activities relevant to the teaching activities of the Course Instructor) by using the External Users Tool.

(30) It remains the responsibility of the Course Instructor to justify, if necessary, the provision of access for each individual.

Archiving of Concluded Course Sites and Online Course Materials

(31) Course sites must remain available (inclusive of the minimum presence requirements) for 12 months following the completion of the course semester/teaching period. ITS will ensure the course materials hosted on centrally managed systems are kept online for this period.

(32) Course Coordinators will make any online course materials not hosted on centrally managed systems available online to students for a minimum of 12 months from the completion of the course teaching period.

(33) ITS will maintain LMS course sites online for up to four years from the start of the course teaching period, and lecture recordings will remain online for up to four years from the date of the original recording. However, recordings unused for a period of two consecutive years may be deleted by ITS in consultation with the Course Coordinator.

(34) Availability of online course materials on centrally managed systems beyond four years requires the prior approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

(35) Once the designated online maintenance period has elapsed, course copies will be archived to offline storage for a further two years. Archived course copies will be available on request via UQ eLearning Support.

Availability of Online Assessment Material

(36) Online course material containing assessment is to be managed in accordance with the Examinations Procedure, ‘Retention and Disposal of Examination Papers’ provisions and the Information Management Policy.

(37) Where online assessment material is not hosted on centrally managed systems, Heads of School are responsible for ensuring that Course Coordinators keep such assessment available online to students for a minimum of 12 months from the end of the course teaching period.

Academic Staff Responsibility for Archiving

(38) If a school, faculty or organisational unit requires permanent retention of any online course materials, it is the responsibility of the Course Coordinator to either download a copy of the materials required or to request ITS support to do so.

(39) Staff are required to use the appropriate retention and disposal schedule for the functions documented in the records (refer to the Information Management Policy).

Processes Relating to Archiving LMS Courses 

(40) Course Instructors are able to make archived copies of their whole course sites from within the LMS. Instructions on how to archive or copy LMS course sites are provided in the Archive a Course guide.

(41) It is important to note that archived course site copies can only be read within the LMS itself and must be opened within a recent version of the LMS.

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Section 4 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

(42) Coordinators and Instructors must comply with requirements of this Procedure in relation to their oversight of the LMS, including but not limited to:

  1. the maintenance of course sites and access settings;
  2. the privacy of student information (including personal information, grades, assessment attempts and communications) on course sites; and
  3. the availability of assessment material.

(43) Course Coordinators and Instructors must comply with relevant copyright usage permissions when providing content on course sites.

(44) eLearning Systems and Support is responsible for the management of the University's central eLearning services including the LMS.

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Section 5 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(45) Organisational unit leaders and Course Coordinators are responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with this Procedure.

(46) eLearning Systems and Support will provide reports to unit leaders and Course Coordinators and the Academic Board's Digital Learning Sub-Committee (DLSC) as required.

(47) The Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation will review this Procedure as required.

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Section 6 - Recording and Reporting

(48) eLearning Systems and Support provides reports to organisational unit leaders, Course Coordinators and the DLSC as required.

(49) Course sites in the LMS must comply with the archiving requirements set out in the provisions in Section 3 in conjunction with the Information Management Policy.

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Section 7 - Appendix

Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
Access Authenticated access to the LMS using a UQ username and password.
Archived Course Copy The downloadable .zip file which is created when the Course Coordinator follows the archive course process from within the LMS’s Course Management menu.
Archiving The process of taking a full or partial copy of the course content and storing it on separate infrastructure.
Assessment Material Materials provided to or submitted by a UQ student as part of a UQ course assessment.
Availability The state of the LMS course site when UQ students enrolled in that course are able to access it.
Centrally-managed Systems Information technology for which ITS has responsibility.
Course A distinct unit of study within a program, for which a grade is given. Each course is identified by its alphanumeric code, a title and a fixed unit value. Courses are normally completed in one or two semesters.
Course Site A discreet online learning environment within the Learning Management System, typically related to a SI-net course.
Course Coordinator The staff member responsible for coordinating the preparation, delivery and assessment of a course (refer to the Teaching and Learning Roles and Responsibilities Policy). The Course Coordinator nominated in the course profile is automatically assigned the 'Course Instructor' role in the LMS.
Course Instructor The staff member who has the role of 'Course Instructor' within the individual LMS course site. A role is automatically assigned to the Course Coordinator based on the information provided in the course profile. Anyone with a role of Lecturer when the course profile is published, will also be created as a Course Instructor.
DLSC Digital Learning Sub-Committee.
ITS Information Technology Services.
Learning Management System (LMS) An educational, teaching and learning management system providing electronic delivery of coursework material. Online course information is provided to students to enable access to course information and communication in an interactive environment.
Minimum Presence The required minimum use of LMS sites for UQ SI-net courses.
Online Course Materials Online content used for the purpose of teaching and learning within a UQ course including, but not limited to, documents, lecture recordings, multimedia, links, and assessment material. Excluded from this definition are copyrighted materials, including reading list and associated content managed by the Library in the reading system, in compliance with copyright law.
SI-net Course Any course offered at UQ into which students enrol via SI-net.
Teaching Period The length of time within which a particular course is conducted.
Template The applied look and feel of the LMS site when created, the default items available in the course menu, and the configuration settings applied to all sites at the time of site creation.