University of Canberra/Things that don't work/Barriers to online learning

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Converted from: Barriers to online learning at the University of Canberra - these recommendations were not included in the Review of Online and Blended Learning. This link is PW protected.


Initial recommendations by James Neill[edit]

Feel free to add suggested recommendations for the Online and Blended Learning Review. NOTE: This is a working space to inform the review, not a final record.

  1. Documentation Review: A vast amount of UC documentation, proformas etc. is paper-based. A systematic audit could reveal many areas of potential efficiency gain by converting to electronic systems (e.g., print-room orders are currently hard-copy based). This would better enable the institution to undertake efficient and effective online and blended teaching. With the trend towards outsourcing of many functions to off-site locations, developing an efficient electronic organisation is paramount.
  2. IP Policy Review: Online and blended learning could be significantly facilitated by adopting a more innovative Intellectual Property (IP) policy. The current IP policy is well overdue for review. UC could benefit from a systematic review of other institutions' more innovative licensing policies. In practical terms, teachers and researchers should be able select at least from the suite of license options (e.g., creative commons licenses) for created content. The current practice is that either the IP policy is ignored and other licenses are applied anyway - or innovation is restrained by those who follow the current policy.

Barriers to online learning[edit]

A list of roadblocks/barriers in trying to offer online learning @ UC (in other words, a list of things which arguably warrant consideration for change). See also University of Canberra/Things that don't work.

Hardware[edit]

  1. Only four lecture theatres (2B7, 2B9, 2B11 and 14B1) are equipped for video and audio recording.
  2. Few staff have webcams - and even fewer use them e.g., for video introductions to students, etc.

Software[edit]

File formats[edit]

  1. Open file formats are not systematically used/embraced.

Unavailable[edit]

  1. VOIP
  2. Desktop SMS
  3. Desktop video-conferencing

Underutilised[edit]

  1. Wiki: UC has a functional, supported corporate wiki (confluence / ucspace) which is underutilised in part due to the lack of corporate roll-out e.g., no staff or student training has been offered for its use, even though it's been available for several years.

Forms etc. to be transitioned to electronic format / electronic submission[edit]

Much of the proforma documentation at UC remains in 20th century hard-copy format, requiring to staff to be on campus, walk back and forth between printers, hand-deliver documents (or use internal mail), etc. Documentation which is in electronic submission format is done in an ad hoc manner by various areas e.g., some use PDF (e.g., exam booking). A university-wide review of proforma documentation and implementation of a more systematic solution could considerably increase efficiency, flexibility, and readiness for online and blended learning. Examples:

  1. AV lecture recording booking form is hard-copy submitted, not electronic.
  2. Current policy (which one?) indicates that a hard copy of the unit outline is to be distributed to students (?check this)
  3. Assignment coversheet is currently designed for hard-copy assignments
  4. Final marks require printing out and manual signing (rather than electronic signing) - which also raises the broader issue that UC doesn't have a corporate system for electronic signatures
  5. Amendment to Examiner's Return is hard-copy - could be electronic
  6. ADEs currently send hard-copy letters to students to advise of alleged plagiarism
  7. Referee forms for student applications are hard-copy and inefficient for staff to complete.
  8. For more examples, see student forms
  9. Assignment extension requests are generally done via hard-copy, discipline-specific proformas
  10. Print room order forms are hard-copy and max. 10MB attachments can be emailed to the printroom