Technologies to enhance learning

In the online and blended environment, there are many learning technologies you can engage to provide supportive processes and experiences for students, in addition to supportive processes and experiences for teachers. It is important to explore available technologies as part of the design process, to ensure consideration of how they could enhance learning and teaching.

Pedagogy before technology

Deciding which technology to use for your online or blended learning and teaching practices can be a challenging decision. The importance of considering pedagogy before technology is paramount, as is the need to provide adequate technical support and training for your students. The benefits of starting with something simple and/or supported can help here. If unsure, contact your Learning Designer for discuss your needs early in the process.

Learning tools within your Learning Management System (i.e. Moodle) online learning processes can facilitate creation, engagement, interactive and collaborative mechanisms - all in the one place. Thus choosing the best tool can enhance the efficiency and quality of teaching, learning and even grading processes. So the underlying principle is choosing the right online tool for the learning job!

Below is a snapshot of the common learning technologies available at Federation University: 

Resources - Using Moodle

The term 'resource' in Moodle refers to a resource of information to support student learning – meaning a tool for students to interact with content for learning. This may include information to read, watch or accessing a link or file. Moodle supports a range of resource types which teachers can add to their courses. Resources appear as a single link with an icon in the front that represents the type of resource.

Resource functions in Moodle can be used to:

  • Display written information as text or headings including in tabs groups or accordions
  • Display embedded video or audio content
  • Create links to websites, electronic articles or e-books
  • Create a resource that combines all of the above on a single 'page' or multiple pages in a 'book' or 'lesson'

Examples include: Book, Lesson, File, Folder, Page, URL (web link), and Label. For further information on what these online tools have to offer learning, when to use them in learning, considerations in use and instructions on setting these up in your course, visit the self-enrolling Moodle shell: Learning Technologies Hub - Moodle guides.

Activities - Using Moodle

The term 'activity' in Moodle, means just that...an active learning or teaching component, thus tools to interact with peers and/or teachers for learning.

Activity functions in Moodle can be used for:

  • Displaying content
  • Interacting with content
  • Creating communities of learning
  • Creating collaborative spaces
  • Creating discussions and conversations

Examples include: Quiz, Forum, Glossary, Feedback, Choice, Wiki, and Workshop. For further information on what these online tools have to offer learning, when to use them in learning, considerations in use and instructions on setting these up in your course, visit the Learning Technologies Hub - Moodle Guides website.

Video – using Kaltura

Video is the creation of visual, audio or audiovisual media directly linked to Moodle via Kaltura. It can be used for the delivery of content, engagement, instruction and assessment. Kaltura video can be used as: a quiz question, video discussion forum, a link on an ePortfolio page, content within a Moodle book or a Lesson, created for a Wiki or Workshop activity, and/or submitted through an Assignment link.

More information about Kaltura.

Virtual classroom – using Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is an external software program linked directly to Moodle to enable a 'virtual learning space' such as an online synchronous tutorial. Adobe Connect allows you to present and discuss in real time with one or many students who can ask questions etc via their microphone or chat window. You can conduct quick polls for engagement and feedback in addition to simple thumbs up (or ‘slow down’, ‘tick or cross’) type indications from students. Adobe Connect allows simple recording of the session saved for reference later directly in Moodle. You can also easily create, and quickly allocate and move students into, ‘breakout rooms’ for smaller discussion activities. After this you can show their group work to the whole cohort for broader discussion.

More information about Adobe Connect.

ePortfolios – using Mahara

An ePortfolio is an electronically stored collection of student experiences, achievements and artefacts and/or reflections on learning. Students can easily create web pages of text, images, embedded videos, journal entries and web links to create a journey of learning and submit a link directly via Moodle.

More information about Mahara.

Open education resources
Open Education Resources (OPE) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, videos, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. It is the leading trend in online and blended education domains as a consequence of the 'openness' movement. Federation University has access to a range of OPE to support academic staff in the development of quality online learning activities, and the Library staff are the people to see to find out what our institution has access too, or can get access too. For further information, contact the Library.
Other integrated tools

There are a number of other learning technologies that can enhance the online learning experience for students. If you are planning on using another platform not listed above, check with a Learning Designer or Learning Technology Support staff before you set anything up - just to make sure there are appropriate supports for both staff and students in its integration for learning. For more information, contact CAD.

Resources, strategies or assistance

Websites

Assistance