Starbak + tUBe Milestone 

Eammon : "Starbak is finally online again after hibernating for a number of months. We'd like to contain its use to recording H.323 calls only and focus on tUBe (particularly in the near future when we move to V2.0) as the University's main video distribution system. Many thanks to Ian and Marcus for their help with getting it back online. Anyone requiring an account, please email me a request:

Speaking of which, tUBe hit one hundred uploaded videos today. Considering it was only implemented towards the end of '07, the uptake is really encouraging! Of those hundred videos, there were 2200 individual video views over the past 5 months. Very promising. Big thanks to Steve Pallett and Matthew Elvey for their continued work behind the scenes."

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Policy around use of externally hosted services e.g. Facebook 
Posted: IW: Discussion heats up around use of external web services in academia

With the extremely rapid take up of Web 2.0 services and the rise of social networking, many universities are grappling with the issue of how to manage external services such as Facebook, ELGG, MySpace, Second Life and so on. This becomes a critical issue when students and staff want to use these services as part of the teaching and learning process. Content on external sites is outside the provenance of an individual university which raises issues for assessment, validation, auditing, authentication and more. Further, there is the potential for content to suddenly become unavailable if a service provider changes access or ownership arrangements such as when a formerly open, free service becomes a commercial service.

Universities around the world are tackling this issue and seeking to develop policy responses. In Australia, ACODE (Australasian Council on Open, Distance and E-Learning) are pulling together a number of local efforts and are facilitating a discussion across their members. Prior to the next ACODE workshop in June, I expect there will be a day where this will be discussed in depth. More here following that workshop.

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Second Educational Resource Developer appointed 
POSTED: IW: We have made a second appointment of an Educational Resource Developer at UB. Again we have identified an outstanding graduate of UB in Catherine Duncan who completed a Bachelor of Information Technology in 2005. Most recently Cat work at Geelong College in the multimedia/programming area. Cat sees her new role at UB as an exciting opportunity to take her passion for design, multimedia and innovative learning methodologies to a new level.

Cat starts with us on Monday April 14.

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Educational Resource Developer appointed 
POSTED: IW: We are very pleased to have appointed an Educational Resource Developer. Jaimee Berezny, a very recent graduate of UB, impressed us with her technical skills, her design skills and her enthusiasm for the position. With a strong portfolio of work completed both within her course and as a freelancer, Jaimee has all the attributes we were seeking for the role.

This position works closely with academic staff and our Learning Designer to provide support in the selection and development of various resources for use in online delivery. These typically could include illustrations, animations, quizzes and rich media (audio/video) items.

Jaimee joins us on Monday March 17. Look out for her profile on our staff profile page soon after she starts.

It is very gratifying to find an outstanding applicant among UB's own recent graduates and reinforces the quality of students and teaching to be found at UB.

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Blackboard Section Enrolments streamlined 
POSTED: IW: Following some outstanding work from Andrew Matheson of Corporate Information Systems, our Blackboard support staff now have access to a greatly streamlined process for enrolling students into Blackboard sections. Previously, the process was an arduous line-by-line entry for each student in a list provided by teaching staff. Now, with the provision of some basic information, LEWS staff can quickly extract the lists from UBSAS and upload them as a bulk enrolment.

This will provide much more rapid turnaround for student enrolments into Blackboard sections.

Jobs should be logged through the Servicedesk in the usual way and provide the following information:

1. Blackboard Section Name

2. Unit Code

3. The campus students are based at (in UBSAS parlance, 'provider location')

4. Optimal date to add students (i.e. when most students have completed their UB enrolment process)

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LEWS: Educational Resource Developer positions advertised 
POSTED by Ian Wright: Two positions for Educational Resource Developers have been advertised on the UB Careers website. These positions will provide very practical assistance through their production capability for academic staff. The positions can be accessed at the UB Careers Website and were advertised on Seek and in the Ballarat Courier on Feb 2 2008.

Applications close on Sunday Feb 17 2008.

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Welcome to Kellie Macneil - Learning Designer 
Steve: A warm welcome to Kellie Macneil, our Learning Designer who joined us in the Learning Environments team last week. Kellie's expertise will allow us to further assist staff who wish to implement innovative techniques in their learning programs.

Following a 'LEWS' planning sesssion last Friday, we shall be introducing an upgraded website in March. The aim of the new site is to make information regarding learning technologies and the people that support them at UB more accessible. We're still in the planning stages at the moment, but watch this space...

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Learning Technologies Diagram 
Steve: I've put together a diagram on that depicts the learning technologies we have at UB (well, at least the way I see them so far!). I must say that the number of applications I'm finding on the Internet is quite overwhelming - lots of potential there! I'll be trying to add them to this blog as I come across them in future...

Questions and corrections welcome > or x9797.

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Server applications on your laptop 
Steve P: For anyone who may be interested in looking 'behind the scenes' at emerging learning applications without having to worry about installations, configurations etc. I've put together a group of latest technologies you can start and stop on your PC laptop (not for Macs, sorry!). The package doesn't install anything on your computer, but mimics the operation of a web server.

The package allows you to try out several environments:

Mahara - ePortfolio software
eLGG - social networking software, useful for podcasting, as used here.
tikiwiki - wiki and groupware software, as used here.
Moodle LMS - alternative to Blackboard, as used here.

You can download the package and instructions here.

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So why bother with blogging? 
I found this little 3 minute video that gives an overview of 'blogosphere'. There are also similar videos for wikis and social networking (see 'Related Link' below). Steve.

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