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 Gliffy.com 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 > s.pallett@ballarat.edu.au 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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November Update 
Steve Pallett:

Well, a few interesting things have been happening as 2007 draws to a close. Our Elluminate Live! trial is now officially underway, and staff have expressed considerable enthusiasm for the potential this new tool brings following the workshop held at Mt.Helen on 9 November.

I've been doing a fair bit of research into easy methods for Higher Ed. staff to conduct podcasting (and possibly 'vodcasting') and have recently installed an application named eLLG - a social networking platform similar to MySpace and Facebook that allows users to create profiles and upload audio and video files for sharing (amongst other possibilities). I'll be running a workshop on 7 December based on this podcasting process.

I've also been looking into the wider area of social media in education and this has thrown up some sticky issues to do with privacy, copyright, and equity of access. The educational potential is great, but right now our legal team are looking into some of the implications for UB policy. The outcome will impact upon our adoption of internal and external services, and this grey area is something that many Australian Universities are currently grappling with.

During last week's eLearning Interest Group's meeting a number of issues were raised and debated, including the future landscape of learning technology. What technologies will UB be looking at five years from now? Are Learning Management Systems old-hat? Where is 'web 2.0' going? There are no simple answers to these questions, of course. But the more we think about them, the better-prepared we'll be for the future at UB.

I look forward to seeing some of you at next week's workshop and at the next eLIG meeting. Remember you can give me a call (X9797) or email (s.pallett@ballarat.edu.au) if you'd like to discuss anything you have in mind...


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Elluminate Update and other stuff 
Ian Wright:
Elluminate Live
I am in the process of arranging a 12 month trial of Elluminate Live. We have the quote and I've asked Legal to look at the contract and following that, will arrange the order. The trial will run from November 2007 to end of October 2008. The licence will provide us with one virtual classroom with 25 concurrent students. We've yet to work out a booking system but that won't be needed until next year. Steve or I will handle bookings until then. In the meantime, I'll advise of when it's available and we will probably use our second Tech Workshop to introduce it and play with it. (That is scheduled for Nov 9.)

eActivity Survey
The survey we've talked about is now active at:
eLWiki and you can fill in a form about the interesting stuff you've been doing. This can be about technology, a particular project, an approach to innovative learning and so on. Don't feel reticent - often stuff you are doing is of interest to others even if you think it's a bit mundane.

Learning Environments Staffing
I have just renewed my attempts to get the Learning Designer positions through HR and am moderately optimistic. It's becoming critical with timelines so this needs to happen quite soon. I have a PD approved for a Educational Resource Developer but won't be moving to fill that until the Learning Designer positions are filled and I have an idea of how the budget looks at that point.



Turnitin responsibility coming to Learning Environments
Responsibility for the administration of the Turnitin plagiarism detection project is about to come under the auspice of the Learning Environments team. With Tom Keogh finishing in the role he has been holding for much of 2007, we'll be looking to appoint someone to pick up this role. At this stage I'm unclear what the fraction will be and what the full scope of the role will be. It is a logical function to have sitting in the LE team.


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E-Learning Interest Group meeting - 12 September 
Steve Pallett:

First of all, a big thank you to all those who've made me feel welcome here over the last few days. It's great to be here, and I look forward to working with you in various capacities over the coming months.

Yesterday's meeting raised a couple of interesting points. With regard to expenditure proposals, e.g. for trial software, it was agreed that a short 'business case' is required before funds may be allocated. Feel free to comment on the suggested procedure below:

1. Originator of the proposal makes an entry to a shared blog (such as this one) or an internal wiki page (such as UBWiki). This entry will give a brief two or three paragraph cost/benefit (business case) overview.
2. A time frame (e.g. three days) is given for viewers to comment on ideas, concerns etc.
3. All ELIG members are alerted to the entry via email or RSS (or similar) and invited to comment.
4. At the end of the stated time frame the refined proposal is presented to Ian Wright by the originator.
5. Ian updates the blog or wiki with progress statements.

Why don't men ask for directions?
Frank Carrucan raised the issue of gender difference in attendance at Student & Learning Support workshops. Currently, 83% of attendees are female, and there is a possibility that successful implementation of technology could overcome barriers to learning for their male colleagues. Of course, it would be easy to suggest "they're just lazy..." but maybe learning preferences have a part to play in this.
What do you think?

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