Online Self Help Resource site launched 
The LEWS team has been hard at work producing an extensive range of online resources for students and staff covering online learning. Coordinated by Clair McCready and with input from Kellie, Jaimee, Cat and Steve, this site should be bookmarked as the first port of call for anyone exploring online/elearning, seeking to resolve an issue or looking for more detailed explanations of some of the services and systems that are available at UB.

The site is at:

medusa.ballarat.edu.au/lews/drupal/resources

It can also be accessed through the main LEWS site at:

www.ballarat.edu.au/lews

The resources are being published through Drupal, an open source online environment that provides a range of Web 2.0 services. This will shortly be available for the use of teaching staff at UB.

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LEWS Promotional Video now available 
IW: We have produced a 3 minute video providing an overview of the range of people and activities making up the LEWS team.

You can see it on tUBe at:

LEWS Video link

Yeah, we know, it's not going to win the Prix d'Or at Cannes but it does showcase Eammon's pretty damn good editing/animation skills.



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Turnitin Project Officer starts.. 
Ian: After lengthy delays, we have the new Turnitin Project Officer on board. Brian Martin started on May 9. Brian has an impressive background in project management and business development, including a stint with KPMG. He will be a great asset to UB in this role.

Brian will be working 0.5 to the end of the year and anticipates his days of work being Wednesday and Thursday with some time floating to enable visits to Schools and other activities.

Building on the work of Tom Keogh last year, Brian will be working with Schools and third party providers to encourage the use of Turnitin and to promote the positive benefits to students beyond the somewhat intimidating perception that it's just about catching villains.

Brian can be contacted on x6254 and his email is b.martin@ballarat.edu.au .





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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: e.jones@ballarat.edu.au

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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