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Teaching online guidebook

Site: Flinders Learning Online
Topic: FLO Staff Support
Book: Teaching online guidebook
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Sunday, 31 May 2020, 3:24 AM

About this guidebook

If you decide to use this book in your topic create a hyperlink to it (URL) and hide it – this means that students won't be able to see it but users with a Teacher or Tutor role will. 

Image courtesy of Robert S Donovan this FLO book as your main reference point for teaching online. Revisit it to refresh your memory about your role as an online teacher.

Where relevant, a 'How to' section links you to technical instructions for the activity/tool you and your students will be using.

Teacher/tutor support

Teaching notes

You may want to add teaching notes and/or a tutor guide to the topic (hidden from students) so teachers/tutors can administer activities/teach into the topic. These notes may be useful if there is a large teaching team, to keep everyone on track with processes and teaching approaches. Teachers can check these these notes at the beginning of each week (or earlier) and use them as a support resource for teaching in the topic (especially useful if teachers are new to the topic). They could be tailored according to 'just in time' and other online events/cues.

Your active teaching applied to/recorded in the notes will make them a rich resource for sharing with present and future teaching staff in the topic. 

Staff-only forum
To get feedback from teachers/tutors in the topic, set up a staff-only forum (hidden from students) so that just-in-time observations can be posted and the topic adjusted either this iteration or next iteration.

Teachers/tutors might contribute observations specific to the content and students' experiences in the topic right now, in an evaluate the topic as you go approach. For example, they might:

  •  notice a particular problem with content that keeps recurring and may require scaffolding in future topic development 
  • notice a content gap
  • think of a useful tip for teaching that week
  • think of a useful activity that scaffolds or extends the scope for that week.

Learning and teaching principles

Flinders University Learning and teaching principles underpin curriculum design and inform the Educational Quality Framework. They are Annex A of the framework (scroll up to see information about the framework's purpose, the policy statement, quality in curriculum design and teaching, and measurement and evaluation). This guidebook supports the practice of these principles.

Be an active teacher

Image by percuss ( teaching is important whether you are teaching face to face or online. However, the online environment is more challenging as students can't interact with you in a physical space. (This is why social presence is key to teaching online.)

Active teaching supports the four characteristics of online learning: personal, structured, active, connective.

Use FLO to provide detailed instructions, including time on task and sufficient context and framing through curated resources. Tell the student why are you providing these resources, what they should be looking for as they engage with the material, how are the resources and activities going to help them achieve the learning outcomes.

Structure your teaching to use synchronous sessions for discussion, interaction and application of knowledge. Deliver content prior via short video/audio, and other curated resources. Make activities clearly related to the pre-work.

In your topic, you could use the weekly features 'Key ideas', 'What you need to do this week' and/or 'Recap the key points from last week' as a structure to support your teaching in the topic. These prompts will help you give students a consistent message about learning activities, and guide them to stay on task and actively engaged.

Explore your role

Roles for teachers provides ideas and approaches to teaching online. 'Meddler in the middle' is a role suggested for teachers, but whatever role you choose it is likely to change over the course of the topic – depending on student needs and the online activities you engage in with them. 

Promote social learning

Students can and should learn from others, and there are plenty of tools to facilitate this in a FLO topic (see Tool options - communicate with students). So that students don't become isolated (and therefore at risk of attrition), encourage them to participate in the topic wherever and whenever they can. Relate their participation to assessment and how participation will support them. Thread it throughout your own participation in the topic. Teachers are social learners too! 

Look for 'teachable moments' (a just-in-time approach)

By being socially present in the topic site, you will be able to notice what students need, when they need it. 

  • Is it obvious that students clearly don't understand a concept (this might be a threshold concept or muddy point)?
  • Do a few students seem to have a similar issue/s?

You could use tools such as a forum to directly address these, or even make an announcement (which goes to student email). You might choose to add a resource (self created or link to an external one), or encourage students to find a resource and share with everyone. Your approach will depend on the situation, time factors and your teaching role in that moment. Be aware of student bandwidth and limitations in accessing online (eg if they live in China) when choosing/providing resources.

Be responsive

Listen to student feedback, monitor their progress, and use your learnings to 'shape' the topic from beginning to end, by making sense of what's happening 'behind the scenes'. This might mean providing a resource as a scaffold around a threshold concept or muddy point, or adding a section (eg extra activity) in a week that helps students to find/respond to materials more easily. Be timely – quick to respond to posts, queries, assessment etc.

Be aware of student access limitations and bandwidth, and ensure that they are not disadvantaged. You could:

  • relax or remove activity restrictions or date-based scenarios
  • change assignment deadlines for impacted students rather than waiting for extension requests

Evaluate the topic (ongoing)

By checking on student activity in the topic and using tools such as the Touchpoint survey, you can evaluate as you go. This approach is active and will provide quantitative and qualitative data for future topic development.

What active teaching looks like to a student

  • Welcome and other teacher-created video/s
  • Announcements
  • Regular posts or post responses
  • Prompt feedback on assignments 
  • Just-in-time resources and other support 
  • Participation (in the same activities as students)
  • Listening (eg to feedback)
  • Up-to-date and relevant resources (readings, videos etc)
  • Amendments/adjustments 

Be socially present

"Social Red" by Daniel Tenerife - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - key purpose in teaching online is to create a teaching presence, and encourage students to create a student presence. Teaching presence + student presence = social presence, which:

  • keeps students on track/task (high attrition in online topics/courses is common)
  • helps students learn – through interacting with the teacher and other students
  • fosters a sense of community. 

Social presence is closely aligned with active teaching and supports social learning.

What social presence looks like to a student
  • A photo of the teacher (and other students if they choose to)
  • Information about teacher – background, teaching interests etc (and other students) 
  • Welcome, teacher/student expectations
  • Accessible (teacher contact details)
  • Friendly, personable, interested
  • Visibly online (frequently, at key times) – announcements, forums, video
  • Responsive ('just in time') to student needs
  • Stimulating – through challenging questions, inquiry
  • Constructive 'feed back' and 'feed forward' (for assignments)
  • Supportive – guiding, encouraging, asking how they are going, being aware of their needs

Communicate with students

communicateCommunicating is a key aspect of social learning and social presence in the online environment, so make sure you are active in the tools that enable interaction between students and teachers.

When teaching online you need to clearly set out expectations in terms of communication and activity online – what you expect of your students, what they can expect of you (eg I will respond to questions on the discussion forum once a day) .

Another aspect of communication (and active teaching) is monitoring student activity in the topic. If a student is not engaging with the activities/resources, contact them to find out why. Your best approach is probably to email them, or send them a message in FLO (but if they are not logging into FLO this will not be effective). Your prompt and personal response will be appreciated by the student. At the same time, you may find out information that is useful for evaluating the topic.

How to


Announcements are a way of generating social presence in your FLO topic. This is an opportunity to model forum etiquette for students – be clear, use a meaningful Subject heading, provide links or navigation to parts of the FLO site if relevant, be polite but friendly and be inclusive.

Look for the discussion forum icon forum icon and the link to the forum.

  • An announcement is a forum for one-way communication only – teacher to students (students can't see the 'Add new topic' button). Any posts you make will appear in the Latest announcements block in the RH side of the topic screen. 
  • Announcements are handy for all important information (eg assessment reminders). Remind students to check their emails regularly: a copy of the announcement (and a link to any attachments) will be sent to their Flinders email account. 

It will depend on your role in the topic as to what announcements you make (eg the topic coordinator will probably make announcements about grades being available).

See Discussion forums for two-way forums (teacher-student, student-teacher, student-student).

What you could say

You could post an announcement at the beginning of each week. (but make sure there is a purpose, and be aware that not all students will read them). If you do this consistently, students will come to expect it. It also means you are socially present in the topic. You could follow this format:

  • 1st announcement for the topic – the week students have access (prior to week 1)
  • Announcement every week (week 1 on) at the beginning of the week (eg early Monday)

Try to keep your announcements succinct (they are a resource for students), but at the same time help them get to know you by being personal and friendly.

1st announcement ideas

One week prior to topic commencement:

  • Welcome students to the topic, encourage them to explore the site (videos, key features)
  • Refer students to topic information resources 
  • Promote social learning and encourage them to engage with you and other students – remind them of the tools available (eg General discussion forum)
  • Provide (learning) tips on how to be successful in the topic 
  • Whatever else…

Weekly announcement ideas
  • Prompt students to access eReadings, start tasks, or review material
  • Remind students that assessment items are due soon
  • Remind students to track their time (time on task)
  • Encourage communication with you and other students
  • Whatever else…

How to

Discussion forums

Discussion forums are a great way to create and encourage social presence between teacher and students (student/teacher, student/student). They are asynchronous, meaning that students and teachers can post at whatever time suits them. 

Forums that don't relate to specific content are usually found at the top of the topic site. Other forums may be located in each week of the topic and are specific to the content for that week. A forum/s may be assessed.

You are advised to check these forums regularly (eg every 2 days) to monitor posts (for 'netiquette', issues, teachable moments).

The General discussion forum icon forum icon is in module 0. If you set up other discussion forums for specific subjects in modules/weeks, you can click on them quickly from the Activities block.

Guide students

As with announcements, encourage students to respect cultural/other differences by using inclusive language and professional communication. Appropriate communication is a requirement for every workplace, so forums are an authentic activity.

General discussion forum 
  • Ask students how they are going with the videos/readings – note taking, understanding/learning content etc
  • Encourage students to share learning techniques and tips
  • Look for tips to improve the topic site/resources over time (eg next teaching semester)
  • You could have a topic Q&A forum, answer commonly asked questions once so all students benefit

Weekly, task or subject-specific discussion forums

You can model the thinking you want to see in your students through your own forum posts.

  • Use for teachable moments on topic content for that week
  • Start with a trigger question to encourage participation 
    • What are the tricky concepts, the ones that are contestable, the misconceptions, the debates, the threshold concepts?
  • Use a personal perspective and tap into something interesting/topical to provoke conversation. You could begin the discussion by posting something provocative yourself 
  • Discuss key ideas that will help students with their assessments
  • Encourage students to practise ideas, be wrong, get feedback, voice an opinion (if not assessable)
  • Invite or trigger discussion around a muddy point
  • Start with a question or other prompt (eg 'This week we will look closely at…', 'What is your experience of…?', 'This forum focuses on…')

Provide a 'hook' – aim to make your forum posts enticing and relevant to students (from their point of view), and guide their posts in challenging directions. 

How to

Collaborate virtual classroom

Collaborate is a live (synchronous) collaborative space that provides the ability to chat, screen share, share audio and video, poll students, collaborate using a virtual whiteboard or group participants into small 'break-out' spaces. Collaborate is part of the FLO ecosystem.

To access, look for the Collaborate iconCollaborate iconand link to the the Collaborate online space. 


When planning your session/s, consider the interaction you expect of your students. The more complex the interactions, the more likely you'll need to support your students to complete the task with clear instructions.

Tips for success
  • Offer an informal Collaborate session first to ensure your students are familiar with the technology and are able to test their microphone and webcam (if required).
  • Record the session for students unable to attend, or offer multiple sessions to allow flexibility for online students.
  • Encourage students to access the Course Room at any time to communicate with others in the topic and experience social learning. 
  • Moderate the session yourself, or give students the role of Moderator (useful if they are presenting to participants).
  • In some circumstances (eg large sessions, break-out rooms), it may be best to have multiple Moderators present to facilitate the online session. Multiple Moderators allow a presenter to concentrate on presenting while they monitor the chat, provide basic technical support to students etc.

How to

Assess and give feedback online

scaffoldAssessment is a key focus for students and therefore for activities and teaching in the topic. Refer to the sub-chapters for the assessment tool that supports these assessment types.

Support assessment activity
  • Students will benefit from you sharing tips for effective study habits and encouraging them to share theirs (eg time management, chunking tasks). Whilst there is nothing like personal experience, you may want to refer students to the relevant study and writing guides provided by the Student Learning Centre, or encourage them to share resources they find useful
  • Be aware that some students may not be able to access external links depending on their location, so this will need to be factored into resources provided (eg provide alternatives)
  • Use announcements, forums and other communication tools to support (scaffold) student preparation of assignments and other assessment tasks

Mark assessment items

How you mark the assessment will depend on the assessment type (post/s in a forum, quiz answers, file submission via the assignment dropbox, other).

Discussion forums

The General discussion forum icon forum icon  is in module 0. If you set up other discussion forums for specific subjects in modules/weeks, you can click on them quickly from the Activities block.

In the topic there may be overall assessment of weekly forums (eg a Non-Graded Pass), or a one-off forum assessment. Criteria for marking may include posts, posts and responses, or documents/other materials posted to the forum. Think about the purpose of your forum/s prior to set up.

Some options

If you want to assess forum participation, you could:

  • set up a forum with ratings which automatically creates a grade item for the forum in the Gradebook
  • add a forum as a manual grade item to the Gradebook and enter the grades directly for that item
  • set a forum to Q&A forum type, which means students post before they can see others' posts. You could use this type of forum to get students to 'mark' their own contribution (formative assessment)
  • set up a forum for group work, either for formative or summative assessment (this could be a working space for students to develop a product)

How to


Access the quiz via the quiz iconquiz iconin the relevant week/module where it is set up. You can also click on a quiz list (f you have more than one set up in the topic) quickly from the Activities block.

Quizzes can be set up for formative/summative assessment, as knowledge checks or as practice quizzes. You can set up a quiz to have no grades. See Quiz - purpose and settings for the many ways to use quizzes in your teaching.

Help students prepare for the quiz 

You could set up a practice quiz (eg formative) so students get to experience doing a quiz in low-stakes circumstances. This could be a weekly 'test' of their understanding. FLO Student Support provides guidance for quizzes.

Preview the quiz yourself – you will see what they will experience when they do the quiz (eg movement from one question to another, time setting), and will be able to advise them on how much time to spend on a question, and other aspects related to the quiz settings and content.

Prior to a quiz opening (especially if it is an assessment item), you could post an announcement or post to the general discussion forum to provide tips about preparing for the quiz. A description for the quiz in the activity itself helps students know what to expect (eg how many tries, open/close dates, feedback).

  • Encourage students to ask for help if they need it using the General discussion forum (which means other students could help) or by contacting you directly (via email or other means you have made known to them).
  • Remind them about the scope of the quiz and what to expect (types of questions etc).
  • If assessed, refer students to the SAM.
  • Keep the quiz in their minds by referring to it in the lead-up time, re important focus points etc.

When the quiz opens

You may want to post an announcement reminding students that they can now do the quiz, and the timeframe they have for that (ie how many days it is open). Be flexible with time restrictions in case students have slow bandwidth issues. If students have access issues, you may need to extend timelines for doing the quiz.

You can view student responses to the quiz while the quiz is still open (eg see how many students have attempted the quiz, how long it has taken them, what their responses to individual questions are). What you will view depends on the quiz purpose and subsequent settings (eg how many attempts, whether it is timed), and question type.

When the quiz closes

Once set up, the quiz is automatically added to the Gradebook (you can set it to have no weightings if you want). In quiz, click on Administration > Gradebook setup to view the results for student quiz submissions.

Quiz settings provide students with results and feedback once the quiz is closed. You can also provide students with feedback during the quiz. See Quiz - provide quiz feedback at quiz and question level.

Mark text response questions (once the quiz is closed)

If one or more quiz questions use the essay question type so require text answers, you will need to mark them in FLO by accessing the manual grading report.

View quiz results (once the quiz is closed)

Four quiz reports are available in FLO. These reports not only tell you students' results (if automatically graded by FLO) but also whether there were common errors/misunderstandings that you can use as a teachable moment, or whether a question was ambiguous and needs reframing in future iterations of the topic (the quiz may need to be regraded in this case). 

If some questions require manual grading, quiz grades won't be available until you have marked these questions.

How to

Specific reports
  • Manual grading report (how to mark questions that are text answers)
  • Grades report (shows student quiz attempts, overall grade, a summary of correct/incorrect answers)
    • You can regrade quiz attempts in this report (a form of moderation)
  • Responses report (shows student responses but not grades – you can compare students' responses)

The Statistics report gives a statistical (psychometric) analysis of the quiz and the questions within it, useful for analysing individual questions/question behaviours in preparation for the next reiteration of the topic.

Assignments (via the dropbox)

Look for the Assignment dropbox icon assignment dropbox icon and link to the assignment (assessment) in the relevant week. You can also click on the Assignment link/s quickly from the Activities block.

These types of assessment may include an essay, report, business case, presentation or any assessment that requires students to submit a text file (eg Word, PDF, PPT) via the Assignment dropbox. You can also set up a video assignment. Instructions for student submission

Support the assessment task/s 

You could post an announcement or post to the general discussion forum to provide tips about preparing for:

  • Assessments via the Assignment dropbox (link in the relevant week):
    • encourage them to discuss their ideas and share their strategies in the forums
    • ask them how they are going with assessment preparation in the chat room
  • Refer them to support resources (particularly helpful to students during the submission phase):
    • the FLO Student Helpdesk should they have any problems (contact details and opening hours). This may affect when they submit their assignments – for immediate help, they must phone or email the Helpdesk during opening hours
    • the Support materials for students FLO site (particularly Assignments), linked in the Help and support pull-down menu in the grey toolbar in FLO. (As a teacher, it is worth knowing what is in this site so you can field student questions. You can also refer them to the FLO Student Helpdesk)

Manage assignment submissions

Turnitin (text matching software) is a separate tool to the Assignment tool, but integrates with it. 

  • Students can submit to a draft Turnitin dropbox (available in each topic) prior to submitting their assessment item to the Assignment dropbox
  • When students submit to the Assignment dropbox, they will automatically also be submitting to Turnitin as part of the process

If students request an extension

If you are aware of students who have access or bandwidth issues, you can build in flexibility around assignment deadlines for these students rather than waiting for assignment extension requests.
The Assignment extension tool will be available in the topic for students to apply for an extension electronically. If your role allows (depending on how the tool has been set up), you will receive an email if a student has requested an extension. You can then go into the tool to manage the extension request, and the student will receive an email notification re whether the extension has been granted, and the new closing date for assignment submission (if applicable). FLO will automatically change the due date for the assignment for that student, so they can still submit via the Assignment dropbox.

The topic coordinator will advise the teaching team on the process for assignment extensions.

Mark assignments

Depending on how the assignment is set up by the topic coordinator and the requirements for student submission, you may mark in Word or PDF, or in an online marking guide, rubric or checklist within FLO. Most likely though, you will mark in Word or PDF.

  • If annotating (marking) in Word/PDF offline, you are most likely to either:
    • Mark students one by one, requiring you to download each submission, mark it and then upload it into the student grading screen (if small number of students)
    • Download all student submissions, mark offline, then upload to return to all students (if large number of students)
  • You could also annotate (mark) student assignments online (in FLO) in an online PDF format (if students submit Word documents, these are automatically converted to PDFs)

For the process of marking and managing assignments, see Assignment – main entry. The topic coordinator will be able to advise on marking methods the teaching team can use for assessment items.

How to

Group work

If students are doing group work in your topic, you will need to be aware of any limitations or restrictions that may apply for individual students, and adjust the activity accordingly. Be aware too that there may be cultural and lifestyle differences, as well as age and gender differences. Students may be anxious about group work, or not understand how to best work within this learning situation. They may also have differing agendas (some may want to get high grades, whilst others may just want to pass).

See some guidelines below for facilitating group work to ensure (as much as possible) that your students succeed.

Design for success

Think about how contributions will be assessed. Will students provide a reflection on their and others' contributions to the group? Will you assess this yourself by looking at the tools they have used (eg by monitoring student activity in FLO) or setting up the final product to indicate individual contributions (eg each student is responsible for a section of a report)?

Get advice from your local learning designer (eLearning support team) or an academic developer if you need to.

Provide support and resources

Be clear with students about what group work entails (expectations, outcomes, troubleshooting etc). Be active in the topic site so you can pick up on any problems, and intercept when necessary (check in). If you provide students with group work resources, make sure these are accessible by all students, no matter what their location.

Facilitate group communication

Guide students in how to work effectively using communication tools. A simple way for students to communicate with each other is via email (Topic links block > Participants – students will see who is in their group). Encourage students to initially work out how they will communicate, if you are providing flexibility around this, and encourage them to be sensitive to some students' limited means of communication.

Provide spaces where groups can communicate in FLO (especially in the event that preferred tools such as Facebook or Google Drive are are not accessible to some students). This might be:

Allow time

Students may have access or time issues, so try to keep the group work activity (especially if tied to assessment) flexible re dates and time allowed for creating a product/achieving outcomes.

How to

External tools

Integrated with FLO

FLO has some external tools that are not in FLO (Moodle) but integrate with FLO, for example:

  • Statement of Assessment Methods (SAM)
  • eReadings List
  • Cengage Learning
  • Collaborate
  • Studiosity
  • eReadings (Leganto)
  • Assignment Extension
  • Past Exam Papers

You can access these using the External tool option (Add an activity or resource).

Not integrated with FLO
If you are considering using an external tool not integrated with FLO, you will need to take into account the limitations of your students (eg bandwidth, access – for example, students in some countries may have difficulty accessing internet sites). Be flexible and give students choices that are equal for all. 

Flexibility might mean that they choose between a range of external tools, or create a file instead using software they can access. The key stipulation is that the format meets the requirements of the activity/assessment (eg the product can be shared with all or is in an assessable format). If the stumbling blocks seem too great, it might be easier for you and your students to redesign the activity. 

Some assessments may require students to use external tools (ie tools outside of FLO, available via the internet). Assessments using external tools are usually low stakes, as students are not 'in the system'. When students use an external tool, they may not be easily identifiable. Ask them to use their FLO name somewhere in the tool so you can view their activity.

In these cases, a new assessment item can be added manually to the Gradebook, and you will be able to mark the student by viewing their contribution for assessment in the tool and putting the mark (or non-graded pass) directly into the Gradebook:

  • To access the Gradebook, go to Administration > Gradebook setup
  • To put the mark into Gradebook, in the View tab click in the column for the assessment item next to the student's name

How to

    Monitor student activity in FLO

    A range of reports in FLO can tell you how often students participate in or access an activity or resource, and more.

    Questions you may want to ask/answer:

    • What do you want your students to do? 
    • What are you looking for when you monitor student actions in FLO? 
    • How will you action what you see (strategies)? 

    It is a good idea to check at the end of week 1 to make sure that students are active in the site. After week 1, you could either check randomly or regularly (eg weeks 2, 4, 6 / 3, 6, 9). If students are not active by week 3, you are advised to contact them. What you find out might be worth recording in the weekly teaching notes for ongoing evaluation of the topic.

    Report overview
    ALL LOGS: Graphic display of a particular student's participation pattern 

    This report displays a graph of the students' activity since the topic start date. The report records all 'touches' for a particular day. The actual items are listed below the graph.

    • Great for getting a quick visual indication of how often a student is visiting the FLO site, and how active they are overall (ie how many touches are recorded on the system)

    How to: Go to Topic Links block / Participants / (name of participant) / Reports section: All logs. 

    OUTLINE REPORT: Overview of a particular student's actions 

    This report tells a quick story on what a student has 'touched' within the topic. All items are sequenced as per the FLO site. 

    • Great for quantitatively assessing a student's progress, in terms of what they have touched. For instance, have they looked at all the resources provided? 
    • If you run this report at different times, you will get a different 'story' about the student (bluntly told). For instance, are they looking at things ahead of time? 

    How to: Go to Topic Links block / Participants / (name of participant) / Reports section: Outline Report.Scroll down to see what items the student has accessed and when. 

    COMPLETE REPORT: Particular student's work all in one place 

    This report lets you see the contents of a student's contribution for all items in the FLO site (eg their forum posts for a particular week). The report is organised as per the overview report (above) but with the actual items included

    • Great for qualitatively assessing a student's progress, especially if marking a student's work formatively

    How to: Go to Topic Links block / Participants / (name of participant) / Reports section: Complete Report. Scroll down to see what items the student has accessed and when, plus their actual work displayed inline. 

    ACTIVITY COMPLETION: Progress by cohort 

    If activity completions are used in the topic, this report will give you an overview of all items in the site that have had completion applied – both manual completions (unbroken line boxes) and conditional completions (dotted line boxes). These are displayed in the order that they occur in the FLO site or the date the item is due (if this option is selected). The student list will be cross-referenced against the boxes with manual ticks and conditional ticks displayed. 

    • Great for getting an overview of the cohort's progress overall
    • Especially useful for checking that students have completed conditional actions by the expected due date 
    However, the manual completions may not have been ticked by the student – it is up to them to use this self-management strategy. Use one of the other reports if you want to see a more reliable report of their 'touches' in the site. 

    How to: Go to Administration / Reports / Activity completion. Scroll across to see all items. 

    (ACTIVITY) LOGS: Activity in a particular item (activity or resource) 

    This report gives you the details of actions for a particular item in FLO. 

    • Great for getting an idea of how an item has been used. For instance, how many have clicked on that video? Are people viewing the forum and then coming back and posting into it later? 

    How to: 

    • Go to Administration / Reports / Topic participation. Choose item from the drop-down menu to view actions for that item. You can filter by date or action, etc. Great if you are running multiple reports.


    • Go to the actual item in FLO / with editing on, click on the settings icon (cog wheel) / Administration / Logs. Great if you are just checking one item. 

    How to

    Evaluate the topic (ongoing)

    checkboxesYour teaching experiences in the topic will help determine future topic design. You/your teaching team could make notes about observations, insights and strategies via a staff-only forum or other tool, as they occur (evaluate as you go). 

    How are your students going? Are they actively engaged in the topic? If you would like extra 'evidence' beyond what you are getting from forum participation, and for an overall sense of what your students are doing, or how activities/resources are being used, you could generate a FLO report

    With each activity/tool, keep in mind the implications for a future topic. Key questions:

    • How effective was this engagement tool – were there any difficulties?
    • Might the activity/assessment require some adjustment? 
    • Do the tools that support activities/assessment function well or do they need more scaffolding/reconsideration? 


    Which forums did students actively engage in, or not? How might they work better?


    During and post topic, student responses to surveys can contribute to considerations for adaptation in the next reiteration of the topic, as well as adjustments to the current topic.

    Although this survey is placed early in the topic you can use it in whatever week you want (Turn editing on, and use the Move resource icon Move resource icon to drag it to where you want). However, it is particularly useful for early analysis of the topic's functioning. The survey uses the feedback tool to find out how students are going and is intended as an active teaching quality tool.

    As it is optional, you will need to promote its use using an announcement or in a forum/s. The results will tell you whether student require more support or you need to make adjustments to the topic, or that the topic is working really well just as it is! Students will appreciate any changes initiated, or just an acknowledgement of their feedback (if no adjustments are required).

    The SET is an end-of-topic online survey, containing Likert and open-ended (text response) questions, which evaluates and delivers student feedback on the topic and teacher/s


    The Statistics report gives a statistical (psychometric) analysis of the quiz and the questions within it. Teachers might look at this report to analyse individual questions and question behaviours in preparation for the next reiteration of the topic.

    Help and support

    If you have a problem in FLO, contact your local eLearning support team via Service One (> Education Services). 

    A common problem is that FLO is not supported well by your browser. See browser requirements recommended for using systems applications at Flinders University (including FLO). Google Chrome or Firefox are recommended browsers.

    If students have a technical problem in FLO, refer them to FLO Help for students (you can link to this site from the Help and support pull-down menu in the grey toolbar in FLO). This site also directs them to a Helpdesk phone service.

    Online learning

    The Learning online guidebook helps students understand the FLO interface and use its tools effectively for their studies (be an active learner). You can link to this resource for students from your topic.

    How to

    eLearning Gateway (staff support)
    • Topic design basics – for ideas around social presence, active strategies, connectivity, constructive alignment, assessment, narrative etc