Topic administration - course sites

This entry relates to topic administration.

Good practice guides and tip sheets

Good practice guides and tip sheets have been developed to support quality in both curriculum design and teaching practice. Good practice guides provide a pedagogical overview and tip sheets provide you with practical strategies and ideas for implementation. Links to topic administration-related resources are provided below. 

Internal course accreditation | Online topic orientation

Course sites are like any other FLO sites, allowing you to share information and create interaction, except they are not controlled by the University timetable. This allows you to determine who has access and for how long. They can be used to facilitate the sharing of information and collaboration between groups residing outside of a single topic. The following steps are necessary when thinking about using course sites:

  1. Plan the site
  2. Request a course site 
  3. Build the site
  4. Evaluate the site (post set up)

1. Plan the site

When designing a course site, it is crucial to think about the site’s purpose and audience before you request it. Planning will determine the site’s structure/content and ultimate success. You may want to have a conversation with your local eLearning support team

Some of the advantages of using course sites are:

  • Streamlining shared resources (one-stop-shop for teaching resources, forms, etc.)
  • Orientation/induction (course perspective)
  • Opportunity for students to ‘meet’ other students across years/disciplines and work collaboratively on projects outside the scope of their topic
  • Networking in a profession/the University (e.g. mentoring, student societies)
  • Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) (e.g. employment opportunities)
  • Get feedback from students on a whole course
  • Providing access to key information for the life of the students’ course

Your audience/users might be:

  • All students enrolled in a particular course(s)
  • All students enrolled in certain topics (e.g. all Archaeology students, using all ARCH topic codes)
  • Students enrolled in specific topics 
  • Students with a specific link to self-enrol in the site

2. Request a course site 

As the site administrator/s or course coordinator, use Service One to send a request to your local eLearning support team. They will set up the site and allow access for specified users. 

You will need to provide key information with your request:

  1. Proposed name of the site 
  2. Description of the purpose of the site (see possibilities above)
  3. Rollover method: do you want the course site to be rolled each year or it is an ongoing site? Ongoing sites stay the same year after year
  4. FANs of staff who will be responsible for maintaining the site and teaching team who needs to have access and their preferred roles (Topic administration – roles in FLO)  
  5. Rules for populating (course codes, lists of topics, topic prefix, self-enrol)
  6. Suitable course site format (collapsed modules or grid)
  7. Consideration of requirement for restriction of access to one organisational area (open or self-enrol options) - discuss this with eLearning
  8. Approval or endorsement of college if appropriate.

3. Build the site

FLO Staff Support contains the following resources to may help you develop your site:

You may also consider adding a course site welcome video which help your students connect with their course coordinators and provide a more personalised approach to the site.  Below you can find an example of a short welcome video for the Bachelor of Criminology course site.

4. Evaluate the site (post set up)

If you are a site administrator, you will want to evaluate the site’s usage on a regular basis (e.g. twice per year). Some suggested approaches are: 

  • Seek feedback from your target audience – you could use the feedback activity for this purpose, and post an announcement (this post will go to everyone enrolled in the site) to encourage users to provide feedback
  • Review forums for common questions or points of discussion (how can FAQs be useful for future years?)
  • Access FLO reports about site use: 
    • How often is the site accessed by the target audience?
    • How recently was the site accessed by the target audience?
    • What is your audience doing in the site (e.g. accessing support materials, participating in a forum)?

Once that you have collected and analysed your data, you can re-evaluate your site:

  • Is the site working: visual design, online engagement, and purpose?
  • What activities and resources are used/not used?
  • What does user feedback tell you?
  • Has the site’s purpose changed over time?
  • Are there new developments?
  • Is it sustainable? How can we improve overall site maintenance over the years?

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