Learn@Rave Good Practice Guidelines

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					Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication



                Learn@Rave Good Practice Guidelines
This document is intended as both a “how to” and a “what to” guide for staff wishing to offer
materials to their students using the college’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
Learn@rave.

The first half of the document details how staff can create e-resources for delivery through
Learn@rave, the second half of the document gives staff best-practice guidelines on the types
of content that should be offered within each e-resource.

Introduction
The College is keen that all staff should take advantage of its Virtual Learning Environment
(VLE) by creating e-resources (lessons created for use on the VLE). These are generally
short “pieces” of learning and will typically provide only part of what makes up a
Ravensbourne unit or course, which can be delivered and accessed through Learn@rave.

In order to do this staff will need to be assigned as a ‘Course Creator’ within the software,
this will give staff creation and editing rights within Learn@rave. Apply to the VLE
Administrators (Remmert de Vroome, Jeanette Johannson-Young, or Roger Rees) to request
Course Creator status. The VLE Administrators are responsible for the day-to-day
maintenance of the system, and the training of users.

   How to create an e-resource on Learn@rave

   1. Select the format that you want your e-resource to be presented in, i.e. in a weekly
      format, or in topics spread over weeks or months. A Forum type format is fine, but
      remember, anyone on the course can post to that main page forum, not just the tutors
      or the course creator.
   2. Allocate Editing Rights to the tutors teaching on your e-resource or other people in
      your area.

   Editing Rights:

   1. When you are creating an e-resource you may need to think of other people in your
      area that may need to have editing rights in order to make updating a course easier or
      less onerous. It is suggested that a named individual is nominated for this role within
      the Department or Faculty. This way the task can be spread among several tutors.
      Simply go into the Administration Block in your created course, select Tutors from
      the listing, and assign people from the list or use the search facility offered if the list is
      too long. Assign editing rights (yes/no) as necessary. Non-editing teachers could be
      thought of as course tutors. They are:

                      i.   not able to change the structure of the course
                     ii.   not able to enrol or un-enrol students
                    iii.   still able to grade submitted work
                    iv.    still able to facilitate within activities

       When assigned to a group, they are only able to perform task 3 and 4 with that group.

E-Learning Advisory Group                                                           Page 1
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Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication


   2. You can also order this list (to put the main teacher at the top, for example). Simply
      select numbers from the menus in the Order column. After pressing Save changes
      you will see the new order.
   3. A special case occurs if you use select Hide for a teacher in this option. In this case,
      the teacher will NOT be shown on the course listings or the list of participants. They
      will be "hidden" from students (unless the hidden teachers post messages on a forum
      etc).

   Hiding E-resources:

   To hide any course from students on the live Learn@rave site that is unfinished, open the
   course, go to Settings in the Admin Block, and in Availability select not available to
   students. Alter this setting when the course is completed.

   Uploaded formats:

   1. Any material that you use as a resource on the VLE is best used in PDF format to be
      read in Adobe Acrobat. Resource material then can’t be edited. It will also still be
      readable for those who don’t have the latest version of Word, Excel or Powerpoint.
      Remember that you can convert any Word, Excel or PowerPoint document to PDF
      format if you are using a College computer. On a PC, open the file in the MS Office
      application, select Flashpaper from the menu bar, and then Convert to PDF. The
      application will ask where you want to save the PDF version of your document or
      presentation and then automatically convert it. On a College Mac select Print and then
      click on the PDF button in the Print window to select Save as PDF.

   2. Word documentation resources can also be converted to SCORM packages via
      CourseGenie, so they can be viewed as on the Web complete with an index and Back
      buttons. CourseGenie is loaded on all staff PCs in the college. Contact Remmert de
      Vroome in the LRC if you need training on this application.

   Do’s and Don’ts

   1. It is worthwhile to create the e-resource with features and a structure that allows
      interactivity, collaboration and experiential learning to take place. See Facilities for
      Learning for further information.
   2. Course and Unit documentation needs to be included for any resources on the VLE.
      See Documentation for further info.
   3. Take care with copyright issues. Use URLs if unsure. See Copyright.
   4. Please hide any courses from students on the live Moodle site that are still unfinished.
      See Hiding E-resources.
   5. Course documentation should be linked from the Quality webpage.
   6. Materials should be converted either into PDF format from Word, Excel or
      PowerPoint, or into SCORM formats (from Word), this will ensure that the documents
      can be accessed from machines which may not have the latest versions of applications
      software.
   7. E-resources can be used for formative assessments. If you do use this, then be aware
      that Learn@rave as a service is still under development and that full support


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       procedures are still being put in place. Therefore you should ensure that students keep
       a copy of any work submitted on-line.
   8. Take care when choosing text or colour schemes for e-resources that are not the
       standard Trebuchet font or Learn@rave format, as users with dyslexia may not be able
       to read the posted material easily. If in doubt, please contact the Administrators or
       Mary Hutton who is the Dyslexia Support Tutor at Ravensbourne.
   9. Staff should check and update course(s) regularly. An out-of-date course can be
       dispiriting to users, so archive, hide, or delete these as necessary.
   10. Keep track of older versions if you want to keep them by creating an archive folder via
       the Course Files feature in your course, backing up the older version and moving it
       into the archive folder.
   11. If a course is no longer needed and it is not to be archived, please contact the VLE
       Administrators and ask them to delete it. Please note that Course Creators cannot
       delete any courses, only the VLE Administrators can do this. Contact them if you need
       to delete any courses created in error.

   FAQs

Q: What is the file size upload limit for Learn@rave?

       A: The upload limit for students on any e-resource should be kept at 2Mb. A tutor
       with editing rights can upload larger files by changing the settings on an e-resource,
       but should then reset the upload limit back to 2Mb when finished.

Q: What is the difference between Learn@rave (the live Moodle site -
http://learn.rave.ac.uk/moodle/) and the Test site? (http://learn.rave.ac.uk/moodle5)

       A: Both are active, but Learn@rave is what students see and is used for teaching,
       while the Test site is for staff to practise with and run test courses on.
Q: How do I move (or export) a course from my laptop or PC at home to the Learn@rave
server at Ravensbourne?
       A: If creating courses on the Test Moodle (Moodle5) or at home, please see
       instructions in the PDF document ‘How to export and upload a Moodle course’ at
       http://learn.rave.ac.uk/moodle/course/view.php?id=65. If you are still unsure, please
       contact one of the Learn@rave Administrators, Jeanette Johansson-Young, Remmert
       de Vroome or Roger Rees for further assistance.
Q: Where can I go for further details or help files?
     A: For further details please see the following:

       Using Moodle (Teacher’s Manual):
       http://moodle.org/mod/resource/view.php?id=3864

       Help Files: http://moodle.org/help.php?file=index.html




E-Learning Advisory Group                                                        Page 3
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Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication


   Further Info
Facilities for Learning
      We recommend that there is a strong element of interactivity in each e-resource, rather
      than it simply being a repository of static documents. Examples of features that
      promote interactivity are:
                   i. Links to tutor's/ lecturer's and student's contact details
                  ii. Links to web pages of interest to the students. These can be collated by
                      both staff and students. Please liaise with the LRC over subscription
                      services and subject links.
                  iii. Forums, Quizzes, Chat rooms, Assignments, Surveys, Wikis or set
                       tasks that also require users to work collaboratively.
                  iv. “Learning Objects” in the form of videos or interactive demonstrations.

      Please read the Instructional Design Notes for more information and suggestions on
      creating e-resources in the context of Blended Learning.

Documentation:
      Course documentation should be included in the VLE, either in each e-resource or on
      the Faculty's Main Page. Any Course or Unit documentation on the VLE should
      include the following:
             i.   Course Title, as published in the prospectus
            ii.   Links to the Course Handbook/ Unit Specifications on the Quality
                  webpage
           iii.   The relevant Project Briefs or a link to them
           iv.    The official course timetable or a link to it

Copyright Issues:
   Staff should check that they are not infringing copyright. Most people or companies are
   not too concerned if their material is used for educational purposes. It might be both safer
   and common courtesy to ask permission of any copyright holder before uploading any
   material to a website or the VLE. Otherwise provide URLs since this acknowledges the
   source automatically.

QA Validation:
   All project briefs, course descriptions, course handbooks and other course documentation
   needs to be approved by QA - to ensure this, course documentation should be linked from
   the Quality webpage. External websites or specific material such as manufacturers’
   brochures, manuals or graphics, which are outside the college’s control, must have been
   granted permission by the copyright owner.




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Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication



   What to include in an e-resource on Learn@rave

Context:

These guidelines set out the requirements necessary in order for staff to create online projects,
units or courses on the College VLE (Learn@rave). The guidelines are intended to ensure that
all students enjoy ‘parity of experience’ in their interaction with ‘Learn@rave’. To this end it
is proposed items 1-4 and 10 be made compulsory for all e-resources, with the remaining
points optional. In this way, students engaging with Learn@rave, on whichever course, will
be able to access a consistent range of materials.

Please note that inclusion of item 6 (Active Learning) is strongly recommended, as this
‘active learning’ function is a core component of Learn@rave.


Requirements:                                                  Responsibilities:

  1. Course Documentation; All e-resources should           Setup;
include links to the Unit or Project Descriptions           Learning Technologist/ VLE
(outline, outcomes, assessment criteria), and the           Development Officer
Course Handbook.
  2. Course Documentation; All e-resources should           Setup;
include links to Project Briefs, after these have been      Learning Technologist/ VLE
reviewed and passed by the Faculty Verification             Development Officer
Group.
                                                            Maintenance;
                                                            Course Leaders
  3. Resources Listing: Links to relevant resources         Setup;
such as e-resources in the LRC, books, and articles.        Learning Technologist/ VLE
Where appropriate, links to materials specially             Development Officer
created for the unit, module or project should be
available.                                                  Maintenance;
                                                            Academic Staff
  4. General News: E-resources should include a             Setup;
General News or Announcement block for                      Learning Technologist/ VLE
disseminating information to students about the unit        Development Officer
or module.
                                                            Maintenance;
                                                            Business Support Staff
                                                            Course Leaders
  5. Independent Learning: Where possible,                  Setup & Maintenance;
resources should be provided for students to enable         Academic Staff
them to study outside of class-time. Resources used
in class should be available on the VLE prior to the
class to help students with disabilities or learning
difficulties. Where a topic is particularly term laden it
is useful to provide a glossary, possibly even
managed by the students themselves.

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Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication


  6. Active Learning: Resources and activities should      Setup and Maintenance;
have the potential to engage the students in learning      Academic Staff
actively instead of just passively absorbing               Course Leaders
information. Moodle elements such as forums,
workshops, learning journals or quizzes for example,
will assist in creating an e-resource in which students
can learn actively. Interaction can take place on-line,
or students may need to prepare offline for
subsequent face-to-face classes that make specific
connections to the independent learning.
  7. Formative Feedback: Where appropriate, e-             Setup and Maintenance;
resources should include formative objective testing       Academic Staff
with automated feedback to help students gain a            Course Leaders
sense of achievement. When appropriate, e-resources
should include a 'Choice' activity [needs
clarification] to reveal group opinions and
experiences.
  8. Reflective Learning Journals: Where                   Setup and Maintenance;
appropriate, e-resources should include learning           Academic Staff
journals to be used at key points in the unit or project
for the students to reflect upon their learning and for
the tutors to give personal and private feedback.
  9. Discussion Forums: Where appropriate, e-              Setup and Maintenance;
resources should include discussion forums to enable       Academic Staff
students to discuss key issues, solve problems, link
theory and practice and facilitate group work.
Teaching staff need to be active in moderating these
discussions.
  10. Tracking: Student activity should be tracked         Setup;
and interventions made on an ongoing basis where           Learning Technologist/ VLE
students appear to be disengaged with the e-resource.      Development Officer

                                                           Maintenance;
                                                           Academic Staff
  11. Evaluation: E-resources should include a             Setup;
standard online evaluation survey for refining the         Learning Technologist/ VLE
online tool.                                               Development Officer




E-Learning Advisory Group                                                       Page 6
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