e-Learning at RMIT focuses on the integration of sustainable information, communication and ‘creation’ technologies that support teaching practice, enhance student engagement and enliven the learning experience.
RMIT incorporates an online presence into all courses via the Learning Hub: a system that provides access to a range of e-learning tools. The most commonly-used tool is Blackboard, a learning management system that can be used for a variety of educational applications:
- distribute and organise information (documents, presentations, links, etc), using customisable course areas and folders
- communicate with your students using announcements, discussion boards and virtual classrooms
- conduct online assessment with tests, quizzes and assignment submission
- record student grades with Blackboard’s gradebook.
RMIT’s implementation of Blackboard also includes blogs and wikis, two ‘web 2.0’ tools which allow students to generate their own content, rather than solely downloading resources created by their teachers. These tools allow you to introduce a range of student-centred activities into online courses, particularly reflective journals (blogs) and collaborative group projects (wikis).
Another major e-learning initiative at the University is the installation of the Lectopia system into numerous lecture theatres across all RMIT campuses. You can book Lectopia to automatically record the audio and/or onscreen components of a lecture, and make them available to your students for viewing or download via a course Blackboard site.
Significant resources have been dedicated to e-learning, including a range of support services to help staff develop skills in these areas. If you are interested in learning more about the approaches discussed above (or many other aspects of e-learning), contact ITS Training or the Academic Development staff within your College.
Examples of practice
Dr Andrea Chester demonstrates how she uses Blackboard to support her psychology course.
Arthur Shelley provides an overview of how wikis are used in his knowledge management course.
First-year psychology students discuss how Lectopia recordings enhance their study.