Why use this tool?

This page provides a quick explanation as to why a particular tool should be used. You will also find tips and examples for each tool.

Why use the Assignments tool?

The Assignments tool enables students to submit assignments online, eliminating the need to mail, fax, or email assignments. Students upload their assignments to the appropriate Assignment folder. This tool also helps you track when assignments are submitted.

Opportunities

  • a one-stop-shop for students to submit assignments
  • option to setup an Assignment folder with a plagiarism check enabled
  • access assignments, mark them and give feedback to students online
  • access a record of who submitted assignments, when they were submitted, when they were marked and when they were available for students to access
  • set up separate folders for separate tasks or for separate groups of students
  • provide Assignment folders for group assignments to be submitted
  • provide feedback to individuals, groups or to all students.

Tip

  • Add a Grade item when setting up your Assignment folder.
  • Set up a Turnitin (plagiarism check) assignment folder for students to check their work prior to final submission.
  • Provide students with a preferred naming convention for the files that they need to upload to the Assignment folder. This may include their student number, surname and title of the assignment.

Example

Dropbox folderDropbox Assignment

Why use Checklists?

A Checklist is a way to highlight important or required assignments, readings or other items to complete. A Checklist may list all the items which need to be completed immediately or may have items appear sequentially once other items are completed.

Opportunities

  • provide a list of tasks students need to complete
  • present students with a visual summary of the requirements for a topic or assignment or unit
  • assist students to find their way around the resources of your site
  • break your unit down into more manageable sections
  • better cater for individual learning needs by building in 'extension' activities or revision activities
  • help students manage 'due dates'
  • ensure prerequisite tasks are completed before access to new ones is made available
  • reinforce topic learning objectives/intended learning outcomes
  • provide different groups of students with different tasks or sequences of tasks
  • provide a week-by-week guide for students during trimester.

Tip

  • Setup your Assignments so that all tasks on the Checklist are completed before students can submit.

Example: An Assignment Checklist (student view)

Checklist example

Why use the Resources tool?

The Resources tool enables you to create, edit, organise and delete modules and topics in your unit.

Opportunities

  • use Modules and Topics to structure your unit resources
  • have the choice of adding resources by:        
    • creating a new html file
    • using an existing file in the site
    • uploading a file from outside your site
    • building Quicklinks into your unit topics
  • reorder the sequence of your modules/topics as you build
  • give yourself a complete linear view of how students will progress through your unit site
  • use Reports to track student data regarding time spent in site and modules/topics visited
  • use Manage Files to store and organise your files
  • set Restrictions on your topic such as hiding modules/topics or setting release and close dates.

Tip

  • You can use the Instructional Design Wizard or the Site Builder as alternative means of building the structure of your unit.
Manage Content

Why use the Grades tool?

You can set up a grade book that reflects your approach to evaluation. You control the grading formula used to calculate grades; what projects, assignments and tests are graded; how grade items are associated with other tools; when grades are released to users and what information they see.

Opportunities

  • create a connection between your Assignments and/or Quizzes and your Grades
  • create assessment task items and record student grades in your Grades area
  • allocate different weightings to different assessment tasks
  • assess students by means of different grade types
  • release grades to students when available
  • use the statistical analysis function to analyse your distribution of grades
  • analyse the grades of individual students
  • export grades to a spreadsheet.

Tip

  • The Grades Setup Wizard allows you to choose Weighted, Points or Formula grades schemes.

Example

Grades view

Why use the News tool?

The News tool enables you to communicate updates, changes and new information to your students quickly and effectively. Unit based News items appear in the News widget on the Home page. Since this is the first page that the users often see when they access their unit sites, it is a good way to display pertinent information.

Opportunities

  • introduce yourself to students
  • welcome students to your unit
  • direct students unfamiliar with the CloudDeakin environment
  • alert students to an upcoming or recently past event
  • make an announcement
  • engage students by means of links to a video, blog, online resource
  • use as the launching pad to the unit
  • use as a one stop shop for information about the unit (via Quicklinks)
  • provide positive feedback to students
  • demonstrate to students via constant news changes - e.g. photos, quotes, URLs - that your online presence is regularly maintained and current.

Tip

  • News is meant to be informative, relevant to many and worth reading.
  • Keep it concise, relevant and up to date.

Example

News tool

Why use the Quizzes tool?

The Quizzes tool is used to create, categorise, store, manage, publish and grade questions you set for your students to respond to either as reinforcement of learning or as formal assessment tasks.

Opportunities

  • give students the opportunity to reinforce their learning
  • reinforce to students the purpose and value of learning objectives or intended learning outcomes
  • design a series of small quizzes to support sequential learning
  • design quizzes as formal assessment tasks
  • give students opportunities to complete multiple-choice quizzes prior to multiple-choice exams
  • create, build and maintain a library of questions which can be re-used in other quizzes or units
  • have data available (e.g. student grades, attempts, class average, numbers of responses)
  • identify particular concepts which students appear to find challenging
  • provide instantaneous feedback to students as they complete a quiz
  • provide a variety of quiz question types so as to encourage different thinking styles
  • compile and export quiz results to a spreadsheet.

Tip

  • Online quizzes, well designed, can be a very efficient way of assessing student learning and providing instant feedback. Feedback on learning is the essential ingredient of good assessment practice.
  • Create your quiz questions in the Question Library so you can reuse the questions if required.
  • When setting up a Quiz ensure you add a Grade Item and tick the box next to Auto Export to Grades, which will ensure that student submission results are automatically exported to Grades for release to students.

Example

Quizzes tool

Why use the Self Assessment tool?

Self assessments allow you to create non-assessable quizzes with automated feedback which students can access in order to reinforce their learning.

Opportunities

  • create quizzes which allow students to 'test' what they are learning
  • assist students to reinforce their learning by interspersing self assessments into your Resources
  • build in automatic feedback with your quiz questions and answers
  • provide opportunities for students to determine what aspects of their learning they need to revise
  • give students experience of doing informal online quizzes before tackling formal assessments
  • provide opportunities for students to practice for multiple-choice exams.

Tip

  • Create your Self Assessment questions in the Question Library so you can reuse the questions if required.
  • Adult learners value the opportunity to check how well they are understanding concepts.

Example

Self Assessment tool

Why use the Survey tool?

The Surveys tool creates surveys which allow you to monitor unit trends and opinions and assess student satisfaction.

Opportunities

  • use as a learning activity for students
  • survey students to determine preferred learning styles early in trimester
  • use the results as the basis of a class discussion
  • build into a hurdle requirement or Conditional Release sequence
  • get feedback from students, with the option of anonymity if desired
  • give instant feedback to students who respond to the survey
  • search for and analyse results of a survey
  • access summary aggregate data from student responses
  • collate qualitative comments from students.

Tip

  • Create your survey questions in the Question Library so you can reuse the questions if required.

Example

Survey tool

Why use Echo Recordings?

EchoSystem offers the ability to capture and record lectures and allow playback in various formats including streamed files, downloads and podcasts. In addition, EchoSystem affords a more media-rich interface, with new functionality like scenes/chapters, search, context sensitive help and good feedback mechanisms.

The Echo interface affords students two alternate views:

screenshot of Echo System interface 1 screenshot of Echo System interface 2

Teaching staff will be able to manage their recordings via the EchoCentre; a playlist of lecture and supplemental recordings for each unit. Integrated with CloudDeakin EchoCenter makes it easy to navigate, identify and launch multimedia course content, track recording usage and preview online student discussions and questions.

Classroom Capture and Personal Capture

EchoSystem, and Deakin's decision to move to a site-wide license offers two new pieces of technology that allows us to expand the range of our lecture recording service - with EchoSystem Classroom Capture, any teaching spaces that are equipped with a PC have the potential to become a recording station, capturing audio from the lecturer, and screen feeds of MS PowerPoint slideshows or even DVD playback.

Similarly, with EchoSystem Personal Capture, staff workstations (PC and MAC) can become "lecture recording" solutions with lecturers being able to record lectures in the comfort of their office or home - an easy-to-use interface affords controls like pause, resume and minor editing to be done.

screenshot of Echo System personal capture interface


Why use eLive?

eLive enables teaching staff to communicate synchronously, with students in campus-based, cloud-based and combined mode classes. eLive allows you to talk online in real time; chat via text online; share applications, give presentations and most importantly the ability to record session. Recording allows students to access the session if they weren't present or if they would like to hear it again.

Opportunities

  • provides opportunities to communicate with your cloud-based students
  • record the session and make it available to students who are unable to join the session
  • allow students from different countries to work collaboratively online. You can create a meeting link open for a period of time, for example one trimester and enrol all participants as moderators. Students can access the meeting link and work together as a group at times that suit them.

Tip

  • Set up the meeting room and choose a date and time that is suitable to yourself and your students. Do think about time zone differences if you have students from other countries.
  • Provide students with the URL to access the meeting room. This can be done by posting as a news item on your CloudDeakin site.
  • If you are recording your session, provide your students with the recording URL.

Example

eLive overview
Page custodian: Deakin Learning Futures
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