LEO's LMS component is the open-source software called Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment). A growing number of Australian (and overseas) universities use Moodle, largely because of the communication and collaboration it enables and the variety of learning styles and pedagogies it supports. The browser interface is simple and easy to navigate and it is flexible, allowing tools and activities to be 'switched on' or hidden to suit the needs of lecturers (and faculties) needs.
The tools and activities within the LEO LMS include:
- Content delivery, for example unit outlines, lecture notes and presentations, readings, topic packages/modules, case studies, videos, podcasts
- Discussion Forums, Blogs, Wikis, Chats, Messaging, RSS feeds
- News and Announcements, Calendars and Events
- Assessments and assignments, self-review (formative) quizzes, Question/Item Bank, grade reports, Gradebook
- Surveys, Polling and Activity Reporting
LEO's Content Manger is built on the Learning Content Management System (LCMS), EQUELLA, developed by Tasmanian educational software specialist The Learning Edge. Content Manager is designed for the production, management, collaboration, sharing and storage of digital learning content which can be published via LEO or other web-based platforms.
Content Manager supports ACU's commitment to quality and continuous improvement in delivery of learning content for students. It allows for collaboration and sharing of information between faculty staff and storage and production of learning content in a variety of formats, including rich-media and content packages/modules with built-in navigation. Content Manager enables version control, customisable workflows and metadata tagging useful for search and retrieval.
- May 2011: PD for eLFs
- July - December 2011: PD for ACU staff
- August 2011: Draft version of migration
- September 2011: Final version of migration and trial run
- October 2011: Unit migration
- November - December 2011: Lecturers edit units as needed
- January 2012: Go live
Getting to know LEO - Professional Development and Support
Some piloting of LEO will commence in Semester 2 this year, 2011. The faculties and the Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) are working together to ensure that all lecturing staff are orientated and familiar with LEO by the end of 2011. LTC will conduct Professional Development (PD) workshops during the second half of 2011. The LEO PD workshops will introduce lecturers to LEO and how it can be used to enhance, complement and support their teaching. The workshops will also provide hands-on guidance in using the key tools and activities.
In addition, the LTC is currently developing a comprehensive set of online, self-serve eResources including 'how-to' guides, videos and walk-throughs. Along with the Faculty eLearning Coordinators (FeLCs) the faculties have identified eLearning Friends (eLFs) to work with and mentor other staff, so there will be plenty of support for lecturers wanting to grow their confidence and skills. Specialised support will also be readily available for both academics and students.