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Learning Technologies Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University seeks to secure success for our students and the Greater Western Sydney region through innovation and discovery in a dynamic and technology-enabled world.

(2) The University uses a variety of digital learning technologies, including content creation and publishing software, mobile applications, digital devices and internet-based applications. These contribute to flexible and creative modes of program delivery which are underpinned by accessible and universal learning design.

(3) This policy:

  1. Identifies the principles informing a pedagogically driven approach to the use of learning technologies that enhance the student learning experience.
  2. Guides the creation of a responsive curriculum that embeds learning technology to support and extend successful student learning.
  3. Supports innovation in teaching by providing guidance on the use of learning technologies.
  4. Supports university-wide adoption of sustainable and scalable learning technologies which foster digital inclusion.

(4) This Policy should be read in conjunction with University policies including:

  1. Assessment Policy
  2. Copyright Policy
  3. Curriculum Publication Procedures
  4. Disability Policy
  5. Intellectual Property Policy
  6. Media, Social Media and Public Commentary Policy
  7. Privacy Policy
  8. Professional Development Policy
  9. Web Policy
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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply, as well as Policy DDS Glossary definitions:

  1. Usability principles means the alignment of instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for all students, and provides various ways of creating, engaging with and demonstrating learning underpinned by universal learning design approaches.
  2. Responsive curriculum means addressing the varied needs of learners, of employers and other stakeholders who have an interest in the quality and outcomes of Western Sydney University graduates.
  3. Digital Learning Thresholds means the University's quality framework used to assure the quality of the design of accessible learning activities and assessments used in technology-enabled-learning environments. 
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Section 3 - Policy

Principles 

(6) The use of learning technology is driven by learning outcomes (particularly where focused on future career needs), accessible design, effective pedagogical practice, the evidence-based potential to increase student engagement, and to encourage active instructor presence.

(7) The design of technology enabled learning environments is research informed, curriculum driven, and informed by the needs and aspirations of learners.

(8) Learning technologies support equivalent learning outcomes and access, across locations and differentiated modalities.

(9) Learning technologies considers the different access needs and circumstances of all students.

(10) Learning technologies comply with quality assurance standards and good practices for technology-enabled-learning environments.

(11) Learning technologies encourage and facilitate student participation across the student lifecycle.

(12) Learning management systems are available 24 hours a day, materials are accessible and usable, activities are designed to be engaging and motivating.

(13) The University values innovation in the use of learning technologies and provides support to students and staff, and guidance through relevant advisory committees.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Roles and Responsibilities

(14) Deans and Deputy Deans, with support from Directors of Academic Programs and Academic Program Advisors are responsible for ensuring that:

  1. the use of learning technologies by all staff, including part-time and sessional staff, complies with this policy and
  2. quality assurance processes are implemented to enhance students’ technology-enabled learning experience.

(15) Academic staff are responsible for ensuring:

  1. Digital Learning Threshold standards are applied in the design of technology-enabled-learning environments
  2. pedagogically appropriate learning technologies are used in teaching and curriculum design
  3. there is an active presence in the technology-enabled-learning environment
  4. advice and University support is sought where needed in the use of learning technologies in instruction and assessment
  5. the design of learning technologies is inclusive and fosters access to all students
  6. the minimum technology requirements (for students) are clear and specified in the Online Handbook.

(16) Students are responsible for:

  1. ensuring they are aware of minimum technology requirements as specified in the Online Handbook
  2. engaging in the technology-enabled-learning environment
  3. seeking support, if required, to learn the digital literacy skills associated with learning technologies
  4. seeking advice if they do not have access to the minimum technology requirements.

(17) All University supplied learning technologies will be categorised by the level of support available to staff and students and managed using Information Technology and Digital Services (ITDS) Service Management protocols.

(18) The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning Futures will provide professional development for staff in applying the Digital Learning Thresholds, digital literacy and technologies for teaching and learning.

(19) The Learning and Teaching Technologies Advisory Group (LaTTe) will provide direction and strategy on technologies for learning and teaching. LaTTe is the main channel for the identification and promotion of technologies that facilitate learning and teaching at the University.

(20) Information Technology and Digital Services (ITDS) will provide guidelines and processes to fund innovation in learning technology.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(21) The following documents are associated with this Policy:

  1. Creating Engaging Video Content Guidelines
  2. Disability Standards for Education
  3. Drones Policy
  4. Teaching and Learning Procedures - Multimedia Production and Use
  5. Privacy Management Plan 
  6. Teaching and Learning - Fundamental Code
  7. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines