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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 publishing software, mobile applications, digital devices and internet-based applications. These contribute to flexible and creative modes of course delivery which are underpinned by accessible 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 - Criteria and Standards-Based Assessment;
  2. Unit Outline and Learning Guides Policy;
  3. Examinations Policy;
  4. Privacy Policy;
  5. Web Policy;
  6. Disability Policy.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purposes of this policy and its associated documents:

  1. Usability principles: the alignment of instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for all students, and gives them various ways of creating, engaging with and demonstrating learning underpinned by universal learning design approaches.
  2. Responsive curriculum: addresses 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. Quality Matters: an internationally recognised, research-informed rubric 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 best 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 Course 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 improve students’ technology-enabled learning experience.

(15) Academic staff are responsible for ensuring:

  1. Quality Matters standards are applied in the design of their technology-enabled-learning environment;
  2. they make use of pedagogically appropriate learning technologies in their teaching and curriculum design;
  3. there is an active presence in the technology-enabled-learning environment;
  4. they seek advice and University support where needed around their use of learning technologies in instruction and assessment;
  5. the design of learning technologies are inclusive and fosters access to all students;
  6. the minimum technology requirements (for the students) are specified in Unit Outlines.

(16) Students are responsible for:

  1. ensuring they are aware of minimum technology requirements as specified in Unit Outlines;
  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 conduct annual snapshots of consistency with the Quality Matters rubric and provide reports to Deputy Deans.

(19) The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning Futures will provide professional development for staff in digital literacy and the effective use of learning technologies.

(20) 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.

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

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Section 5 - Guidelines

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

  1. Teaching and Learning - Fundamental Code
  2. Effective Use of the Learning Management System
  3. Drones Policy
  4. Multimedia Production and Use Policy (previously named Lecture Recording Policy)
  5. Key Content Capture Guidelines
  6. Privacy Management Plan 
  7. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  8. Disability Standards for Education