We speak to a lot of subject coordinators who pop into our drop-in sessions here at the academic hub or log jobs seeking help and advice. The beginning of session is a stressful time for everyone with multiple competing demands. Your subject site on UTSOnline is one of many tasks awaiting your attention but forms a crucial part of preparation. This quick checklist will help you make sure you have the essentials covered!
Subject outlines are automatically uploaded into each UTSOnline subject site from CIS. When you click on the link in left hand menu bar to access it, you will need to switch to student view to see it. Be sure to let your students know where to find it as well as how you want to be communicated with.
Set up assessments
Turnitin is used for student assignment submission. It is often used along with REVIEW. Turnitin allows assignments to be checked for plagiarism. Because subjects are cloned each session, so too are previous Turnitin assignment submission links. These need to be replaced, not reused. You can delete the old Turnitin items without losing student submissions from previous sessions. The previous iteration of the subject will continue to store all content and data from the session it was delivered. Once you have created your assignments, then tutors can access submissions for marking. UTS online also has several other assessment options which you can use, including online quizzes, SPARK, portfolios and so forth. You can pick the best option for your subject.
Set up marking
REVIEW is an application used for marking assessments online. All subjects are copied into REVIEW each session but you will need to repopulate each subject with the assessments, they are not copied. There is a couple of stages with this:
- You need to make sure you are the subject coordinator for your subject – You can do this in the Staff Roles tab of REVIEW. It is the same area for adding tutors to the subject. If you are not the subject coordinator already, log a service desk request.
- Build your assessments – In REVIEW, each assessment is referred to as a task and can be set up in the Task Setup tab. You will need to set up the task (assessment) then each of the criteria. Prepare your Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILO) for each criteria first and work our the weighting of each assessment and criteria for each assessment. These will be mandatory fields so it’s worth doing your home work first. If the same assessments were offered in the last iteration of the subject, then you can use the clone function. This makes the work of setting up assessment tasks much faster but be sure to check that all details reflect current settings.
Smartviews and Gradecentre
Smartviews help you easily divide students into groups. These can be tutorial groups (which are automatically created for each subject) or class groups. Smartviews allow tutors to easily find their student’s Turnitin assignments for easy marking and also create separate Gradecentre views too. Gradecentre helps you keep track of data, grades and monitor student performance.
UTSOnline – useful and usable
You have put a lot of work into making your UTSOnline page useful, it would be a shame if it wasn’t user friendly too. There are two main ways to ensure your hard work pays of with student visits.
- Aesthetics does matter – the look and feel of your subject site will make a big difference to student engagement. There are steps you can take to make it an inviting space for your students. Some changes to consider are colour schemes, how you structure your content (in folders or through the main menu items), and using banners.
- Current content only – your subject this session is a clone of the last time it was offered. Readings, dates, Gradecentre columns, Turnitin assignments, announcements, links, staff contacts and so forth all need to be reviewed, removed or updated. Understandably, you may be hesitant to delete content that might be useful again but over each session, the number of irrelevant links, documents and resources will continue to build up. You can either assign it to a hidden archive folder, or delete it entirely. If you are wary about deleting, speak to your learning technologist who can advise you accordingly. You can find further advice on keeping the UTSOnline workspace clean through UTSOnline help.
Online readings and A.nnotate
Most subjects will have weekly readings or exercises for students to follow through UTSOnline. Be sure to be across best practice and consult with Library services for copyright and DDR support well ahead of time. Some subjects make use of A.nnotate, a software that allows students to collaboratively comment on articles together.
This will not be an exhaustive list as each faculty, school, department and subject will have it’s own needs but it will hopefully help to structure some of the tasks that should be part of your own to-do list each session. There are also a wide variety of tools that you can use to further enrich your subject delivery. If you have a checklist of your own, or can think of some more points to add, let us know in the comments section below.
Of course if you need help and advice, you can chat with us, log a service desk request, or visit us at the hub during our daily drop-in sessions from 12-2pm where we have learning technologists ready to resolve your queries.