Getting started with teaching for Autumn session

by | 7 Feb, 2019 | 0 comments

We’re almost back in session, and that means the flurry of activities to get subjects up and running for new and returning students has begun. If you’re wondering where to start, check out these tips from our Learning Design and Technology Specialists (LDATS).

Make learning technologies your friends

If all is going to plan, learning technologies should be enabling you to do your work efficiently rather than causing headaches. Here are a few ways to simplify your life during session.

  • Get your grade centre set up – you can clean up the interface by deleting any unwanted columns, and save time by configuring the columns at the end of the grade centre so that grades can automatically be extracted at the end of the session. Make sure any due dates for assessments are up to date for Autumn 2019.
  • If you’re a user of Blackboard (otherwise known as UTSOnline), spend some time getting to know its functions features, and ensure that the content in your subject is still up to date and relevant. One way to keep your content easy to access is giving your hyperlinks a quick check and making sure that they all still work, and grouping your content appropriately in the menu. If you need ideas on creating more interactive content for your subject, have a chat with an LDATS.
  • Start thinking about who will be accessing your subject site. Enrol all of the teaching staff in the subject, make your own contact details available and think about posting a welcome message. Post a welcome message in the subject announcements – if you’d like to make a short welcome video, our media team can help you.

Your key contacts

You don’t need to go it alone – there are lots of staff members all around the University who can assist you.

  • LX.Lab team: Talk to your teaching colleagues or the LX.lab team about what you have planned and anything you are getting stuck with. Sometimes it helps to brainstorm with some different points of view and there may be solutions or amazing ideas you haven’t come across yet.
  • Library staff: Get in touch with the librarians responsible for your faculty. They can assist with your subject’s reading list, and advise you of other available resources/services specific to your faculty. Find their contact details here
  • IML academics: The academics in IML can help in a number of different areas, from learning and teaching design to academic literacies. Find their contact details here.

Getting ahead

  • Preparation will always serve you well. Get started now and don’t leave everything to the last minute – you’ll be glad for it later.
  • Anticipating that your teaching staff might need some assistance in navigating the learning technologies they’ll need to use? Create some ‘how-to-use’ instructions for them to reference, even if it’s a simple list of tips.

Come and see us!

These tips were kindly provided by Anna Stack, Detlev Kerkovius, Mais Fatayer, Shegufa Zahedi and Wenes Gunawan. They are just some of our team of LDATS, who are well experienced in helping academics to manage their learning and teaching processes.

  • Drop-in: Come and visit our LDATS by coming to the LX.lab for a drop-in session, where you can ask all of your burning questions on how to get set up for Autumn.
  • Workshops: The LX.lab will also be holding a number of workshops to help you out with using learning technologies in your teaching, so make sure to check our What’s On page for details.

Feature image by Tyler Franta.

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