eLearning Innovations and Partnerships in
Science and Engineering (eLIPSE)

Transcript: eLIPSE Ecosystem of Tools

The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT) at the University of Queensland (UQ) has engaged in a strategic program of change. From their very first day, engineering students are challenged to think and act like professionals.

The development of a modular and scalable suite of learning tools within the eLearning Innovations and Partnerships in Science and Engineering (eLIPSE) unit assists students to adapt to the online environment and helps staff facilitate an active learning experience at scale. Our focus is to encourage students to take ownership of their own learning through student facing learning analytics.

1. Capability building & organisational impact
eLIPSE provides support for eLearning innovation and research which is well grounded in the curriculum and led by academics who are involved in teaching practice. eLIPSE brings together expertise in the fields of eLearning, curriculum design and software development that allows innovations to be quickly and effectively piloted, and evidence-based research to be developed and disseminated. Student developers are also employed in a unique partnership that allows their voice to be imbedded in our innovations. The unit has a growing portfolio of highly innovative eLearning tools that have emerged over 6 years of flipping the classroom in Science and Engineering. These tools capitalise on the capture of student’s digital traces. eLIPSE tools have been adopted across disciplines at institutional, national and international level

2. Sustainability
eLIPSE tools are grounded in active learning pedagogies that encourage interactions between students and teachers and among students. They enable active and collaborative learning and provide rich data about student’s progress and performance which contributes to a relevant evidence base for future planning and development. The data also contributes to just-in-time formative feedback to students to help them develop their capacity to take ownership of their learning.

The focused, collaborative development of eLearning and learning analytics tools, methodologies and infrastructure across diverse stakeholder groups and organisational units ensures relevant solutions that can integrate with institutional systems and scale across the entire organisation. The unique partnership allows student and educator voices to be embedded in innovations.

3. Reproducibility
A key focus of eLIPSE is systematic development of reusable components to shorten development time, reduce redundancies and improve system interoperability.  Best practice processes that are transparent underpin the work. This includes analytics aspects such as data extraction, storage and processing, feedback mechanisms and analysis algorithms, as well as data visualisation. The unit aims to assist academics to advance their understanding of technology-enhanced learning in disciplinary contexts through focused collaborative development of eLearning and learning analytics tools, methodologies and infrastructure.

The Learning Pathway is an interactive navigational interface for students with recommendations on how they should work through the course. It:

  • breaks complex learning and sequences down into manageable steps
  • provides just in time access to resources and support materials. It
  • enables us to make sense of clickstream data as students interact with course content.

The Student Dashboard provides up-to-date formative feedback to students in order to develop students capacity to take ownership of their learning. They are able to:

  • see their cumulative grade point average, based on the number of assessments completed so far, and
  • relate this to the position of other students in the class through their ability to see the average grade achieved by the entire class.

Linking these two tools back at the institutional level, the JourneyMaker (tJM) ( a "whole-of-curricula" design environment) permits users to systematically build and assess curricula, and to demonstrate how they map against required outcome standards. It visualises progressive development of knowledge and skills/application in the curriculum and provides rich information to inform decision making.

4. Student success
Current eLIPSE research is improving understanding of how students learn, and how to use learning analytics to personalise and improve their student experience.  The Learning Pathway and the Dashboard allow students to see where they are going, how they are progressing, whether they are on track and up to date and how their performance compares with that of others. WebPA(f), Semant and MOOCchat assist with a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Through the Learning Pathway we have seen a marked qualitative impact on students in terms of their own learning. Students across the University have also requested that the Learning Pathway be available in all of their courses.

WebPA(f) is a web-based peer-evaluation tool used to evaluate individual contributions to teamwork. The system manages the collection of student responses, calculates Peer Assessment Factors (PAFs) and SAPAs (Self-Assessment over Peer Assessment), and facilitates moderation via a user-friendly dashboard.

Since 2014 the innovative e-assessment and active learning tool MOOCchat has been developed and used in large Engineering and Science classes to facilitate and assess small-group discussion around difficult concepts. The tool addresses a gap in learning analytics tracking around higher order competencies and provides rich data about student’s conceptual understanding and confidence.