Online exams LMS update

With semester 1 exams done and dusted, our online exams community of practice has reconvened to discuss what worked well, what could be improved and what is needed for semester 2 exams. 

Debbi Weaver (Acting Deputy Director, Digital Education, LTLT) provided an update on an issue experienced when large cohorts (over 1600 students) tried to log on to the LMS at the same time (i.e. 9am or 2pm).

Debbi has advised that multiple strategies will be used to minimise the risk of this happening again:

  1. The service capacity of the LMS infrastructure has been increased,
  2. Exams of >1200 students will be flagged and scheduled to start at different times to other exams on the same day, and
  3. Where a window of availability is offered for exams (e.g. 12 hours), academics are asked to ensure students understand that the window applies and suggest they don’t necessarily need to log on at the advertised start time (e.g. they can log in early, or later during the window).

If you would like further information or have any comments / feedback in relation to online exams please contact Belinda Thompson (

The pen is mightier than the keyboard

Travis Smith, Higher Education Lead with Microsoft, recently spoke at a Tablet Teaching Community of Practice meeting about the importance of hand-written notes, scribbled diagrams, and spontaneous annotation in teaching and learning processes. He argues that the tablet and stylus therefore have a key role to play in the future of technology-enabled learning.

Travis also did a cook’s tour of a range of Microsoft applications demonstrating lesser-known features that could be useful in teaching and learning contexts.

Webinar: Re-imagining the digital campus

Digitally-savvy students are now seeking smart campuses to continue their education anytime and from anywhere.  It is, therefore, up to higher education institutions to keep up with student and stakeholder expectations, as well as blaze the trail for digital transformation. 

Hear from a panel of higher education experts from QUT, RMIT & Edith Cowan University.

Time: 11:00-11:45 am, Thursday, 20 August 2020

Click here for more information and registration.

Teaching well during COVID-19

The University of Sydney’s Learning & Teaching blog has some great articles on surviving and flourishing in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent posts include:

  • How do ordinary people teach well during extraordinary times?
  • Five ways to make online videos better for student learning
  • Getting students talking through masks and mics
  • Collaborative, peer-reviewed assignments via Zoom
  • Assessing clinical skills online.

Click on the image below to access.

Thanks to Birgit Loch for bringing this to our attention!

STARS STEM Education Network event

The STARS STEM Education Network Team are holding an online catch-up event on Wednesday 19 August from 2:00pm – 3:00 pm (1400 – 1500 AEST).

The purpose of the catch-up is for STEM Educators to share practice, with a particular emphasis on how STEM teaching and learning in higher education has responded to the impact of COVID-19. This will be done through ten 3 minute presentations plus time for questions and answers.

Event details:

  • Zoom link
  • Zoom meeting ID: 952 8084 0486
  • Passcode: 589457