It’s been great this week to have Dr Danny Liu from Macquarie University visit us here at Otago. On Monday, Danny gave a talk, to a packed seminar room, on three projects he’s been involved with at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney: The Moodle Engagement Analytics Plugin (MEAP), the Student Relationship Engagement System (SRES) (for which Danny was a finalist in the 2015 ascilite learning analytics awards) and the Maquarie Open Analytics Toolkit (MOAT). Slides from Danny’s talk are available on slideshare.
For each system, Danny gave us a clear picture of the teaching and learning issues and motivation behind the developments, an insight into system evaluation, and reflections on student and staff experiences. Danny’s approach to development, firmly embedded in the local teaching and learning context but aligned with institutional and IT infrastructure imperatives, resonated strongly with us. There were lots of questions from the floor and some good discussions following the talk.
Several Otago teaching staff expressed an interest in working with us, here in the Higher Education Development Centre, to pilot a local instantiation of the SRES later this year. We plan to include this nascent trans-Tasman venture as a case-study in our Ako Aotearoa funded project, Building an evidence-base for teaching and learning design using learning analytics data. This is a national project in partnership with the University of Auckland, Massey University and The Open Polytechnic of NZ.
We’ve also been sharing with Danny some of our bespoke teaching and learning software including Otago inFORM for teaching and course evaluations, UniTube, our media file sharing platform and Pictation for annotating images. We’re keen to explore and develop opportunities to share these and outputs from our current work with other Universities and Polytechnics in NZ and Australia.
Overall, a really worthwhile three days and we’ll look forward to continuing a productive collaboration – thanks Danny!