Learning Futures Support for Online Teaching, Learning, and Assessment

The Learning Futures Portfolio is providing support for academics teaching online during the period of social distancing through online workshops and consultations. These workshops will be conducted via Zoom or Collaborate Ultra and facilitated by a Learning Futures staff member.

Our offerings for support and professional development for the transition to online learning are expanding to accommodate the diverse needs of our teaching staff.

The workshops for Spring are organised into the following categories:

Assessment Design and Delivery

Alternative Assessment Options

In this workshop, we will discuss key challenges and strategies related to the implementation of alternative e-assessment. There will be an opportunity to get practical advice from other academics who have made the move.

Authentic Assessment

The key questions to address in this session are: what are authentic assessments, why we care, and how to design them? Building on principles of reliable and valid measurements of student learning, we discuss ways to enhance learning to develop analytical skills and generative (design, innovate) skills which are needed to become a good professional. One key aspect of authentic assessments is the context of learning in relation to the subject and/or discipline. It provides the component often missing in traditional assessments needed for meaningful assessment and learning and needed for a more coherent curriculum.

Creating Low Stakes Assessments

This session covers creating a pool of questions in vUWS, creating a test with appropriate questions and identifying potential difficulties for students.

Pedagogical Considerations Using Quizzes

Do you use online quizzes? Learn how to get the most of them and practice good quiz writing in this workshop.

Writing Questions for Online Exams

Bring your questions to this 30-minute workshop for tips on writing questions for your online exam. We will briefly cover how to modify/write good multiple choice, short and long answer questions for different levels of learning, and review what’s needed for open book exams. Then you have the floor to ask how to modify/write your exam questions. This is a practical hands-on session.


This session focuses on creating and uploading quiz questions using the TEL spreadsheet, creating pool questions within vUWS, creating and editing tests in vUWS and implementing test options.

Respondus 4 - vUWS Quiz Pool Generator

Respondus 4 is a windows-based tool that allows academics to easily create quizzes and question banks outside of vUWS, ready to be uploaded to any vUWS site as needed. This can help save a lot of time for staff who run multiple quizzes across multiple sites, especially for those who use question banks to enhance academic integrity.

Tips for running a vUWS Test requiring Handwritten Answers

Are your students expected to submit handwritten answers through an online test in vUWS? Come join us as we discuss tips and tricks to enhance success.

Video Assignments

This session covers three ways to use Blackboard tools to allow students to submit video content. Whether students are creating presentations, recording performances or sharing a video, this session covers how content can be marked, shared and discussed.

Proctor U demo (Live + and Review +) and Q&A session

This session demonstrates what students and staff experience when they use services of ProctorU - a leading e-proctoring provider. We will demonstrate what steps students go through to take the online-proctored exam and what steps are taken by the Exam Team and Learning Futures to set up online invigilated exams. We will also cover the differences between live-proctored and fully-automated invigilated options in Blackboard.

Blackboard Tests: How to set up an exam in vUWS for beginners

Designed for those who have never created a quiz in vUWS, this session will provide an overview of the test tool in Blackboard: types of questions and what are the settings that accompany each.

Learning Analytics

Interpretation of vUWS Analytics

This workshop starts with a brief overview of learning analytics. The focus of the workshop is placed on technical aspects of using learning analytics tools on vUWS. You will have an opportunity to explore tools, such as course analytics, course reports, performance dashboard and retention centre, and learn how to interpret system data and pre-populated reports on vUWS.

Using Analytics to Improve the Evaluation of Learning

This workshop builds on a previous workshop that focussed on how to access and use the learning analytics tools in vUWS. In this workshop, we will look at the different types of student engagement and focus on design strategies to help you use vUWS learning analytics tools to help you evaluate your students' behavioural and cognitive engagement in your unit. This is a beginner and intermediate level workshop.

Using Analytics to inform Curriculum and Learning Design

Have you identified what worked and what did not work from vUWS learning analytics? Are you planning for Spring? Please join us and have a discussion on how we could improve curriculum and instructional design for flexible offering.

The focus of the workshop is placed on using vUWS learning analytics and tools to monitor our students' learning progress, enhance communication and design activities to promoting learning. We will be exploring strategies and tactics on using data/information from content usage statistics, performance dashboard, Panopto analytics and assessment analytics to inform curriculum and instructional design.

Marking and Feedback

Online Assignment Feedback for Learning

Why don’t students pay more attention to feedback on assessment tasks?  This workshop articulates ways of focusing attention on feedback, using feedback to guide student learning, and how to use online resources to engage students with feedback.

A closer look at vUWS Assignments and Turnitin Rubric

There are a few important settings and features you need to know about when using assignments and rubrics.  Come along to this mini workshop to find out how to make the most of these vUWS tools.

Marking Short/Essay Answer Questions in vUWS

This workshop looks at how to mark short answer and essay answer questions in vUWS.

Managing the Grade Centre

This session focuses on column organisation, creating smart views and favourites, creating and editing different types of columns for grade calculation and downloading Grade Centre.

Marking consistently and efficiently  – rubrics, written and voice feedback, tips and tool options

In this workshop, we discuss strategies and practical tips related to marking consistency and efficiency in an online environment, including utilising rubrics that meet your marking needs and choosing tools to provide both written and/or verbal feedback. There will also be an opportunity to get practical advice from other Western colleagues who are experienced in online assessment design, rubrics development and implementation.

vUWS Turnitin

This Zoom session focuses on creating a Turnitin assessment, creating and attaching a rubric and providing feedback. As Turnitin is a widely used tool in vUWS, this session will be beneficial to all academics setting up and marking Turnitin assessments.

Teaching Practice

Academic Integrity and Online Assessment

What issues are students facing and what might be the impact of these on academic integrity? This workshop considers risks and strategies to address these in your online unit. Find out how to embed the student academic integrity module in your unit and bring your academic integrity questions to discuss in a Q&A session.

Creating an Online Community

In this workshop you will be introduced to the concept of an online learning community and we will explore ways that the student learning experience can be supported. There will also be a range of practical tips to help you create and sustain an inclusive and supportive online learning environment.

Engaging Students in Active Online Learning br>
This workshop will focus on active learning design and techniques for online engagement that build student capabilities in achieving the desired learning outcomes.

Labs & Experiential Learning Online

In this session we consider transitioning practical sessions online and the different approaches you might take. Associate Professor Gaetano Gargiulo will provide valuable insights of his online teaching in electrical engineering. A resource list of virtual & remotes labs, simulations, tools, and videos will be made available.

Teaching Online

The sudden transition to online teaching has been challenging for many people – staff and students. In this workshop you will consider ways of enhancing approaches to teaching online to achieve effective student engagement and better outcomes for students and staff.

8 Tips for Effective Online Discussions

This sessions takes a look at strategies to engage students with online discussions using a Discussion Board tool and sharing exemplars of good practice in online discussions.

Strategies for Teaching Large Classes Online

In the current COVID-19 situation, some online ‘live’ tutorials/classes will have a larger number of students and may need some changes to the way you interact with students and the way students interact with each other. This workshop will present three strategies for you to consider for your online teaching and illustrate aspects of these through activities.  The three strategies are: manage the technology; structure and integrate synchronous and asynchronous activities; and promote a culture of learning. Overall, the aim of the workshop is to provide you with ways to focus more on encouraging student participation/interaction given the affordances of the technology.

Zoom Breakout Rooms

This is a practical session which will cover using Zoom annotation tools, sharing screens/whiteboard, polls and breakout rooms.

Technology-Enabled Learning

Wikis for group work: tips to get students participating

Wikis are a useful tool for collaborative group work. This mini workshop will show you simple strategies for setting up and engaging students in a wiki activity.

Discussion boards, blogs and journals

This session covers an overview, key features, set up and group tools.

Getting the most out of the Polling Tool in Zoom

This workshop looks at creating quick poll questions in Zoom, from creating a poll to launching and downloading a report.

Getting the Most out of Tutorial Groups Online

The session focuses on creating Groups in vUWS, setting up Smart Views to manage student cohorts according to different criteria and generating groups from Allocate+ data.

The Anatomy of the Cortex vUWS Template

Dissect the Cortex vUWS template. In this session we look at why the Cortex template was implemented at Western, Quality Matters overview, the migration process and walking through the template.

Using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

This session focuses on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, a real-time video conferencing tool available to all staff and integrated within vUWS. This workshop covers the central functions of Collaborate Ultra, including chats and breakout rooms, file sharing, polls and quizzes, and recording.

Using Zoom for Online Collaboration

This session focuses on the functionality of Zoom, and will cover the basic navigations and settings, scheduling, breakout rooms, polls, and the whiteboard.

vUWS Express - Panopto in-video quiz

This session outlines Panopto, how to add links and upload a video, how to create an in-video quiz as well as embedding a Panopto video in vUWS.

vUWS Express - Collaborate Ultra breakout rooms

This short workshop covers the central function of Collaborate Ultra, breakout rooms for teaching.

vUWS Orientation

This session focuses on performing basic edits to a vUWS site including uploading files, editing an item, moving and copying items, adding resources such as images, videos, links along with some tools available in vUWS.

Blackboard Tests (Quizzes): How to set up an exam in vUWS for beginners

Designed for those who have never created a quiz in vUWS, this session will provide an overview of the test tool in Blackboard: types of questions and what are the settings that accompany each. br>

Your WOS replacement options

The WOS alternative training workshop is a beginner’s guide to desktop lecture capture. The workshop will run through how to make a pre-recorded PowerPoint lecture, pre-recorded zoom lecture and how to share your pre-recorded lectures in Panopto.

To access the Zoom-based workshops, click on the Zoom Link associated with the workshop at the scheduled start time.

You will be asked to register with your name, staff ID and email address.

Recorded Sessions and Other Resources

Missed a workshop you were interested in? Sessions are regularly recorded and uploaded to the Recorded Sessions and Resources page. These, along with additional resources, can be found in the right-hand menu.

Workshop Schedule

Spring Session - Week 20 (30/11/2020 - 04/12/2020)

WorkshopDateTime Web Link
Panopto Capture - Video Recording at Home Mon 30 Nov        11.00am-12.00pm Zoom Link:

Now is the perfect time to start preparing your units for Autumn 2021!

The eLearning team are available to assist!

The best way to get in contact with eLearning is via email at elearning@westernsydney.edu.au. Support is available until 4pm on Tuesday 15th December. Support will re-open at 9am on Monday 4th January 2021.

One on One Support

eLearning Support offer personalised one-on-one (1O1) support sessions via a Zoom. If you have any vUWS related queries, need to implement a tool or would like to work through your query via a face-to face Zoom meeting, a member of the eLearning support team can support you with a session tailored to your needs.

101 support is available in December on the following days; Tuesday 1st, Wednesday 2nd, Friday 4th, Monday 7th, Wednesday 9th and Friday 11th 2020. Bookings will re-open in the new year from Monday 4th January 2021. Book a session using the online form at https://forms.gle/86cyRXef1KXWEwNz8.

Save the date: eLearnathon - 18 February 2021

2020 has been a marathon year for professional development. Are you now looking to just “dip in and out” of vUWS professional development sessions before Autumn?

Thursday 18 February 2021 will be a vUWS tool blitz! Nonstop professional development sessions running all day. On the hour, EVERY hour! More than 16 sessions will be run from dawn to dusk.

Sessions will be themed and streamed, with timings and links to come in the New Year.

WOS Studios are open and available for bookings - get in quick before the end of the year!

WOS Studios at Parramatta South and Kingswood campuses are available until Tuesday 15th December 2020. Studios will re-open from 12pm Monday 11th January 2021.

To check availability and book a session, please use the online booking calendar at https://lf.westernsydney.edu.au/wos/index.php.

Parramatta South and Kingswood WOS Studios

Parramatta South studio is available on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Kingswood studio is available on most Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please check the online calendar for specific dates and availability.

WOS Campbelltown Studio

We are happy to open the Campbelltown studio on select days in the new year to cater to your school's needs.

Interested in booking the Campbelltown WOS Studio? Please let us know!

WOS Studio Orientations

Interested in learning more about WOS?

To book an orientation session for your school or to express your interest in recording at the Campbelltown studio, contact Diane Camilleri: diane.camilleri@westernsydney.edu.au.

For any queries regarding our services, please contact the team via elearning@westernsydney.edu.au.

Need Help with the Workshops?

Want to Know More About Zoom?

Zoom is the most common synchronous audio-visual tool we use at Western. You may already be familiar with it and know it's key features.

To use Zoom, on any device, you will need to download the client application.

You can download the Zoom client at the Zoom Website (opens in a new window).

You can learn more about Zoom through the following document: Zoom Meetings and Webinars (PDF, 80.59 KB) (opens in a new window)

If you don't have time for one of our workshops, you can watch one record by Zoom.us: Getting Started with Zoom Meetings (opens in a new window)

Want to Know More About Collaborate Ultra?

Collaborate Ultra is a similar tool embedded in vUWS itself. This is tool is less commonly used, but has similar functionality to Zoom, but with the added benefits of being inside vUWS.

You should use whichever tool you are most comfortable with using.

Some workshops will be offered through Collaborate Ultra.

These sessions have been set up to allow "Guest Access" so all you will need is to provide a name and to give the program access to your microphone and camera.

If you are interested in learning more about Collaborate Ultra, you can find more information in this document: Collaborate Ultra Features (PDF, 94.44 KB) (opens in a new window)

Need Help with Other Issues?

Is something urgent/broken?
Contact ITDS for technical support

Need vUWS Support?
Try our self-help resources

Professional learning modules
Register now for immediate access

Interested in Active Learning?
Learn more

Making a WOS recording?
Learn more about our WOS Studios

Interested in flipped learning?
Check out our new site

If you have any questions or requests from the Learning Futures team, please contact: LearningFutures@Westernsydney.edu.au