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.

From Monday 23 March, we will be offering two streams of professional development workshops

  1. Online Teaching & Learning Tools (TLT), and
  2. Online Teaching and Assessment (OTA).

These workshops will be differentiated in the schedule to assist you with your selections.

The Online Teaching and Learning Tools workshops will cover the use of a range of tools offered at Western, including vUWS, Zoom, and Collaborate Ultra.

The Online Teaching and Assessment workshops will cover approaches and pedagogy around online teaching and assessment.

As part of Western's transition to online learning, Blackboard is offering a suite of more detailed workshops and short courses to complement our online workshop program. The link to these short courses can be found in the right-hand column of this page.

To access the Zoom-based workshops, you will just need to login through the link in the schedule at the scheduled time.

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

Recordings of sessions and additional resources can be found in the right-hand menu.

Workshop Schedule

Autumn Week Four (30/3/2020-3/4/2020)

StreamWorkshopDateTime Web Link
TLTUsing Zoom for Online CollaborationMonday 30 March10-11:30amZoom Link:
TLTVideo AssignmentsMonday 30 March2-3pmZoom Link:
OTALabs & Experiential Learning OnlineTuesday 31 March10-11amZoom Link:
TLTUsing Blackboard Collaborate UltraTuesday 31 March12-1pmAttend Here
TLTUsing TurnitinTuesday 31 March2-3pmZoom Link:
TLTvUWS Express - Collaborate Ultra Breakout RoomsTuesday 31 March4-4.30pmAttend Here
OTAAlternative Assessment OptionsWednesday 1 April10-11amZoom Link:
TLTvUWS Drop-in Breakout SessionWednesday 1 April12-1pmZoom Link:
OTATeaching OnlineWednesday 1 April4-5pmZoom Link:
TLTUsing Zoom for Online CollaborateWednesday 1 April2-3pmZoom Link:
OTAPedagogical Considerations Using QuizzesThursday 2 April10am-11amTo Be Added
TLTYour WOS Replacement OptionsThursday 2 April1-2pmTo Be Added
OTAEngaging Students in Active Learning OnlineThursday 2 April2-3pmTo Be Added
TLTUsing Blackboard Collaborate UltraThursday 2 April3-4pmTo Be Added
TLTUsing Zoom for Online CollaborationFriday 3 April8-9amTo Be Added
TLTDiscussion Board, Blogs, and JournalsFriday 3 April12-1pmTo Be Added
TLTYam Jam - Sharing Top Tips for Teaching and assessing OnlineFriday 3 April1-2pmTo Be Added
OTACreating an Online CommunityFriday 3 April2-3pmTo Be Added
OTATeaching Online Drop-in Breakout SessionFriday 3 April4-5pmTo Be Added

Need Help with the Workshops?

Want to Know More about the TLT Workshops?

The Online Teaching & Learning Tools (TLT) Workshops focus primarily on the tools available at Western. Brief descriptions of the workshops currently in cycle are available below.

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.


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

vUWS Express

vUWS Express workshops can cover a range of topics in 15 minutes. These workshops may focus on specific features found in other more detailed workshops lists above.  

Yam Jam - Yammer Chat

Yam Jam Yammer Chats are conducted on Yammer, and are designed to focus on specific issues related to teaching online, for example addressing inclusivity and diversity, good practice for Collaborate Ultra, promoting student engagement, or just a check-in.

Want to Know More About the OTA Workshops?

The Online Teaching and Assessment (OTA) Workshops focus more broadly on teaching approaches and practices best suited to the online space. Brief descriptions of these workshops currently in cycle are available below.

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.

Teaching Online

This workshop is aimed at those new to online teaching and will focus on planning to teach, deliver content and communicate online. Practical techniques and considerations will also be provided.

Engaging students in active online learning

This workshop will focus on active learning design and techniques for online engagement that build student capabilities in achieving the desired learning outcomes.

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

Need one-on-one vUWS support?
Book an eLearning support session

Want to learn more about vUWS?
Attend our vUWS training sessions

Making a WOS recording?
Learn more about our WOS Studios

Online Teaching resources
Check out our TEL site

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