FlexAP wholly online subjects

Female student sitting outside working on a laptop

The FlexAP program supports academic divisions and Learning Environments to develop a suite of signature wholly online subjects that students in campus-based undergraduate and graduate programs can undertake as part of their degree. This suite of subjects is intended to provide students with greater flexibility to undertake their studies. In order to provide flexibility of access and time-management, the design will emphasise:

  • Activities to support engagement in asynchronous modes (discussion, collaboration, application of and reflection on learning, activities with instant or timely feedback)
  • Optional activities that make the most of real-time interaction
  • Multimedia resources (readings, images, strategic use of videos) integrated with the activities above.

Depending on when the subjects are offered, online subjects may allow students to spread their study load across the year, and may reduce the pressure on the physical infrastructure of the University. The subject and learning experience will be designed to be flexible, scalable and sustainable.

Academic division contribution

Academic divisions will provide content, curriculum and assessment expertise. Staff should be provided with enough time release as funded by the FlexAP grant for the effort required for this work (see effort and availability below).

Divisions should liaise with their local academic support office or curriculum teams to initiate and/or plan for approvals processes to enable delivery as proposed in the application.

Learning Environments contribution

Learning Environments (LE) will provide expertise in learning design, digital and video media production, project management and educational technology integration.

Project phases

  • Initiation

    Includes application phase (including pre-application consultation with LE), formation of the LE and academic division teams, initial discussions among LE and academic division teams

  • Planning

    Includes design and scoping phase, macro design, subject planning overview, scoping of development of media assets and the LMS subject.

  • Development

    Includes scripting, prototyping (ie development and review of exemplar LMS module), media creation, LMS subject site development and user-testing, development of teaching notes, quality assurance (QA), release of official LMS subject site (StudentOne).

  • Launch

    Includes final review and QA, publication of the subject in the LMS, closing out the project.

  • Post-implementation

    Includes the teaching period, post-teaching review of the learning materials and activities including student and tutor feedback, revision/renewal of subject for next iteration.

Timeline

A standard timeline for creating a wholly online subject is 6 months (24 weeks) in length.

However, the duration of each individual project will vary to accommodate the availability of the team members.

Effort and availability

There are approximately 200 to 250 hours of effort needed from the academic team, depending on the subject being developed. The effort will be spread over a 24-week period at around 10-12 hours per week. The effort required will vary somewhat from week-to-week, and can be scheduled to accommodate specific time commitments such as leave, travel or marking commitments.

Media creation

Video/audio

When creating a 12-week subject, LE can assign up to 12 studio sessions for media creation. This is sufficient to record either a couple of brief presentations per week, a series of expert interviews, an extended case study, a series of podcast episodes combining narration, discussion and conversation, or a combination of these formats.

Alternatively, if your subject requires filmed demonstrations or video episodes based on location, LE can generally accommodate up to three location filming sessions with a full crew. LE will help with the pre-production planning and logistics to ensure what is needed is captured within that scope.

Video planning starts following the drafting of a week-by-week subject planning outline. Once the role of each media element has been mapped and identified, LE will assign a video producer to create a visual video treatment document and a draft schedule for production. As a general indication, this requires one month of planning and preparing (pre-production), one month of recording or filming (production) and one month of editing and reviewing the content (post-production). All media elements will be finalised well in advance of the LMS build and delivery.

Development and integration

LE will build the subject in LMS prioritising centrally supported platforms and LMS UI elements, in order that the subject can be easily maintained and updated by academic divisions.

For essential software or interactive web development that cannot be accomplished using centrally supported tools, up to 40 hours is available for this work.

FlexAP budget

Funding is to be used for academic time relief to enable the project leads to undertake wholly online subject development. The funds provided for the project do not need to be allocated to LE for this work, as Learning Environments is funded separately through FlexAP.

Academic time relief funds may be used to employ academic staff to assist with the development of teaching materials, or to relieve project leads of other responsibilities to enable work on the project. Non-salary expenses are not permitted without prior written approval, post-award, from the FlexAP oversight group. Funding must be spent within the specified period for each project. See the FlexAP funding guidelines for more detail.