Framework for building or improving an LMS site

Technology enhanced learning (TEL) framework

The framework for building or improving an LMS site (technology enhanced learning (TEL) framework) provides guidelines for the review or development of the online component of subjects. It is a starting point for thinking about course/subject redesign or approaches in developing a new subject.

Principles inherent in the design of the framework include:

  • Student-centred focus with student learning outcomes as a governing priority
  • Encourages good practice teaching with technology
  • Suitability for blended, dual and flexible learning contexts, but can be applied to fully online learning
  • Classifying elements as either ‘highly recommended’ or ideas ‘for consideration’ to allow for choice and adaptation to different learning contexts.

You may also wish to review our launching your LMS subject checklist in conjunction with this framework.

  1. Fundamentals

    Students find the online elements of their LMS subjects facilitate a coherent and consistent experience through:

    • A welcome to the subject (message, audio or video)
    • A layout that is coherent, consistent and logically sequenced and organised
    • A list of teaching staff, their contact information and availability
    • An overview of how the LMS subject site and scheduled learning events work together
    • An overview of the subject describing:
      • Learning outcomes
      • Subject description
      • An overview of assessment tasks
      • A schedule of learning events
      • Expectations for subject participation.
  2. Learner support

    Students find the learning support in their LMS subjects is learner centric by including:

    Highly recommended aspects

    Ideal enhancements for improved learning experience

    • A module or page to introduce the students to the subject including:
      • How to navigate the subject LMS particular layout regarding learning resources and sequencing of activities
      • An explanation of the subject’s place in the course.
    • Specific resources to support the development and integration of digital capabilities
    • Opportunities for students to provide feedback on the subject during delivery though surveys or polls.
  3. Learning resources

    Students find the learning resources in their LMS subjects:

    Highly recommended (and institutionally supported) aspects

    Ideal enhancements for improved learning experience

  4. Communication and collaboration

    Students find communication and collaboration is facilitated in their LMS subjects via:

    Highly recommended aspects

    • An ‘Announcements’ area
    • Opportunities for online discussion for student-to-student and/or student-to-teacher interactions
    • The inclusion of synchronous/asynchronous alternatives to face-to-face and in-class communication
    • Clearly articulated etiquette guidelines/rules for behaviour in synchronous and asynchronous communications
    • Clarification of communication channels, as well as how and when teaching staff will be communicating and response times (e.g., expected staff responses times for discussion board posts).

    Ideal enhancements for improved learning experience/consideration

    • Expectations and scaffolding for student-to-student communication and interaction, particularly for peer review activities
    • Expectations for student group work interactions.
  5. Learning activity and assessment tasks

    The University assessment guidelines and the assessment and results policy guide the design of your assessment in your subject.

    Students experience of the activities and assessment tasks in their LMS subjects reflect the following:

    Highly recommended aspects

    • Each assessment item has a task brief with clear details including weighting, length, timing, due dates and feedback dates
    • Hurdle requirements and the consequences for not meeting hurdles are clearly articulated
    • Assessments has clear alignment with the subject learning outcomes and course learning outcomes
    • Each assessment has an attached rubric or marking guide/assessment criteria that makes clear what the expectations of assessments are for students
    • Online activities are clearly labelled as assessed or non-assessed
    • Assessment design promotes academic integrity.

    Ideal enhancements for improved learning experience/consideration

    • Includes feedback and results which are captured in the LMS, even if not undertaken within the LMS
    • Each learning activity or LMS page provides an indication of how long completion of the learning activities might reasonably take
    • Learning activities encourage different forms of interaction, including learner-content, learner-learner and learner-teacher interaction
    • Opportunities for self-assessment and progress checks e.g., quizzes, interactive activities, Discussion activities.
  6. Dual delivery subjects

    Further to the above, subjects that are taught in dual delivery mode can consider the following aspects in their LMS subject.

    Highly recommended aspects

    • Clear explanation of the mode the subject will be delivered through, such as a split cohort or with blended synchronous learning sessions
    • Clear explanation if live streaming sessions are available and how to access
    • Clear explanation on how to access any synchronous online events
    • Clear explanation on how the asynchronous LMS subject activities will work with the synchronous events (online or face-to-face) and what activities are to be completed pre- and post-class.

    Ideal enhancements for improved learning experience / consideration

    • Relevant alternative activities for the remote students are clearly identified
    • Resources for activities in synchronous events are stored in the LMS to provide redundancy
    • Learning technologies that students are expected to use during synchronous events are clearly communicated to the students prior to the event.
  7. Fully online subjects

    Further to the above, subjects that are taught in fully online delivery mode can consider the following aspects in their LMS subject.

    Highly recommended aspects

    • Opportunities for student to staff interactions are provided to ensure teaching staff are present in the LMS site (see Implementing online learning quality for ideas)
    • An online ice-breaker activity that helps students get to know each other. An activity could be a Discussion asking students to share their understanding or engagement with the concepts central to the subject
    • Regular interactive online activities that support student collaboration using supported LMS technologies

    Ideal enhancements for improved learning experience/consideration

    • A brief subject orientation/navigation video is provided so that learners know how to approach the asynchronous learning sequences across a module or week. Supported by a week 1 LMS announcement and Week 1 one-hour Zoom/synchronous presentation and Q&A
    • Online lectures are broken up into a series of asynchronous activities such as short videos, H5P interactive activities, LMS quizzes, Discussions or collaborative or individual readings
    • See Technology Enhanced Learning Accreditation Standards (TELAS) (PDF 2.16 MB) for further guidance

This page was last updated on 04 Oct 2023.

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