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SDUUP | Newsletter November 2020

THEME: itslearning - Tips and Tricks From the Teachers

We interviewed some of the teachers who have pilot tested itslearning throughout the fall semester of 2020 to get some insights into their experiences with the platform, along with some good advice for when the rest of SDU starts using the platform in the spring semester of 2021. In this month’s newsletter, you can read a series of articles, in which the teachers share their positive experiences with itslearning, challenges of the platform, itslearning’s impact on the students – and last but not least, an array of tips and tricks for teachers, who are getting ready to set up their courses in itslearning.

The teachers we spoke to have given an array of tips and tricks for the many teachers, who are about to set up their courses in itslearning when SDU starts using the platform from January 2021. All of these tips and tricks are based on the teachers’ own experiences with the platform. We encourage you to start trying out itslearning – you already have access to a sandbox course in itslearning, where you can get to know the many possibilities and settings of the platform and try out the teachers’ tips and tricks.

Anne Mølgaard Nielsen

Teaching Assistant Professor, Clinical Biomechanics. Pilot tested itslearning in a practice-based course on the second semester of Clinical Biomechanics (Chiropractor). 

  • Take some time to think through how you want to build your course, before you transfer material to itslearning. This will make it easier for you to create a good structure of the course. For example, do you want to structure your course by lectures or by topics? This has a great influence on how you should set up the course in itslearning.
  • Jump into it and do not be afraid of playing around with the platform’s possibilities and tools.
  • Decide how you want to use the instant messaging system in itslearning. Should students be able to send you messages directly in itslearning or would you rather be contacted by email?
  • Remember that you have access to great support and advice (See who you can contact in the right column). Do not be afraid of asking, if you have a hard time getting started with itslearning.

Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen

Associate Professor, Department of History. Pilot tested itslearning in the course Information Gathering on Classical Studies

  • From my personal experience, you just have to hang in there when trying to get used to itslearning. Start with the basics and then build more onto it during the semester as you learn to use the platform. As you get more comfortable with the system, you can start using the more advanced functions.

Jan Petersen

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Pilot tested itslearning in the semester project and the course Electronics and Circuit Technology on the MSc in Engineering (Robot Systems).

  • Get a head start on the platform before you have to use it in February. Start by using the sandbox function and talk to your colleagues about your experiences.
  • Start by creating a course from the bottom up. I would not advise anyone to copy their course directly from Blackboard, as the structure in itslearning is so simple that it is easier to build the course directly on the platform. Use the functions in itslearning and build your course in the way the platform encourages you to – In this way, you will get the most out of itslearning.
  • Seek all the help you can get.

Jo Hermann

Part-time Lecturer, Department for the Study of Culture. Pilot tested itslearning in the courses Communication & Writing and The Cultural & Literary Institution

  • I have set up itslearning with 1 plan for each lecture. I chose to create a detailed course plan, which describes the required readings and assignments. I have transferred this to itslearning. Thus, my advice is that you start by writing up a detailed course plan and use this as guidance to create your plans in itslearning.
  • Using my own experience for the next semester, I plan to gather all teaching materials on my own pc and upload it in one place, giving me a better overview. I expect to put all texts in one folder and create internal links to it in itslearning.

Jens Peter Jensen

Part-time Lecturer, Study of Religions. Pilot tested itslearning in the course Latin 1A on the Religion programme

  • The most important thing is, that we have living people guiding us teachers in using itslearning – so remember to use them. Getting to see the platform in use by someone is a great way to familiarise yourself with it.
  • After you have input your entire course into itslearning, the course plan may easily shift during the semester. When you input your course into itslearning, it might thus be a good idea to only input the weeks a couple at a time – otherwise, you will have to correct all the weeks ahead if the course plan shifts. Furthermore, I recommend that you do not specify the contents of each lecture until you approach the date of the lecture, since the content of the lecture might also change.
Editing was completed: 13.11.2020