Learning management system

Helpful tip

To get started with the LMS, Login to MyVU Portal or contact the ITS Service Desk on servicedesk@vu.edu.au or +61 3 9919 2777.

A Learning Management System (LMS) is an online space that staff can use to support course delivery and provide online and blended learning opportunities for students.

You can add a range of content and activities within the LMS for students to access online, anytime and anywhere.

This allows you to be flexible in when, where and how you deliver your units and courses, and helps students to manage their academic progress through flexible learning options.

VU Collaborate is the new eLearning environment for Victoria University, which has replaced Blackboard (WebCT) during 2014.

VU Collaborate

What is it?

VU Collaborate is the new eLearning environment being introduced at VU. It will replace Blackboard (WebCT), the current Learning Management System and other online tools such as PebblePad.

It will provide a seamless, single area for staff and students to conduct learning and teaching activities online, including:

  • Curriculum and content delivery, making it easy to add content, files, links and multimedia to a unit through simple drag and drop options.
  • Assessment, reflection and feedback activities, including tracking individual and class progress.
  • Discussions, communication and collaboration options to support learning and teaching.

Access to VU Collaborate and training is being rolled out over 2014 with most units going ‘live’ for delivery from the Winter option period and Semester 2. See the time line tab on this page for more detailed information.

VU Collaborate will integrate with existing enterprise systems such as MYVU Portal and VU Connect.

A new tool, VU Collaborate Manager, will be used to enrol students automatically and create spaces.

Why use it?

VU Collaborate improves the student learning experience by being:

Flexible

VU Collaborate supports anytime, anywhere access to a range of digital content formats (eg. documents, links and video), learning activities, assessments and support.

It also allows the timing and type of delivery to be tailored to the needs of individual students.

Collaborative

VU Collaborate supports online chat, discussions and group assignments and enables synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (in your own time) communication.

Purposeful

VU Collaborate is designed to support pedagogical approaches to learning and teaching that focus on reflection, peer review and formative and summative assessment.

It also aims to promote active and independent learning by supporting a purposeful blend of resources and delivery modes, including face to face, online and workplace learning.

Engaging

VU Collaborate’s features are tailored towards the student learning experience by enabling them to communicate and collaborate in various ways, collect and share evidence of their learning and stay on track by monitoring their own progress.

VU Collaborate timeline

A cross-institutional team is developing VU Collaborate to cater to Victoria University’s unique multi-sector environment. Below you will find information on when various cohorts of VU staff will gain access to VU Collaborate training and spaces.

Training timeline

January 2014 – February 2014

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC



During this period, the project team will finish creating all the components of the project. This will include a substantial amount of testing to ensure everything works in the way VU requires.


Can I attend training during this period?
Training will be offered to:
  • Non-teaching staff who provide a support role to teaching staff for WebCT or VU Collaborate (e.g. Learning support, College librarians, Servicedesk)

March 2014 – April 2014

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC



During this period, the Blended Learning Team will start to provide training to VU teaching staff on how to use VU Collaborate.

All VU staff gained access to VU Collaborate – a personal sandpit space and a training space - in October 2013.

The next step is attending a training session to learn more about VU Collaborate and how it can facilitate and extend the learning and teaching experience.

Can I attend training during this period?
Training will be offered to:

  • Current WebCT users who teach:
    • During the Winter Option
    • During Semester 2
  • Offshore teaching staff from selected International campuses who currently use WebCT:
    • LHA, Singapore
    • LU, China
    • CUFE, China
    • Henan, China

May 2014 – June 2014

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC



This period is again tailored towards providing training to VU teaching staff on how to use VU Collaborate.

Can I attend training during this period?
Training will be offered to:

  • Current WebCT users (priority 1) AND non WebCT users (priority 2)
  • Teaching staff who will teach during Semester 2
  • Offshore teaching staff from selected International campuses:
    • JB, Malaysia
    • KL, Malaysia
    • UEH, Vietnam

July 2014 – August 2014

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC



This period will focus on supporting teaching staff who will start to use VU Collaborate from Semester 2.

Can I attend training during this period?
Training will be offered to:

  • Some limited formal training to be offered teaching staff (WebCT and non-WebCT users).
  • A variety of semi-formal and informal training and support will be available to assist teaching staff to prepare and launch Semester 2 delivery in VU Collaborate
  • Other training will be available on request for College discipline teams and support/admin staff

September 2014 – November 2014

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC



This period will be tailored towards providing training for those teaching staff who have not yet been trained on VU Collaborate.

However, the Blended Learning Team will also start to expand its training beyond standard teaching spaces.

Can I attend training during this period?
Training will be offered to:

  • Current WebCT users AND non WebCT users
  • Teaching staff who will teach during Summer Semester, Semester 1 and 5 during 2015
  • VU staff that require a space on VU Collaborate for support purposes (e.g. College-level spaces, writing support space, etc).



For more information about training times and session please see the VU Collaborate help site

How to book training

The Blended Learning Team has created an online booking system that allows you to select your training sessions.

However, be aware that the Blended Learning Team is currently working in collaboration with College Leadership to establish specific College training sessions that are tailored to the needs of the College.

More details around these College sessions will be available in the next few weeks. Please contact blendedlearning@vu.edu.au for further booking queries.

Start dates for learning and teaching on VU Collaborate

The following timeline details when specific groups of staff and students will begin using VU Collaborate for learning and teaching, and aligns with the teaching calendar.

If units do not correspond with these time periods (e.g. an international unit) they will not be transferred to VU Collaborate while they are still being delivered.


Soft launch (Winter option) group

Preparatory access:
  • HE Teaching staff receive access to VU Collaborate learning and teaching spaces mid to late May 2014 (specific dates will be released upon confirmation of 2014 Winter Option period). During this period this group will have an opportunity to prepare their teaching spaces. Booking training will assist in this preparation and ensure access to migrated WebCT spaces. Remember, you can start building your spaces in your sandpits well before this time and simply copy across later.
Release date: Start of Semester
  • Students automatically receive access to learning and teaching spaces one week before classes start:
    • HE students: Estimated Monday 30th May (Pending confirmation of 2014 Winter Option period)
  • As per the teaching calendar, the official start date for HE is estimated as Monday 2nd June (Pending confirmation of 2014 Winter Option period)

Full launch group

Preparatory access:
  • Teaching staff receive access to VU Collaborate learning and teaching spaces on Monday 16th June 2014. During this period this group will have an opportunity to prepare their teaching spaces. Booking training will assist in this preparation and ensure access to migrated WebCT spaces. Remember, you can start building your spaces in your sandpits well before this time and simply copy across later.
Release date: Start of Semester
  • Students automatically receive access to learning and teaching spaces one week before classes start:
    • VE/FE students: Monday 7th July
    • HE students: Monday 14th July
  • As per the teaching calendar, the official start date for VE/FE is: Monday 14th July
  • As per the teaching calendar, the official start date for HE is: Monday 21st July

Summer semester group

Preparatory access:
  • Teaching staff receive access to VU Collaborate learning and teaching spaces on Monday 13th October 2014. During this period this group will have an opportunity to prepare their teaching spaces. Booking training will assist in this preparation and ensure access to migrated WebCT spaces. Remember, you can start building your spaces in your sandpits well before this time and simply copy across later.
Release date: Start of Semester
  • Students automatically receive access to learning and teaching spaces one week before classes start:
    • HE students: Monday 3rd November
  • As per the teaching calendar, the official start date for HE is: Monday 10th November

Semesters 1 & 5 2015 group

Preparatory access:
  • Teaching staff receive access to VU Collaborate learning and teaching spaces early 2015. Exact dates will be advised once the 2015 calendar is finalised. During this period this group will have an opportunity to prepare their teaching spaces. Booking training will assist in this preparation and ensure access to migrated WebCT spaces. Remember, you can start building your spaces in your sandpits well before this time and simply copy across later.
Release date: Start of Semester
  • Students automatically receive access to learning and teaching spaces one week before classes start:
    • VE/FE students: to be advised once the 2015 calendar is finalised
    • HE students: to be advised once the 2015 calendar is finalised
  • As per the teaching calendar, the official start date for VEFE is: to be advised once the 2015 calendar is finalised
  • As per the teaching calendar, the official start date for HE is: to be advised once the 2015 calendar is finalised
2014
June
Soft Launch Group
'Winter Option’
July/August
Full Launch Group
'Semester 2'
November/December
Summer Option
2015
January
Semester 1
'Semester 1 and Semester 5'

How to book training

The Blended Learning Team is busy creating an online booking system that allows you to select training sessions. There will also be opportunities to book groups of staff via College leadership, should you request to train together. Please contact blendedlearning@vu.edu.au for booking queries.

Accessing VU Collaborate

Every VU staff member (with an e number) has been provided with access to VU Collaborate. This is so you may familiarise yourself with the new eLearning environment prior to delivering content.

To access VU Collaborate

  1. Open Google Chrome (from the Start Menu in Windows or from the Dock on MacOS), and log into MyVUPortal using your MYVU Portal ID and password (usually the same as your VU AD and Outlook login: i.e. e123456).
  2. In MYVU Portal, click on the ‘VU Collaborate’ link from the ‘Application Access’ section on the right.
Google Chrome is recommended as this browser provides the best functionality for VU Collaborate. Google Chrome is available as part of the standard computer operating environment at VU.

Using VU Collaborate

Once logged in, the VU Collaborate homepage will give you access to the spaces you are enrolled in. Initially you will have access to a sandpit space and a staff Training Space which contains an introductory "Welcome to VU Collaborate" module and is designed to help you become familiar with the environment.

It is recommended that you complete the "Welcome to VU Collaborate" module so that you can learn the basics before developing content in your sandpit space.

Your sandpit is your own development space where you are assigned an Instructor role, allowing you to experiment with designing a space and developing course materials. Content created in your sandpit will remain available for your use and can later be copied to teaching spaces in which you have an Instructor role, as they become available in VU Collaborate.

How to book training

The Blended Learning Team has created an online booking system that allows you to select your training sessions.

However, be aware that the Blended Learning Team is currently working in collaboration with College Leadership to establish specific College training sessions that are tailored to the needs of the College.

More details around these College sessions will be available in the next few weeks. Please contact blendedlearning@vu.edu.au for further booking queries.


About VU’s Browsers

VU Collaborate and its related products operate in Google Chrome, which differs from some of VU’s other products that are operational in Internet Explorer. This section explains why VU operates in multiple browsers (and sometimes out dated versions).

VU’s current supported browsers

1. Internet Explorer, version 8 (or IE 8): Our current supported version, IE 8 is out-dated and as such, with some modern websites/ online products no longer supporting it. The most recent version of IE is version 10.

Why do we still use IE 8 at VU?

  • WebCT: Is operational in IE 8 only. Although WebCT will slowly be phased out as staff transition to VU Collaborate, it will not be turned off till a specified cut-off date (predicted to be early 2015) to ensure staff have everything they need from WebCT. Therefore, this product needs to remain operational on IE 8 during 2014.
  • SharePoint: Our current version of SharePoint (2007) is operational in IE 8 only. A new project started in January 2014 to upgrade our SharePoint system and therefore allow staff to use modern browsers. The upgrade is due to be completed by mid-2014.
  • Echo 360: Our current version of Echo 360 (version 5.2) is operational in IE8 only. An upgrade is scheduled to occur late 2014.
  • VU Connect: Again, our current version of VU Connect is operational in IE 8 only.
  • Out dated machines: VU still has a number of old computers that do not operate via modern browsers.

As you can see, upgrading our current version of IE right now is not possible. It would prevent our staff and students from using our products and services. VU awaits the above projects to be completed before browser upgrades can occur.

2. Google Chrome, latest version: VU now supports Google Chrome and it was installed on VU computers in November last year. This browser operates a little differently from IE as it automatically updates itself, without VU having to perform mass upgrades.

Why do we now use it at VU?

  • VU Collaborate: Is a modern product and is therefore not operational in old browsers (such as our version of IE). Chrome has been tested and currently provides VU with the best performance.
  • VU Collaborate Help site: Again, this site is a modern product and not operational in old browsers such as IE7.

Note: Even the modern IE versions 8 & 9 have a few teething problems with some of VU’s favoured features, such as the ability to drag a document from your desktop/ or folder and simply drop it into VU Collaborate. See drag and drop feature.

VU’s future plan regarding out-dated browsers

VU has a business plan to upgrade our products and services dependent upon older browsers to allow staff and students to utilise modern browsers. When the upgrades are completed, VU staff and students will benefit from more flexibility as to preferred browsers.

Support and training for VU Collaborate users

As the development and rollout of VU Collaborate continues, the number of support and training resources available to staff and students will grow.

Extensive self-help resources are already available to users by clicking on the Information Icon in the top right corner of the VU Collaborate homepage, and selecting Instructor Help.

The "Instructor Help" resource links you with:

  • Introducing Guides providing information on VU Collaborate tools and functionality
  • Help videos offering short visual guides on tools within VU Collaborate
  • Troubleshooting guides
  • Detailed information about each tool and its functionality

The help icon in the top-right
corner of VU Collaborate

Help files

Visit the VU Collaborate help site for a range of introducing and troubleshooting guides.

College Librarian Support service

Each College has a designated Library support person (College librarian) who can work with teaching staff to provide resources and links in a VU Collaborate space.

Help videos

Visit ReVU to watch a range of VU Collaborate introductory videos.

More information

Keep up-to-date with the latest in Blended Learning at VU, including the eLearning Project on the VU Collaborate Help site. On the website you'll find a forum, blog and a diverse collection of technical and pedagogical resources for blended delivery.

Technical and support issues

For any technical queries relating to accessing MYVU Portal or VU Collaborate, or to report any technical faults when using VU Collaborate, contact the ITS Service Desk.

Hours of Operation

During Semester

8.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Thursday
8.00am to 5.00pm Friday

During Semester Break

8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Telephone

9919 2777 (press option 1)

Location

St Albans Campus, Building 5

Email

servicedesk@vu.edu.au

Student help files

Student Help resources are available by clicking on the Help Icon in VU Collaborate. There are a number of guides and videos to help students get started using VU Collaborate.


The help icon in the top-right
corner of VU Collaborate