This guide provides the latest institutional guidelines for Learning Space baseline standards for staff for 2020 and beyond.
- The new model for Learning Space baseline standards
- Orientation & Structure
- Assessment & Feedback
The new model for Learning Space baseline standards
The new baseline model was approved at the Academic Board, an extract of the new levels and standards is attached. It builds on the work delivered through the VLE Refresh Project in September 2018 around navigation, look and feel and standardisation of outline content and structure, to provide a fully enhanced learning platform in readiness for 2030. The model recognises that the VLE is not just about the content but the overarching student digital experience and engagement, making it easy for students to learn, find resources and self-serve.
Important: Schools are expected to hit the new baseline level for September 2020, as this will become the required standard.
Support for the benchmark standards will be provided and promoted through the Learning Design workshops, as part of the Course Approval process. This will ensure standards and expectations are set during the course and module development and due consideration is given to each theme within the benchmark model. This guide refers to content in terms of three different levels: - baseline, baseline, and baseline +.
Within these three baseline levels, staff will be asked to assess their module content against these key areas:
- Orientation & Structure
- Assessment & Feedback
- Baseline (current)
Orientation & Structure
Aims to provide clarity to students in terms of navigation, sequencing of activities, consistency in experience and provides the outline framework to establish key module resources and requirements to assist in understanding.
An “Overview Section” should be provided for each module which contains:
Overview section contains a brief module introduction
Overview section contains a brief module introduction that is relevant and aligned to module content
Overview section contains a brief introduction with introductory text that is relevant, and video enhances the context
(.png or .jpg files advised of no more than 150kb and 750x250px for banner images)
Introductory image exists aligned to module introduction
The introductory image exists aligned to module introduction, is relevant and high quality and is assigned alternative text
Link provided to award document
The link provided to award document and outline award document description provided
Staff contact details
List of staff provided with contact details of module tutor
List of staff provided with contact details of the module tutor and all key staff for the module
Sections are provided to structure content that are appropriately named (i.e. aligned to how the module is being delivered and/or the focus for the section)
Sections are provided to structure content that is appropriately named and provide a weekly or theme-based structure
The additional general structure should be provided:
Content is provided for each section heading
Content is provided for each section heading that is clearly structured, relevant and provides context
Navigational aids provided
Content provides an introduction that builds from the previous section informing the learning journey
Consideration is given to module page design to minimise cognitive load
Assessment & Feedback
Provide clear guidance for students around their assessment requirements, tools to be used and supporting information
Assessment section provided with enough detail for assessment requirements to be understood.
Provide an assessment outline with a clear concise description, criteria and submission details.
Provide tools and information for avoiding plagiarism, where applicable
As baseline but with clear guidance as to online submission expectations
Provide clear guidance as to how feedback will be received and timeliness of feedback
Consideration should be given to resources to ensure they are timely, relevant, clear, interesting and use a variety of formats (video, audio, text etc.) across devices i.e. mobile or tablet.
Up to date
Resources are up to date, with out of date documents/links updated/removed
All links are thoroughly checked for broken links and amended accordingly
All resources/files provided are named appropriately for the audience (e.g. 03-06-2018 tea making presentation.ppt)
Resources are provided in common formats i.e. library, e-books, journals, powerpoint, notes and handouts
A variety of additional media resources are provided with both internal and external i.e. audio, video, animation etc. providing a range of reference materials via different platforms i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, Box of Broadcasts.
Talis reading list clearly provided with consideration given to compulsory and optional resources
Reading lists have been checked against the reading lists included within module documentation
File sizes and formats
Consideration has been given to file sizes and formats
(does the student have the right software to be able to open it?)
Size and type of resource is featured alongside each item available for download
Attention has been given to re-usability of content for other contexts i.e. recruitment, intranet etc. and followed up through relevant channels
Consideration is given to mobile device use for viewing resources
All resources are cited accordingly dependant on the source
It is clear how the learning resources relate to the module
Resources and their relevancy to the module are clear and considered in relation to the student journey
Focus is given to accessibility needs of students of content, design and resources
-Graphics and images have alternative text
-Fonts are large enough to read
-The coloured text has a high enough contrast
-Links are descriptive
-Links open in the same window
-Consideration is given to accessibility tooling that is native in existing products i.e. O365 has inbuilt accessibility tools i.e. video transcripts
-Advice from Ally is acted upon when uploading content
Resources are provided at least 1 week in advance
Adhere to the PSB Web Accessibility Regulation 2018
Content meets standard regulation compliance as assessed by an Ally accessibility score of > 75%
Content goes above standard compliance and Ally accessibility score is > 85%
Ensures all content and tools are delivered in line with legislative requirements.
(for advice on DPIA’s please see Info Gov SP site)
Content provided is in line with the GDPR in regard to personal data
Ensure third-party tools used are:
- GDPR compliant
- A DPIA assessment has been completed
-Students are aware of any data protection issues if being asked to use non-Falmouth supported systems
Non-Falmouth supported systems required to be used have been introduced and include guidance from the Education Technology Team
Intellectual Property (IP)
Observe IP and copyright legislation by:
-proving direct links to useful websites
-using copyright-cleared images/open-source materials
The baselines provided are based on the current situation and standards that can be achieved in the current environment. With the Curriculum 2030 programme due to launch and exploration of digital pedagogy and aligned technologies, further detail will ensure and additional benchmark criteria will be added accordingly to the baseline plus benchmark.
Important: Original formats such as Word's .docx and PowerPoint's .pptx offer increasingly rich built-in accessibility features to ensure that documents are accessible to the widest range of users. The new Ally tool available on Learning Space lists PDF as an alternative format available for download meaning that both original file formats and PDF's can be accessed as module materials.
For further support on Learning Space, or to report any issues with this guide, please get in touch with the Digital Learning Team via firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please refer to the numerous help guides found on our Knowledge Base.