Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

PolyLearn User Group - PLUG


PLUG: Spring 2016 Session - May 23

Please join us Monday, May 23, from 12-1pm in (Library) 35-202A, for pizza and salad and to discover how your peers are using PolyLearn to support teaching and learning.

During this session, Kimberley Mastako will share how she is created a screening process to identify students who need additional support. The screening also reveals trends pointing to potentially unanticipated responses that either turn out to be equally defensible or expose an instructional weakness for future improvements.

Also, the PolyLearn Support Team will share the theme changes for Summer 2016 and the upgrade to version 3.0 for Fall 2016. We will share some of the changes and information about the new features and support resources.

If you would like to watch this session's recording, please contact us.

PLUG: Winter 2016 Session - Feb. 29

During this session, we had two guest speakers. They both shared their PolyLearn courses and explained how they use PolyLearn to support their students in face-to-face, flipped and online courses. 

Bridget Benson, Electrical Engineering (Winner of the 2015 QOLT award)
Bridget will demonstrate how she has used PolyLearn to enhance her lab, lecture, flipped and online course, including the PolyLearn Assignment tool for lab reports, organized resources for course content and videos, and discussion Forums for added communication. 

Scott Kelting, Construction Management
Scott will demonstrate how his online course supports student-centered learning, summarize student and peer perspectives, and describe plans for future implementation and modifications.

If you would like to watch this session's recording, please contact us.

PLUG: Winter 2015 Session - Dec. 4

When Franklin Gaudi, Lecturer in Bio Resource & Ag. Engineering, started teaching at Cal Poly, he wanted to engage his 100+ students in ways he had in smaller classes. In order to do this, he turned to PolyLearn and started building a content-rich, user-friendly course site. Franklin's PolyLearn site contains lecture notes and presentations, labs, videos, multimedia, large questions banks, and other resources useful for customized and active learning. Over the three years he has been expanding his PolyLearn course site, Franklin has seen exam scores improve and student satisfaction increase. (He even uses "PolyLearn to survey student satisfaction.") The number of students enrolling in a water science minor has also increased.

On Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 11AM we held our first PLUG (PolyLearn User Group) meeting. Nine faculty members were in attendance. The meeting began with introductions and sharing at least one important PolyLearn feature that supports teaching and learning in their courses. The list included:

  • Quizzes each week, which have resulted in improved midterm and final grades
  • Implementation of the Lesson tool to provide content and feedback in addition to quizzing
  • Students continued desire for content to be posted in PolyLearn for access anytimePolyLearn for access anytime
  • Ability to reuse and add to course content over several quarters
  • Discussion forum conversations that provide even more opportunities for faculty feedback to students
  • The simplicity of dragging and dropping files into PolyLearn
  • Ability to have quiz question randomization in order to provide each student with a unique assessment
  • Assignment rubrics to ease grading tasks, be more objective, and make it clearer to students what is expected of them

Some of the concerns or issues stated by PLUG participants:

  • Gradebook
  • SCORM packages that are not enabled
  • Too many "clicks"
  • Activity restrictions copied into new courses

Ways that Cal Poly is addressing these issues:

  • Information was provided in the meeting in regard to changes to the Gradebook that were implemented by Cal Poly during Summer and Fall 2014. Future changes anticipated in Moodle version 2.8 (Spring 2015) and further Gradebook developments, which are a result of Cal Poly's involvement with the CSU Moodle Gradebook Team, were also discussed.
  • In an effort to further support faculty Gradebook needs, PolyLearn Support will be available on Saturday & Sunday (December 13-14) before final grades are due for the registrar.
  • PolyLearn Support is currently working with Dr. Franklin Gaudi (ITRC) to test SCORM packages on the PolyLearn TEST system for Winter release, which will align plug-ins and external materials to the internal Gradebook.
  • Unfortunately, the Moodle 2.6 upgrade created even more "clicks" than there was before. This problem is a factor of Moodle design that we cannot change ourselves, but efforts will be made to further educate faculty in regard to best practices to minimize clicks.
  • The PolyLearn Support Team is available for consultations to support faculty questions in regard to activity restriction options, the Gradebook, group assignments, or any other PolyLearn question that might arise.
  • PolyLearn Support requested that the PLUG attendees share what was discussed in this meeting with their departmental colleagues to assist with campus communication. 
  • The PolyLearn Support Team continues to be available for scheduled departmental trainings or demo sessions - just call us!
  • PLUG participants were told about the Enhancement Request Process with the hope that  they will continue to be involved in future enhancement evaluations for PolyLearn. 
  • A continuation of PLUG meetings each quarter so that faculty can make connections with other PolyLearn users and build a positive, supportive community. 
  • The implementation of a PLUG PolyLearn course shell has been created so that faculty can share examples with one another as well as use the PolyLearn tools to collaborate and discuss their own ideas and best practices.

In conclusion, PLUG meeting participants stated that they would like the PolyLearn Support Team to implement “Show & Tell” sessions in which faculty demonstrate how and why they use PolyLearn. Dr. Franklin Gaudi has agreed to be our first presenter in early Winter 2015. Stay tuned during the first week of Winter quarter for the event's date, time and location in the CTLT Newsletter and the CTLT News & Events web page.

Additional PLUG meetings will be held quarterly in the CTLT. If you are interested in attending a PLUG meeting, please contact the PolyLearn Support Team or keep your eyes open for the online registration form link contained within future CTLT newsletters.

Your PolyLearn Support Team

Email:  polylearnsupport@calpoly.edu 
Web Site: polylearnsupport.calpoly.edu


PLUG: Fall 2015 Session - March 6

During this session the PolyLearn Support Team shared the upcoming changes for Spring, Summer and Fall. Faculty input was requested to help shape the decisions we make in modifying the course shell changes, which will be implemented in Fall 2015.  

A brief overview of the CSU Quality Online Learning & Teaching review and rubric process, and the resources for online or hybrid courses was provided. If you would like additional information about the QOLT process, please contact Catherine Hillman.

Faculty who would like to give their feedback, please view our PLUG: Feedback webpage.




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