There are three types of UTSOnline sites:
- UTSOnline Subjects
- UTSOnline Forums
- UTSOnline Communities
Each site has characteristics that differentiate it from the others but they all have access to the same functionality and features. So why are there different types of UTSOnline sites? The primary reason is that it allows the Learning and Teaching Systems team to easily categorise UTSOnline sites based on how they are used.
If you would like to have a site in UTSOnline, you will have to decide which type of UTSOnline site you would like to have. Below are the general characteristics for each type to assist you in deciding which one would meet your requirements. You may find that more than one type of UTSOnline site may suit your needs. If unsure, select the type you believe is the best option and then follow the procedure for creating it. The characteristics listed below are just guidelines only so you may find that you would like your UTSOnline site to be classified as a UTSOnline subject contrary to how it will be used. If there are any issues with creating the site, please contact the UTS IT Support Centre.
What are the differences between a UTSOnline Subject, Forum, and Community
Below is a quick reference guide to the characteristics associated with each of the three type of UTSOnline sites.
How they are used
- UTSOnline Subject: The most common type of UTSOnline site. Created to complement face to face learning. Students enrolled in this UTSOnline site may have access to lecture material and be required to complete graded assessments. It is expected that the Subject Outlines are available to students in a UTSOnline subject. Instructors are likely to make use of the Groups tool to group students according to subject activities such as Tutorials.
- UTSOnline Forum: Used for mainly for its communication tools such as the Discussion Board, and Announcements. Seen as a site where students and staff with a common interest and focus can discuss and share ideas and documents. Alumni are often left in a UTSOnline Forum to facilitate communication with undergraduates. UTSOnline Forums generally have a larger cohort of students when compared to UTSOnline subjects as student enrolment can be based on admittance to a CASS course or multiple courses. Students are also not able to utilise the ‘Email All users‘ function in a UTSOnline Forum.
- UTSOnline Communities: A site to support non-teaching/research activities of academic and/or non-academic staff or students. Commonly used for groups that have a common interest that is outside the subject/course enrolment structure.
How they are created
- UTSOnline Subject: If your subject is accepting student enrolment for an upcoming session, a UTSOnline subject will be automatically created for you at a defined date depending on the session. For more information on automatic creation, refer to the Automated UTSOnline Subject Creation and Enrolment help page.
- UTSOnline Forum: A Request New UTSOnline Forum form needs to be submitted to the Learning and Teaching Systems team for processing. For information on this process, please refer to the Request A New UTSOnline Site help page.
- UTSOnline Communities: A UTS ServiceConnect ticket needs to be logged to the IT Support Centre with the following information:
- Who will be managing the Community other than the requestor (if there are others).
- The name of the Community.
- The reason for the creation of this Community.
- Will it be used by staff, or students, or external users, or a combination of all three?
- UTSOnline Subject: The ID of a UTSOnline Subject will consist of the CASS ID and session enrolment information of that subject. For example, a subject with the ID of: ‘12345’ that is currently accepting student enrolment for Summer Session 2016 in the City campus will have the UTSOnline subject ID: 12345-2016-SUMMER-CITY.
- UTSOnline Forum: The ID of a UTSOnline Forum will start with ‘FORUM’.
- UTSOnline Communities: The ID of a UTSOnline Community begins with ‘org’.
User Role Nomenclature
- UTSOnline Subjects & Forums: Have Instructors and Students.
- UTSOnline Communities: Have Leaders and Participants. Leaders are the equivalent of an Instructor in a UTSOnline Subject/Forum. Participants are the equivalent of a Student.
- UTSOnline Subject: Students are automatically enrolled in a UTSOnline subject at a defined date. The enrolment of students in a UTSOnline Subject is based on the enrolment details for a CASS subject or multiple CASS subjects.
- UTSOnline Forum: A UTSOnline Forum does not typically follow the enrolment/unenrolment cycle of each teaching period. Student enrolment can be based on admittance to one or more CASS courses or specific Majors. An example could be a UTSOnline Forum for all Business students studying marketing as a major. Students can remain enrolled long after they have graduated which facilitates communication between Alumni and current students. To automatically enrol students in a UTSOnline Forum, the Instructor can complete and submit the Student Re-enrolment Form.
- UTSOnline Communities: The Communities Leader manages the enrolment and removal of Participants. For information on manually adding users to a UTSOnline site, please refer to the Add/Remove Users help page.
UTSOnline Site Access
- UTSOnline Subjects & Forums: All UTSOnline Subjects and Forums that you are enrolled in will appear under the My Subjects module after logging into UTSOnline.
- UTSOnline Communities: All UTSOnline Communities that you are enrolled in will appear under the My Communities module after logging into UTSOnline.