The Learning Place is a comprehensive e-learning environment provided by Education Queensland, the agency within the Queensland Department of Education, Training and The Arts that administers government schools in the State of Queensland, Australia.
The Learning Place provides the following goal statement:
The Learning Place is a future driven e-learning environment creating a fully networked learning community to achieve high quality outcomes.
The Learning Place provides tools, resources and support for staff and students to engage in and facilitate learning through online courses, communication activities and collaborative communities of practice. Through its resource repository the Curriculum Exchange resource centre, the Learning Place also provides a range of quality assured resources for teaching and learning.
There are 6 areas of the Learning Place. Each area of the Learning Place has a different purpose and a different set of tools to support staff and student learning.
The Learning Place uses the Learning Management System Blackboard to provide online courses for staff and students (facilitated and non-facilitated) as well as ready-to-go courses that teachers can request and use with their own students and Virtual Classrooms in which teachers can create their own units, activities and projects. Blackboard users can also create and manage closed community spaces, and exploit a range of additional tools such as Respondus and StudyMate (assessment software, interactive activities), a course calendar, a comprehensive course catalogue and Atomic Learning online software tutorials.
Staff can register learners in regular online events that are run by skilled Learning Place moderators, or create and conduct their own online events and projects, using the Learning Place's suite of communication tools, including voice and data conferencing, synchronous chat rooms including comic chat, asynchronous forums, blogs (Web-blog journal tool), MOO (Multi-Object Orientated environments) and project rooms which combine communication tools to meet specific project needs.
Curriculum Exchange (CX)
The Curriculum Exchange, previously a separate digital resource service, is now an integral part of the Learning Place and provides, through the Curriculum Exchange resource centre, discoverable access to a growing colleciton of quality-assured resources for teaching and learning including learning objects, video, image, animation and audio banks, digital resources, Teaching Ideas, Practices and Strategies (TIPS) and evaluated websites (EduSites). Access to resources is through a range of search tools, browse categories and curriculum gateways. The CX resource centre also provides federated searches of external databases.
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
PLCs are dynamic websites supporting the work of educational networks. A PLC provides facility for the generation of sub communities within the parent body, tools such as event registration, meeting tools, calendars, media galleries, contacts, document storage, member’s area and site control. By providing community managers with the ability to register community members and provide them with editing rights to particlar parts of the community site, PLCs are a vehicle for the co-creation of professional learnign among staff with shared interests and agendas.
Collaborative Online Projects (COPs)
COPs are student authoring areas that can be used by teachers to run learning projects across multiple sites and within the framework of recognised online learning gernes including film, music and book Raps, Virtual Field Trips and Travel Buddies. COPs also include General Online Projects featuring team web spaces that can be used for more flexible and innovative models of collaborative online projects.
Learning Place Administration System (LPAS)
LPAS is the Learning Place identity management system and also acts as a control centre for Blackboard courses. LPAS allows users to register for courses and, with appropriate rights, to manage their registration details, student access to courses and Learning Place areas, participants in online courses and set up course shells and Virtual Classroom spaces.
Membership of the Learning Place is open to all staff and students in Queensland government schools and most resources, services and tools are available at no cost. Non-government schools and universities in Queensland will be able to subscribe to the Learning Place as Affiliate members.