Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL)

Technology Options and Affordances for Learning and Teaching Online

The following table comprises technology options and their affordances for learning and teaching online. It includes a brief introductory statement and highlights the particular educational application of the tool according to the following legend:

  1. L-C: Learner-content engagement
  2. L-T: Learner-teacher engagement
  3. L-L: Learner-learner engagement
  4. L-E: Learner engagement with the learning environment
  5. L-A: Learner engagement with assessment activities
  6. L-F: Learner engagement with feedback
  7. L-I: Learner engagement with the institution













  • Serves as the University’s learning management system - all USP courses have a Moodle presence.
  • Academic staff moderate each Moodle course by uploading course material and creating discussion forums around these and setting various assessment activities like online quizzes, tests etc.
  • Students interact with the material and academic staff by logging into Moodle and completing the prescribed learning activities.




  • USP’s e-portfolio tool where a digital record of a student’s progression through online learning – such as essays, artwork or other such things students produce are stored digitally and evaluated by teachers for the assessment of learning outcomes.






  • This is the text matching technology that has been integrated into Moodle and used to detect cases of potential breaches of academic integrity in student submissions.





Lecture Capture


  • Is the system that automatically records face to face lectures from designated USP lecture theatres and makes these available for student review through Moodle.
  • USP Lecture Capture is made up of 2 complementary technologies:


  1. Opencast – is the free, open-source software for automated video capture, processing, managing, and distribution.
  2. Extronn – is the audio-visual technology used in the lecture rooms to capture the lecture theatre interaction.

There are several other technologies, like BBB and Zoom that are being investigated, that will also allow recording from offsite locations.




Big Blue Button


  • This is an open-source web-conferencing system that enables students to connect and communicate with staff and student peers from various locations.
  • BBB is integrated into Moodle and has been trialled over a few semesters as a tutoring support tool for certain courses.
  • BBB is also being trialled currently to allow lecturers to record lectures from off-campus locations.





  • Currently USP’s premium video-conferencing system for USP administration meetings with parties participating both from within the USP network and essentially anywhere else on the internet.
  • Zoom has also been trialled over a few semesters by IT Services as a supplementary video-conferencing tool for certain courses.
  • Research is being conducted into the Zoom webinar tool for mass online lectures and also its possible integration into Opencast and Moodle.





  • Is USP’s current primary videoconferencing tool for the live delivery of USP lectures to USP regional campuses.
  • REACT’s particular advantage is its bandwidth efficiency across USP’s satellite network compared to other technologies – which increases as the number of participants increases.





  • Open source, modern and secure system that intelligently activates process and content to accelerate the flow of business particularly around document management.











  • Drives a growing OER repository for the Pacific region.










Readiness Summary


Educational Function

Implementation Considerations

USP Institution-Wide Tools currently in use


Core online learning platform

Primary focus of all USP ICT Online Learning & Teaching Strategy.

Projected increased loading on core systems infrastructure – this is mitigated by scalable resource allocation and available capacity for expansion.


E-portfolio platform

As above.


Text matching/Plagiarism Tool

As above.

Lecture Capture

Live lecture recording, storage and publication through Moodle

Currently lectures recorded from selected venues equipped with AV technology.

Extension of recording through BBB is currently being developed.


Regional satellite tutorial recording system

Currently available mainly to regional campuses.

Further extension to other locations/uses requires installation of a software client.


Video-conferencing for USP administration meetings

Licensing constraints – mitigated through prior procurement and budgeting.

Extension to be used for use Lecture recording, Web-Conferencing/Webinar functionality – under research & development.

Tools currently under Trials with selected Courses/Audiences


Web-conferencing system

Video recording lectures

Successfully trialed as a tutorial support tool and being investigated as a possible lecture Video-Recording technology.

User manuals and workshops being prepared and conducted through CFL.

Technical integration issues being addressed by ITS/CFL development teams.

Tools currently under R&D – being used sporadically in USP ICT environment for L&T purposes

Edu-sharing (OER)

OER repository for the Pacific region


DMS (Alfresco)

Document management

Internal only

Google - YouTube

Video management and hosting


Google Drive & Docs

Document management

IP & backup. Storage of Google Docs for collaboration or resource provision won’t be accessible.


Document management

IP & backup. Storage of Dropbox for collaboration or resource provision won’t be accessible.


Collaborative online reading application


Tools Available – but not currently researched for deployment within USP’s ICT environment

Facebook Suite

(includes Instagram,

WhatsApp, Messenger)

Support & possible integration



Support & possible integration

Other Social Media:

Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Slack, Twitch, Discord.

Support & possible integration