The Learning Glass

Welcome to JCU's Learning Glass. This digital learning technology was developed at San Diego State University by Dr Matt Anderson and now JCU Nguma-bada Campus in Cairns and Bebegu Yumba Campus in Townsville, has their very own. This website will provide you with all the knowledge you need to successfully use the Learning Glass to invigorate your teaching.

Is it just a whiteboard?

The Learning Glass (LG) uses LED light technology to illuminate your writing with neon markers on specialised glass.

The LG is a piece of educational technology that you can utilise to transform a traditional whiteboard lesson into an engaging student experience. You can either create a new type of digital learning object that consists of you annotating on a “transparent whiteboard” or you can use it to teach using BlackBoard Collaborate.

The LG enables you to stand behind it and annotate directly on one side whilst being filmed from the opposite side. The image is then flipped in camera and results in your students seeing the annotations with no occlusion. It has the ability to make your teaching more dynamic and engaging, compared to traditional white boards where you are annotating facing away from your students. You are able to connect with your students using important social and emotional cues and “gaze guidance” (Fiorella and Mayer, 2016).

Learning Glass - Pedagogy

Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer, 2009, 2014A) is one of the theories we have adopted to guide our teaching practice using the LG. This theory amalgamates human actions, human emotion with learner experience. The tables below from Fiorella and Mayer (2016) explain the interactions which happen when using the LG to teach your students.

Basic Principles of Multimedia Learning and Observing Instructor Drawing

Fiorella, L & Mayer, R.E ( 2016) Effects of Observing the Instructor Draw Diagrams on Learning From Multimedia Messages. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 108, No.4, 528-546.

We adopted Mayers (2017)12 Principles of Multimedia Learning. These principles are essentially a guideline for you to follow when designing your LG lesson. Mayer's (2017) 12 Principles of Multimedia checklist is available for you to use for your LG lesson design or any multimedia design.

Theories Related to Observational Learning and Observing Instructor Drawing

Fiorella, L & Mayer, R.E ( 2016) Effects of Observing the Instructor Draw Diagrams on Learning From Multimedia Messages. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 108, No.4, 528-546.

The learning glass also lends itself to incorporate Embodied Learning. "Embodied Learning  can be understood as the conscious use of creative experiences and the active involvement of students to champion the acquisition of knowledge" (Paniagua, & Istance, 2018, pp.118).

Learning Glass - Plan your session

To make the most of your time with the Learning Glass it is essential that you plan your session before attending your booking. To aid in the Planning stage  we have provided you with an example of a Learning Glass lesson plan, accompanied by a template.

Learning Glass Lesson plan  template (DOCX, 24 KB)

Learning Glass Lesson plan  example (DOCX, 181 KB)

Weekly learning sequence checklist (PDF, 66 KB)
The checklist can be used if you wish to implement a weekly learning sequence into your LearnJCU subject site.

Learning Glass -  Team Teaching

When planning, keep in mind the Learning Glass can also be used to team teach and in some situations it is more engaging. See an example below, from the Librarians Bronwen Forster and Janet Catterall.

Learning Glass - How to Access

The Learning Glass is currently located on both the Townsville and Cairns Campuses


  • Cairns: B1.108
  • Townsville: B302.002

How can I book the Learning Glass?

Both locations can be booked using the Web Room Booker.

  • Log on using your JC number and Password.
  • Select your campus.
  • LT-Recording room.
  • View filtered rooms.
  • Select the LG on your campus.
  • Select date
  • Select time and duration and then choose next.
  • Select your booking.
  • Fill out the confirmation details with a RED *.
  • Confirm booking.
  • You will receive a confirmation email.

If you have any issues using the booking system please refer to the following guide:

Learning Glass - How to Book (PDF, 455 KB)

Learning Glass -  Recording  in Panopto

When creating a digital Learning object in a Learning Glass session, we recommend that you use Panopto Capture to record.

Below is a video demonstration that takes you through the process of  setting up your Panopto Capture session with the Learning Glass.

Learning Glass - Recording in  Panopto  Guide Cairns (PDF, 349 KB)

Learning Glass - Recording in Panopto Guide Townsville (PDF, 515 KB)

Learning Glass - In  Collaborate

Learning Glass can be used in Collaborate to live teach.

To set up  Learning Glass in your Collaborate  session please  use the guides below:

Learning  Glass  in  Collaborate Guide Cairns (PDF, 791 KB)

Learning Glass in Collaborate Guide Townsville (PDF, 635 KB)

To see  an example of Learning Glass used in a live teaching scenario please view the recording below where Lecturer  Diana Castorina is  teaching her  economics class live  in Collaborate. (Note this recording has been edited for demonstration purposes)

Learning Glass -  Top Tips

The  following top tips  are

  • Look at the camera not the TV.
  • Do not write too big or small. Test your writing first and see how it looks on camera.
  • If you are live teaching and ask your students a question, give them time to answer.
  • Only use the pens provided.
  • Use different colour pens to highlight different points.
  • If live teaching, it is better to get your students to verbally ask questions rather than use the chat box.
  • Recommended clothes are block colour medium dark greys, navy or black.
  • One concept per glass, do not try and overload your learning glass with multiple concepts as it can get very busy very quickly.  Once a concept is complete clean the glass before beginning the new concept.
  • Presenter space, it is important to leave a dedicated space, for you the presenter, that is void of writing on the LG, so the students can make uninterrupted connection with you. This can be a space on the left or right of the board.
  • To minimise squeaking on the glass, from pens, you may have to write slower and ensure there is adequate ink in the tip of the pen. We recommend having a piece of paper towel on the desk that you can use to prime the pen.
  • Keep your LG recordings short, one recording equals one topic.

Learning Glass - Support

Educational design support is provided by LTSE.

If you require someone to help you design your session please contact:

Jaimee Hamilton:

Terrie Paterson:

Technical support is provided by the VAVs team. If you need support please call:

Nguma-bada Campus in Cairns: ext. 21700

Bebegu Yumba Campus in Townsville: ext. 14643