Friday, 8 June 2007

The big changes, not really ground-breaking, but ideas I've been thinking about for ages and that don't seem so unrealistic now....


Better to have much more shorter training sessions that are “just-in-time” training – staff choose which they come on depending on their needs. Also offer the option for more confident staff to try an elearning module that they can take at any time first.

Alternatively, and perhaps better if we can get away from the idea that staff can pick up effective learning technology design in three hours - a two day, project-based design workshop. Exploratory, staff become confident designers, deep approach to learning technologies and closely tied to pedagogy and their own styles. Help them understand what is possible and what THEY want to do and then help them DO IT.

    • Intro to broad pedagogic values, theories, even new ideas….
    • Emph on social and application rather than science
    • Could involve exploration of adv and disadv
    • Experiencing good and bad designs
    • Probs and solutions
then after that it’s about acquiring the skills that they can see they want to know when they want them. Not teaching them things they have no idea how to use. Who says this or where has it proved to be useful? Dreamweaver, flash, comms tools etc…worked here…there is also a JISC paper on this.


Integrate Learning Technologies into all levels of staff development and into the culture of the university as a whole. Not just about skills but also about attitudes. Needs to be promoted, integrated, recognised at all levels. If it isn’t recognised as part of educational development, as being all about teaching and learning practice then it has no credibility:

  • Introduction during induction
  • A module or at least a workshop during educational development courses (e.g. LTP) where pedagogy can really be explored – maybe get Simon PA involved?
  • Not only train staff how to use the tools from a pedagogical perspective but just as important have them be supported BY The tools walking the walk, talking the talk
  • certified programme?
  • part of appraisal
  • Resources to support staff outside of training. (informal), that encourages the integration of LT's for example Erdal has created a WebLearn IT support training and support area for staff, diversity training could take place through WebLearn, what about things like “how to use a digi camera”, or other skills that they’d be motivated to develop at home? Informal learning using learning technologies becomes second nature. These ideas are confirmed by Richard and James’ experiences, approach taken by Oxford uni.
  • “What remains to be investigated is how this approach complements existing approaches to support and develoment as practised by by established groups such as educational developers” Oliver


It's what we've been embracing on this course. WE need to extend our practice with theory and experimentation. Better collaboration with research departments would be a good start, but TLTC need to stay up to date and do innovative work in order to inspire and retain credibility. Otherwise we're not more than a second IT training function. Action-research, offers a more structured approach to projects which would allow us to do practice-based research. It would allow me to feel like I'm stretching my understanding inside of work rather than spending all my time doing it outside. In a rapidly developing field “We should also begin to see the development of new underpinning theories and models of explanation to account for the use of learning technologies, and perhaps even the emergence of new learning paradigms and working practices. Only time will tell”. Conole.. Without integration with pedagogy and modern theory, TLTC end up just pushing a single technology that will rapidly be outdated.


Need across the board support and collaboration on large learning technology projects that have such a wide-reaching impact on so much of the university. Projects will fail if they’re not supported and recognised throughout the uni.


Importance of developing networks, communities that engage with technology, involving learning and teaching facilitators more (where they’re interested) – a broker between different communities (Oliver).


We need to spend much more time getting to know the students, evaluating the use of learning technologies just as rigorously as we evaluate our training and teaching in general. One of the most valuable things I’ve done so far is talk to students informally about their experiences using learning technologies, and their aims and aspirations in general, what technologies they use, those they don't, where they need most support in order to have a smooth journey through uni…..Discuss digital divide, get a much better understanding of what it means. It may be a hardware and a software and a training issues - Hertfordshire – have set up computer working spaces that support all kinds of approaches to learning – large group to individual (discussion with simon)

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