Developing an eLearning strategy for a modern law school


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Slides for the presentation by Sarah King (Birmingham City University) at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

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Developing an eLearning strategy for a modern law school

  1. 1. Developing an eLearning Strategy for a Modern Law School<br />Presentation and Discussion Forum<br />UKCLE Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011<br />Sarah King<br />
  2. 2. Sarah King<br />Senior Lecturer in Law: Birmingham City University<br />Learning, Teaching and Assessments Advisor since June 2010<br />What this session is about….<br />Prompted by my own experience of putting together a strategy for the Law School at Birmingham City University, this session is intended to facilitate discussion about whether and why a strategy is needed, how an eLearning strategy might be formulated, what could be included and implementation issues.<br />Introductions<br />
  3. 3. Background: The Dearing Report 1997<br />“We believe that the innovative exploitation of Communications and Information Technology (C&IT)holds out much promise for improving the quality, flexibility and effectiveness of higher education. The potential benefits will extend to, and affect the practice of, learning and teaching and research.” (Section 13.1)<br />
  4. 4. Move the clock forward<br />Appropriate use of technology is leading to “significant improvements in learning and teaching across the sector” and this is “translating into improved satisfaction, retention and achievement” <br />(Tangible Benefits of e-Learning: Does investment yield interest?: JISC eLearning Team 11 April 2008)<br />
  5. 5. 2011 and the rise of the “Digital Native”<br />Students aren’t what they used to be!<br />Call them what you want to but “Unlike those of us a shade older, this new generation didn’t have to relearn anything to live lives of digital immersion. They learned in digital the first time around,” John Palfrey and UrsGasser in “Born Digital” (2008)<br />Digital Natives<br />Millennial Learners<br />The Net Generation<br />Generation Y<br />
  6. 6. Developments in eLearning<br />Examples at my University:<br />Moodle – our virtual learning environment;<br />Mahara – our e-portfolio system;<br />Podcasts and on-line lectures;<br />Shareville – our virtual town.<br />All great innovations but how can they help me?<br />
  7. 7. Moodle?<br />Mahara?<br />Wimba Create?<br />Shareville?<br />Captivate on line lecture?<br />Learning Activity Design<br />Wimba Voice Tools?<br />
  8. 8. The future ….<br />Understanding and meeting the modern student’s expectations.<br />Focussing on ensuring that the student experience is of highest possible quality.<br />Using eLearning to develop new and more flexible modes of learning to enhance the student experience.<br />
  9. 9. Would a Strategy help?<br />Assuming some of you have similar situations in your departments how would you answer this question …<br />Do we need a strategy to take this forward and, if so, why?<br />
  10. 10. Strategic Approaches are Nothing New<br />The Dearing Report (again!)<br />“we believe the existing C&IT resources could be used more effectively if institutional managers developed and implemented a coherent and comprehensive C&IT strategy.” (Section 13.17)<br />
  11. 11. But what about at school / department level<br />Oxford Brookes University, for example, recognised that the most influential lever for change was the production of school eLearning strategies “that allowed schools to set their plans for their own developments within their own contexts” resulting in “a pro-active culture emerging within schools taking their own responsibility for e-learning within their own domains rather than seeing it as being something that is done to them.”<br />Sharpe, R., Benfield, G., & Francis, R. 2006<br />
  12. 12. If a strategy is required – what next?<br />What are the barriers to formulating and implementing an eLearning Strategy?<br />
  13. 13. What happened in the Law School at BCU<br />The University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy:<br />The broad goals include a requirement to “offer flexible approaches to learning” and the strategy states that to achieve this goal we need to, (inter alia):<br />Use technology effectively to support the learning process;<br />Develop blended learning approaches;<br />Encourage innovative approaches to curriculum development<br />
  14. 14. So … what did we do?<br />Held a showcase event – delivered by CELT to show us new developments in eLearning;<br />Held informal “coffee mornings” to brainstorm ideas that could inform a strategy plan;<br />Worked with CELT to identify resources we would need to get plans off the ground and with management support and investment purchased those resources we thought necessary;<br />Looked at what policies were already in place in the Faculty, (eg the Faculty Moodle Policy) and University, (eg the Learning & Teaching Strategy);<br />Drafted a strategy document with an action plan for 2010/11, piloting a number of new resources, in particular Mahara and Captivate.<br />Circulated the draft strategy for comment and approval and finally adopted at School Development Day.<br />
  15. 15. How is the strategy implemented?<br />All members of the Law School have been required to attend training in the use of Mahara and Captivate and have had the opportunity to be trained in Wimba;<br />Staff participating in pilots have been given a workload allowance to allow for training, production of resources and evaluation;<br />We will hold an eLearning Development Day in April to review the success of our pilots before reviewing and updating our strategy for 2011/12.<br />
  16. 16. If you want to find out more ….<br />I am piloting Mahara in 2010/11 as part of our action plan so…<br />Have a look at my Mahara “View” – which is available to you to look at via link:<br /><br />