“The primary strategic aim is to bring together the transformational effects of our combined strengths in order to enhance the proficiency and vision of our graduates in becoming active and connected citizens in a globalised world.” The Education Strategy comprises core capabilities that are linked within and across the institutions. In this framework, the Education Academies are the main support for shared innovation, learning and development, delivered through new courses and units/ modules, student projects and the Monash Warwick Access Repository. The projects aim to advance the development of shared educational capability and deliver outcomes in student employability. They lay the foundation for further work in developing new modules and courses, and in increasing co-development of learning objects and resources. There will be an overall programme management lead for the plan. This post, the Senior Academic Technologist Alliance TEL Lead will shape, lead, manage and support the technology-related aspects of the plan. In addition there will be a half-time post focussed on the masterclass strand. There will also be a full time content officer that will be supervised by the Senior Academic Technologist Alliance TEL Lead. The strands of the plan are: Flagship Project: Developing intercultural competence Flagship Project: Alliance Masterclasses Shared repository of learning objects pilot Enhancing the student mobility programme Collaboration through the Academies Student Engagement Fund Technology enablers
Important to have the key aim in focus, so can keep referring back to it…. Student focused, employability, global skills & opportunities As per Safer Internet Day theme this year ‘Better together’ ..
So, as I outlined in a journal article in 2012, which analysed my Twitter profile as to whether there was an #edtech community of practice there, as someone who’s embedded within digital culture, I would be looking to the networks that I need to establish/can draw on first. Particularly relevant is my experience from Winchester, where started in a 0.2 role (designed to embed Wimba, which wasn’t most helpful in helping meet people afterwards, as it didn’t work ‘out of the box’), and expanded it to 0.5 role by the end … was part of the L&T team – worked closely with QAA, Library, etc. – those student support services are key to engage with.
Based at Warwick, it would be key to get to know the key stakeholders/influencers with regard to tech first, similar via Monash (is there a mirror person there?) potentially via a visit as in my experience (worth noting, spent 18 months travelling/leading travels – guests Australian/2.5 months in Oz – understand culture), digital relationships(e.g. via Skype) are stronger where a face-to-face relationship also exists. Strong community relationships already exist with JISC L&T Experts (where I found out about this role), and in the past been a regular at ALT-C (not been so crucial to my current role) – both great places to catch up on the latest e-learning tech, and get the feelers out to the #edtech community on Twitter…
Map out and become clear on the platforms that are already in use at Warwick (Monash), want to understand the range of technologies – the university provided ones that are key to running a course (is dspace a virtual world?) such as Moodle (familiar with) and Echo 360 (have experimented with), come across Equella at confs, those that are more ‘professional’ and will give students a head-start in the employment market, and the range of social technologies that can used for more than social purposes – including creatively within the classroom…
Was easy to connect with those who were keen & excited to try technology, but after first year started to work out how to reach those who are less keen (JISC T&L sessions – a perennial problem from every university) – as we identified in BODGIT (& SCARPER) – people are sold on the fact that save time/money or improves the student/staff experience – v little else sticks…
Using this diagram as the starting point to know where to start the conversations, and work with pre-existing team for a contact list … and start to make availability known via online and offline means… and identify what these outcomes look like in the ‘real-world’ to complete portal & outliers by Jan 2017 .. .
So, overall, I would looking to listen, feed in & share – understand what is needed, research, develop & implement appropriate solutions, then formulate into a format that can be shared (within Warwick, Monash, and possibly wider HE community)
People align themselves with subject areas more than institutions, so talking to HoDs and getting into programme meetings = key, especially when demonstrating case studies of relevance to that subject (or own experience as an academic), 1-2-1 meetings to collect case studies (like BIGBible project I work on, need to persuade people they have something to tell), but also offered central ‘Drop-In Days’, where computers set up for people to experiment with new technology (more difficult) – requires buy in from the top to give people the time for this (this kind of initiative = key – as with TESTA and FASTECH that was involved with in Winchester) … including any pre-existing communities.
Because I’m embedded in practice myself … having undertaken tech experimentation, so clear understanding of teaching and learning goals… at Winchester I took the Moodle based VLE to L&T TEL from 0 to 170+ active members (small institution), and also was involved in the re-development of an uninspiring module for Media Studies – the basic study skills/theory required – which we redeveloped as a social media assessed module (e.g. using blogs, YouTube, etc.) and at Durham we taught an intensive couse using a range of social media tools to augment the face-to-face experience! One that really worked was the simple capacity in Moodle to set up appointments for students – the small things open people up to the bigger things.
Would look to get experiences from staff and students (persuasion works both ways), and look to record via video, etc. (with BigBible project I’ve been running for 5 years, part of the job was persuading people they had anything to say … Would look to identify case studies/experts/L&T applications of how they’ve been used well to inspire further engagement and take-up… and ‘how-to’ guides, etc.
Within this it’s also important to understand what the contemporary student requires (gave a presentation on this in 2009, most viewed on Slideshare!) - wary of the digital native aspect, but time/location independent resources are key… e.g. I worked on Skillsnet, a resource based platform (we used WordPress in the end, so would need to get to understand platforms used at Warwick) – when students need to know about referencing, etc. at the last minute, was a great resource to point them to (at the beginning of term!)
So would want to establish what people need to know/the goals that were set at the beginning, then produce material that is interesting in audio, video, written, interactive formats (& whatever other formats might come along).
I’ve got a lot of experience in social media, and more recently in looking at ‘young people and digital culture’, so it’s important to have material that has a purpose, that’s interested for pulling in (rather than pushing out – hey, let’s share this), and had done similar with CODEC (current role) – people wanted to come and talk to use because we were producing interesting theory and practice related to church use of digital technology … let people see what’s in it for them.
Re the Learning Object Repository, as said, would need to understand the tech chosen (dSpace?) but been involved in supervising portal development at Durham, including defining inclusion/exclusion, categorisation, metatags, etc. I’ve also used JISC, etc. resources quite extensively although they can be quite complex…
BigBible = structure/restructure, and PhD database… I’d probably want to talk to central units such as librarians re data construction, etc.
So, I’d like to finish this presentation with a slide I picked up from Sarah Knight (JISC) the other week as something that is key – this is not about technology for technology’s sake, but about about identifying the key tools, their applications to improve the student learning experience.
Warwick University: Alliance Technology Enhanced Learning Lead
Technology for the Alliance
Education Strategy: How I Will
Dr Bex Lewis : @drbexl
Alliance Education Strategy
“The primary strategic aim is to bring together
the transformational effects of our combined
strengths in order to enhance the proficiency
and vision of our graduates in becoming active
and connected citizens in a globalised world.”