Why aren’t course teams adopting more innovative technologies: Some new year reflections

The Elevate Team have been reflecting on the potential reasons why course teams have not consistently and effectively been designing and deploying technology enhanced learning into their learning, teaching and assessment models.

The supporting evidence is from the LearnUCS review (Blackboard VLE at UCS). This identifies the majority of uses of LearnUCS (the primary e-learning delivery software at UCS) has been used to achieve e-administration tasks

There are a number of factors which determine the effective adoption of TEL within a course team. Therefore, I’ll try to make the discussion manageable by considering those which the Elevate Team have direct influence over.

The first step is to apply the Collis 4 E’s model (framework) to the activities of the Elevate Team and see the likely impact of an individual lecturer adopting technology enhanced learning in their teaching, learning and assessment models.

For those not familiar with the Collis 4 E model, it focuses on reducing actual and perceived barriers to adoption and influencing an individual’s motivations to engage.

Figure 1 illustrates the type of activity the Elevate Team provide by factor. It illustrates a very active level of potential involvement with an individual lecturer.

Figure 1:

reflections figure 1

However, if we assume this interaction with the individual is effective, how come this isn’t leading to a change in behaviour within course delivery? This can be answered through a number of reasons, in particular,

  • perhaps the Elevate Team are not connecting with enough individuals to create a critical mass for change to occur when course teams design their learning, teaching and assessment model.
  • the current formal interface with the course team is relatively low. See Figure 2 which illustrates the type of activity at the course team level

Figure 2:

reflections figure 2

So, what can we do about this? How might we increase the likelihood of embedding TEL effectively at the course team level?

The following provides a few simple approaches which are resource low, easy to implement, and should result in more conversations between the course leaders, course teams and Elevate Team. The expectation would be these conversations will open doors to allow curriculum design workshops and staff development & support.

The emphasis is to continue with our approaches at the individual and also profile the Elevate Team much earlier in the formal processes. For instance, with the course validation and re-validation process.

CAT 1 & CAT 1R Form

Include with in the form, a comment box, with sign off for the e-Learning Development Manager that the requirements are supported. This would be similar to the sign off by the Head of Library & Learning Development.

Course Design Document provided by Academic Development

Section 4: Teaching and Learning

In the guidance advice box (red text), add “The provision of technology enhanced learning activities”

Section 5: Assessment

In the guidance advice box (red text), add “Strategies to effectively adopt technology enhanced assessment activities”

Course Approvals Group

Invite the e-Learning Development Manager to be a member of the Course Approvals Group

UCS Validation / Re-approval: Gantt chart outlining key responsibilities

Currently, there is no technology enhanced learning input to the discussions and feedback on drafts. So include on e-Learning Development Manager in draft document reviews. Change the text to include Head of Quality Enhancement/Education Developer, Registry and e-Learning Development Manager for reviews of drafts.

Annual Health Check

A requirement for an annual review / update with individual Course Leaders with the e-Learning Development Manager


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