June 2, 2008, by Teaching at Nottingham

Auditing current e-learning activity.

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Tony Fisher: “That audit just, really, was a simple taking stock of what was going on in the school, trying to get some information from staff themselves, because however well informed the group was, it wasn’t going to know about everything that was going on.”

Matthew Nilan: “People who weren’t particularly involved with e-learning identified two, or maybe three people in the school who they thought were the only people who were involved, and yet we were discovering that a lot more people were involved, but weren’t aware of others.”

Mike Sharples: “There were some members of staff who were quite advanced and mature in the use of e-learning and learning technology, particularly those who had already had research projects.

“Then there were people who were using standard University technologies for teaching and learning, whether it be PowerPoint or WebCT, and beginning to use that effectively. And then there were people who had needs and interests in exploring new types of technology, podcasts, for example, or video for teaching and learning.”

Do Coyle: “And that really made us think. It made us think very carefully about, what do we mean by e-learning? Why is it that the perception, generally, of people, is that there were just one or two experts, one or two innovators, people who are always into the latest technology, is that really e-learning? And so it took us right back to fundamentals, so, ‘So okay, what do we mean by e-learning, and how does that operate within a school?’

“From the audit, it became very clear that there were constraints about and around the development of e-learning on a school wide basis. Some of them are very predictable in terms of a lack of time to develop new ways of working, or a lack of money to buy new equipment, but principally, there were others that were, kind of, slightly less obvious, in terms of people actually having self-confidence to trial in a safe environment some of the technologies that might change, even if only in a small way, might change their common practice, to actually make it better and improve…”

Gordon Joyes: “What the audit indicated was, and that the interviews we did with the senior managers indicated, there was a willingness to change. It’s just that people didn’t know how and didn’t have the confidence.”

In conversation with: Do Coyle, Tony FisherGordon Joyes, Matthew Nilan, Mike Sharples (School of Education).

Extracts from interviews with staff who are starting to use technology in their teaching, and those who are mentoring them. This video was originally published as part of PESL’s ePioneers collection. Produced: June 2008

Posted in Integrating technology