June 5, 2008, by Teaching at Nottingham
Quick gains in e-learning
Gordon Joyes: “What we were after were quick wins. We wanted people to come up with projects within the ePioneers programme that were things that were achievable, that they knew they could do within that academic year or sooner.”
Mike Sharples: “So, rather than having long-term projects that may take years to mature, find out what would have the greatest effect in supporting teaching and learning in the short-term and then, those quick gains could be publicised, spread, not just within the school, but beyond, so that the school itself becomes confident in developing e-learning.”
Richard Pemberton: “We’re teaching MA students who, at the moment, all from overseas, so these are people here doing a one year MA. We wanted something that was a different format, so we came up with the idea of conversations around key issues in our field, which is teaching English to speakers of other languages.”
Jane Evison: “We wanted to get that done for the first – well, the first week of the semester, so that it was nice having those, kind of, deadlines, a weekly deadline. So I think we were able to get those quick gains that we’d been looking for in the ePioneers project.”
Do Coyle: “It’s been a forum for people talking to each other who never normally would have come into contact with each other, but with having a real purpose, a real sense of discussion.”
I was approached by people who maybe wouldn’t have approached me otherwise, initially on vaguely ePioneers related things, but increasingly, over time, not any more on ePioneers related things.
Tony Fisher: “How do you know whether a culture’s changed?
“I mean, we do know that there’s more use of e-learning going on in the school, okay? We’ve just recently set up an Educational Development and Innovation Technologies Unit within the school, and we do know that colleagues are coming to that Unit with things that they want to do. So that would seem to be indicative of a change.
“But it is quite difficult. I mean, I think anybody would say that it’s quite difficult to measure a cultural change, because, in a way, a cultural change is a process, and it’s quite hard to observe a process when you’re in the middle of one.”
Mike: “In terms of the, sort of, psychology of an organisation, it’s much better to have enthusiastic people who have a real need, and then have that supported, and then for them to go out and say how it’s had an effect on their teaching and learning, rather than to impose a solution on all of the staff, whether they want it or not.”
In conversation with:
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.
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