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It was very useful that, as part of the JISC Building Capacity Project, the TEL team were able to facilitate a small get-together of our University’s leading lights with respect to Technology Enhanced Learning. What we called a CAMEL (standing for Collaborative Approaches to the Management of E-Learning) this ‘warts-n-all’ sharing experience really helped us hear from a group of staff who are totally enthused and excited at using technology in their professional practice.
The discussion ranged in breadth and topic area . . . from the technologies that learners have . . . identifying that most of our learners now have mobile technologies, with some staff actively encouraging students to use their own laptops. . . to realising that we also have very active staff using a range of hi-tech simulation technologies in nursing and healthcare whereby CCTV is used to record teaching and is then used in reflective learning techniques. Here, students can learn from the experts using a range of cognitive practice methodologies, which in some cases has become the accepted norm in classroom practice. We also heard how audience response systems are integrated with the simulation technologies and teaching sessions. For example ‘Turning Point’ is used with Microsoft’s Powerpoint, and is useful in simulation and very-large-audience conference presentations and video ‘What happens next?’ sessions.
It’s not all rosy though. Some staff don’t know what other technological systems exist throughout the University, as there seems to be a slight lack of dissemination of good practice. At least this is the view of some staff. A way around this perhaps is some kind of ‘sharing day’ whereby staff can hear about others’ work.
All in all it was a good way of finding out the positives, but also the niggles and annoyances that are impinging upon keen staff’s abilities to do even more innovative work. As Operational Manager for the JISC Building Capacity Project, hearing what staff were saying certainly gave me food for thought.