E-Learning Champions network launched
By Clive Young, on 21 February 2013
Following the successful launch of the UCL E-Learning Champions network on 14 February 2013, E-Learning Environments (ELE) and CALT are following up with a short survey of Champions’ interests.
The E-Learning Champions initiative has arisen as a part of UCL’s E-Learning Strategy itself initiated last year. The strategy identified departmental engagement and local e-learning champions as being key to improving the quality of technology enhanced learning. Over December and January each department was asked nominate two or more colleagues who will champion the use of e-learning, at least one academic and one person working in a support role (e.g. technical or administrative). The response was enthusiastic and the large majority of UCL departments and divisions’ are now represented in the initiative with others still joining almost daily.
The role of the champion includes working with E-Learning Environments and CALT to establish departmental e-learning ‘position statements’, including targets, standards and support requirements. The principle is to help local engagement with e-learning and ensure it supports and is aligned departmental aims and needs. This approach has been pioneered in BEAMS and now SLASH where ELE and CALT colleagues have been meeting with the departmental T&L team to discuss departmental ambitions in e-learning and how we can support them
A second important part of the network however is to identify and share good practice in areas of interest. The ELE/CALT survey aims to start that process, and Champions have already been invited to participate.
The 14 February launch event itself attracted an encouragingly wide range of Champions from across UCL, indicating the broad enthusiasm for this initiative. The event was opened by Prof. Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education) who highlighted the potential of the Champions as facilitators of educational change and development in the departments. He encouraged Champions to work with colleagues try to ensure change was well-established throughout departments. John Slater, representing the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE). The John and the LFHE is providing consultancy support for the UCL E-Learning Champions as part of their Changing the Learning Landscape programme. John highlighted what an important time this was for the sector. Clive Young (see presentation above) of ELE then outlined some of the remarkable changes UCL had achieved in e-learning, citing the growth of Moodle and Lecturecast as key indicators and that how as e-learning had become mainstream at UCL a wider range of people were involved, so the Champions network was not only important but essential to sustainable change. Rosalind Duhs concluded with an inspiring and interactive discussion of how technology could enhance teaching and learning.