Thursday, 2 April 2009

HEFCE launches strategy for technology-enhanced learning

HEFCE has (March 26, 2009) published 'Enhancing learning and teaching through the use of technology - a revised approach to HEFCE's strategy for e-learning' (HEFCE 2009/12). This revised approach follows an independent review of the strategy and is designed to provide further support to higher education institutions as they develop their own e-learning strategies.

The new approach is intended to support institutions in considering where they may wish to prioritise their technology-related investment over the next few years, and to develop appropriate institutional learning and teaching strategies. Support and guidance is available from JISC and from the Higher Education Academy.

Findings from the review, which was carried out with the support of the Higher Education Academy and JISC, suggested the strategy has been useful in motivating institutional activity, but that some of the information has become outdated, given the current level of maturity in e-learning in the sector.

In order to assist institutions in achieving their strategic aims for enhancing learning and teaching through technology, the document suggests a framework focusing on: pedagogy, curriculum design and development; learning resources and environments; quality; and research and evaluation.

John Selby, HEFCE Director (Education and Participation), said: 'Our emphasis is on recognising that technology has a fundamental part to play in higher education, and that it should now reflect commitment from senior management in institutions within an institutional context. Our revised approach to e-learning will contribute to the Government's aim to position the UK at the front of technology-enhanced learning internationally, and continue to build a knowledge-based economy.'

David Sadler, Director of Networks at the Higher Education Academy, said:
'The Higher Education Academy is pleased to have been involved in this review and the revised policy statement, and its emphasis on enhancement is one that highlights how technology can be used by practitioners to support students in their learning. It focuses on the benefits and the outcomes from using technology to support learning, teaching and assessment, which will be different in each institution, and could make a real difference to the learning experience of students across all higher education institutions.'

Further information on how JISC is contributing to this strategy can be found at:

Also out (under BECTa) is The Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning by George Siemens and Peter Tittenberger from the University of Manitobahas. It has been designed as a resource for educators planning to incorporate technologies in their teaching and learning activities.

The handbook is also available as a PDF


mhawksey said...

What did you think of the Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning?

I found it all a bit theoretical and outdated. Are blogs, wikis and podcasts still emerging technologies? I would argue that these are 'established but not widely effectively used' technologies.

The author also seem to have completely ignored assessment.

The authors also seemed to focus purely on software solutions, ignoring how the devices are evolving to provide greater mobility, geo-awareness and interaction.

On the plus point the new HEFCE strategy looks good.

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