Technology enhanced learning (TEL) adheres to the basic tenets of face-to-face teaching e.g. clear aims, specific learning objectives, valid and reliable evaluation and assessment, but with additional flexibility through the use of technology (JISC Effective Practice in a Digital Age).
Learning technologies can play a supporting role in learning and teaching activities. They provide opportunities to complement face-to-face teaching with 24/7 access to resources such as Virtual Learning Environments; allow you to receive immediate feedback on your teaching through voter response systems; enable students to participate in online learning communities; help combat plagiarism through the use of programmes such as Turnitin, and offer alternatives to face-to-face delivery.
Corporate Information and Computing Services (CiCS) offers support to guide you through the technical challenges for both you and your students in using learning technologies. CiCS staff can help you maximise the use of tools such as My Online Learning Environment (MOLE) to develop your confidence in the virtual environment of discussion fora and chat rooms. The Learning and Teaching Technologies Team of CiCS also hosts the Learning Technologies blog which includes a weekly digest of key developments in learning technologies.
In using any technology, it is important to look at what you are trying to achieve and how technology can help you achieve these goals. By identifying the appropriate learning technology, you can meet a specific learning need within your own teaching context, but it is important to remember that learning should be the key objective and pedagogy rather than technology should drive the decision making (JISC Effective Practice in a Digital Age).
This section highlights some practical methods and approaches to the use of learning technologies in support of educational delivery.
- Don’t be afraid to try new technologies. Some are simple to learn and can add value to your teaching while saving you time. Learn from your colleagues and how they are using the latest resources. The School of Law, for example, allows colleagues to view all law modules which use MOLE. This enables departmental colleagues to learn how others are using MOLE, e.g. discussion boards, chat rooms, blogging or podcasting.
- Look at the resources of Corporate Information and Computing Services (CiCS) and their services for staff, including MOLE training. Read the Learning Technologies Blog for the latest developments.
- Be inclusive in your use of learning technologies. Don’t assume that all students have the same technological level of knowledge.
Dr Christopher W Stokes, Senate Award Fellow, School of Clinical Dentistry
The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health's need for additional support in learning technologies and online learning environments for blended and distance learning led to the development of the Faculty's e-learning strategy.
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