In this extra post, Tracy Madden introduces an induction pack to support new colleagues in using supported learning technology. Tracey is Learning Technology Advisor in Learning Teaching and Web (Information Services).
In order that staff who are new (to the University) have a basic grounding in the use of our supported learning technology, an induction pack was developed. This is available as a generic resource and a version that can be easily customised by Schools.
Currently, on-boarding new staff with academic (and academic support) responsibilities, does not necessarily include a routine introduction to the learning technology available at Edinburgh, nor advice on its application. Whilst it is not possible nor desirable to compel the uptake of training, nevertheless, lack of understanding has consequences. Because of this, it is important that staff have the need for competency in learning technology highlighted at an early stage, ideally at their induction, along with details of the support available to achieve this.
This Learning Technology Induction Pack could help and might also support a consistent and comprehensive approach to learning technology induction across the University.
This resource aims to support new staff to develop a grounding in the sound technical and pedagogical application of centrally supported (and School-specific) learning technology, which would be continued as part of their CPD.
It does this by:
- Introducing the University’s centrally supported services
- Highlighting training (and other support) for centrally supported services
- Aligning to underlying strategies, policies and principles
- Linking to allied support
Rather than a technology-first approach, the material in the resource is structured around the common aspects of teaching and learning (informed by the work of Phil Race) with which a member of staff would need to be involved:
- The online teaching environment
- Learning design and creating teaching resources
- Building community online
- Keeping in communication
- Formative assessment & feedback
- Summative assessment & feedback
- CPD & academic development
In each section, there are details of the learning technology available to all staff at Edinburgh, with links to the training and other resources available to help support their application.
Since it was felt to be impossible to be able to produce a resource that would suit all sections of the University, the aim was to produce a generic resource that would be simple in design and therefore easy to personalise, should any group wish to do so for their staff. Though it has been made accessible, being ‘designed to be redesigned’ makes it easy for individual staff to reformat their own copy for themselves, should they wish.
To be sustainable the resource has to be updated as the types of technology we support, and the training provided changes. This will be done (at least) annually by Information Services (though if Schools have personalised their version, they will need to update this themselves).
We are hoping that this resource will be found useful and shared widely. We do encourage those who use it (directly or with the new staff that they support) to feedback on their experience; this will enable us to see how to develop it in the future and if there are complementary resources we could also provide.
This post originally featured on the Educational Design & Engagement Blog.
Tracey joined Information Services in 2018 to work on Learning Design and other service support. As well as facilitating ELDeR (Edinburgh Learning Design Roadmap) workshops, she provides support for those incorporating learning technology into their teaching. Before joining Edinburgh, Tracey held appointments in UK higher and further education, supporting curriculum design and staff development, including the use of learning technology. As part of the UK Physical Sciences Centre, she worked on national projects in such areas as OERs (open educational resources) and e-portfolios. Tracey is a Senior Fellow HEA, and mentors staff as part of the Edinburgh Teaching Award (EdTA)