In this Spotlight on Remote Teaching post, Dr Jill MacKay, Lecturer in Veterinary Education, and Nichola Kett, Head of Quality Assurance and Enhancement, introduce a new resource hub developed with contributions from across the sector and around the world to support technology enhanced learning…
How has the Resource Hub been Developed?
Each year the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland run a ‘Focus On’ project to support universities and students’ associations work in key areas. The topics chosen for Focus On projects are informed by the recommendations and commendations that come from reviews of universities. Once a topic has been identified, the whole sector works together to develop outcomes which support that key area.
For 2019/20, the Focus On topic was technology enhanced learning and the outcomes were an online event and the resource hub which provides timely support on moving teaching, learning and assessment online and guidance on other technology-related aspects.
What is in the Resource Hub?
The resource hub covers six areas:
- Getting your teaching online
- Lecture capture
- Policy and strategy development
- Virtual learning environments
- Student participation in co-creation
- Enhancing inclusion and accessibility
In this challenging time, one of the key areas of the hub is ‘Getting your teaching online’. There are many resources here which colleagues will find useful, particularly Heriot-Watt University’s Rapid Response Toolkit. The toolkit is a bit of a hidden gem, featuring checklists for getting online, top tips, and incorporating lots of technical support (the Collaborate Ultra and Microsoft Teams resources are particularly useful for us at Edinburgh). While designed principally for Heriot-Watt lecturers, parts of the toolkit, like the checklist for course teams, are very easily adapted for use in other institutions, and have a lot of great thinking points.
The materials on ‘Virtual Learning Environments’ are also very helpful for those who might feel a little on the backfoot right now. This section has a great mix of resources (such as Jisc’s excellent guides to digital learning environments) and opinion pieces (such as Sally Brown and Kay Sambell’s blog) that can help you reflect on how you want your teaching space to look online. “Do You Even Twitch?” is a great example of how higher education can learn from other contexts, and a good reminder of what these kind of environments can look like.
It is particularly important to highlight the section on student participation and co-creation, which has been a focus of the current Enhancement Theme. There are links to courses exploring how you can support student co-creation, and lots of case studies demonstrating the value of this approach. Utilising the creativity and perspectives of our student bodies may be one of the biggest opportunities of this time period, and it’s useful to have the resource hub flag this up.
One of the strengths of the resource hub is its collaborative nature, bringing together perspectives from across the sector, and its willingness to also flag up personal blogs and opinions to help the unfamiliar reader get a grounding of the perspectives on such a wide subject. If you have a question on TEL, the resource hub will have something to help you think about your approach.
How can I access the Resource Hub?
The resource hub is available on the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland’s website