Case study: The Learning Lab staff development initiative
Area: Technology-enhanced LEarning Environments
Institution: Swansea University
Author: Chris Hall
Background & context
Learning lab was developed through an idea of providing a ‘space with useful resources about elearning for all staff’ where anyone in the community has the opportunity to participate. This was needed as till then, e-learning was used in isolation with little knowledge sharing. Majority of staff had little knowledge of latest technoligies and how these could be integrated in learning and teaching.
‘Learning Lab be what the community wants’
‘…area where learning and teaching rather than technology drive the process’
Main site linked to outside sources of information and tools such as blogs and wikis
Increase in staff using this space, particularly in using blogs for information, teaching and self-reflection. Also it was used to share resources and their experiences.
Able to connect with each other to share and collaborate.
Takes time to buils such a space.
Core group of ‘techies’ had to release control over the space.
Attempted to ‘put as few barriers as possible’. This encouraged more staff to use the system although it also posed problems such as spammers.
University has an e-learning strategy through which such an innovation could be formulated and implemented.
Such a space provides fertile ground where a community of practice may be build; ‘it’s about the people not the technology’