Case studies of elearning innovation 4

Case study: The Learning Lab staff development initiative

Area: Technology-enhanced LEarning Environments

Institution: Swansea University

Link: Swansea University, The Learning Lab staff development initiative

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’

Technology Used

Main site linked to outside sources of information and tools such as blogs and wikis

Tangible benefits

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.

disadvantages/drawbacks?

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.

Lessons Learned

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’

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4 thoughts on “Case studies of elearning innovation 4

  1. I also reviewed this case study, Keith. It struck me as an example of good practice in encouraging and supporting staff to get on board with e-learning.

    Do you think that the fact this project exists, tells us a lot about the stage we are at with e-learning? That is, people are keen and enthusiastic to engage with e-learning, but are laking the skills and confidence?

    Take care,

    Lee.

  2. I believe that there are different levels of e-learning usage, which need to be climbed sequentially. In this case study a ‘basic’ innovation has been adopted i.e. that of making available a quiet informal space where anyone may interact. Various actors in this institution could identify themselves in this space thus adopting it for their own needs. I think that if a much more elaborate space with far more features would have ‘created’ more then one laggard

    Moreover as the innovation seems to be part of the insitution’s strategy it implies that there is some kind of support which in a sporadic innovation by an individual innovator might not be so easily adopted.

    What do you think ?
    Keith

  3. Keith
    Would you be happy for me to quote from your blog? Feel free to quote from mine if you find anything worth quoting.

    Frauke

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