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Digital education

Community of Practice – Learning Technologists

29 September 2014

be excellentby Dewi Parry

Since I arrived back in Registry working for the ELTT team 6 months ago, I have had the privilege of meeting groups of knowledgeable people who work for various Schools, Colleges and directorates across the University.  All of which were passionate about the University and were more than happy to talk frankly and honestly about the challenges that lie ahead for Cardiff and HE in general.

One of these groups – hard working and dedicated to their field  – were the Learning Technologists (LTs). There are currently around 25 LTs based within Schools and Colleges around the University (not including ourselves, IT services and Library etc.). Some have been here quite a few years, some have started recently, some are new to the field, and others are experts within their field.

Having worked on programmes and projects myself, it’s often very hard to hit the ground running within an institution, as there are so many different bits of information you need to know and contacts that you have to make to get the projects off the ground. So, with the help of the rest of the ELTT team, we’ve decided to create a Community of Practice around Learning Technology within the University – for which we’ve considered the domain, the community, the practice and also the expertise.

This will be a community where our LTs can share not only their concerns and problems, but their passion and commitment to the field. We will open up channels for discussion and dialogue, offer peer support and allow our LTs to build relationships where they can learn from each other.

So, to get it up and running, there will be a group based in Cathays Park and a group based in Heath Park. There will be one meeting for each group initially. This gives us roughly the same numbers in each group. LTs can also attend the other groups’ meeting if they wish. We will organise a meeting for both groups together during the year.

Learning Technologists are practitioners, and this community will hopefully give them a platform to share their practice, experiences and stories, as well as attempt to address any problems they may have. We will also be working on ways to disseminate good practice in the fields of Leaning Technology and e-Learning across the Schools and Colleges within the University, as well as discussing professional development and training opportunities. E-mail if you need further information.

In other ELTT news:

We’ve had a great time meeting colleagues all over the campus for our Learning Central (Blackboard) showcases. Even though we’ve been quite limited to the hour – it’s forced us to deliver our showcase promptly and without waffle! We’ve had a lot of questions, and have been really lucky to have Peter Rayment from The IT Services LT Team and Tony Lancaster from the Learn+ project (previously lectures on-line project) to join us for the Q+A sessions.

We’re also launching our Learning Central module for both Staff and Students. There will be a short blog post covering this soon.

For those of you who have courses starting this month, good luck!

While writing this blog post, Dewi has been listening to: Aphex Twin – minipops 67 from SYRO (2014)