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Digital education

The Learning Technologist’s Areas of Responsibility

13 February 2017

This post is a companion piece to an agenda item for the next LT Group meeting on 21 February. Posted by Simon Wood and Catherine Emmett.

At the last meeting, the group felt it would be valuable for the Learning Technologist (LT) community to discuss the Learning Technologist Review Report shared with us. In this blog post, we would like to talk about how we might respond to one aspect of the report. Please read this post, and come to the next meeting ready to discuss.


The Learning Technologist Review Report describes…

“learning technologists as critical conduits marrying practice in education and technology”.

It follows that there is a need to invest and develop LTs, who will have a growing strategic role as the importance of digital education grows. However, the report also notes…

“the role of a Learning Technologist as a consultant who understands the marriage between pedagogy and technology, is not widely understood” and there are variations between roles.

Providing some clarity on this varied role is perhaps the most obvious aspect to which we can all clearly contribute immediately. We therefore propose this as the first point to start with in responding to the Review. In order to respond, we suggest it is worth discussing the kind of high-level generic areas of responsibilities a learning technologist might have within a higher education institution. In this post, we would like to introduce this by talking about what those areas of responsibility might be, and why it might be important for us to think about them in relation to our roles and the Learning Technologist Review.

A proposed framework

We are proposing that we develop a framework of LT areas of responsibility. We are not arguing that any learning technologist can be pigeonholed; indeed, for most of us, our roles encompass several, if not all, of these areas. The framework will simply provide a means for describing the different aspects of any given role, and their relative importance. This would help us be clear and confident in our own skills, inform how we can meet the needs of the University, and enable us to develop professionally, based on our own strengths and passions.

There are clear advantages to doing this:

  • We are empowered to put forward our knowledge about how learning technologists work and what we need to do our jobs effectively;
  • We help colleagues and the wider University understand how we can contribute, in our individual roles and collectively within a digital education strategy;
  • We develop clarity for evolving opportunities and routes for professional development;
  • We can help ensure recruitment will address, strategically, the areas of responsibility that need to be fulfilled.

But what are these areas of responsibility? What would such a framework look like?

Responsibilities of LTs

Image of title slide for LT areas of responsibility video

In this presentation, we propose five areas of responsibility within the framework. Please go to this link to watch this 10 minute video presentation.

Survey of LTs

Based on the responsibilities in the presentation, it would be useful to know if we feel that we currently sit within these areas or responsibility in our jobs. In the following survey, we would like to gather information on which areas of responsibility are most important to your role.

Please go to the survey at this link and complete.

Follow up

We would then like to follow up on the presentation and survey by having some discussion in the next LT meeting, based on the following questions…..

  • Are these areas the responsibility of a ‘learning technologist’?
  • Do you recognise these responsibilities in your own work?
  • Do you have responsibilities that aren’t included here?
  • Are there responsibilities the University currently does not fulfil, but should adopt?

Please comment below, in the Learning Technologists group in Yammer (requires login), tweet #LTAOR, or bring your thoughts to next Tuesday’s meeting!

Further reading

Some reflections from Cardiff on the responsibilities of LTs…

…and from elsewhere…


    • Catherine Emmett

      Thanks Sheila. We found your thoughts appropos for what we’ve doing at the moment, so felt important to link out. And many thanks for linking us out to your revised table of characteristics, too. That’s really useful.

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