This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

#ocTEL Week 0 – Introduction

I think it’s about time I started using this blog for something, and the ALT ocTEL MOOC has given me a great reason to start…so here is my introduction…

My name is Phil Vincent, and I am currently working as a Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor at York St John University.

My focus is to strategically develop the use of the institutional e-Portfolio system (Mahara), and our new Media Library (HELIX), by engaging and communicating with key stakeholders, offering advice, consultancy and support. Working to the Learning & Teaching Development annual objectives and the TEL Quality Framework, I pro-actively support and develop staff in their use of e-Portfolio and video technology to enhance the student learning experience.

I work as a part-time Adult Education Tutor for City of York Council Adult and Community Education Service, teaching Web Page Creation (using Adobe Dreamweaver), and am a Member of the Institute for Learning (MIfL). I also work as a part-time Tutor at York College, teaching Introductory Web Page Design.

I’m also studying for an MSc in ‘Technology Enhanced Learning, Innovation and Change‘ at Sheffield Hallam University, and have ralso ecently registered as a CMALT candidate.

As a learning & development professional my primary focus is delivering e-learning training to staff using a blended approach to training delivery, including face-to-face classroom training, one-to-one e-coaching, self-help material, screencasting, e-learning, social media, and live online delivery (webinars).

I have experience in delivering training on Learning Technologies, Virtual Learning Environments, Screencasting, Online Delivery Tools, Content Management Systems, e-Portfolios, Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office, HTML & CSS, and ECDL amongst other things.

My other specialties include: Teaching & Learning, Learning Technologies, Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, Blended Learning, e-Learning, Screencasting, Live Online Delivery, Social Media, FE/HE, Adult Education, Technology Enhanced Learning, e-Portfolios, and Virtual Learning Environments.

As educational technologists working in the UK higher education system, our practices involve a focus on improving the quality of student learning through the use of learning technologies. Our advice is sometimes theory based and sometimes based on accounts in the literature of successful uses of learning technology.

The use of digital technologies is now widespread and increasing, but is not always optimised for effective learning. Teachers in higher education have little time or support to work on innovation and improvement of their teaching, which often means they simply replicate their current practice in a digital medium (Laurillard et al, 2013).

The optimal use of learning technologies is integral to the wider issue of how best to facilitate learning. In the context of compulsory education, learning design is more usually referred to as ‘pedagogy’– ‘the practice of teaching framed and informed by a shared and structured body of knowledge’ (Pollard 2010).

To achieve a genuine and lasting change in what teachers do, we need to have an impact on the way they think about what they do (Biggs 2003), encouraging them to be more reflective and therefore more open to extending their practice to others’ ideas and to technology-enhanced learning (TEL) designs (Schwartz et al. 1999; Ertmer 2005; Donald et al. 2009). The typical working life of a university teacher does not lend itself to this. There are very few opportunities to learn about TEL and it is not easy to share design ideas, or to engage in pedagogical reflection 2010).

Time for staff development has to compete with developing administrative skills and research skills, so there is little time for learning about teaching, even of a conventional form.

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are always looking for effective teaching methods that place the student at the centre of learning. Bearing this in mind, universities are increasingly exploiting technology in the teaching they provide. The use of technology in higher education is based on the interrelationships amongst at least three areas: technology, theories of learning and issues of educational practice.

Biggs J. (2003). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. SRHE/OUP, Buckingham.

Donald C., Blake A., Girault I., Datt A. & Ramsey E. (2009). Approaches to learning design: past the head and the hands to the HEART of the matter. Distance Education, 30, 179–199.

Laurillard, D., et al. (2013). A constructionist learning environment for teachers to model learning designs. Journal of computer assisted learning, 29 (1), 15-30.

Pollard A. (2010). Professionalism and Pedagogy: A Contemporary Opportunity. London: TLRPo.

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