At last year’s ALT conference, the final keynote talk by Maren Deepwell “Beyond advocacy: Who shapes the future of Learning Technology?” reflected on the role of Learning Technologists. One slide stating, “We have to move toward empowered, critical practice that enables us to negotiate and articulate our relationship with technology and how we use it for learning and teaching.”
At the time of her presentation, our team were undergoing the final phases of a restructure where my role as a Learning Technologist was being redefined to the role of Educational Developer. Maren’s presentation went on to discuss a much wider impact for the future of Learning Technologists, but for this session I want to concentrate on whether Learning Technology can shape the learning and teaching of a higher education institution.
This session will cover the journey we have made from being a Learning Technologist in a central eLearning unit that supported technology enhanced learning (TEL) across the university, to being restructured as an Educational Developer in a central team to support the university’s education strategy and curriculum redesign. We will also look at how these changes were parallel to the University of Liverpool’s own restructure towards education policy, and how as a team we fit into the wider university’s organisational structure.
We will talk about the achievements and lessons learnt of this restructure such as our new education strategy, having our responsibilities changed, using the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to reflect on our role, as well as how we continue to support TEL for all staff.
This session will fit into the conference theme of “Learning Technology for wider impact” as the session will look at how the role of a Learning Technologist can be expanded beyond the silo of technology knowledge and support, to having more of an impact on an institution’s pedagogic practice and supporting education policy.
It can also touch on the theme of “Critical frames of reference” as the session will present the TPACK framework as a reference to how we reflected on our own practice, and of how we drew similarities and differences in our role and responsibilities between the technological, pedagogical and content knowledge areas of the model.
As a reflection session, we would split the room into groups, have a list of tasks that a Learning Technologist and Educational Developer carries out and allow them to decide where it would fit it onto a scale map based on the TPACK model. This will lead into a discussion on the similarities and differences on where each group placed each task.
Individuals can reflect on having any similar or conflicting issues in their own role as well as gain an understanding of the impact their responsibilities can have in their own institutions.
Participants can decide on our journey been seen as the role of Learning Technologist evolving into playing more of a part in curriculum design and education or should the role of Learning Technologist be seen as specialist and technical.
Deepwell, M. 2018. Keynote: Maren Deepwell – Beyond advocacy: Who shapes the future of Learning Technology?. [Online]. [12 March 2019].Available from: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2018/sessions/keynote-maren-deepwell/#gref
Koehler, M. 2012. TPACK Explained. [Online]. [12 March 2019]. Available from: https://matt-koehler.com/tpack2/tpack-explained/
Thomson, S. 2019. Do we still need Learning Technologists?. [Online]. [12 March 2019]. Available from: https://blog.digis.im/ed-tech/do-we-still-need-learning-technologists/
Vasant, S. 2014. What is a Learning Technologist?. [Online]. [12 March 2019]. Available from: https://blog.jobs.ac.uk/education/teaching-learning/what-is-a-learning-technologist/