The University of South Wales (USW) has inclusion, accessibility, social and active learning and digital enabled pedagogy at the heart of its Strategic Plan as it works to achieve its mission as a major widening access HE provider. To enable this vision with a tiny team of 4 FTE learning technologists, USW operates a partnership model of service delivery whereby each learning technologist spends part of each week working closely with Faculty staff to solve local challenges while gently and explicitly building sharing communities.
Learning technologists are located in a wider team of Educational Developers within USW’s Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT). The pivot online provided opportunities to support the immediate needs of staff and students, and looking ahead, develop a pedagogically-informed approach to our core learning and teaching offer in 20/21. Called the USW Digitally Enabled Active Learning (DEAL) offer, we and others, developed a set of Institution-wide Principles and a framework for Course and Module level implementation. Operationalisation has been intense but, by bringing together the expertise of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) and Educational Development we have developed a short MOOC-like course complemented by targeted TEL workshops, webinars, and innovative practice-choice infographics and Faculty-specific guidance and support.
This joined up, multi-layered approach is enabling a step-change in our Faculty conversations. Specifically, we now see stronger relationships between learning technologists and the faculties resulting in richer and more extensive conversations surrounding pedagogy and TEL; greater collaboration and support across subject disciplines with colleagues demonstrating a real desire to support each other; and a new willingness from academic staff to actively reflect on changes they have made during the pivot to online with many taking a view of “not going back”.
In this presentation we will share our approach, our reflections of this step-change and its outcomes so far.