Academic Adoption of Learning Technologies: An At-The-Elbow Support Service Model
BRENDAN CUFF | EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY
Academic adoption of learning technologies is a well-known challenge amongst technology support staff (Ali, 2003; Lederman, 2017). Lack of time, resources or support are cited as barriers to embedding technology-enhanced learning into university curriculum (Zellweger Moser, 2007; Lederman, 2017). Edith Cowan University’s technology-enhanced learning (TEL) strategy was launched in 2017, to build capability and improve confidence of academic staff use of learning technologies. To create an engaging digital learning environment, strategic funding was allocated to grow the use of learning technologies across the university.
This presentation demonstrates a personalised support service to better enable academics to teach with technology. In 2017, a pilot service comprising of a team of Learning Technology Support Officers (LTSOs) were deployed across all 3 campuses, to improve and maximise the academic adoption and use of learning technologies. LTSOs worked on particular projects aligned with School and University priorities. The mandate was for LTSO service to build capacity, and not foster dependency. Gaining an understanding of the needs of the academics and the schools was imperative for the development and evolution of the LTSO role to reflect the needs of the ECU community.
Based on data and feedback, there was noticeable improvement in confidence and capability in academic staff. In turn, the implementation of new technologies changed their approach to their teaching, empowering them to experiment with learning technologies, knowing that support would be available when needed. The LTSO programme proved to be flexible in accommodating the needs of every School, each at different stages of implementation of technology-enhanced learning practices.
This was a unique ‘at-the-elbow’ service model to support academics in creating consistent and high quality curriculum design for flexible and multiple modes of learning. The innovative professional development approach supported staff capability building; academic staff were willing to try new ways of applying learning technologies to meet the educational needs of students, knowing that support was readily available if needed. The perception amongst academic staff was that help was on hand.
Amanda Myers, Brendan Cuff & Ghylène Palmer - Edith Cowan University
Ali, A. (2003). Faculty Adoption of Technology: Training Comes First. Educational Technology, 43(2), 51-53.
Lederman, D. (2017). Barriers to Digital Learning? Time and Training More Than Resistance. Inside Higher Ed., Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2017/06/14/lack-faculty-time-and-training-limits-digital-learning-more
Zellweger Moser, F. (2007). Faculty adoption of educational technology. Educause Quarterly, 1, 66-69.