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Directives and Academics: educational developers, technology and the right support

Woodley, C, Funk, R and Curran, L 2013 , 'Directives and Academics: educational developers, technology and the right support', paper presented at the THETA: The Higher Education Technology Agenda 2013, 7-10 April 2013, Hobart, Tasmania.

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There can be ‘an army of people involved in the development of academics as teachers’
(Ling & CADAC, 2009) and the role of Educational Developers with technological
expertise is vital to the uptake and creative use of educational technologies in learning
contexts (Oliver, 2005). Even so, technology plays only a part in the teaching and learning
experience and must be underpinned with pedagogical wherewithal. At Victoria University
(VU) in Melbourne, a new VU Agenda expects the university to be known for educational
programmes ‘that maximise opportunities for blended and eLearning’.
This discussion examines the support available to staff using technologies for teaching. The
discussion covers two examples from different faculties where teaching staff have needed
to comply with Faculty or School directives to use particular university-supported
technologies (Lectopia and GradeMark). The comments about staff uptake of technologies
draw on general themes from evaluations administered in each faculty to gauge the
effectiveness of the technologies for teaching and to identify further professional
development needs. Unsurprisingly, the findings show that, without intensive and timely
support tailored to the specific requirements of academics, without academics having both
an understanding of the reason for the mandating of a technology as well as an ability to
influence that uptake, academics are likely to find ways to resist authoritarian directives.
The danger of encouraging academics’ uptake of educational technologies without broader
educational development support to encourage good teaching practices that integrate
technology and good curriculum design became clear from the data

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Woodley, C and Funk, R and Curran, L
Keywords: THETA, educational development, educational technologies
Additional Information:

Copyright 2013 THETA: The Higher Education Technology Agenda

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