In this podcast, Sarah Bartlett discusses the 2010 Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning for higher education in the UK.
The survey was carried out by:
- Roger Hewitt, E-Learning Technologist at the University of Manchester
- Tom Browne, Education Research and Evaluation Advisor at the University of Exeter, currently seconded to the Open University
- Richard Walker, E-Learning Development Manager at the University of York
- Julie Voce, E-Learning Services Manager at Imperial College London
- Hennie Yip, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Salford
- Martin Jenkins, former Academic Manager for the Centre for Active Learning (CeAL) at the University of Gloucestershire, now resident in New Zealand.
We are privileged to have Roger, Tom, Richard and Julie speaking to us on this podcast.
Through the survey, run on a biennial basis, UCISA has borne witness to significant changes since it first appeared in 2001, one of the most striking of which is the gradual shift of learning technologies from the periphery to the central mission of higher education institutions in the UK. We talk about the key findings of the survey, notably the drivers and barriers to the adoption of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), and how these have changed since 2008, how institutional and external agendas are shaping thinking and activities on the ground, and how these top-down strategies interact dynamically with bottom-up initiatives.
The core of the survey is concerned with technologies currently in use. We discuss trends in the adoption of VLEs, such as the continued growth of Moodle, and integrated solutions involving the VLE, and refer to the ongoing ‘Is the VLE Dead’ UK debate in relation to these developments. Of equal importance is the analysis of adoption of other learning technologies, and we highlight tools which are now well established such as plagiarism detection tools, as well as those displaying negligible levels of institutional take-up, once again touching upon divergences between centrally supported and locally adopted solutions.
The survey acknowledges outsourcing as a current hot topic in UK HE, with many survey respondents reported as seriously considering outsourced options, and we speculate how this might play out in the financially-squeezed future.
This podcast is a valuable summary of an authoritative piece of research in which the participants cover a lot of ground with an impressive level of depth and understanding.