eLearning Adviser vs Online Educational Designer

I started a new job this week at the University of South Australia (UniSA) as Online Educational Designer. Previously, I worked at the University of Adelaide (yes, the competition!) as an eLearning Adviser. Even before my first working day, I noticed there was a big difference between the two competing universities in this small state in Australia (1.6 million people) that even has a third university, Flinders University.

The biggest difference is that UniSA has a Digital Learning Strategy that clearly shows that the university is in touch with the impact of technology and the internet on education and learning. The strategy incorporates digital literacy, learning at different pace and place, and life-long learning for all staff and students:

This strategy is a whole-of-university strategy, through which we will deliver an engaging curriculum, support our students to be productive professionals in a digital age, expand our flexible learning arrangements, develop our academics to be leaders in the digital learning experience, and inspire the entire UniSA community through life-long learning. By 2020 UniSA will be recognised internationally as a leading university for its use of innovative digital technologies to ensure a high quality student learning experience. (UniSA, 2016)

For me, one of the most compelling points made in the digital learning strategy was to enable more face to face opportunities by using technology in creative ways to deliver information, provide opportunities for knowledge construction and promote active online networked learning.

 

Differences:

Digital Learning Strategy

  • Digital literacy
  • Choice of pace and place to learn
  • Digital identity
  • Improving the face-to-face interactions
  • Lifelong networked learning for staff and students

Infrastructure

  • Well-designed physical and virtual spaces
  • Technology to improve/transform the pedagogy eg green screen recording studios that are easy to use
  • Learning analytics – dashboard available in Moodle Learning Management System

Freedom

  • Choice of technology
  • Flexibility of working hours and place

Connected

What I miss…

The wonderful relationships I had already established with the academics at the University of Adelaide and that I miss so much already. I wish I could merge the two so that the academics at the University of Adelaide could also benefit from a digital learning strategy that could provide them with a whole connected environment to help deliver truly transformative learning for them and the students. Unfortunately, they are currently shifting from one learning management system, Blackboard to a new one, Canvas and the institution is under the misapprehension that a shift in LMS (technology) will also transform pedagogy. That however lies with the power of the relationships that can be built between eLearning Advisers/Online Educational Designers and the teacher, not within a technology. It is not whether you use technology but how you use the technology! … and perhaps we all need a bit of assistance with that.

References

UniSA (2016) Digital Learning Strategy 2015-2020. Retrieved from http://www.unisa.edu.au/about-unisa/university-of-south-australias-digital-learning-strategy-2015—2020/

3 thoughts on “eLearning Adviser vs Online Educational Designer

  1. Yes congratulations Brigitte.
    I feel that one of the positives of this course, is that you realise how underprepared and under-resourced many institutions are for the future. I wonder if its a sandstone vs redbrick thing- whereby the less traditional institutions are more focussed on the global network developments because they don’t have such ingrained structural processes. I know that most of my department thinks that by doing this course, I’m just being sucked in by a fad (NGL) – which will eventually pass.

    Thanks also for the feedback on my proposal.

    As David suggested, I researched what had been already tried by others, and have changed my focus slightly.
    Q&As, and things like the Bot, are more mainstream than I would have thought.
    So, I’m thinking of proposing that when students submit their question, they will be given a list of responses previously given to students with similar questions. A message will tell the student that if they do not find a satisfactory response amongst those provided, they can press another button to re-submit. Perhaps also, they can be given the opinion of sharing the answer they receive and contributing to the knowledge bank.

    I haven’t worked out the details yet; we haven’t got a webpage, just a Moodle page. So, I’m not sure about the technical details.

    Cheers
    Natalie

    Like

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