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E-Learning Champions network launched

25 February 2013

The UCL E-Learning Champions network, comprising staff from almost every department across the university, has now launched.

Colleagues looking at a laptop

The E-Learning Champions initiative has arisen as part of UCL's E-Learning Strategy, which was published last year. The strategy identified departmental engagement and the establishment of local e-learning champions as being key to improving the quality of technology-enhanced learning. Over December and January each department was asked to nominate two or more colleagues at least one academic and one person working in a support role (e.g. technical or administrative) who will champion the use of e-learning. The response was enthusiastic and the majority of UCL departments and divisions are now represented in the network, with others still joining almost daily.

The role of a Champion includes working with E-Learning Environments (ELE) and the UCL Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT) to establish departmental e-learning 'position statements', including targets, standards and support requirements. The principle is to help local engagement with e-learning and ensure it supports and is aligned to departmental aims and needs. This approach has been pioneered in BEAMS and now SLASH, where ELE and CALT colleagues have been meeting with teaching and learning teams to discuss departmental ambitions in e-learning and how they can be supported.

A second important responsibility of the network, however, is to identify and share good practice in areas of interest. An ELE/CALT survey, which has already been sent to each Champion, aims to start that process.

The 14 February launch event itself attracted an encouragingly diverse range of Champions from across UCL, demonstrating the broad enthusiasm for the initiative. The event was opened by Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education), who highlighted the potential of the Champions to become facilitators of educational change and development in their departments. Anthony encouraged the Champions to work with colleagues to ensure change was well established throughout departments.

John Slater, representing the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE), also spoke at the event. John and the LFHE are providing consultancy support for the UCL E-Learning Champions as part of their ‘Changing the Learning Landscape’ programme. John highlighted what an important time this was for the sector.

Clive Young of ELE then outlined some of the remarkable changes UCL has achieved in e-learning, citing the growth of Moodle and Lecturecast as key indicators. Clive argued that the Champions network would not only be important but essential in creating and encouraging sustainable change (Clive's slides are now on Slideshare).

CALT’s Rosalind Duhs concluded with an inspiring and interactive discussion around the ways in which technology can enhance teaching and learning.

  • To find out more about the E-Learning Champions network, visit the ELE blog

Page last modified on 25 feb 13 16:18

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