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Initiatives and resources supporting the objectives of UCL's Education Strategy 2016-21

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Enriching digital learning: objective seven of the Education Strategy

To establish a digital learning infrastructure that connects students with each other, with staff, with research and with the wider world.

We have set ourselves the task of being world-leading in digital education by 2034 and want to establish UCL as a blended campus in which technology:

  • supports authentic, creative and collaborative learning
  • enables a wide range of assessment approaches
  • augments face-to-face contact
  • encourages productive learning outside of the classroom. 

There are three strands to achieving this objective: 

  1. We will provide a distinctive digital infrastructure to connect students with each other, with staff, with research and with the outside world to support networked, research-based and interdisciplinary education. The existing virtual learning environment (VLE) will be augmented by a set of communication, collaboration and productivity tools that will together form our ‘Connected Learning Environment’. 
  2. We will improve the student digital experience, providing a high quality, technology-rich blended environment for student study. This encompasses physical infrastructure (student computers, software, Wi-Fi, Bring Your Own Device); ease of use of systems; accessibility and digital wellbeing; and supporting students to develop their digital capabilities to ensure that they are able to thrive in new working and learning environments. We will ensure that students are engaged in driving UCL’s digital agenda and improving the student digital experience. 
  3. We will provide world-class tools, support and infrastructure for teaching and support staff. This will help them develop their own digital scholarship; enable them to design curricula for blended learning; support creation and use of media in teaching; and support them to use innovative spaces for student-centred and collaborative learning. 

Our priorities for objective seven

1. Review our virtual learning environment (VLE)

Scope, design and pilot the Connected Learning Environment, which builds on the traditional VLE, extending it to support engagement between students, with research and researchers, and with the outside world, including with alumni.

We will have implemented a programme to improve the student digital experience, providing a quality technology-rich blended environment for student study by 2021.

We will have fully implemented a ‘connected learning environment’ in support of the Connected Curriculum by 2021.

2. Embed blended learning in all curriculum design

Introduce the Connected Curriculum Development Tool for course design so that design for blended learning can be systematically embedded into formal programme and module planning and review.

3. Provide students with an online space to showcase their learning 

Pilot a ‘Domain of One’s Own’, providing students with an online space and tools to reflect on, curate and showcase their learning.

4. Develop digital skills for students

Work with students to establish a digital capabilities initiative to provide a range of both embedded and standalone skills development opportunities.

  • Update to follow.

5. Create a digital scholarship strand for staff

Establish a digital scholarship strand of UCL Arena to support staff to develop their online pedagogy and broader digital scholarship.

We will be operating a learning analytics service with support structures and resources to enable staff and students to exploit the potential of data about learning by 2021.

  • Update to follow.

6. Provide educational media services for staff and students

Establish an educational media service to support the growing demand for media production and delivery from both staff and students.

We will have introduced an open education resources (OER) service to provide a showcase for UCL education and for student-generated content, and to bring together internal resources of common interest in support of the connected curriculum.

7. Broaden use of Lecturecast

Expand the Lecturecast service into UCL’s largest classrooms and introduce an opt-out policy in response to student feedback.