120 paper

Implementing e-learning across a faculty: Factors that encourage uptake

Paul Sheehy, Gerard Marcus, Frederico Costa, Rosanne Taylor
Faculty of Veterinary Science
The University of Sydney

The development of e-learning resources, the educational design and outcomes of their application dominate the e-learning literature. Less often considered, but equally significant, is the manner in which these resources are implemented and integrated into existing curricula and teaching contexts to promote sustainable use as well as high quality student learning experience. We describe our experience of the implementation of e-learning platforms utilising a centrally supported learner management system supplemented by Faculty developed innovative e-learning tools designed to stimulate learning through inquiry. The Faculty’s implementation strategy focussed on incorporation of e-learning activity across the curriculum to enhance the existing on-campus experience. Shared leadership promoted innovation and encouraged staff to utilise e-learning approaches tailored for their teaching context that were authentic and constructively aligned to the graduate attributes, and to share their learning from these experiences. Significant aspects of the success of this strategy included the provision of high quality educational design, empowerment of staff to experiment, timely staff development, focus on the relationship of the specific learning outcomes to the graduate attributes, development of customised flexible and easy to use resource development platforms and a strong focus on student learning experience monitored by reflection and research.

Keywords: organisational change, infrastructure and management, ICT policies and strategies