Synchronous on-line tutorials for staff development?
This source preferred by Maggie Hutchings
Authors: Shephard, K., Haslam, P., Hutchings, M. and Furneaux, C.
Editors: Banks, S.
Publisher: Lancaster University
Place of Publication: Lancaster
Academic staff often find it difficult to attend staff development courses. Lack of time and other factors no doubt contribute to this recurrent problem. The aim of this project was to develop, implement and assess the value of synchronous on-line tutorials to encourage a distributed staff-community to engage with e-learning. The project also investigated practical approaches to integrate a range of commonly available 'e-learning tools' (including Internet Explorer, Blackboard, NetMeeting, Word and Windows Media Player) to support these synchronous on-line tutorials. Learning technologists, staff developers, and teaching staff at Southampton, Winchester, Reading and Bournemouth refined and tested the tools and approaches ‘off-line’, and then piloted and evaluated the use of the tools in real-life, on-line tutorials. The project concluded that it is possible to use synchronous on-line tutorials to engage small groups of staff in discussion about the learning technologies. It is also possible to engage staff in collaborative working in this way. A range of problems and limitations were encountered, not all of which were solved or reduced as partners in the project gained experience of the synchronous on-line tutorial.