E-learning advocates – Dr Rosie Miles
University of Wolverhampton
Status: Completed September 2007
Project Summary / Aim
To establish a regional network for e-learning in English Studies. The role as E-Advocate would be to liaise with departments on e-learning developments within the region; to discuss and suggest ways in which e-learning could be used within particular departmental contexts; to support individual initiatives as an external friend; to act as a conduit to enable colleagues to make useful contacts in the region; to disseminate relevant information and ideas (e.g. via an e-bulletin).
Unlike the other five E-learning Advocates this advocate proposed a wider brief than only working with one’s own department. This was because within their own institution, and in a relatively small English department, there was already reasonably widespread use of some e-learning resources and spaces by several colleagues. For the past three years they had also been using a VLE as an integrated, assessed form of blended learning, and had been pretty successful with that. They had also been trying to capitalise on the e-learning work they had already done and using it to write up some pedagogic research.
Departmental heads in the Midlands (circa 15 institutions) were contacted in autumn 2006 to ask whether they would be interested in the advovate working with them in some way. Despite receiving several expressions of interest from different departments prior to making the original application, only two HoDs actually responded.
Instead a more flexible model emerged whereby the advocate visited a number of departments and ‘demoed’ some of the VLE use that they had undertaken at Wolverhampton. This felt like it was a successful and effective undertaking in every instance.
In addition the advocate presented at e-learning events, did some one-to-one work with departmental colleagues, and had several articles published in humanities journals about the work being undertaken in their courses.
In the course of the year I would say more than 100 colleagues attended presentations where I demoed my VLE work. As I have said above, it is perhaps more difficult to measure the impact of this. I also published a number of articles, reports, case studies, etc. on e-learning, and whilst they didn’t necessarily all directly arise out of the Advocacy role the fact that I had the role provided the context in which I was wanting to publish and disseminate the findings of some of the work I have been doing, so everything is connected.
- Creating and Assessing Discussion Forums in English Studies – ESC Project
- Research, Reflection and Response: Creating and Assessing Discussion Forums in English Studies – ESC Event report