Big and Little Questions

Please reflect on your work experience and ambitions for developing your teaching.

  • Can you identify the most important question about TEL that matters to you?

How can I engage academic staff with using TEL for the right reasons and in the best way

  • Write down your reflections on this and share online …

I am sure that if the academic staff would pro-actively take ownership of their courses online and use it for more than an information dump then students would be encouraged to interact more with it and get more from it. Obviously using the VLE is by no means the be-all of technology;s offerings and there are other tools out there which can be using seperately or incorporated into the VLE to enhance learning. As students use more mobile devices and smart phones so we are looking into supporting the courses using these this year. However the vision for using them is so limited. One member of staff only wants the students to access PDFs’ from it via the Blackboard App on their mobile device – nothing else.

The struggle we are facing to generally engage staff is huge and daunting as there are only a few of us to do this. I have found forums like this very useful – for one thing I discover that we are not alone and others face the same resitance – or apathy – or is it fear of getting it wrong? I think we will have to take small steps and show by examples and case studies what can be done. I think recommendation by peers could be quite a motivator and once people see that some technological tools can be useful (as long as it is used to make teaching easier/relevant, learning more effective/deeper, and isn’t just introduced because it is new and shiney)they may be more willing to give it a go.


    • your previous experiences with TEL and what technology was involved;

The VLE I suppose as a start, but I have used blogs like WordPress and Twitter (on one BYOD course) using mobile phones or tablets only)

    • any differences you noticed in the way you absorb, reflect, discuss, act

I work better if I have time to read and think about what I am going to write – I can’t be spontaneous I am afraid! I am getting better though nad the more I do the more willing I am to creep out of my shell and actually post something

    • your experiences as a student, a teacher, learning technologist or indeed some other role;

I’ll fill this in later when I have written my epic

    • if this is your first experience of TEL, the expectations you have of it.

I have done a TEL course before – hoping to get insight from others in using TEL – perhaps good ideas – what’s going on elsewhere etc…


  1. #1 by Louise Woodland on April 30, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    There have been so many posts to look through but I have picked out some themes that interest me from them. First relating to the Big Question of which mine was ‘How to engage academic staff with technology’. Before I read all the discussions this was my initial thought but this has changed and expanded as I read other people’s experiences and thoughts. I agree with those that say that you cannot force TEL on people and that the focus should be not necessarily how to engage them but how to support staff – what are they trying to achieve and are there any tools which can help them achieve it. Other questions voiced are: do we really need a VLE? Who decides what tools are best – students? Staff? There are many more arguments to be had on these and I shall keep an eye on these conversations.

  2. #2 by Tracey Madden on May 8, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    Thank you for your very interesting post.

    As you say, there is much to be gained by finding you are not alone in finding something challenging (eg staff engagement). It confirms that the answer isn’t obvious. Also, by joining with others with the same challenge we can tackle it together… or at least pool our ideas about what doesn’t work!

    Hopefully ocTEL can help in some way.

  1. Set your goals, so that they may guide your path | ocTEL 2014

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