3rd Year Week 3 TT05

Topic: Higher  Education

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Taking the lead in supporting e-learning

The Academy and JISC will be the leading partners for implementing the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)s e-learning strategy.

HEFCEs e-learning strategy aims to help higher education institutions (HEIs) use technology to transform the student experience. It takes into account the Governments national e-learning strategy and responses to a consultation with the higher and further education sectors.

Dr Liz Beaty, Director for Teaching and Learning at HEFCE, commented:
HEFCE is pleased to see encouragement and support for e-learning provided by the Higher Education Academy, particularly at a time when we are launching our e-learning strategy. We are committed to working with the Academy as one of our major implementation partners, and others, on embedding e-learning in higher education.

Lawrence Hamburg, Head of e-learning at the Higher Education Academy, said that the Academy relishes the challenge of providing support for students who come from increasingly diverse educational backgrounds. "The numbers are huge with students from more diverse backgrounds needing individual support to be successful. New technologies and e-learning offer opportunities to meet this need," he said.

Dr Paul Brett, Chair of the Heads of e-Learning Forum (HeLF) and the Head of e-learning at the University of Wolverhampton, said: "In the case of Postgraduate Certificate students, for example, it is clear that blended learning is very helpful in improving pass rates and reducing drop-out. In a University recognised for its success in widening participation, ubiquitous e-learning provision has been recorded as one of the major contributors to the enhancement of the quality of the student experience. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Higher Education Academy to further extend our achievements in e-learning and in disseminating areas of good practice."

E-portfolios are a major part of e-learning. They have been described as personal websites to show lifelong learning with graphic information about work experience and formal qualifications. The Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA) is a recognised leader in this field. Rob Ward, its Director, commented: "E-portfolios can provide a tool for planning and reflecting on learning as well as a record of learning which students can develop as they progress through their course, leaving with an up-to-date portfolio. Crucially in an age where students come into higher education from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences, and increasingly return to learning throughout their careers, an e-portfolio has the potential to be accessible to them throughout their lives rather than being based on one university course or a single employer.


"To take this vision forward is, however, a huge project involving a multiplicity of organisations. To achieve it we will need strong leadership. From an HE perspective the Higher Education Academy and its excellent subject centres are ideally placed to take the lead, in providing the networking and support we need to roll this out effectively."

HEFCEs e-learning can be found on the HEFCE website http://hefce/pubs/hefce/2005/05_12/.

For further details of the Academys work in e-learning see http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/e-learning.htm