We listened to the Technology and Enabled Learning and Teaching Team from UCLAN about best practice in implementing digital change in educational institutions.
Azeus Convene is already being used by 10 universities across the country and a further 17 schools and colleges. So, we already know a fair bit about how technology can be used to empower transformational change in the education sector.
However, we are always keen to make sure we are up to date on the latest developments. So as part of our participation in the 2020 Bett Show we went along to listen to Chris Melia and Kevan Williams from the Technology Enabled Learning & Teaching team at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) explain the process of digital transformation at large educational insitutions.
Challenges of Implementation
The talk began by outlining the challenges that arise in implementing a Learning and Teaching Strategy that needs to meet the diverse and evolving demands of UCLAN’s 28,000 students and 4250 staff. They proposed a threefold phased approach. Initially centred around the people you are making the changes for. Then moving on to serving the places and spaces those people occupy. Before finally ensuring that effective practice takes place.
This was based on some research conducted by Jisc on educational staff’s overall digital experience, which found that only 1 out of 10 people feel they have enough time and support to innovate their digital practice. But more pertinently for Chris and Kevan, was the fact that again only 1 out of 10 felt they received any reward or recognition for when they did develop digital aspects of their role.
This research served as the incentive for the phased people/place/practice approach, seeking to minimise top-down style of implementation and make sure staff and students knew their concerns were at the centre of digital changes.
People-centric Approach to Change
This approach really resonated with they way we do things at Convene. From first point of contact, interactions with the sales, marketing and development departments, right through to our customer success team – we work to ensure that every and all of your concerns are addressed. We are happy to provide onsite demonstrations and will work with you to ensure a smooth digital transistion.
Chris and Kevan gave the example of when UCLAN introduced new hardware for all staff. To ensure a smooth transition they encouraged and facilitated the sharing of best practice amongst staff to raise overall capabilities, supported by the creation of an online community where information could be shared and accessed by staff from the various – often unconnected – departments and faculties.
Convene as the Solution
If your school, college or university often struggles to utilise joined up thinking across your institution, Convene might be just the tool for you. A futher important point raised in the talk was the impact an individual can have on enacting change within an organisation.
The slide pictured below outlines how if we focus on our individual spheres of influence, change around technology enhanced practice can grow exponentially from the individual, to the faculty, to the institution before becoming the new de facto norm for the education sector at large.