Tim Linsey, Academic Development
As part of the UNC Charlotte study tour I followed my own technologies enhanced learning track for most of the visit. I got a fascinating insight into Charlotte’s use of technologies to support learning, covering both central departments (Centre for Teaching & Learning; Office of Disability Services; Office of Classroom Support; Students Union) and faculties / Schools (College of Health and Human Services; College of Engineering; College of Liberal Arts & Sciences – Department of Physics & Department of Earth Sciences & Geography; College of Education), including participation in staff development workshops and also joining a cross institutional panel to exchange experiences in addressing accessibility issues. There were many similarities in the types of learning technologies being used including a core VLE (based on Moodle), desktop video conferencing, electronic voting systems and interactive podium screens for example. I was impressed by the widespread use of student interns and the in-University part-time student employment opportunities. Examples included the use of a student team (4 interns) working as part of the ‘Learning MD’s (Multimedia Developers) programme to support staff in the development of video resources, and secondly a team of 11 students involved in the building, deployment and support of classroom podiums.
Staff development in technology enhanced learning was focussed in the Centre of Teaching and Learning (http://teaching.uncc.edu/ ) with a strong programme of events and I particularly liked their fortnightly podcasts recorded by teaching fellows and other academics (see http://teaching.uncc.edu/podcasts ), and we will look to establish something similar. I attended 3 very good workshops and of particular interest were two of the workshops that were run centrally and led by faculty academics including a session on the use of short videos in teaching sessions delivered by an academic from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences teaching in New Media for Communication Studies.
Secondly was a fascinating session delivered by an academic from the College of Education entitled ‘Workshop: Engaging the Millennial Student in Learning’. This workshop focused on who the millennial student was rather defining them by their use of technology. This included discussion on the impact of ‘baby boomers’ as parents.
I am also following up with Kingston colleagues with regard specific areas of collaboration that were raised on the visit including areas of engineering and geography. In addition I had discussions over piloting the use of Kingston’s One Community environment to support both Kingston University and Charlotte students on exchanges. I have provided a very brief overview of the staff that I met and the departments that I visited but please contact me if you would like to follow up on any aspect of what I have covered above.