Digital Decisions Research Data

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Pseudonym
Role
Role and group; include perspective and status; Years of experience; how confident were they in introducing their work/position?
Connection to strategies and policies
Details of their awareness of and alignment with institutional strategies and policies; views of non-traditional students
Did they take responsibility?
Did they think that digital access (rather than accessibility) was part of their role? What did they say about non -traditional students and digital education?
Everyone was asked around the same topics
Who did they think their students were? Do they know how they use tech? Flexibility of access; how do they use data; Hidden students (not everyone is the same); digital poverty/divide; silos of teachers/admin/IT/SMT; Influence of networks external and internal; Staff and Student workarounds
Any additional thoughts?
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Amanda
Business Systems Manager for Teaching, Learning and Assessment. I think she had worked there for a while. She was in charge of systems in relation to teaching: VLE, lecture capture, assessment systems. Very much coming from a perspective of IT rather than education. The language she used was ‘service owner’ which isn’t the language of education. She came across as someone who was very frusrated with everything. In that she was never consulted and even though her responsibility was for instututional systems as everything is very devolved there was little control over the way that she thought things should be done. It sounded to me like the departments were making decisions rather than any central IT service.
Nick
In a new role as Associate Director Digital and had previously been a ‘Head of’ so was enthusiastic and eager with a team of people. His role sat within the middle space between the Professional Services (IT/Edtech) and academic related activity. He had about 3 years experience of leading the team at the other instutitution. Very confident and eager to talk to me. He was very open and expressed his views about digital education and the institution approaches. I didnt feel that he felt superior to me and we spoke on equal terms.
Louis
He said he was an academic and seemed to also do what a Head of Digital would do. He said he was a senior lecturer in QA and was responsible for setting up the processes for the VLE, lecture capture etc and he was an academic teaching as well as dissertation supervision and Personal Tutor. Very small institution with a big focus on teaching. His perspective didn’t seem to be very academic and more procedural, in terms of the processes. He went to great lengths to talk to me about all the things that were happening but overall he is quite isolated. He ‘owns’ the VLE including Mahara and is on panels about digital skills as well as budgets and influences assessment and feedback. Confident and outlined what was in place
Travis
Associate Professor in Computer Science; He has been there for about 9 years and teaches game based learning. He was confident to talk to me about his view of his level of engagement in the decision making process
Miles
Management consultant for HE. Brought in by universities to establish better ways of work for efficiencies. Includes the systems that they have. He was confident about what he knew and I felt that the fact that the SMT brought him (and his kind) into their institutions gave him a sense of authority. I also think that he would probably be very good in this role as he was a Sab (Education) and very engaged. He has a good sense of what the students perspective is.
Geoff
Professor, established for a long time and 25+ years experience. Due to this I felt he was very cynical but it was a very interesting conversation. Professor of Digital Learning and being threatened with redundancy at the time of the interview. Alot of confidence in the topic and has an interest in non traditional students and digital technologies. has done a lot of international work around digital poverty
Ella
Head of Digital Learning; been there for about 18 years and done all the roles herself so well established and known. Open and confident and knows the university very well. She knows the institution very well and has good networks. The work she does and how she operates is because of the alliances she has developed through these. She told me how they knew she would get things done so its more about her than the role. Her power comes from her experiences and knowledge of the way the institution operates/ She described the fact that she was known to be good at projects and getting these done as the way she worked which is more like an IT person than anyone from education.
Monika
Senior academic belongs very much in education more than research side of things. Many years working in their department and her role was not in digital education but using technology for teaching
Will
Head of Learning Tech; worked there for 27 years very confident and empowered to be; totally bought into the connecting with markets/organisations and local businesses
Olivia
DIrector for external non HE but HE related network organisation; worked for these kinds of things for years including Regional JISC centres
Wyatt
Emeritus Academic and programme leader; lots of years of experience in the before times and very confident and cynical
Sophie
Lead Learning Tech for the faculty; two years in this role but prior in IT role; confidence
Sean
Head of Learning Technologies; 21 years; I would say IT focussed but has developed more into education; very confidnet and nonchalant about the work
Charles
Head of Learning and Teaching; new in role but was at another institution more library focussed but was involved in tech tools
Evette
Digital Learning Designer; four years; humble and assured
Eva
Head of Digital Education; Deputy Director of Learning, Enhancement and Development and Senior Lecturer in Educational Development
Brian
Senior Customer Success Manager
Jacob
Team coach for Digital Leaders
Pamela
Assistant Principal for Online and Open Learning and Director of Teaching and Web Services
Vince
Learning Technologist; 15 years very familiar with sector also teaches on the PG cert
Suzan
Senior Academic (mid range) Programme Leader
Michelle
Idependent Digital Learning Consultant; established as an academic and then moved out into setting up consultancy;
Maggie
Dean of Academic Innovation; new to role prior to at another uni in L&T leadership
Liam
Head of Digital Learning
Josh
Lead Learning Technologist
Amanda
What do they do?
Business Systems Manager for Teaching, Learning and Assessment. I think she had worked there for a while. She was in charge of systems in relation to teaching: VLE, lecture capture, assessment systems. Very much coming from a perspective of IT rather than education. The language she used was ‘service owner’ which isn’t the language of education. She came across as someone who was very frusrated with everything. In that she was never consulted and even though her responsibility was for instututional systems as everything is very devolved there was little control over the way that she thought things should be done. It sounded to me like the departments were making decisions rather than any central IT service.
APP's and wider context
Although she said that she was involved in learning and teaching and she understood pedagogy there was a disconnect between her work and the work of the various colleges that she worked with (if at all) When I asked about non-traditional students she told me ‘other people do that’ which led me to believe that she was unaware of the APP (which in fact she mentioned as the WP responsibilty. Another thing that she had mentioned was there was no institutional (so not the same as departmental/faculty etc) commitment to education and that it was all about the money and politics rather than being for the students benefit.
Accountability
Knew very little about digital poverty and the experiences of non-traditional students and how they were using the systems because of the wild west nature of their implementation. There is no ‘universal’ student experience. She had mentioned that the students digital expereince was probably terrible but their education was a good one. This was because of the nature of the institution. The cognitive load on the student was enormous as there was no attempt to bring in digital tools to support any learning differences (against the backdrop of money and politics this was no surprise) she mentioned how other instututions were leaps ahead and her frustration was that although she could see what should happen there was little will to change anything. Nothing is connected and she said that the institution kept regulatory bodies at arms length and had minimal compliance.
General responses
She had no connection to students other than imagined complications due to the lack of connected systems. She mentioned that there was no alignment between the taught sessions and the assessed content. Making it sound very difficult. There was nothing about student support for tech and there were definite silos. She claimed that edTech co’s and networks were useful to know what was going on but had no influence in what happened at her institution.
AOB
Extreme examples due to the nature of the institution. From an IT perspective there was no order and therefore was seen by her as a failure but actually there could be more control by the individual colleges and tutors over how things were taught and with what.

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