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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

The need for robust institutional policies and strategies on the use of technology enhanced learning has never been more relevant than in the current environment. As the UK higher education sector reflects on the future of remote learning and online delivery, many will also explore possible approaches to the development of overarching policy and strategy infrastructure to support the continued use of and introduction of new technology-based learning applications. This page draws together a variety of resources relating to this area of activity.


  • 7 tips for developing a learning analytics policy| Association for Learning Technology
    The University of West London (UWL) published its learning analytics policy in September 2016. In this post Matt Lingard shares some tips on developing an institutional learning analytics policy. The UWL policy was written and published in 3-months. The need for speed was the equally rapid implementation of a predictive analytics project at the university.

  • From flowers to palms: 40 years of policy for online learning| Janice Smith
    2005 saw the 40th anniversary of the first policy paper regarding the use of computers in higher education in the United Kingdom. The publication of this paper represented the beginning of the field of learning technology research and practice in higher education. In the past 40 years, policy has at various points drawn from different communities and provided the roots for a diverse field of learning technology researchers and practitioners. This paper presents a review of learning technology-related policy over the past 40 years. The purpose of the review is to make sense of the current position in which the field finds itself, and to highlight lessons that can be learned from the implementation of previous policies. Conclusions drawn from the review of 40 years of learning technology policy suggest that there are few challenges that have not been faced before as well as a potential return to individual innovation.
  • Implementing a university e-learning strategy: levers for change within academic schools | Rhona Sharpe, Greg Benfield, Richard Francis

    This paper describes the implementation of an e-learning strategy at a single higher education institution in terms of the levers used to promote effective uptake and ensure sustainable embedding. The focus of this work was at the level of the academic school using a range of change practices including the appointment of school-based learning technologists and e-learning champions, supporting schools to write their own strategies, a pedagogical framework of engaging with e-learning, and curriculum development and evaluation of school-supported projects. It is clear that the implementation of the e-learning strategy has led to a large and increasing proportion of our students experiencing blended learning. In addition, there are initial indications that this has enhanced some learning and teaching processes. Where there has been sustainable embedding of effective e-learning, the following levers were identified as particularly important: flexibility in practices that allow schools to contextualise their plans for change, the facilitation of communities of key staff and creating opportunities for staff to voice and challenge their beliefs about e-learning.

  • Implementing a learning technology strategy: top–down strategy meets bottom–up culture | Bernard Lisewski
    Using interview-based ‘insider case study’ research, this paper outlines why the University of Salford has adopted a Learning Technologies Strategy and examines the factors which are likely to lead to its successful implementation. External reasons for the adoption focused on the need to: respond to ‘increased Higher Education (HE) competition’, meet student expectations of learning technology use, provide more flexibility and access to the curriculum, address the possible determining effect of technology and establish a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) presence in this ‘particular area of the HE landscape’. Internal drivers centred on the need to: continue a ‘bottom– up’ e-learning pilot project initiative, particularly given that a VLE is a ‘complex tool’ which requires effective strategic implementation, and promote the idea that learning technology will play an important role in determining the type of HE institution that the University of Salford wishes to become. Likely success factors highlighted the need to: create ‘time and space’ for innovation, maintain effective communication and consultation at all levels of the organization, emphasize the operational aspects of the strategy, establish a variety of staff development processes and recognize the negotiatory processes involved in understanding the term ‘web presence’ in local teaching cultures. Fundamentally, the paper argues that policy makers should acknowledge the correct ‘cultural configuration’ of HE institutions when seeking to manage and achieve organizational change. Thus, it is not just a question of establishing ‘success factors’ per se but also whether they are contextualized appropriately within a ‘correct’ characterization of the organizational culture.
  • A strategic approach to inclusive practice in education | Jisc
    here has been a welcome upward trend in the number of disabled students entering further education (FE) and higher education (HE). Policy changes are emphasising choice, independence and value for money. Across the UK government priorities for widening participation and combating disadvantage have placed greater responsibility on institutions themselves to provide support for the students they recruit.
  • Strategic steps towards organisational digital capability | Jisc
    Supporting organisations to develop their culture, infrastructure and practices to help grow organisational digital capability and enable individual digital capabilities to flourish.
  • Scaling up online learning | Jisc
    Provides tools, techniques, strategies and activities to support the development and provision of online learning programmes.
  • The 2018 digital university: staying relevant in the digital age (PDF, 0.96MB) | PwC
    Staying relevant in the digital age requires a strategic vision for the whole institution, a vision that is led by senior management with support from many departments, not just IT.