I have experience gained working as a senior learning technologist in small and large educational organisations. I will base my response on experience gained whilst working in a large UK university that switched from an older Learning Management System (LMS) to using Moodle 2.0.
Did you contribute to the strategy, if so, in what capacity?
Before the strategy for implementing Moodle was in place, a group of learning technologists including myself held meetings alongside management, to discuss the proposed implementation of a new LMS.
Different LMS where to be compared and investigated with the following key points provided for;
• A sense of community
• Ease of access (Must work on various types of computing device)
• Flexible platform for learning
• Allow themed content
• Be easily supported and supportive.
Feedback timeframes were also discussed, to ensure staff could work along-side technologists so as smooth a transition as possible would be in place, once the switch over day happened.
All of this information then fed back into the strategic approach, where target dates, technologies and costs where fed in and a road map for change was produced.
Is the main focus of the strategy on Learning Technology, or if not, what is its main focus?
In the instance of adopting Moodle, the main focus was based around the implementation, of Moodle technology which was a significant shift from the systems that had been previously used.
How often is it reviewed and is it flexible enough to adapt as things change?
Like any good business plan the strategy for overall learning technology was revisited regularly, with “show and say” sessions held with teaching staff, student representatives and management to gauge feedback, Initially, this would happen with teaching staff on a weekly, then monthly and then twice monthly timeframe as the “panic” period of implementation dissipated. This process alongside regular technologist and management meetings helped to keep the strategy up to date.
Does the strategy impact on your practice and if so, how? If not, why?
I would like to feel that the strategy adopted, and my practice worked hand in hand to ensure that there was a feeling of approachability towards myself, that concerns raised were listened to and acted upon, with time-frames for delivery of results promptly acted upon. Communication to me is key in this area, lecturers are busy and their time limited, a quick phone call or email with an update goes a long way in letting staff know that you do care about their concerns and that they have not been forgotten about.
Finally, if you were to provide input to a new version, what, if any, changes would you make to it?
I feel that the original strategy worked well, as it adapted when required. For future improvement, I feel that time-frames could be a little more flexible, to meet with training, adaptation and implementation needs. I feel that these were so rigidly stuck that they allowed no room for errors, which lead to some stressful situations especially when training teaching staff.