By Dr Maria Toro-Troconis, CEG Digital's Head of Academic Research and Quality.
The M25-LTG is the main learning technology group around the M25 motorway. It's been running since 2001, and the group became an ALT Regional Interest Group in May 2012.
The latest meeting was held on 25 July at the University of East of London, hosted by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. It focused on the topic of Learning Design and Instructional Design, and gained attention not only from universities around London, but also from universities as far away as Australia, who joined online via the #m25ltg hashtag.
A series of presentations covered many aspects of Learning Design and Instructional Design. I presented the research I have been working on with my colleague Dr Antony Aleksiev from Queen Mary University of London on Learning Design and Learning Analytics. We discussed early findings based on one of the online programmes developed by CEG Digital at Queen Mary University of London.
The research emphasises the importance of prioritising Learning Design over Learning Analytics. Learning Analytics can be used effectively if contextualised within a pedagogically-sound Learning Design foundation.
I was also invited to join a panel discussion led by Santanu Vasant from the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of East of London. A lot of interesting questions were raised on Learning Design by the participants and via the #m25ltg hashtag.
Reflecting back, the event highlighted to me that the learning technology community within the Higher Education sector is facing a transition period, with universities moving more towards the delivery of blended and online learning programmes. A percentage of the learning technology community has already had some exposure to curriculum design and learning design. However, the learning technology profession overall is still framed and understood within operational and supportive roles.
There is also clearly some work needed to help and support Higher Education institutions and their learning technology communities in this transition period. It's also key to realise that this transition belongs not only to the learning technology sector, but also to the Higher Education sector.
They both need to work in unison to achieve a successful transition in the evolution of curriculum design and delivery in Higher Education in the UK.
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