Evaluating the impact of CTEL’s CPD workshops

The Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning currently run a series of Continuous Professional Development workshops designed to help colleagues use technology in ways that are both educationally effective and resource efficient. 2014/2015 is the second year that the workshops have been offered to staff. Workshop participants are given the option to complete an evaluation form after the workshop and so far, staff engagement and feedback has been exceptionally positive. These have also been helpful for CTEL to consolidate our offering and make improvements to the workshop content and delivery.

CTEL would now like to evaluate the CPD workshops in more depth using a qualitative time series design, as this will measure if the objectives of the workshops were met and transferred back to the organization. By interviewing a small selection of staff before they attend the workshop; immediately after the workshop; and then six months after the workshop, a more holistic view of the factors that affect the transfer process and impact the workshops have on the organization can be revealed.

Nabila Raji
Centre Manager and PA
Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning

Examining TEL theses: the ‘holy grail’ of original contribution to knowledge

Some thoughts I would like to share on what constitutes original contribution to knowledge, in a contested discipline like “eLearning” (I usually avoid this term and tend to use the more intricate and useful ‘Technology Enhanced Learning’; a term which we also use in CTEL related activities.

In the last three months I was involved in examining two theses as an external examiner. Both made important claims about the significance of using technologies to support our students’ learning in HE. I must say I have had some very enjoyable discussions, interacting with the candidates (probably less enjoyable for the candidates themselves, under the stress of their oral examination experience!), during the vivas but also with the other members of the panels before and after.

In both cases I was asked to consider whether the candidate had investigated critically and evaluated an approved topic resulting in an independent and original contribution to scholarship, worthy of publication. This led me to question my expectations of a TEL thesis within the context of these specifications.
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