The tide is turning (Symposium 0242)


14:50 - 15:50 on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 in Room B63


242 The tide is turning': approaches to learning environment evaluation
Susannah Quinsee, Carol Higgison, Maureen Readle, Mark Gamble, Richard Walker


242 The tide is turning': approaches to learning environment evaluation
Susannah Quinsee, Carol Higgison, Maureen Readle, Mark Gamble, Richard Walker
This session explores and debates the effectiveness of different approaches undertaken by UK HEIs to reviewing and evaluating the ‘fitness for purpose’ of their institutional VLEs. It is estimated that around 30 UK HEIs are undergoing or about to undergo a wide scale evaluation of their VLE and/ or other learning technologies. LERSIG (the ALT Learning Environment Review Special Interest Group) and HeLF (the Heads of E-Learning Forum) are promoting a joined up approach to this activity. Panel members from four HEIs will outline the drivers prompting their evaluations and the methodologies used to engage their institutions in the evaluation process, comparing and debating approaches and contrasting outcomes. Institutions undertake learning environment reviews for different reasons. Institutional culture and circumstance lead to different drivers and each institution will approach this activity in a unique manner. However, the experiences in undertaking such an evaluation leads to a series of lessons learnt that can be invaluable to other institutions. In this session four HEIS at different stages of their reviews will explore the following issues: drivers promoting the review including scope and strategic fit; methodology approached; leadership challenges; stakeholder engagement; lessons learnt; next steps. The session will enable participants to question panel members on the rationale behind the adoption of particular methods and activities, debate the benefits and appropriateness of different approaches and provide ideas and support for planning their own evaluations. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from colleagues who may be at different stages in the process. They will be exposed to a range of ideas and approaches and be given practical examples of how to apply these in their own institutions. Leadership and management issues will be explored in relation to strategic approach and the session will enable participants to engage in a network of colleagues facing similar challenges, to learn from one another and collaborate on formulating and identifying effective evaluation methods, approaches and processes.