Durham University E Learning
7.3: e-Learning Strategy
1. In 2003 the DfES stated that e-learning ‘has the potential to transform the way we teach and learn. It opens new opportunities to ‘raise standards, widen participation in life-long learning, [and] improve the learning experience. Most importantly, the DfES noted that e-learning ‘cannot replace lecturers, but alongside existing methods it can enhance the quality and reach of their teaching’. The University e-Learning Strategy intends to set the direction for e-learning at Durham and to encourage colleagues to engage in e-learning activities, where appropriate, by opening up, supporting, and publicising its possibilities. Echoing the findings of the Joint SFEFC/SHEFC e-learning group, the strategy is based on the premise that ‘e-learning is fundamentally about learning and not about technology’. Therefore, this strategy proposes a course of action which is ‘based on the needs and demands of learners and their quality of educational experience’. In short, it is based on six key principles associated with this aim: connectivity, flexibility, interactivity, collaboration, student motivation (engagement), and extended opportunities.
Scope of the strategy
2. This strategy assists the delivery of the University Learning and Teaching Strategy by promoting eLearning as a pedagogically driven initiative to enhance those learning experiences traditionally offered by Durham. It outlines the future plans and directions of the University’s flexible, electronically supported, learning opportunities for all students and staff. This strategy defines a University-wide vision for supporting and developing existing and future electronically supported Learning and Assessment opportunities (later referred in this document with a prefix of ‘e’). While this strategy’s primary focus is on learning, it broadly relates to all aspects of the student experience. We consulted on our draft strategy for eLearning in January 2008, via University Education Committee, Faculty Education Committees, Heads of House and Senior Tutors’ committees and the IT Strategy working group. This strategy should be considered along with the Durham University IT vision and the IT Strategy.