E-Chunks: a needs-appropriate response to developing staff digital literacies

Farrelly, Tom and Murphy, Tony (2014) E-Chunks: a needs-appropriate response to developing staff digital literacies. In: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). May 29th and 30th, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


Part of the larger debate on why technology enhanced learning (TEL) has possibly not lived up to early expectations (Rossiter, 2007; Laurillaurd, 2010; Selwyn, 2010) is the barriers preventing lecturer participation. Some the barriers identified include a lack of time/too much work, (Jenkins, Browne, Walker and Hewitt, 2011; Lesht and Windes, 2011), fear of technology and concerns over loss of control and loss of academic identity (Gonzales, 2012; Hanson, 2009). Busy lecturers are faced with the dual problem of needing to incorporate at least some elements of TEL into their delivery strategy while finding time to unravel the seemingly bewildering range of TEL options and platforms. Drawing its inspiration from TED talk's time-controlled presentation format, the eChunks series sought to address some of these concerns by filming brief face-to-face information sessions and then making those sessions available online via the institute's VLE. Aimed at lecturers who are beyond late adapters, eChunks are distinguishable because they are pre-training sessions, a 'taster' so attendees who have yet to adopt TEL are able to make an informed decision about which technologies they may be interested in and what further training they need and want. For the higher education sector, the eChunks initiative offers a possible avenue into the TEL environment for those lecturers who, for a variety of reasons, have yet to make the leap. The sessions are deliberately short and responsive to current constraints in that they avail of existing training material and focus on open source applications. This presentation will incorporate a reflective piece by the authors on the eChunks design and delivery process and a survey of eChunk attendees that sought to identify the profile of those using technology and the impact of eChunk on their teaching and learning.

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