Michelle's thinking space…

Welcome to my reflective blog on everything technology enhanced learning

Delivering higher education in a technologically advanced society…

In the past two decades advances in educational technology have led to many debates regarding the role of the traditional lecturer in higher education (HE), the adoption of technology enhanced learning, the development of a range of flexible pedagogies and different modes of delivery. With blended learning, flipped classroom, collaborative learning and use of virtual learning environments (and many others) being eagerly researched and debated (Dooris et al., 2004; Garrison and Vaughan, 2013).

The emphasis on teaching staff adopting a multi-pragmatic pedagogical approach to learning and teaching continues to be driven by a range of complex factors. Amongst those, the need to enhance the learning experience for a diverse student population, provide value for money as student fees raise, improve student outcomes and attainment, and doing so whilst equipping students with a full range of graduate attributes and digital capabilities… (deep breath)…HE institutions are now operating in a competitive business-like environment, where the student population is now more diverse than ever. Not to mention the expanding cost of delivering education, lack of resource and need for more efficient teaching strategies (King and Boyatt, 2014; Markova, 2014; Sutton and DeSantis, 2017).

Its no wonder so many HE institutions have historically been described as lurching about in terms of adopting educational technologies. This is not a simple task! As education providers we now have to reconceptualise the design and delivery of teaching and learning. Innovating at the same pace as new technologies develop, proves quite the challenge for institutions bound by bureaucratic red tape and traditional structures. For traditional HE institutions this will require a cultural shift and presents a complex strategic challenge for educational leaders. More so, this presents a requirement for educators to creatively adapt to this modern environment, when they themselves may feel ill-equipped to respond.

Change is constantly on the horizon… so how can we adapt to ensure we are using educational technology in a way that actually enhances the student learning experience? and is not just technology for technology sake. How can we provide an educational experience that the next generation of students will expect? Students that will have access to a complex ecosystem of learning resources and information provided by their own mobile devices, social platforms and Apps for pretty much any aspect of life and learning.

As a Learning Enhancement and Technology Adviser and a student on a Investigating Technology Enhanced Learning module, I hope to explore some of these questions in my reflective blog. Develop and enhance my own understanding of approaches to integrating educational technologies and what we need to do to ensure these technologies enhance the student learning experience.


Dooris, M.J., Kelley, J.M. and Trainer, J.F. (2004) ‘Strategic planning in higher education’, New Directions for Institutional Research, 2004(123), pp. 5-11.

Garrison, D.R. and Vaughan, N.D. (2013) ‘Institutional change and leadership associated with blended learning innovation: Two case studies’, The Internet and Higher Education, 18(Supplement C), pp. 24-28.

King, E. and Boyatt, R. (2014) ‘Exploring factors that influence adoption of e-learning within higher education’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 46.

Markova, M. (2014) ‘A model of leadership in integrating educational technology in higher education’, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 17(4), pp. 1-9.

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One thought on “Michelle's thinking space…

  1. Thanks Michelle. As expected an excellent first blog! That said, after reading it I did get the urge to ask you the question ‘What do you really think about all of this’!!! And what about your own personal experiences with TEL – could you bring these in as well? For me, your most important statement was ‘This is not a simple task!’. Recognising learning as a complex system which is often beyond our comprehension is an issue which is often neglected in these debates – but critical in terms of implementation.

    Liked by 2 people

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