Summary of recent work/practice 2023

STEM Learning – Pandemic Response  

STEM Learning provides CPD for teachers and I was responsible for the online programme and learning design of courses on FutureLearn which reached over 250,000 people over four years. The fully online courses scaled to seven times their usual enrolments in three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Developed with a social learning design, these courses scaled with only a marginal increase in delivery cost, yet sustained their positive student outcomes (STEM Learning Online CPD Impact Report).

My role expanded rapidly to support the organisation with an immediate pivot from their face-to-face programme to remote delivery, stipulated by funders to have a high proportion of synchronous facilitation. I worked closely with the educational programme leads to devise a straightforward, scalable approach to design, authoring, facilitating and administering remote CPD within the constraints of our platforms. I delivered training to over 300 authors and facilitators, covering the live platform (Adobe Connect), best practice in facilitating online sessions and structuring online learning across both synchronous and asynchronous spaces (Drupal; Higher Logic). In parallel, I worked with the central administrative team to equip them with the skills and knowledge to take ownership over the set up and operational aspects of delivering remote CPD. I am particularly proud of what we were able to achieve together based on established online learning principles and empowering teams across the organisation to bring a wholly new form of professional development to the UK and international teaching community.

Other aspects of my work during the pandemic and final year at STEM Learning included:

  • Co-authoring and facilitating Teaching for Home Learning to support teachers pivoting to remote teaching (written and published within 4 weeks): Secondary SciencePrimary ScienceQ&A Video.
  • Providing platform and activity design for leading academic to disseminate advice for parents: The Science of Learning at Home.
  • Initiating an approach for subject experts to record and distribute lessons for use by schools and parents for a national repository.
  • Appendix: Redacted for public portfolio.

University of Leeds – Digital Education Service 

I joined the University of Leeds in May 2021 and moved into the Head of Online Learning role in September 2021.

One of my first projects was supporting a major industry partnership, drafting programme specifications, project plan and contract clauses relating to design, development and operational delivery of courses. This required an understanding of the platform constraints and organisational needs. Before leaving the set-up stage, I sourced external consultants to continue in the partnership. Identifying a long term need, I established a supplier framework through leading a full tender process for learning design, project management and learning technology, to complement in-house capacity and skills. The Service and University is now in a stronger position to realise short notice and commercial online education opportunities in the future.

Over the last 18 months, most of my time has been on supporting senior leaders with scaling up ambitions for fully online education. This is a challenging combination of both strategic and operational discussions. I brought my experience of scaling up CPD, my understanding of financial modelling, online marketplace, risk management and platform capabilities to inform and influence plans. As a result of my position and with a large team, I feel much less ‘hands on’ with learning technologies than in previous roles. However, I have remained connected by applying my understanding to reviewing H5P and LMS demonstrations, effective networking and working on programme and course specifications. Microcredentials and the relationship between degree programmes and lifelong learning, with a design-led ecosystem, is a current focus of interest. 

Next: Overview of CPD activities