The Heads of eLearning Forum (HeLF) is a network of senior staff engaged in promoting, supporting and developing technology enhanced learning (TEL). We have 140 nominated Heads from UK higher education institutions and a regular programme of well attended events.

11 Jul 2018

44th HeLF meeting: Moving the Masses

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The 44th meeting of the Heads of eLearning Forum was hosted at Edinburgh Napier University on 6th June 2018.


"Convergence" by Ralph Helmick - Will Howcroft, 2014 | CC BY-SA 4.0

T his was a well attended event with 33 HEPs represented, nearly a third of whom were first time attendees, enjoying the views from the Horizon suite at Edinburgh Napier’s Sighthill campus. Energetically chaired by new steering group member, Amber Thomas, University of Warwick, the event considered ‘Moving the Masses’ and discussed baselines and minimum standards in TEL debating policy, implementation, evaluation and monitoring.

The day kicked off with the hosts, Sally Jorjani and Stephen Bruce providing an overview of Napier’s digitally enhanced learning spaces, active learning classrooms, VLE and digital exam provision with a look to future projects. It was then time for some discussions with a pyramid activity led by Roger Emery with groups considering a number of questions around policy and governance. This led on to four very engaging lightning strike presentations from Steve Rycroft, The Open University, Jo Spiller, University of Edinburgh, Phil Vincent, York Saint John University and Sue Cordell, Bishop Grosseteste University prompting many questions from the audience which continued as discussions over lunch.

Sarah Sherman - "HeLF panel discussion", 2018 | CC-BY-SA
The afternoon resumed with HeLF business, highlighting the new Steering Group members and for first time attendees the unfunded voluntary nature of the group. Barbara Newland, University of Brighton, then provided summary feedback of recent HeLF surveys looking at Digital Exams, VLE Baselines and What’s in your Toolbox which all received good response rates. Full reports of which will be published by the end of July. Amber Thomas then facilitated a world cafe activity where four tables considered various elements of implementing baselines and minimum requirements. Pictures of the flip chart notes are available with the presentations. Fiona Harvey, University College of Estate Management (UCEM), continued on from this, chairing a discussion on the evaluation and monitoring of baselines.

Amber rounded off the day by collecting the suggested topics for future HeLF events and activities in 2018/19:
  • NSS: tools and techniques – opportunities for predicting or improving results;
  • Lecture capture – especially policy opt-in/opt-out, the rationale for providing the service/technology, strategy;
  • Learning analytics for assessment - Sarah Sherman to refine discussion options following the UCISA meeting the following week;
  • Digital exams – Brunel can share outputs of the events they ran on the topic and data from HeLF's survey results;
  • e-portfolios – including tools/platforms and also covering degree apprenticeships;
  • Universal design and inclusivity – beyond reasonable adjustments;
  • The power of UX;
  • Explore the role of Head of eLearning;
  • How to increase resources for technology in teaching and learning – gaining funding, business cases, staff, internal bids.