I’m starting this new blog at the same time as beginning work on my portfolio to be presented for accreditation as a Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology.
To begin the process of pulling together material for the portfolio, I’ve found it helpful to list out all of the various online learning roles, tasks and projects I’ve worked on professionally and as a volunteer since my first ‘learning technology’ work in 1999.
So, while I hope that this blog will become a space primarily for self-reflection rather than self-promotion, a place to narrate my work, to articulate what I’m learning and to point to some great stuff on the web, what follows is a linear list, with links, of my online learning experience to date.
Teacher of English and Media Studies, Cadbury Sixth Form College (1993 – 1999)
- I designed and developed departmental websites for the College’s internal network.
- I participated in one of the earliest cohorts on Sheffield College’s award-winning Learning to Teach Online (LeTTOL) course.
- As a learner on the LeTTOL course, I had a marvellous tutor in Jools Duggleby, author of ‘How to be an online tutor‘ and a stimulating tutor group which included Dick Moore, now Director of Technology at Ufi learndirect.
Online tutor, Sheffield College (1999 – present)
- Since completing LeTTOL, I have tutored several LeTTOL cohorts.
- I tutored two cohorts on the Certificate in Online Learning course which was delivered by the college for for the CIPD.
- I have tutored two cohorts on the Effective Mentor’s Toolkit course.
Information officer, CTI Centre for Textual Studies, University of Oxford (1999)
During 1999, based within the Humanities Computing Unit at Oxford I worked as the Information Officer for the CTI Centre for Textual Studies. This centre was part of the national Computers in Teaching Initiative (CTI). In this role:
- I maintained the Centre’s website and membership email list.
- I edited, desktop-published and managed the print and web publication of ‘Teaching European Literature and Culture with Communication and Information Technologies‘.
- I commissioned and reviewed papers for the journal ‘Computers & Texts‘.
- I peer-reviewed submissions to the journal ‘Active Learning‘ which was published by the CTI.
- I organised one of the Humanities Computing Unit’s ‘Beyond’ conferences – ‘Beyond Art‘.
- I organised and presented at humanities computing workshops and training events.
- I gave presentations and ran training sessions on topics such as the use of bibliographic tools, textual analysis tools and collaborative online learning.
- I co-authored ‘The Guide to Digital Resources for the Humanities‘ which was launched in February 2000.
E-learning consultant, Warwick Business School (1999 – 2006)
- I designed and introduced new ways of working for tutors to receive and feedback upon student assignments electronically.
- I developed, or managed the development of, a broad range of online learning resources, from vast online question banks for formative self-assessment (using QuestionMark’s Perception), to multimedia case studies, podcasts and video materials.
- I provided consultancy and training and authored substantial guidance materials to prepare and support faculty (and external practitioners and tutors) for a range of online roles.
- I authored and tutored a course entitled ‘Tutoring online’ to prepare faculty and external tutors to become online tutors.
- I led the development and design of online modules in E-business and Project Management
- I authored the article ‘Assessing online collaborative activity on the Warwick MBA’ for Warwick’s ‘Interactions’ journal.
- I authored support material, ran workshops and gave lectures to support students’ online learning and research skills.
- I co-authored and presented a paper entitled ‘E-MBA Initiative at Warwick Business School: A Study in Collaborative Online Learning’ for the Networked Learning in a Global Environment conference, Technical University of Berlin, May 2002.
- I led the design and project-managed the development of the Warwick MBA for IBM (a ‘blended’ distance learning, online and face-to-face MBA programme bespoke for IBM).
- With a former colleague, Frances Condron, I undertook some freelance research and consultancy for the JISC into the uptake of, and support for, learning environments in FE and HE: Condron, F. and Sutherland, S., 2002. Learning environments support in the UK Further and Higher Education communities: proposal for a new support service. (517 Kb PDF file)
Co-founder and developer of CancerNursing.org (2002 – present)
In 2002, I negotiated with my employer, Warwick Business School, that I would work part-time for a year in order that I could work voluntarily on the development of www.CancerNursing.org and its overarching charitable limited company Nurse Learning. Co–developed with my colleague and friend Ray Irving and his brother Mark, a Cancer Nurse Specialist, CancerNursing.org is an open learning site dedicated to the provision of free courses and resources that aim to enhance the understanding and the skills of health professionals and others concerned with the care of cancer patients.
- An account of the genesis of CancerNursing.org is provided in this press release issued by Warwick Business School and quite amusingly in this piece from the Coventry Evening Telegraph.
- A case study telling the story of CancerNursing.org and identifying lessons learned from the different phases of its development is provided in this article which Ray and I wrote for the ALT newsletter.
- At the time of writing, 29,115 members from 134 countries have registered with the site.
- Initially, we published substantial online courses. We currently offer 15 online courses and to date they have enjoyed 70,595 individual enrolments.
- We now run live online lectures (which are recorded and subsequently published), we publish instructional cancer nursing videos and we offer and run a series of cancer nursing forums.
E-learning specialist, The National College (2006 – present)
My work in this role is varied and ever-changing and encompasses:
- working with some of the most talented leaders from across the education sector in the UK
- the development of online networking and collaboration spaces and initiatives for leaders across the education sector
- project management of substantial online learning and networking developments, including the College’s Leadership Library and its online network
- the design and development of formal online learning experiences
- community management in the College’s online network.
A case study telling the story of the development, launch and uptake of the National College’s online network, and outlining lessons learned about the development and the management of this professional networking and learning environment is provided in this article I wrote for the ALT newsletter.
In 2009 I was interviewed by David Noble about my professional background, my experience of and views about online learning and professional networking. David published the interview as part of his Booruch podcast and you can listen to it below.