The Learning Technology Group at Lancaster University won the team award for successfully providing an integrated learning technology service that has had a major and beneficial impact for students and staff across the whole of Lancaster University.
Team members are (left to right) Steve Powell, Georgia Georgiou, Mark Bryson, Dan Jackson, Tim Ellis, Mike Cowie, Rich Ranker, and Aditya Vadali.
The ALT judges commented:
“The Learning Technology Group (LTG) is an outstanding example of an excellently managed, cohesive, multidisciplinary, and highly collaborative team. LTG provided clear and convincing evidence about the positive impact of their work on teaching and learning across the University, and about the value that teaching staff place on the Group’s activities."
Specifically, the Group:
- is unusual in the way that it provides an integrated service, including infrastructure, software development and maintenance, user training, and help desk support;
- puts a very strong emphasis on gathering user requirements, and on iteratively improving services and systems through systematic collection of user feedback;
- is impressively focused on technology as an enabler of learning; and
- has succeeded in creating and supporting a comprehensive range of tools and applications,whose use is central to academic practice.”
The photograph to the right shows the team receiving the award at the ALT2008 conference at Headingly in Leeds on the 10th September.
Dr. Paul Rodaway, Director of CELT, stated:
"We are very proud of LTG and its accomplishments that lead to their selection as the best in their field in the UK, but nobody who knows the team will be surprised. They have been providing world class learning technology support to Lancaster for several years now despite very limited staff and budgets. They have helped make learning technology an essential part of the teaching, learning and assessment environment here."
Dr. Rich Ranker, LTG Manager, remarked:
"I have been in the learning technology field for about 23 years now, starting back in the early days of computer aided instruction and simulations. The three main things that attracted me to come here to Lancaster just over a year ago were the way in which the learning was always put before the technology, the variety and reliability of the tools LTG has constructed and maintained over the years, and the skilled professionalism and helpful attitude of the staff of LTG specifically and CELT in general. As my year of working with these wonderful people progressed, it became clear to me that the LTG team were real winners. I'm glad to see that our professional organization has formally recognised what I saw just over a year ago.
One of the exciting things about working here is the desire of the staff to try new things. Teaching staff wanted a tool to help post-graduate research students maintain a record of conversations with their supervisors and plan their own academic directions. From this a new application called MyPGR was born last September. Similarly, some teaching staff and students wanted a reflective and social networking tool that, unlike LUVLE, was more in the control of the individual. From this desire another new application, MyPlace, was introduced also last September. I would like to commend the LTG staff for their creativity and hard work in designing and developing these two seperate programs while still maintaining and advancing LUVLE and LUMES.
The campus will soon see another example of this professionalism with our introduction of the following in September:
- the new version of LUVLE -- with a new look and feel and several new functions requested by lecturers;
- a major upgrade to MyPlace and MyPGR-- incorporating suggestions from users to make them easier to use, collaborate, and reflect;
- the incorporation of the Module Evaluation process into all taught modules; and
- better access to and understanding of how to use the Turnitin software to increase the academic integrity of written submissions.
That many changes in such a short time could only have been produced by skilled, hard-working professionals."
In summary, LTG are proud to have been recognized by our professional group as the best team in the UK!
As a side note, our Learning Technologist, Georgia Georgiou, recently left the LTG team to return to her home in Greece. We are pleased to welcome her replacement, Phillip Tubman (pictured right), who joined the team in early October 2008.