Categories: Higher Ed, News

An effective implementation of technology (LMS) in Higher Education

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IT leadership discussing the digital strategy

Keri Beckingham, guest writer

Keri Beckingham

In order to ensure that classrooms are modernised and able to keep up with the changing demands of education in today’s world, implementing different teaching methods such as blended learning is key.

However, despite the many benefits that technology and digital tools such as a Learning Management Systems (LMS) can bring to the Higher Education environment, some challenges can also arise during their implementation. For example, staff may be resistant to change or wary of the implications of using a new system, such as the potential impact on their time as they familiarise themselves with it.

With this in mind, in our latest article we explore some important considerations for adopting an IT solution for education, and the ways that IT leaders can support their staff with the LMS implementation.

Resistance to change

Facing resistance to change from staff is something that many university IT leaders will already be familiar with, especially when it comes to launching new digital tools on campus. For many people, change is a scary prospect, and feeling reluctant to embrace it is a natural reaction, especially if the existing LMS or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) has been in place for a long period of time. However, it is important that change happens, in order to ensure that both teaching staff and students have the best possible experience in and out of the classroom.

It takes some time to integrate any kind of new technology, and part of this will involve upskilling staff. However, it is important to ensure that a new LMS is as easy to use, accessible and intuitive as possible, to avoid more time being spent on this than is necessary.

In addition, it is important for staff to understand the benefit that the technology will have for students. Ultimately, the key focus of any university is to deliver the best possible student experience, and the needs of students should certainly be at the forefront of any implementation project.

Supporting your staff

In order to make sure that the LMS is implemented as quickly and effectively as possible, it is important that IT leaders support staff every step of the way.

A key benefit of a new LMS is that it can help to reduce the time that teachers spend on administrative tasks and classroom preparation in the long run.

Teachers’ time is one of the most valuable and scarce resources, and it has therefore never been more important for a university’s IT team to ensure that they are completely supported in the classroom. This means running a series of training sessions to inspire educators to improve their digital teaching skills. They should be given the opportunity to be involved in each stage of the implementation, so they feel a sense of ownership.

training material

Example of training material used at VIA University College.

It is also a good idea to have an initial “pilot” team of teaching staff that are trained on how to use the technology first, as they can then give assistance to their colleagues and offer additional guidance too. Having an effective training plan in place will not only made the implementation of the LMS or VLE as efficient and effective as possible, but it will also reinforce to staff that they are receiving the help they require.

For instance, some institutions like Stockholm University have hosted a series of pedagogical course design workshops with the primary focus on the importance of student engagement and learning. The pedagogical support team at itslearning have also participated in these and have met the teachers that deliver their courses using the itslearning platform.

At itslearning, we understand that a having a well thought out implementation plan will help to ensure that any technology investment receives maximum value. Our key focus is on customer success, and as part of our service to you we will assist with top-level strategy and detailed project plans – in fact, we will be with you every step of the way! If you would like to realise your vision for education excellence at your university, get in touch with our team today.

VIA University College, digital teaching skills presentation

How does VIA University College inspire their educators to improve their digital teaching skills?

Rikke Gottfredsen, Pedagogical IT Consultant at VIA University College, shares her insights on how VIA University College has developed a successful program of webinars and workshops for the second-wave exploration after the initial implementation of itslearning LMS.

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