Aim and Vision for TELT

eLearning or (TELT) Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching at UNSW emphasises the benefits that educational technologies can bring to learning and teaching practice. No single educational technology will address all learning and teaching needs. Yet often institutions focus solely on one platform, usually a learning management system.

A rich array of technologies can now be used to support learning and teaching, whether courses are face to face or online. Students can engage with technology in simple ways, such as using a digital camera. In your teaching, you can also employ a range of complementary and connected tools and spaces. Your challenge is to identify what your course needs to achieve, then select the technology that will maximise good learning outcomes.

Aim of TELT

UNSW recognises that learning design and support processes are moving towards highly flexible, interactive, responsive, learner-centric modes of delivery.

Our learning content strategy aims to enhance students' intellectual and personal development using adaptable, reusable, platform independent learning resources with which teachers can deliver inter-disciplinary, collaborative, self-directed learning environments, accessible at any time and in any place.

To provide flexible learning options, when we design, develop, store and deliver content we need to use strategies that acknowledge learners' emergent need to develop knowledge creation and thinking skills, and that respond to evolving perspectives on the role of teaching and the purpose of learning.

Vision for TELT

Online learning can make a significant difference when educators break away from traditional approaches online, and treat each student as unique in terms of interests, abilities and motivation. As teachers, we must respond to the special challenges and opportunities of online learning in new ways.

Educators in general regard quality, access and cost as three separate and distinct issues, but they are very much interrelated. For example, engaging more lecturers and improving facilities and resources can increase the cost of producing educational solutions, which in turn increases the cost of accessing an education.

Students have diverse learning styles, abilities and interests. Treating them as individuals—rather than approaching them with a one-size-fits-all learning experience—increases their ability to access learning activities and experiences. It's crucial that we are flexible, that we create environments in which students can have deeper and more rewarding learning experiences. Today's technologies have very real potential to fundamentally change the role and purpose of learning so that it responds to students' individual needs.

As university and vendor solutions demonstrate, we need to develop new design approaches and delivery architectures by which we can teach through information and communication technology (ICT), rather than just delivering information with it. We can use technology to:

  • directly support the processes of learning and teaching
  • enable a student-centred, personalised learning framework that caters for each student's unique needs and preferences of every student
  • connect every students to a diverse community network of students, lecturers and mentors.

As Jay Oglivie says in Think Scenarios, Rethink Education (OECD 2006):

In the future, there is every reason to believe that we will have learning tools that will allow us to diagnose each individual student in ways that permit us to treat each student individually, every hour of the day, with just those educational tools and lesson plans best suited to his or her needs and aptitudes.

The TELT platform

The TELT Platform is a dynamic, evolving solution to meet UNSW's learning and teaching requirements. It will ultimately offer a suite of integrated applications and systems, ensuring flexibility, accessibility and an enhanced student experience.

Many of the applications proposed for the TELT Platform already exist across UNSW. A centralised, integrated approach and enterprise-level IT support and infrastructure are now being developed. An innovation / research and development platform will be an integral component. This will enable continual improvement in a constantly changing field.

We will keep on identifying emerging technologies, and trial and evaluate them in small Faculty based pilots. If they are suitable, we will migrate them to the TELT Platform, and integrate, support and maintain them as part of UNSW enterprise IT infrastructure.

At the same time as we pilot new applications, we will identify, by ongoing systematic evaluation, which TELT applications are approaching end of life and require replacement.

Further information