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Learning technologies, MA-PGDip-PGCert in the Management of Learning and Teaching in HE

Title: Learning technologies, PG Programmes Management of Learning & Teaching in Higher Education and CPD, now and in the future


Myra Vogel, Academic Developer (Technology Enhanced Learning), Goldsmiths College

Collated by: 

Contacts provided by Barbara Newland, University of Brighton, on behalf of HeLF. Interviews conducted and written up by David Baume



Source/type of practice:


Relates to UKPSF:

A5, K2, K4, V1



Goldsmiths is a College of the University of London. It provides a lively and diverse academic environment. The autonomy of staff and students is valued highly.


The Learning Enhancement Unit includes academic developers and learning technologists. The PGCert in Higher Education Management is also run from the Unit. The Unit’s activities typically comprise advocacy of interesting new practices and technologies and individual support in response to requests, rather than policy-led work. Each member of the unit works with particular academic departments, for example through the departmental learning and teaching committee, to become known and valued and then to give support in solving problems and developing new approaches.


MA/PGDip/PGCert in the Management of Learning & Teaching in Higher Education

The course is redesigned each year to match the needs of participants. It runs over two years. It is accredited to UKPSF descriptor two. One study day is held each term. The rest of participants’ time is spent in developing and reviewing their practice. The PGCert is run in 5 modules of 15 credits.


The VLE which supports the course currently functions for the most part as a repository for documents and other resources. It will be redeveloped to make it a more active learning site. Online learning is a topic within the course.



Training sessions are run by the staff development division within HR.


Goldsmiths may not yet be making the maximum possible effective use of online and e-learning methods. Skills-based training is not particularly well received. One approach being considered is to support staff to undertake teaching development projects which include the use of online learning.


CPD activities are often run on demand, sometimes with groups of staff who have shown interest in a particular teaching method or technology. The starting point is the pedagogy rather than the technology. The sessions work well. They address immediate staff concerns. At the end of a session, staff leave with ideas on what to do next, with increased confidence, and knowing where to come for help if needed. CPD provision is not accredited.


In the future

The use of technologies should be given more attention in the recruitment and promotion of staff.

The learning technologies function should take a more strategic approach, building on its current work with individuals and working through the committee structure, accepting that, given the nature of Goldsmiths, academic development around learning technologies will still include an element of 'seize the day’. The College has a good strategy for learning and teaching and assessment, which can be built on.


It should be possible to build communities of practice around the uses of e-learning, through making links between academic staff with similar e-learning enthusiasms.