The eChange project: Supporting a Faculty of education's move to authentic use of information and communication technologies through mentoring

RMIT University
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Journal Article
ultiBASE, 2003, July 2003 pp. 1 - 14
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It is becoming increasingly apparent that there is a need for higher education institutions to support their staff in the development of course offerings that are either online or have Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) integrated in meaningful and effective ways in them (Burbules & Callister 2000, Franklin & Peat 2001). Consequently, the Faculty of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney embarked on a professional development project, the eChange Project, in 2000 which has continued 2001-2003. It has the goals of supporting academic staff in developing pedagogically appropriate online components in their subjects. The project is underpinned by change management principles as suggested by Scott (1999), Brown (1999), and confirmed by Trowler and Cooper (2002). eChange agents were appointed from within the faculty to implement the project. Factors such as managerial support, the development of good working relationships between the agents and the academic staff, and the opportunities for staff to consider and discuss problematic issues raised by the introduction of online learning, have contributed to the successes of the project. Time constraints, cynicism about the value of using ICT to enhance teaching and learning, staff and student satisfaction with current methods of teaching, and access and equity issues have been barriers to uptake for some of the faculty staff.
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