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November 13, 2023

ALT23 – 30 years of Leading People, Digital and Culture

The ALT Annual Conference is for anyone involved in learning technology in both the higher and further education sectors. This year's conference celebrated the Association for Learning Technology's 30th anniversary and took place here at Warwick University back in September. I attended day two of the three day event and delivered a presentation called 'Transforming and enhancing teacher education.' This fitted under the conference track of 'Leading people in a time of complexity,' and considered how individuals and teams had driven change to solve complex and difficult problems.

At the end of Warwick's Phase II Strategy Renewal Process, my department (CTE) established six strategic priorities to enable it to extend its portfolio and expertise. It gained Academic Resource Committee funding for a year-long Project that focussed on developing its digital distinctiveness and increasing and disseminating its wider educational impact regionally, nationally, and internationally. I discussed my work on the Project and the range of roles that I adopted (using different hats as a metaphor for this) to enable me to manage the Project and discussed some of the challenges that I had faced.

I reflected upon how I had taken the role of a critical friend for the part of the Project that focussed on Mentoring. I described how I had had to reconcile my role as Project Lead and my involvement with Project Board with the critical friend role. By stepping up and accepting the multi-faceted nature of complex project work, I was able to make what could be seen as a conflict of interest by some, work for both me and the Mentoring team.

For the Digital Communities of Practice part of the Project, I reflected upon some of the challenges of co-leading and how I had refined my persuasion skills to better represent my views.

For the Reusable Learning Objects part of the Project I reflected upon how much more autonomy I had as lead for this work and how much easier this made the work. I also talked about needing to step back and focus on planning and development rather than completing everything myself - delegation, delegation, delegation!

For the Student Experience and Quality Assurance part of the Project, I once again reflected on my role as a critical friend and discussed some of the challenges that this work entailed. I also considered how my negotiation and communication skills had improved, as well as my assertiveness and active listening skills.

This link shows a post from X (formerly Twitter) by one of the conference conveners:

https://twitter.com/Realtimeedu/status/1699406711159697573

which was lovely to receive!


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