I have worked at the University of Huddersfield in the Learning Technology department of Computing and Library Services for 7 years
I graduated from Leicester Polytechnic with a BSc (Hons) in computer science. I gained an MSc in Multimedia and eLearning from the Univeristy of Huddersfield in 2013
My intention was always to work in education and I chose my placement year carefully during my undergraduate degree carefully, working as a technician at Warwickshire College of Agriculture, supporting both staff and students in their goal to gain IT skills.
Subsequently though, I accepted employment in the commercial sector, delivering programming, information technology infrastructure design, system administration, consultancy, support and training to both staff and external clients.
In 2007 however, I made a life changing decision to follow my original goal and move into the educational sector, where I could apply my information technology skills , communication skills, training experience and adaptability to allowing others to achieve their education and career aspiration.
While bringing a host of specific I.T. skills with me, I pride myself on my ability to understand new technologies with ease and the ability to communicate with others at an appropriate level, This facilitates me in becoming proficient with emerging learning technologies and appreciating the value of their adoption, This in turn allows me to advise academic and support staff on the application of learning technologies within their pedagogy and facilitate them to do so through face to face training, coaching and a variety of training material delivered online.
My role at the University of Huddersfield is a dual role.
Provide staff development, coaching and online training material on all aspects of Learning Technologies, ranging from how-to technical training to advice on how to apply learning technologies in order to enhance current pedagogical practice.
Provide system administration, infrastructure design and support to the institutional learning technologies (VLE, ePortfolio system, virtual classroom provision and video streaming service)
While at the University I have gained a City and Guilds PTTLS qualification and an MSc in Multimedia and eLearning, both of which have given me a greater insight into the pedagogical process and helped me to understand where technology can be applied to enhance the process while at the same time recognising their limitations and appropriateness. In 2013, I gained industry accreditation by obtaining Certified Membership of the Association of Learning Technolgies.
I have presented papers at a number of E-Learning conferences
Social Networking for Pre-Induction
Using Screencasts in a Classroom Environment
ePortfolios for Originalty Checking, Formative Feedback and Student Engagement.
While I enjoy my current role, my career aspirations are to move further into the delivery of training and the development of online resources with a view to having more direct contact with students studying at the University.
I have worked closely with Andy for the last five years and together we are responsible for the development and delivery of the University’s staff development training courses on learning technologies. In addition Andy is responsible for looking after the technical side of the University’s learning technology tools including Blackboard, streaming software, webinar software and ePortfolio solutions.
Andy has always had a positive can-do attitude to this work, and his excellent teaching skills teamed with his technical knowledge provide an ideal combination of skills for this type of work.
Andy has excellent communication skills, he is a confident presenter and trainer and has a talent of explaining technical issues to non-technical users. He is enthusiastic in his delivery of training courses, and uses collaborative teaching approaches to engage all the staff in the session. His knowledge of teaching and learning has increased considerably during the last five years, partly by undertaking the MSc in Multimedia and eLearning and partly through his engagement with academic staff and pedagogic conferences and events.
Andy has also combined his technical know-how with his knowledge of teaching and learning to produce several screencast guides and how-to guides as resources for staff, and has led a group to re-design and organise a web-based learning technology resource for staff.
Andy has been instrumental in the University purchasing the Adobe Connect webinar tool, by leading an evaluation into competing technologies and writing a report recommending its purchase.
He has also undertaken a similar evaluation of the Blackboard Mobile app which has involved liaising with Blackboard personnel to come into the University to do a demonstration as well as taking the time to speak to colleagues in other institutions to get their feedback on the app.
In summary Andy has excellent communication skills, technical ability and understanding of teaching and learning.
Dr Sue Folley BSc (Hons) PGCE MSc FHEA EdD
Academic Development Advisor – Learning Technologies
Computing & Library Services