Department's Elearning Team Recognised for Excellence

The Department's elearning development and delivery unit has won a national award for its work in the field of learning technology.

The Association for Learning Technology (ALT), the leading UK body bringing together practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in learning technology, has awarded the Department's Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL) unit the 2010 Learning Technologist of the Year team award in recognition of the group's excellent practice and outstanding achievement in the learning technology field. The award was presented at the Association's annual conference, held in Nottingham on 8 September.

The TALL unit has been at the forefront of the development of online distance learning since its formation in 1996. Since then the group has developed over 60 courses including a portfolio of highly successful online short courses for the Department's Weekly Classes Programme.

In their announcement of the 2010 awards ALT said: "The TALL team has succeeded in developing a flexible model for production of material which is efficient and effective in the Oxford environment. It now delivers in a way that reflects the Oxford tutorial model with emphasis on frequent interaction between learner and academic and on regular updating."

In addition to building and delivering high online distance courses, the TALL unit also undertakes elearning research projects and partners with academic colleagues from across the University to deliver knowledge transfer and public engagement projects requiring innovative online resources.

Recent work includes a commission from the HEFCE Online Learning Task Force to carry out a study of UK online learning and the EPSRC-funded 'Maths in the City' public engagement project, led by Professor Marcus du Sautoy, the University's Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, which starts this autumn.

ALT's publicity of the award said, "We were impressed with the balance in the team between production and delivery of online material and an active and strong research and development programme."

Sean Faughnan, Director of Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning at the Department for Continuing Education, said: "We are delighted that TALL has been recognised at a national level for the exemplary work they do at the cutting edge of this relatively new field. The TALL unit plays an essential role in the Department's work in supporting the development of over 15,000 students annually. The expertise and experience of the team has enabled us to bring courses from Continuing Education to a wide range of students outside of Oxford making a major contribution to outreach by the University."

Published 9 September 2010