I’ve some 20 years experience in IT development in UK Higher Education, specifically developing and design software, websites, web applications and databases to support the use of technology in learning and teaching (‘e-learning’).
From September 2003 to August 2012, I was a Media Developer/Learning Technologist at the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Physiotherapy at the University of Nottingham. My main responsibilities were:
- managing the production of multimedia web-based reusable learning objects (RLOs) for Nursing and related disciplines
- website administration, design, development and programming, primarily of the SONET site and learning object repository
- database design, development and programming (using mySQL/PHP) primarily for RLO repository purposes
- working with colleagues in the School, particularly teachers, to ’embed’ RLOs into their teaching, and to support them in authoring RLO content
- supporting teaching colleagues in using the institutional VLE (currently WebCT, moving to Moodle in 2012)
- evaluating, collating and producing Open Educational Resources and associated tools and methods. This also involves maintaining a website on OER for healthcare.
- depositing RLOs in learning object repositories, and tagging them with appropriate metadata schemas (such as Dublin Core and UK LOM Core)
Although I’m a more technical Learning Technologist than is currently standard for this profession, I do have a good grasp of pedagogical issues and this informs much of my technical work, particularly e-learning development.
From 1992 to 2002 I worked at the Language Institute at the University of Hull, on an alphabetti-spaghetti range of fixed-term e-learning projects mostly involved in developing Computer-Aided Language Learning (CALL). The last project I worked for was the Computers in Teaching Initiative Centre for Modern Languages (CTICML), which morphed into the LTSN Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) which was eventually moved in its entirety to Southampton University, leading to loss of funding and redundancy.
It was during this period that I developed a strong interest in languages, and learnt Italian to an advanced level, as well as taking on administration of the website of the European Computer-Aided Language Learning (EUROCALL) association, which I continue to carry out in my personal time on a pro bono basis. I also continue to maintain the Internet Resources for Language Teachers and Learners collection which was started back in 1994.
Software development was mostly with the now ancient proprietary environment Asymetrix Toolbook, which has become a niche ‘high-value’ (aka very expensive) corporate training tool. From the late 90s I was involved in website and web applications development.