Your institution's strategies may identify organisational-wide visions or reflect departmental goals. Online learning could be incorporated in several institutional strategies including:
- Learning, teaching and assessment
- Relationship management
- Student retention and success
- Widening participation
- Flexible learning
- Information strategies
- IT strategies
- Educational technologies
- Digital literacies
- Managing change.
Focussed online learning strategy
Your institution may have already developed a formal online learning strategy through the process of creating a coherent business case.
There is a case to be made for developing a specific online learning strategy. It can serve as a signal to staff that this is a significant and valued activity for your institution or a particular subject area.
Specific online learning strategies for particular subject areas can help to reflect changes in the profession or industry that graduates hope to enter, and how these might impact on the education of future professionals.
However, when online learning reaches an institution-wide scale and becomes a part of mainstream activities, it may be better incorporated into existing strategies.
Resources and examples
Liverpool Hope University
Liverpool Hope University developed an interesting way to reflect the needs of all stakeholders by using crowd-sourcing to develop a university strategy.
This approach to creating a new learning, teaching and enhancement strategy created a 'university conversation' through multiple local interactions between staff and students. Including the student voice offers a powerful mechanism to respond to real and perceived needs and to balance provision against expectations.
Strategic online learning response examples
Examples of strategic responses to a variety of areas related to online learning include:
- Developing digital literacies – a cross-institutional approach (University of Liverpool)
- Graduate attributes and curriculum redesign (Oxford Brookes University)
- Expert professional staff support the student experience (Manchester Metropolitan University)
- Developing staff, developing courses, developing students (Sheffield Hallam University)
- Incoming student surveys – big data, local responses (University of Glasgow)
- Supporting informed implementation and use of technology in learning (Plumpton College, FE Sussex and 13 other partners)
- Mastering the governance of technology (The Heart of Worcestershire College)
- Developing digital learning at Prospects College for Advanced Technology (Prospects College for Advanced Technology)
- Technology – a fundamental aspect of teaching, learning and assessment (Reading College)
- Creating a culture shift at Blackburn College (Blackburn College)
- Opening up opportunities for learning with digital technologies (Lewisham Southwark College)
- Making it happen, embedding digital technologies in curriculum activities (South Eastern Regional College)
- Reaping the benefits of reliable systems and flexible support (Chichester College)
Our guide to enhancing the student digital experience offers information to support institutions to develop digital environments.
It suggests ways to meet students’ expectations and help them to progress to higher study and employment, including BYOD policies.
|Barriers||What you can do|
Existing institutional and departmental strategies do not join up
|Use online learning as an opportunity to revisit all strategies and policies|
|Change outdated strategies and use this as an opportunity to engage and inform all staff|
|Embed online learning in institutional strategies and policies|
|Staff reluctance to engage with or adopt online learning||Include online learning in strategy and policy documents to give a clear signal that online learning is valued|
|Use changes to strategy to highlight changes in institutional vision to staff|