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The University of Nottingham International College moved the delivery of its pathway programmes online from March to August 2020, and since September 2020 has offered flexible learning modes for students wishing to study either on campus or online from their home country. The creation of engaging activities for online learners, which encourage them to actively collaborate and participate has been led by a group of digitally confident and curious tutors, coined by Rogers (2003) as ‘early adopters’. Their eagerness to explore and develop new activities, and in turn share these and support their peers in using them, has led to a significant general increase in digital literacy among the team. In July 2020, these tutors volunteered to co-host a ‘TEL Talks’ CPD event where various technologies were demonstrated and discussed by past and present teaching staff. Holding an online event enabled recordings and resources to be presented on an online repository, which is available as a reference point for tutors wishing to review or explore new learning technologies.
Successes in the increased use of learning technologies in online classes have been due to creating an environment where all tutors can ask each other for help and offer advice, and providing CPD opportunities to develop their skills as digital practitioners, and to encourage and recognise tutors who are in a position to showcase their skills and inspire others.
After the shift to online teaching and learning in 2020, it is clear that in some form, it is here to stay. This ‘on-the-horizon’ piece will reflect on how our early adopters have been resourced and encouraged, the impact they have had and how to continue staff development moving forward.
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