Using a digital capabilities framework for CPD and community building

At Oxford Brookes the Jisc/NUS benchmarking tool has been adapted and developed as a website by Richard Francis and Mark Childs in our the first step in implementing a university-wide staff developmental programme for TEL and as the basis for community building.

The intention of using the benchmarking tool is to place student experiences as the focus of any planned intervention. For each characteristic within the tool staff can upload and access best practice, discover colleagues who have already implemented practice in that area and discuss their experiences. In parallel the website also contains information on how the tool can be used to support professional development.

It is envisaged that the website will be used as a mechanism to conduct institutional audits, and also for any staff, teaching and support, to use it as a means to self-audit, look towards where their practice could be developed, then review the supporting material for that next step. The tool has been used as the basis for a series of workshops and preliminary feedback has been obtained.

The tool will be introduced to the wider higher education community at the JISC Student Experience Experts Group. The session will demonstrate the tool and share the feedback. It is hoped that colleagues within the group will have further recommendations for improvements to the tool, suggestions for its use and perhaps collaborate on sharing best practice within it.

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About the author

Mark Childs

As Senior Lecturer in Technology Enhanced Learning, Mark’s role is to help deliver the Technology Enhanced Learning Framework across Oxford Brookes and to support OCSLD and its staff with their online presence.

Mark’s career in Higher Education has two complementary strands, as a researcher in TEL since 1997 and as an educational developer in TEL since 2003. He has worked at the University of Wolverhampton, the University of Warwick and Coventry University. Between 2011 and arriving at Brookes in 2015 Mark worked as a “freelance academic” providing educational research, consultancy and training for a range of clients including the Open University, Hewlett Packard, The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Ravensbourne College, Worcester University and the Tablet Academy where he is currently its research director.

Mark’s educational development work is informed by, and provides a goal for, his research. The core of these research interests is the use of a wide-range of synchronous communication platforms for education, including social media, videoconferencing, virtual worlds and games-based learning. His most recent work is in the area of online collaboration for design using social media and videoconferencing, where he has evaluated the learner experience of students in distributed teams in projects led by Loughborough University and by CARNet in Zagreb, Croatia. In parallel to this he has a wide-ranging interest in many other fields of research; for example, his most recent publication is a DVD with the OU on Ethiopia’s progress towards reducing child and maternal mortality.

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