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Staff Development for eLearning: Innovation, cultural and organisational change - Part One

Staff Development for eLearning: Innovation, cultural and organisational change   (download full article)


Northumbria University ’s approach to their implementation of eLearning was to look at models of innovation from the business world and apply a Total Quality Management approach, whilst at the same time developing the education models of a learning organisation to encourage adoption.

During the period from 2001 to September 2004 Northumbria University has gradually implemented an enterprise wide, integrated virtually learning environment. This has been supported by a very strategic staff development and adoption programme. Now some four years on the implementation of the VLE is perceived as a huge success.  Northumbria has a university wide VLE, with peaks of 800 user log-ins per hour, 2500 plus live modules/courses and more than 32000 students (plus approximately 960 academics and 340 non-academics) on live courses.  Half of these students have used Blackboard since week 1.  Northumbria University, its staff, and students are starting to enjoy economies of scale.  The successful implementation and the expertise built up in this process have also created wider benefits.

We are now in the process of moving to the Bb LCMS, undertaking a trial with selected staff and students with the aim of rolling the LCMS (Learning Content Management System) out University wide for semester 2 this academic year (2004/5)

When we start to look at models of adoption in the corporate world, the Rogers (1999) Northumbria took this five stage approach, combining the staff development with an educational six stage model represented by Somekh (1998).

Author: Malcolm Bell, Wendy Bell

10 October 2004

VLE: Blackboard



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