ACODE LTLI Conference Review

Written by Kym Schutz, Educational Technologist

In August, four staff from the LEI team took part in an intensive five-day professional development program at the ACODE Learning Technologies Leadership Institute. The aim of this event was for participants to develop a deep understanding of effective leadership in relation to technology enhanced learning in the tertiary education context.  The Institute runs every two years. The event this year was called Making the Case. Attendees from the University of Adelaide were Alex Fimeri, Colleen Ortega, Elektra Walter and Kym  Schutz.

About 50 staff from universities around Australasia came together in Mooloolaba to problem solve, share, learn and present on innovation and enhancement of educational technology in universities. We were put into teams of seven and tasked with providing and presenting a comprehensive submission for the technology requirements of a new fictitious university campus called USC, in the Gold Coast region and to complete this within the four days.

The Methodology

At the start, we were presented with details of the Making the Case scenario that included learning objectives, tasks, background resources and marking criteria that would be used to assess a group winner by the end of the five days. Daily sessions were taken up with presentations by a visiting panel of experienced higher education faculty leaders who, in their real positions, included Pro Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer and Technology Director roles. Each of the presenters acted out roles as members of the USC decision-making committee that would assess our group submissions on the technology mix that should be used in this proposed Institution.

The Factors to Consider

As part of our submission, we were required to consider factors such as, staying true to the principles of enhanced student learning, quality of faculty work-life balance, affordable cost per student, effective and innovative use of learning technologies and realistic expectations for the institution. At the same time, we were encouraged to be creative and particularly in relation to any assumptions we made.

The Final Presentations

The final day consisted of each group doing a 10-minute presentation and submission of a Wiki that required groups to address a strict set of business case headings. The presentations represented four days of intensive groupwork in which team members were able to bring their own experiences and to develop leadership skills through analysing, synthesising and challenging information and ideas from a wide range of perspectives.

What we learnt from this ACODE program

One of our LEI team, Elektra, commented:

Although the project groups didn’t include more than one person from the same institution, attending with colleagues from LEI was a great opportunity to develop shared language, thinking and experiences which we can build on together back at UofA….

In summary, ACODE LTLI proved to be a great professional development opportunity in which participants were able to learn and share many new ideas about technology, change, leadership, networking, negotiating and working with senior faculty members from other universities.

If you would like to know more about ACODE or how the LEI Team can help you, please email, or feel free to drop by – The Learning Cog, Kenneth Wills.

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