Wider Context

Candidates should demonstrate their awareness of and engagement with wider issues that inform their practice. This should include evidence of:
– understanding and engaging with legislation, policies and standards
– policy

Legal

During my first couple of years in medicine I developed a consent form for the use of digital material in our online resources. This form covers staff (academic and NHS), students, patients and members of the public. The form evolved over time until its current version in 2010 as I took on board advice from video production professionals, other HE policies and examples and the GMC guidance on consent. Involvement in the Jisc/HEA Open Education Resources project also impacted on my thinking around and promotion of the need for consent especially for patients. Therefore, I currently use the forms: general, patients and patients under 16.

Around the same time as the project The GMC were in the process of updating their digital guidance (at that time fairly unhelpful) without wide consultation, however, the some of the project team members approached them to increase the consultation and I submitted our consent form as part of that.

Within all of my projects from paper based to digital, I first use my own images, next I turn to images on the Queen’s imagebank, then to Creative Commons Zero sites and if all that fails I purchase from a commercial website. Within medicine this crosses over with the consent aspect above with regards to images such as ECGs or x-rays and here I would with academic staff to ensure the images we use in this regard are both consented and copyright clear.

Policy

From an institutional perspective I ensure I am aware of any policy relevant to my work such as the Education and Website policies and the assessment policy within medicine.

As part of the HEA funded OSCE project I consulted with the subject centre team regarding a suitable data protection policy. The final policy was therefore a tailored version of that used by Newcastle University.

Within Medical Education the eLearning Academic Lead and myself wrote a Technology Enhanced Learning strategy which listed short, medium and long term actions and we identified where additional resources were required. This was written with the institution’s Education Strategy at its core and aligning to the overall university goals as well as the school.

Reflection

I became aware of the W3C web accessibility guidelines back in the early 2000s when developers in general weren’t. At the time I was tasked to ensure that all the pages produced by the company were compliant. As with many of the skills I have had to learn over the years this was self taught, using the W3C website and many others. The guiding principles have stayed with me ever since and whenever I am promoting/encouraging compliance I reiterate the benefits actually apply to all users. Paying attention to accessibly results in better usability.

Currently in the portal where possible elements are available in multiple formats, for example etalks, audio only and slides in pdf format. However, I haven’t reached the ideal situation of captioned videos instead of text transcripts, this is down to time and resources. I am working with Information Services to provide video samples to test getting captions provided by an external company.

Students frequently request documents in PowerPoint, pptx, format and I now have put a statement on the portal explaining why pdf is the default format. This year in response to this request I met up with a student to go over how to annotate and the benefits of this method over typing in the notes section underneath a slide. From this I will write a student blog post covering the gains and a how to for the new academic year.

The issue of copyright is one that is the most difficult to deal with on a large scale with both staff and students. When I approach the question of copyright the reply is invariably ‘but it is free on the Internet’ or ‘it doesn’t say you can’t use it’. Over time I have ensured that the summer student projects adhere to copyright and those that I am directly involved in. This year I plan to include copyright within my ‘More than bullet points’ series, introduced in the first, Pecha Kucha.

Policy

During ALTc this year several talks touched on the difficulties around ‘getting into the room’ where discussions take place within the institution setting. During 2016 I started to open my viewpoint by entering online rooms on a national level instead of trying to get into local rooms.

Firstly, I joined ALT as an individual member which allowed me into member conversations (I have learned a lot from these in a short time already). I was able to share our consent form during one of these.

Secondly, I took part in the LSE Digital is not the Future initiative this spring. This involved giving feedback/comments on different scenarios aimed at VCs in institutions to change policy. This took place in Loomio, which I had never used before and over the couple of weeks of the discussions I learnt a lot from using it and from the wide variety of participants (coming from different perspectives).

Thirdly, I took part in the Jisc research project, #OLsuccess with Helen Beetham and Lou McGill. I gave feedback from my experiences of being an online learner on Twitter, in the discussion forum and during a #LTHEchat discussion. The report was launched at the ALTc conference in 2016. In some respects I was slightly reticent to join in feeling that as an online learner I an in an incredibly privileged situation as an Educational Technologist. I know the technology and more importantly I am not scared or put off by the need to learn new technologies as well as being motivated to learn and push myself in my field. However, I pushed myself and was glad as I again learnt lots from the experience which hopefully I will be able to put into practice for future online learners.

Evidence

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  • GMC consultation (email 12.10.09) – displayed below

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  • Queen’s University elearning courses – displayed below

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