The institutional perspective

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Students standing in front of high desks to access IT.
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Supporting learners

The vision and the technologies used by the institution have to be based on the needs and requirements of learners - in fact recognition of the importance of this element underpins all planning decisions. Consider how the following will impact on your institution's plans for e-learning:

Changing pedagogies. Institutions have to be responsive to changing pedagogies which have increasingly focused on situative, exploratory and social forms of learning. Managers have to determine whether the potential of mobile and wireless learning has been recognised and exploited to support the changing lifestyles and individual needs of learners. Its wider use will need to be reflected in the design and management of learning accommodation.
Legal obligations. Legislation regarding equal opportunities and accessibility of learning activities for all learners will need to be addressed in plans to implement mobile and wireless learning.
Staff development. To embed new technologies 'just-in-time' and 'just-in-case' staff development opportunities are required to enable practitioners to support learners effectively. However, it is expected that wider personal and social use of handhelds will reduce training needs and costs over time.

An example

A case study, Designing flexible learning spacesfrom Northumbria University reveals how changes in pedagogy and learner expectations have increased demand for hybrid learning space design, transforming a traditional university library into a responsive and flexible learning environment. This case study is also available on video.