E-teaching as companion to e-learning; supporting digital pedagogies and practice in higher education


  • Sue Watling University of Hull




Education, technology enhanced learning, digital pedagogy, VLE, e-teaching


This paper seeks to shed light on the hitherto under-researched area of the relationships academics have with their VLE, in particular with regard to reluctance or resistance to move from face-to-face to online practice. While the sector has invested into inquiry around the aspirations and motivations of the digital student (JISC, 2009), the day-to-day digital interactions of staff who teach and support learning, in particular those without technology expertise or natural digital inclinations, have largely gone unrecorded. This paper offers some preliminary findings of a three year action research project investigating attitudes towards virtual learning though a teacher-education lens rather than a traditional technology-training one. Findings have been converted into advice for academics looking to make the shift from face-to-face to e-teaching practice and can be usefully positioned alongside what is already known about the student experience of e-learning. 

Author Biography

Sue Watling, University of Hull

Academic Advisor for Technology Enhanced Learning Learning Enhancement and Academic Practice Directorate


Anderson, P. (2007) ‘What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education.’ Jisc. Available at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/techwatch/tsw0701b (Accessed: 22 August 2015).

Bell, M. and Bell, W. (2005) ‘It’s installed… now get on with it! Looking beyond the software to the cultural change.’ British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(4), 643-656.

Bennett, S. and Oliver, M. (2011) ‘Talking back to theory: the missed opportunities in learning technology research.’ Research in Learning Technology, 19(3), 179-189. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21567069.2011.624997 (Accessed: 29 July 2015).

Clegg, S., Hudson, A. and Steel, J. (2003) ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes: Globalisation and e-learning in Higher Education.’ British Journal of Sociology of Education, 24(1),39-53. DOI: 10.1080/01425690301914

Conole, G. (2004) ‘E-Learning: The Hype and the Reality.’ Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 11. Available at: http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/2004/12/ (Accessed: 29 July 2015).

Ecclesfield, N., Rebbeck, G. and Garnett, F. (2012) 'The case of the curious and the confident – the untold story of changing teacher attitudes to e-learning in the future education sector.’ Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching at the University of Greenwich, 5, 45-56. Available at: https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/compass/article/viewFile/71/107 (Accessed: 12 August 2015).

Feenberg, A. (2011) ‘Agency and Citizenship in a Technological Society.’ Presentation to the IT University of Copenhagen. Available at: http://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/copen5-1.pdf (Accessed: 12 August 2015).

Freisen, N. (2008) ‘Theory: Ideology Critique and the Myths of E-Learning.’ Ubiquity, Vol 2008, Issue June, Article No. 2. ACM, New York. Available at: http://ubiquity.acm.org/article.cfm?id=1386860 (Accessed 11 April 2016).

Garrison, R. (2011) E-Learning in the 21st Century: A Framework for Research and Practice. Second Edition. London: Routledge.

Goodyear, P., Salmon, G., Spector, M., Steeples, C. and

Tickner, S. (2001) ‘Competencies for Online Teaching: a special report.’ Educational Technology, Research and Development, 49(1), 65-72.

Gordon, N. (2014) Flexible Pedagogies. Technology Enhanced Learning. York: Higher Education Academy.

Gunn, C. and Steele, C. (2012) ‘Linking theory to practice in learning technology research.’ Research in Learning Technology 2012, 20(1), 14.

Healey, M., Flint, A. and Harrington, K. (2014) Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York: Higher Education Academy.

Heirdsfield, A., Walker, S., Tambyah, M. and Beutel, D. (2011) ‘Blackboard As An Online Learning Environment: What Do Teacher Education Students And Staff Think?’ Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(7).

Jisc (2009) ‘Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World.’ Jisc. Available at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/heweb20rptv1.pdf (Accessed: 28 July 2015).

Jisc (2013) ‘Enable your staff to work with digital technologies.’ Jisc. Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/enable-your-staff-to-work-with-digital-technologies (Accessed: 28 July 2015).

Jisc (2015) ‘Building digital capability.’ Jisc. Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/building-digital-capability (Accessed: 28 July 2015).

Killen, C. and Chatterton, P. (2015) ‘Developing successful student-staff partnerships.’ Jisc Change Agents Network. Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/full-guide/developing-successful-student-staff-partnerships (Accessed: 11 April 2016).

Laurillard, D. (2001) Rethinking University Teaching: A Conversational Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies. London: Routledge.

Lisewski, B. (2004) ‘Implementing a learning technology strategy: top-down strategy meets bottom-up culture.’ Research in Learning Technology, 12(2), 175-188.

NCIHE (1997) Higher education in the learning society. Report of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education: ‘The Dearing Report’. Norwich: HMSO.

Masterman, E. and Shuyska, J. A. (2010) ‘Digitally mastered? Technology and transition in the experience of taught postgraduate students.’ Learning, Media and Technology, 37(4), 2012.

Reeves, T., McKenney, S. and Herrington, J. (2011) ‘Publishing and perishing: The critical importance of educational design research.’ Australasian Journal of

Educational Technology, 27(1), 55-65. Available at: http://ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet27/reeves.html Accessed: 28 July 2015).

Säljö, R. (2010) ‘Digital tools and challenges to institutional traditions of learning: technologies, social memory and the performative nature of learning.’ Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26, 53-64.

Salmon, G. (2011) E-moderating, the key to online teaching and learning. 3rd edition. London: Routledge.

Salmon, G. (2013) E-tivities , the key to active online learning. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.

Selwyn, N. (2007) ‘The use of computer technology in university teaching and learning: a critical perspective.’ Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23, 83-94.

Selwyn, N. (2014) Distrusting Educational Technology. London: Routledge.

Sheward, L. and Hamilton, L. (2012) ‘Designing and implementing an online PG Cert TLHE.’ Educational Development, 13(1), 3-6. Available at: http://www.seda.ac.uk/resources/files/publications_128_Ed%20Devs%2013.1%20v4%20FINAL.pdf (Accessed: 28 July 2015).

Watling, S. (2009) ‘Technology-Enhanced Learning: A New Digital Divide?’ In: Bell, L., Stevenson, H. and Neary, M. (eds.) The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience. London: Continuum.

Watling, S. (2015) Doctoral research: unpublished research data.