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This paper highlights a selection of JISC and Higher Education Academy resources and activities relevant to the student learning experience. While this is not a comprehensive guide it provides an overview of the resources available. Further information can be found using the search facility on the Academy and JISC websites.

Student learning experience resources

JISC and the Higher Education Academy are collaborating to implement the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) e-Learning Strategy and 2009 UK policy update statement. The collaboration comprises the two organisations and their networks, including JISC’s Services and Regional Support Centres and Academy Subject Centres. One of the aims of the collaboration is to improve access to the wealth of relevant resources produced and funded by JISC and the Academy, and to highlight those of particular interest to practitioners working in further and higher education. This overview paper (with supporting web pages) is one of a series of four on the themes of Assessment, Supporting Academic StaffWork-Related Learning and The Student Learning Experience.

This paper highlights a selection of JISC and Higher Education Academy resources and activities relevant to the student learning experience. While this is not a comprehensive guide it provides an overview of the resources available. Further information can be found using the search facility on the Academy and JISC websites.

The last decade has seen extensive changes in the relationship that students entering further and higher education have with their institutions, their education and the technologies that support their education.

Today’s learners are typically very familiar with computer technology, take the internet for granted and expect a much greater degree of interactivity and ownership in their courses. The ubiquity of Google and Wikipedia challenges the traditional rigours of academic trust and provenance, as well as the complex tools provided by library and information services.

JISC and the Academy have funded a wide range of work to investigate these changes and the implications that they are having for institutions, teachers, technologists and learners.

General resources

In Their Own Words contains a range of resources that introduce learners’ experiences, beliefs and motivations in relation to e-learning. These can be used in your institution or organisation in different ways – for example, to open up discussion or support further research into the learner’s perspective on e-learning.

Great Expectations of ICT has some interesting analysis of how a cohort of students expected university to be (with a focus on the use of Information and Communications Technology – ICT), and how they found it once they arrived.

The Academy e-Learning Research Observatory has funded a range of projects that have produced evidence in support of practice. The Observatory is now part of the wider EvidenceNet service.

The Google Generation report provides insight into the information-seeking behaviour of learners born after 1993, who have grown up with web access.

Developing Personalisation for the Information Environment (2) presents students’ views of how personalised online services might benefit them and discusses some ways of providing these based on shared services.

The Learners’ Experiences of E-Learning Phase 2 projects are looking into how learners experience and participate in technology-rich learning environments ( and

The Making Connections project used e-learning data to improve retention rates in higher education.

New technologies

The Serious Virtual Worlds report explores ‘serious’ (as opposed to leisure-based) uses of virtual worlds such as Second Life.

Web 2.0 and Social Software: An Introduction presents some of the new concepts that are becoming widely used within the education and research sectors.

What is Web 2.0? provides a more technical overview of Web 2.0, and contains a critical analysis of whether the tools live up to the hyperbole.

New practice

Implementation of Optical Fibre Communications Module in a Virtual Learning Environment looked at the use of a Virtual Learning Environment as the sole means of delivering content and most assessments to 50 students. This work was undertaken within an engineering department, but the lessons are generally applicable.

Informal Mobile Podcasting And Learning Adaptation (IMPALA) is a series of Academy-funded projects investigating the impact of podcasting on learning, and on the transition to university.

Designing Spaces for Effective Learning synthesises a range of JISC work, highlighting current thinking about the use of learning technologies in both new and refurbished spaces, and links this to prevailing pedagogic models of learning and requirements for space efficiency.

21st Century Learning and Teaching has a series of video case studies covering the development of technology-rich spaces for learning and teaching.

JISC infoNet has produced an infoKit on Effective Use of Virtual Learning Environments that includes guidance on choosing, designing and using e-assessment tools and links to useful follow-up resources.

Effective Practice with e-Portfolios explores examples of effective practice in the use of e-portfolios throughout a lifetime of learning.

Subject resources

The Academy Subject Centres are the place to look for resources and guidance tailored to a specific academic discipline. Subject Centres often fund small projects to develop new web-based resources. A small selection of resources is given below.

Transferability of e-Portfolios in Education investigated e-Portfolios for learners undertaking initial teacher education and postgraduate certificates in education, and as the foundation of future continuing professional development.

DoITPoMS used a range of ICT techniques to enhance the student learning experience within the Materials Education community, and produced a range of relevant publications and case studies.

A range of Distributed e-Learning projects looked at students’ experiences of, and attitudes towards, the use of technology in the learning and teaching of psychology.

Realising e-Learning Matters in a Bioscience Cohort reports students’ perceptions of e-learning activities early in bioscience modules; students from all three levels of undergraduate study were included.

Regional Support Centres

The 13 JISC Regional Support Centres (RSCs) offer a range of services, including brokered technical training, online and locally hosted workshops, email discussion lists and online forums, and bespoke training events. RSCs provide individual support and advice as well as web-based resources.

Further resources

This overview mentions only a few of the resources available from JISC and the Academy. We hope it will encourage readers to explore what’s available in more detail.

Academy Subject Centres

Search Academy/JISC resources for the Student Learning Experience

Documents & Multimedia

JISC and the Higher Education Academy
Publication Date
30 June 2009
Publication Type