The new National Forum ‘Guide to Developing Enabling Policies for Digital and Open Teaching and Learning’ is published today. The guide is designed to support the development of institutional policies for digital and open teaching and learning, including online, blended and face-to-face modes of learning. The short but informative guide includes an updated definition of enabling policies, a five-step guide to developing enabling policies, case studies and example policies from Irish and international higher education institutions, and additional resources.
The guide is based on wide consultation across the Irish higher education sector which took place over the past two years, building on existing knowledge and taking into account the context of remote/online teaching and learning. Since March 2020, there has been a recognition that many institutional policies for online teaching, learning and assessment did not sufficiently meet the needs of students, staff and institutions, and/or that the necessary policies did not exist in areas such as Blended and Online Learning, Lecture Recording, Virtual Classrooms, Digital Assessment, Open Educational Resources and more.
Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) Survey findings in 2019 found that many students and staff did not feel involved in decision-making processes regarding digital services at their institutions: just 27% of students and 14% of staff who teach agreed that they had opportunities to be involved in decisions about digital services at their institutions.
Institutional policy-making can, and should, engage individuals across the organisation. The Guide to Developing Enabling Policies for Digital and Open Teaching and Learning outlines a five-step process to ensure that policy-making is meaningful, inclusive, collaborative and intentionally equitable. The guide is designed for all who are involved in developing digital, open and/or T&L policies, as well as those who would like to be involved in the consultation and/or development of such policies, policy briefs, related procedures or guidelines – i.e. all higher education staff and students.
We are happy to share this valuable resource for the sector, with thanks to all who contributed. The link to the guide is available here.