When it became clear last month that universities and the wider education community had to quickly move all their teaching online then SEDA knew it had a responsibility to provide leadership and support.
Those frantic and disorientating early weeks were often called” a transition period”. In reality there was little that was transitionary about it. Our members and the sector were suddenly required to accomplish in a couple of weeks what would normally take months.
The sector’s priorities were to ensure that students could keep learning and teachers keep teaching whilst changing assessments to on-line equivalents. The knowledge and expertise of educational developers and learning technologists were needed as never before. Individuals and teams worked tirelessly to create effective systems, resources, support, and develop guidance for new types of assessment. So, RESPECT to you all.
SEDA has always prided itself on providing safe spaces where people can develop their thinking and ideas about teaching and learning whilst initiating positive change. It is worth noting that we engage not only with teaching and learning communities in the UK but internationally as well; something which strengthens and broadens our base and reach.
From the onset of the COVID – 19 crisis SEDA made a significant contribution in the following ways:
- A Web-resource, for nearly 30 years SEDA has been a shaper of thought and an initiator of action in staff and educational development. As part of this we have created an editable Google documentin which we are collating links to existing practical resources. The document is fully editable, without the need for a Google account, we aim to keep these this resource updated. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
- The SEDA JISCMail list has over 1800 members and is free to join ( see our home page) . Since the start of the crisis it has been an active, inspiring, settling, and inclusive space to exchange ideas, manage change and solve problems solve during these challenging times. It has been described as ‘a life-line’.
Sadly, we were unable to hold our SEDA Spring Conference in April 2020. We have Instead postponed it until 15/16 December 2020 when we hope to see as many of you as possible at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow. For those unable to join us in person our Conference and Events Committee are looking at how we might stream some elements of it.
We are currently exploring how we can host webinars with the first one looking at ‘Where do we go from here?’ now that institutions have got their emergency measures in place. So, watch out for it being advertised on the website and via SEDA JISCMail list.
Along with everyone else our office staff are working remotely from home and doing an amazing job. It is business as usual for our Co-Chairs, Executive and our many Committees who hold meetings on-line and are as productive and committed to the SEDA values and mission as ever. We have managed to set up temporary online access for our members to the various publications that they would usually receive in hard copy. Professional recognition opportunities, SEDA Fellowships, Research & Scholarship, Publications, Projects – these are all still happening, and they will not stop albeit their happening in different ways and formats. SEDA recently announced the 2020 recipients of our SEDA Research and Evaluation Small Grants. It is worth noting that, apart from approximately 2 FTE administrators, we are all volunteers. Many of us undertake this work whilst juggling significant responsibilities at work and home.
Nothing about our current situation is easy, but it does present an opportunity for SEDA to explore new ways of working and provide experience that will help us all to re-imagine our future.
So, thanks for your support, do keep in touch. SEDA is weathering the storm, we are doing good.
Head of Academic Development
Warsash School of Maritime Science & Engineering ,Solent University