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David Lefevre

(Tanaka Business School)
shares his experiences of learning technologies

Tanaka Business SchoolDavid Lefevre is a senior learning technologist at the Tanaka Business School. He advises management and individual academic staff on the use of learning technologies and helps develop online course components. His role embodies just how much teaching methods have developed over the years. David, who is also a qualified teacher, started to use learning technologies while working as a language teacher at the British Council in 1996 and continued to use technology while teaching is Imperial’s Humanities department.
Photo right: Tanaka Business School

Learning technology is the application of technology for the enhancement of teaching, learning and assessment and can include computer-based learning, multimedia materials and the use of networks and communications systems to support learning.

David explained its role at the College: “Learning technologies can enhance the learning experience of all students however Imperial is facing a couple of pressing issues. Many of the students we are now trying to attract can be termed ‘digital natives’. Undergraduates now entering universities have grown up using technology and we must offer a teaching style that reflects this. In addition, we have many international students and learning technologies can used to help them overcome many of the problems faced when studying abroad.”

It isn’t as straight forward as just implementing this style of teaching however with David explaining the trepidation that some have felt about using learning technologies: “At the moment I think there is a reluctant to adopt sort of approach as people feel it will create a lot more work. In the short term, this may be the case in, however the long term picture is much more palatable. IN the long term, technologies will take away much of the administration and basic delivery leaving time for the good bits of teaching! It isn’t the case that this type of learning makes teachers redundant, it just allows time for class room interaction and dialogue.”

“My job will be very different in ten years” he added. “I am sure it will feel strange to pick up a pen in order to write anything other than your signature! Staff who are already using this technology are beginning to see how empowering it can be and we have had positive feedback from those that matter most, the students.”

David’s research interest in the role of technology in the process of learning has led to the undertaking a PhD at the College entitled Cultural and language barriers to students' engagement with eLearning environments.

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  © 2007 Imperial College London

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