Distance Learning Hub Manager Job Description
Job Purpose-Distance Learning Hub Manager Job Description
The Distance Learning Hub Manager will provide specialist advice, direction and advocacy to energise, support and influence the development of a portfolio of distance learning programmes.
They will manage the Distance Learning Hub, which has been established to provide advice, guidance and practical assistance to enable academic colleagues to produce engaging online programmes for students education online and at a distance.
This includes both accredited programmes and less formal short courses, including those designed to be taken by oncampus students.
The Distance Learning Hub Manager will manage the pipeline of online distance courses, providing management information and evaluation to senior stakeholders to
enable effective strategic steering of the development of Online Distance Learning at the organisation.
Key Responsibilities-Distance Learning Hub Manager Job Description
Analysis, Reporting and Documentation
• Liaise with faculties to identify needs and support academic planning for distance learning initiatives on a medium-term timescale (ie 1-3 years) and produce reports to support the evaluation of large-scale initiatives, identifying and capturing successes and lessons learned.
• Analyse complex service problems, applying initiative and expertise to devise innovative and effective solutions to encourage more widespread use of online education.
Customer Services & Support
• Support and lead the development of a portfolio of distance learning programmes to better meet user and strategic requirements, co-ordinating and/ or designing innovative solutions where the answer is not obvious or the problem is complex or longstanding, to maximise service quality, efficiency, continuity, and opportunities for educational enrichment.
• Act as specialist advisor regarding the design, development and delivery of online distance learning programmes, identifying requirements, assessing feasibility and resource requirements, and evaluating options to improve learning, teaching
and the student experience.
• Ensure a strong enabling and customer service ethos within the team, which focusses on the importance of the user experience of core digital education systems, tools, and practices.
• Interpret policy, legislation, regulations, and national codes of practice that relate to online education, advising on the implications of non-compliance, anticipating, and applying any necessary changes in area of responsibility to ensure robust, excellent service standards are maintained.
Planning & Organising
• Facilitate and contribute to strategic planning, review and change activity, particularly around the development of a portfolio of distance learning courses.
• Lead the planning of the Distance Learning Hub annual work plan and longer term (1-3 year) direction, undertaking risk assessment and evaluation activities in order to take an evidence based approach to meeting the strategic aims in distance learning.
• Contribute to the planning of DEO, BILT and other units which support the development, approval, running and recording of distance learning courses and the student online and distance learning experience, acting as an advocate for the needs of those who develop, support, teach and study on distance learning programmes.
• Plan, develop and deliver a range of professional development activities and online materials to support academic colleagues and relevant professional services colleagues in their understanding and effective use of digital approaches for distance learning
• Lead and coordinate projects and chair project groups as required, acting as an advocate and champion for distance learning.
• Encourage and engage in a cross-functional approach to promoting and supporting online distance learning and teaching approaches in education by building relationships with academic and professional services colleagues to advise on effective use, influencing, and responding positively to queries and concerns.
• Establish relevant communities and communication channels to enable dialogue, feedback and gathering of information to ensure that the current needs of staff and students as they relate to core or new tools, services and practices are met, and students are engaged in shaping service provision.
• Manage and develop relationships with relevant account managers and other key external staff.
• Manage the process of decision-making to ensure systems and service delivery and
developments are delivered in a timely fashion, meet articulated requirements, fit with the academic cycle, and that any constraints are identified in relation to such implementations, and risks managed.
• Influence and shape policy development though advising on the impact of policy change on large-scale digital education tools and practices, and on the development, delivery and support of distance learning.
• Resolve complex issues and queries regarding the core digital education portfolio of tools, services, and practices, and educational administration and planning processes, critically evaluating diverse and complex information and data, to develop, implement and evaluate innovative solutions.
• Actively monitor trends and developments in the development and support of online
distance education, and the digital education tools used to deliver that education, apply knowledge and contribute innovative solutions to problems.
• Develop and apply knowledge of current practice in technology-enhanced learning, online education and educational enrichment using technology through professional development activities, such as conference attendance and presentations and internal/external networking.
• Seek to improve the professional capability and expertise of the team through the
implementation of appropriate development interventions, including the championing of professional standards.
• Undertake horizon scanning to maintain awareness of sector developments in relation to use of online distance education and related procedures and policies, identifying
opportunities for improvement and implementing these changes where appropriate.
• Responsible for the management of staff within the Distance Learning Hub, with
responsibility for the deployment, recruitment, development, and performance
management of staff to ensure the successful delivery of our distance learning offer to
• Monitor performance and take appropriate corrective action to ensure performance
standards are consistently met.
• Manage common staff welfare issues (e.g. disciplinary or other performance issues) that are covered by documented procedures, recognising when the matter should be referred to someone else or advice on how to respond obtained.
• Be a member of the Leadership Team within the division.
Knowledge Skills Experience Education-Distance Learning Hub Manager Job Description
• Substantial experience of planning, designing, developing and implementing online distance education, working in close collaboration with academic and professional services colleagues.
• Expertise in learning design and online course design, and in estimation of resources and timescales required for online course creation and support
• Experience of using co-design and evidence-based approaches to develop and enhance the student experience of digital learning and assessment.
• Detailed knowledge and understanding of digital education systems/services and their varied applications; advanced technical and pedagogical expertise.
• Experience in critically evaluating learning technology tools.
• Knowledge of cross-sector practices and trends in respect of online distance education
• The ability to manage a complex portfolio of work and to prioritise accordingly to satisfy internal and external demands.
• Experience of using initiative and creativity to resolve problems and unblock issues in
• Demonstrated planning and organisational skills, including project management experience.
• Experience in monitoring and evaluating projects or services and producing management reports for senior stakeholders
• Knowledge of the UK and international online distance learning market and experience of commissioning and interpreting market intelligence
• Experience of working in educational research projects.
• Experience of working closely with business functions such as Planning, Recruitment and Admissions, Academic Quality, Student Records and Educational Administration
• Experience of contributing to professional development activities in academic settings.
• Experience of working effectively with committee structures to achieve positive outcomes.
2.2 Relevant Qualifications
• A first degree or considerable, relevant, work experience gained in a series of progressively more senior roles
• Post Graduate qualification in an Education-related subject and/or Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and/or Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology
2.3 Communication and Interpersonal Skills
• High degree of written and oral fluency.
• Excellent communication strategies, which demonstrate tact and diplomacy and include the ability to negotiate and convey often complex information to suit the needs of different audiences.
• Ability to present, pitch, and run workshops and training events with credibility and
• Excellent interpersonal skills and the desire to work collaboratively with academic and professional services colleagues.
• The ability to influence others constructively and work collaboratively.
• Ability to analyse, interpret and present data
• Highly organised
• Ability to network externally.
2.4 Additional Criteria
• Proven analytical and problem-solving capability.
• Capacity to manage others within team, motivating and developing them, and managing performance.
• Financial skills sufficient to manage and control budgets.