Diana Laurillard, head of the Government's e-learning strategy unit, called on academics at the Higher Education Academy annual conference last week to ensure the panels for the next research assessment exercise recognised the importance of teaching and learning online.
She told delegates to respond to the Higher Education Funding Council for England's consultation on the criteria for the 2008 RAE, due out on July 16.
The Department for Education and Skills is organising two meetings in July and August to discuss the e-learning process in relation to the RAE.
"This is an opportunity to feed back what we think about this. It has to be based on good analysis and data on the impact e-learning has had," she told delegates.
In her keynote speech, Professor Laurillard, who is on secondment from the Open University, said the Government's e-learning strategy should "open up an accessible collaborative system and improve efficiency and effectiveness. This is now a really important facility for us to harness."
The conference held seminars that addressed key issues in teaching and learning in higher education. The topics included e-learning, blended learning and problem-based learning, improving student retention, personal development plans for students and staff, evaluating quality and studies of student experiences.