Had a very useful meeting in University of Bolton with colleagues intent on developing a community of research – the diagram illustrates our joint efforts to come to terms with this idea, but it does not clarify the concern I have, which is to be confident who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ – I believe to have a conversation that supports learning, you have to feel ‘safe’ with your audience to take risks with ideas. This is exacerbated when you are online, since the audience may be unclear or grow later to include people your are not so sure about!
IEC houses three major projects:
• the JISC Innovation Support Centre for Educational Technology & Interoperability Studies (CETIS);
• the Inter-Disciplinary Inquiry-Based Learning project creating innovative higher degree frameworks (IDIBL);
• the TenCompetence European research project developing a lifelong competence development infrastructure for Europe;
I work on the IDIBL project with Stephen Powell and Mark Johnson – an enormous pleasure to refine and improve the Ultraversity model we created in Ultralab at Anglia Ruskin University in 2003 and which is still running. The model is of work-focussed action inquiry as a means to learning, supported by colleagues, online community, facilitators and experts.
After IEC’s success in the recent Research Assessment Exercise, we are able to ramp up our activity in this area and are looking to extend our research group in IEC to focus on the following topics:
• systematic institutional transformation;
• organisational improvement;
• inquiry-based learning;
• learning with technology;
• interoperability and standards;
• learning design;
• assessment and portfolios;
• lifelong competencies.
Key features of the learning experience for new members of the research group are:
• improvement in current work context as the focus for study which enables work full time and study full time;
• completion of Masters in 15 months, PhD in three years;
• study online with no need for attendance;
• learning together as an online community with access to IEC experts;
• assessment to fit creative and work expertise.
A competitive bursary scheme for PhD will help lower the costs for successful applicants.
If you feel that you fit the bill, then we would be delighted to to discuss further – mail me at r.millwood [at] bolton.ac.uk or call me on +44 779 055 8641
Almost five years to the day that Ultraversity was validated at Anglia Ruskin University, we have received conditional approval for a new scheme based on the same philosophies of learner-centred, work-focussed, community-supported, action-inquiry and innovative assessment.
This IDIBL course framework validated at the University of Bolton is more ambitious in scope, more refined in character and draws fresh inspiration from the organisational thinking from its home in the Institute for Educational Cybernetics.
We can now begin to recruit in earnest for a Masters course in ‘Learning with Technology’ and follow it up with further courses in Regeneration & Sustainable Communities, Chronic Healthcare and other societal thematic problems which need active and vibrant attention.
In each case the proposals will be relatively cost-effective to approve by basing their pedagogy and organisation on our IDIBL framework:
I have been speaking on the issues surrounding Social Software in learning here at the Heads of eLearning Forum meeting in Coventry.
Here are my slides as a pdf
Shirley asks about reading:
- What prompts students to read more relevant material?
- Is there sufficient emphasis on appropriate wider reading in the module resources?
- Are there sufficient opportunities for students to discuss their reading?
- How can students make better use of libraries, both on and off line?
- Is there a need for more help on assessing the credibility of reading material?
I would add:
- How can students share the task of assessing the importance of an article?
- How can students tackle the academic style and cultural background of articles?
I’m a strong believer in creating reading groups and structuring the responsibilities so that students take turns in presenting their analysis of articles and being critical friends to each other – a simple, but effective teaching organisation, which soon lifts mutual capability.
Loads of enjoyable discursive sessions here, but I enjoyed Scott Wilson’s workshop ‘Co-ordination and Control of Business Processes’ most of all. We discussed which higher education processes could respond to development in the light of technology developments. Our group’s diagram, although untidy led to a neat table of processes we felt could benefit from development:
|Process||Driver||Impact||Readiness for change||Interventions|
|1 Peer learning matching||Learning productivity||Better results, fulfilment||Good||As 4 below|
|2 Teaching||workload||move effort from presentation to facilitation, formative assessment||Medium||Business process concepts as 4 below|
|3 Marking / assessment||Discomfort, hard work, fairness||Lower costs, reliable results, happier staff||Low||Systems of peer ranking|
|4 Environmental Audit||Environmentalism||Planet saved||Good||Online support|
|5 Learn(ing)ed Societies, (Journals, peer-review, inter-institutional repositirys, joint bids||Need for enhancement of academic society||Better education||Good||Social software, intentional communities of practice, business process enabled|