Thursday September 4th 2008
Following a meeting of course authors yesterday, the member institutions, authors, reviewers and project leaders are gathered at Imperial College, London to work on content specification for the eight professional development modules that will be developed under the consortium agreement.
The topics are:
1. Introduction to learning technologies (author Caroline Haythorthwaite, Illinois)
2. Effective use of VLEs (LMS), (Sam Breton, Queen Mary Colleg, London)
3. Internet collabration tools (David Kennedy, Hong Kong University)
4. Course planning (Richard Millwood, Bolton)
5. Developing effective course content (Larry Ragan, Penn Sate)
6. Using third party content (Kevin Burden, Hull)
7. Computer aided assessment (Phil Davies, Glamorgan)
8. Teaching with learning technologies (Rhona Sharpe, Oxford Brookes)
Each course also has an appointed expert reviewer.
THe purpose of the day’s event is to finalize the syllabi for these PD modules that will then be developed by Epigeum according to the specifications developed by the authors.
DIana Laurillard kicks off the day with a presentation on the context of elearning PD and notes that each institution will have different strategies, support infrastructure (and culture.) Most academics are as focused on research as much or more so than teaching. The project needs to be mindful of variations in prior knowledge and experience among staff and pragmatic about the constraints of time, incentives, rewards etc.
A common factor is workload – all academics are extremely busy and have limited time for PD and teaching and learning innovation. Variation will occur in modes of use and integration into existing programs and structures. Diana talked about this as levels of commitment by institutions, from provision of access for independent use to modification and enhancement of materials for the local context. The format and concepts may be reusable by institutions, and this project may be regarded as a seeding initiative. The overall objectives are to speed up elearning integration through production of quality PD resources, and to lift perceptions of elearning capability and potential among academic staff who are exposed to the modules.
The limitations of what can be achieved in a total of 12 hours of PD module engagement needs to be recognized. These early beginnings should set the scene for operation at a higher level of engagement with elearning across the board.
In answer to a question from the floor, Diana notes that at this stage, no particular conception of learning has been defined to underpin development.