May Benchmarking meetings

This month has been very busy with the e-learning benchmarking exercise.  We had a two-day meeting in Bristol two weeks ago, and are in ous Milton Keynes at the moment for the methodology training workshop.  We had a tour of the Knowledge Media Institute at the Open University this morning, followed by an all-day hands on workshop.  Basically, we looked at processes within a university and evaluated evidence (such as policy documents, module outlines etc) to determine how adequate the processes are.  We evaluate each process along five dimensions to generate a ‘carpet’ or matrix showing a pattern of adequacy for each of 35 processes across the five dimensions.  The processes we are examining are those that facilitate the embedding of elearning in the university.

The ultimate goal is institutional change. 

That is about where we are at the moment.  One more day and then back home, then to implement the methodology.

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JISC Webinar on Web 2.0

I just finished a week of lunchtime ‘webinars’ – interactive video presentations with synchronous text chat, voice chat, asynchronous discussions boards, and multiple concurrent videocasts sponsored by JISC. (for those not familiar with JISC http://www.jisc.ac.uk/ it is a UK national organisation – the Joint Information Systems Committee – supporting ‘education and research by promoting innovation in new technologies and by the central support of ICT services’. )  

They used Instant Presenter for the Webinar, which worked extremely well for the sessions I attended live, Moodle for the discussion boards, and eventually SlideShare to make all the PowerPoints available to the public.

My impressions are of a community of innovators keen to support and encourage experimentation within sound pedagogical principles. One of the great benefits for me was to gain a greater understanding of what other institutions in the UK are doing, and how, what problems they may have encountered, and how they conceptualise the issues and challenges. I felt it was tremendously valuable.

Here are some links to material about the webinar:

Here is a clipmark from the blog showing you how to access the discussion boards on Moodle:

clipped from www.rodspace.co.uk
If you want to look at the Moodle for asynchronous discussion, slides and audio
recordings of presentations and Q&As at moodle.cs.man.ac.uk/web2 – you can
self-register or use the guest login, (self) registration is required for
contribution to the discussion.

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How about this heat?

Weather report from Wales (for those family and friends who aren’t here to enjoy it).
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk
Last month was officially the warmest April since records began in 1659, with
temperatures peaking at more than 26C (79F), meteorologists confirmed today.

The average UK temperature for the month, which takes into account both day
and night readings, was 11.2C (52.16F). This broke the previous highest average
of 10.6C (51.08F) set in 1865.

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