Highlights from Theme 2 of Innovating e-Learning 2011: Learning in transition

If you have not been able to take part, highlights from the sixth JISC Online Conference are recorded here.

Opening keynote: Mike Sharples, Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University, challenged delegates to distinguish between hype and reality when navigating the future of technology-enhanced learning and teaching. Open practices and learning analytics will prompt more far-reaching innovation than the application of particular technologies to traditional approaches: ‘We need to move away from evaluating how technology can make traditional learning more effective and efficient towards designing new forms of learning enhanced by technology. That is the real challenge.’ Mike Sharples

What needs to change in curriculum design: representatives from the OULDI, Viewpoints, PiP and T-SPARC projects in the JISC Institutional Approaches to Curriculum Design programme explored ways of changing the culture and practice of curriculum design. Steps to effecting change included providing institutions with tools, resources and representations to work with, building bridges between different groups involved in design processes and establishing a common language. Successful approaches were likely to vary from context to context: ‘What’s important is to acknowledge that curriculum design… is a process that arises from a series of choices. There will be no right or wrong way to do things, just a spectrum of effectiveness in different contexts.’ Paul Bartholomew, Birmingham City University

Digital literacies: Chaired by Derfel Owen, Exeter University, this panel session explored sector-wide issues raised by the JISC Developing digital literacies programme such as the difference between competence and literacy and who owns the responsibility for developing student/staff digital literacies. There are still considerable challenges: in the absence of a coherent institutional framework, digital learning skills are often passed on informally from learner to learner or learnt by trial and error, and deficiencies in digital literacy often remain hidden: ‘Most learners in an HE institution know how to read a book, but I suspect most have learnt through trial and error how to use an academic book for learning.’ James Clay, Gloucestershire College

Open practice across the sectors: representatives from further, higher education and workplace learning outlined their successes and challenges in making learning resources open ie collaborative, competitive, sharable and discoverable. On the wish list were institutional policies that explicitly support resource sharing and reuse, better informed application of IPR policies and greater recognition that resource creation is a form of scholarship. Online spaces for building, repurposing and sharing DIY approaches were also essential. The session drew on experiences from the JISC/HE Academy funded UKOER programme now moving into its third phase: ‘UKOER has found that engaging with OERs has supported collaborative approaches and increased partnerships.’ Lou McGill

Closing keynote: Ewan McIntosh challenged delegates to identify changes they will make as a result of the conference experience, concluding: ‘The lead time on innovation might be 50 years. Best get started…’
Ewan invited all conference delegates to make a pledge on what they plan to do as a result of the conference and will be sharing the outcomes in December.

The conference remains open for reading until January 2012 and all recordings and presentations will then be available from the JISC conference website.

Delegate feedback
‘I have been thinking that I have enjoyed this experience to such an extent that I would like to organise something similar for students in my faculty. That thought had never occurred to me prior to attending the conference.’ ‘I haven’t attended a webinar before where the quality of discussions and debate was such that it completed the presentation. I had to work hard to keep on top of both.’

Presenter feedback
‘I can’t remember ever having such stimulating discussions at a conference. As a first time online conference attendee, I’m a convert.’ Tansy Jessop, University of Winchester

‘I found it a genuinely rewarding experience.’ David Puttnam, Lord Puttnam of Queeensgate

Put a reminder in your diary for Innovating e-Learning 2012. Details will be announced from July 2012.

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