Friday, April 20, 2007

Study day in KATHO Tielt

Today I had the pleasure of participating in a study day in the West of Flanders (KATHO Tielt) on new trends in distance education. I finally met some of the writers of my favourite blogs. Wilfred Rubens, Margriet Van Den Bergh, and Smetty. A strong delegation of edubloggers, AVNet staff, but also EliseLeren alumni were present.

The study day was also the formal starting point of a new Expertise Centre for Distance Education. Aims of this expertise centre: radicalising didactics, evaluating practical pilots, development of tools that are needed for distance education, critically reviewing f2f learning/teaching. This expertise centre has been an inspiring and creative innovator within the Hogeschool. Approx. 10% of KATHO students (some 750 students) are now enrolled in some form of distance education.

Four themes were discussed
  • Design & didactics
  • Social software
  • Game-based learning in virtual worlds
  • Virtual internationalisation
Together with Johannes and Maarten I contributed to the session on Social software, with a short talk on the institutional issues involved in introducing social software in traditional higher education institutions.
On the way here (and on the way back, I presume) I have been reading in Martin Weller's interesting book on Virtual Learning Environments. Interesting day!

Monday, April 02, 2007

My new job @ Educational technology expertise centre - Open Universiteit Nederland

As of today, I am a full-time assistant professor at OTEC, the Educational technology expertise centre - Open Universiteit Nederland.
I will be spending half of my time in the Development Programme - headed by Prof. Rob Koper - and the other half in the Implementation Programme - headed by dr. Wim Westera. More specifically, I will be working in the TENCompetence project on the one hand, and I'll be leading the OUNL's internal project elo2b, on the other.
elo2b is a preliminary study, in which a roadmap towards the "Virtual Learning Environment of the future" needs to be developed and agreed by all stakeholders. It is an ambitious effort by the OUNL to keep a leading position in the distance education market in the Dutch speaking regions.