Friday, November 30, 2007

Online Educa '07 - Day 2: Parallel session on Systems and Services to Support Today's Students (I)

After the plenary, I had a brief discussion with Wim Westera while we were enjoying tea. Then I went to the Tiergarten room, for the parallel session on Systems and Services to Support Today's Students, in which I was to give the first talk.

I spoke about "Towards a future VLE for an open and distance learning university". I kept the story rather vague, because there are few concrete results sofar.

Then Bill Seretta from Learning Networks, LLC told a story of how a small American college moved from a dodgy ICT situation into a situation where there was nearly full wireless coverage, and where a VLE was implemented with FirstClass as one of its components. On the whole, an interesting case study, which showed the importance of top management support for dramatic changes.

The final speaker was Eric Clarke from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who presented their Moodle project with great wit and humour. An impressive story which not only highlighted the successes, but also the issues they faced, and the (hidden) costs of their project. Again, top management support was deemed vital for the success of the project. Interestingly, their VLE services not only the Dublin Campus, but also two campusses abroad. I hope that Eric makes his presentation available later.

1 comment:

Cristina Costa said...

Hi Stievie,
very interesting approach about future VLE. I actually don't consider blackboard and other similar systems to be VLEs. For me they are mere platforms, systems which enable individuals to come together in a rather rudimentary way, when compared with the rest of what is available in cyberspace. But I can picture a VLE of the future: something which will enable each single individual to gather all the info and all the tools/applications he/she uses in his/her learning in one place that can be shaped to their needs and visions. Ideally these spaces would offer a sustainable and reliable option to everyone who wants to communicate, share and engage online in order to learn with others and keep a record of their learning path.