Monday, November 12, 2007

OUNL learning and working environment (Part 1)

Senior management of the Open University of the Netherlands are currently on a 1-week strategy session in Schloss Dagstuhl in Germany, where they are discussing and drafting the model for the future ICT-support for OUNL education. The "VLE of the future" project leaders - Henry and myself - are there too in order to present the project findings sofar, to participate in the discussions as domain experts, and to model the outcomes of the discussions into Use Cases and a Domain Model - thus taking a head start in the design of the new system(s).

The schedule of the week - chaired by Rob Koper - is rather full, with plenary and parallel discussion and working sessions in the mornings and afternoons, while Henry and I use the evening sessions to allow our colleagues to explore Web2.0 applications that can be used within education (cf. picture above). This evening we had a hands-on session about mash-up (iGoogle), RSS and, which our colleagues seemed to appreciate, as they prepare to become more "net savvy".

The day sessions w mainly focused on reporting on the current state-of-the-art within the institution.
  • The University Board members provided us with a clear outline of the relevant decisions and directions, and of the goals of the strategy week.
  • During the morning session, Jeroen presented the current state of the enterprise architecture initiative and the main figures about student populations, followed by Kathleen's summary of the discussions about the OUNL's educational model, and her report on the current state of the VLE - with Blackboard as its central element. After Cees' presentation of the current costs of the VLE provision, it was my turn to present the main principles of the future VLE - or PLWE as we prefer to say. However, the lunch bell prevented me from discussing the life-long learning scenario, which will probably become the main topic for discussion during the remainder of the week.

  • After a brisk autumn walk to the ruins of the old castle, Stef presented the current status of the Web2008 project, that intends to develop a new customer-oriented portal for the OU. This presentation gave rise to quite some comments and questions, as it closely interlinks with the PLWE and architecture initiatives.
  • Stef's presentation was followed by the deans of the faculties who presented the current issues of each faculty, their wishes with regard to the PLWE, and to the current processes.
  • We did not succeed in finishing the presentations, so tomorrow morning will continue.
On the whole, the discussions were quite constructive in my view, and similar issues seem to arise in the different parts of the organisation, even though each faculty has its own student population, and operates in a different market with different requirements with regard to education. We were presented with quite a lot of valuable information, which we now need to narrow down and condensate into concrete models and later into a general implementation plan. More to come...

1 comment:

Steven Verjans said...

Interestingly, Diana Oblinger just published an article on being "net savvy", an advice we put into practice in the senior management session.