Racing to the finish line…

Conmutar y cafe con leche

Part of me feels as if I have just arrived, but in fact this is my last week working at the UOC. Like every other week, it’s been a blur so far. Monday was a whirlwind of meetings with the UOC’s Office of Learning Technologies, and I hope I will be able to blog about some of their current and pending projects before I go – some of that work is truly mind-bending. Yesterday, among other things I did a presentation of some of the work I am involved with, interspersed with my demented ravings on media and learning, which was better received than I had any right to expect.

Among other things, I spoke with Julià Minguillón this morning about some course proposals he is currently preparing. He is supposed to prepare the basic framework for four courses, that would be delivered at the Masters level to students taking degrees either in “Education and ICTs” or Computer Science. (Most students who take a Masters will work in the field, a minority will continue on and pursue a PhD.) So one of the challenges is creating investigations that would be useful to students in both those disciplines, and for academic and applied environments.

One of the things I’ve learned about Julià is that he thrives on feedback (even when it is critical), so I thought I would post some of his provisional ideas here. I should note that any sloppiness in presentation is my fault alone. The four courses might be broken down as focusing on some of the following topics:

* Users – Human computer interaction as applied to online learning; user modeling and behaviour; personalization; usability; accessibility; mobility.

* Content – the concept of learning objects (granularity, taxonomies, metadata) and associated standards (SCORM, IMS, LOM, MPEG-7, etc…); the changing notion of what constitutes content (interaction as well as ‘static stuff’)… (Along those lines, I urge you check out Gardner’s newest post on a crucial conceptual leap – which is not explicitly about content but seems profoundly relevant to me somehow.)

* Open architectures – tools; APIs and mash-ups; OKI and service-oriented architecture; RSS and syndication-oriented architecture; VLE/PLE, social learning

* Trends analysis – Open education, open content, Creative Commons; the semantic web, ontologies; economic considerations and sustainability; formal and informal learning

Obviously, anytime you take complex subjects and group them it can’t help but be arbitrary. But are there any glaring absences? Other suggestions?

One thought on “Racing to the finish line…

  1. You know I think some of the gnarliest, hardest, and ultimately most useful stuff in education is actually logistics.

    Timetables.
    Room management.
    Furniture and equipment (ordering, re-arranging…)
    Transport.
    Food.
    Teacher Workload.

    (Sadly the systems for managing these things leave a lot to be desired, and constrain the teaching situation rather more drastically than any VLE drawbacks. Where is the GTD for teachers?)

    Even in “pure” elearning with no f2f you still have

    Organisation
    Provisioning (IMS)
    Identity
    Coordination
    Tracking and auditing (SCORM again)

    Most of these things have some corporate and some 2.0 options (e.g. SAP vs. BaseCamp)

    Anyhow, hope thats useful (if a tad late).

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