First up was Chris Pegler who is currently with the IoET at the UK Open University and a National Teaching Fellow – the only one who is in her own words ‘a totally on-line’ fellow. Her talk was characterised by a refreshing realistic and open take on eLearning.
The opening part was about learning objects ( health warning included J ) and Chris argues – very persuasively – that there are a number of reasons why it is not always that easy to move LOs on but that it’s well worth the effort. She notes it’s easy to fall for the soft option – to use digital content as we have used old world resources. But she is equally clear that there are undoubted advantages in this – particularly student comfort and familiarity. And that the long-recognised advantages of open & distance education still apply. These include the ability of overcomes geographical access; the accessibility gains; the ability to track activity (and support as necessary); and that the approach offers advantages in terms of ease of control if you have differentiated cohorts. Additionally, it offers a way into new generation concerns for mobile and portable content.
But the real game is, in her view, about Content 2.0 which allow us to offer something very different. This is about content that can be changed and edited on line – about approaching learning and teaching in a more community way where learning participants can share content and practices and where course leaders can offer blends (customised) to suit the learners and their orientations. Essentially content 2.0 is about ‘new forms of connected documents’. Chris made a number of particularly telling points about the significance of this. Reuse promotes better practice and is far more sustainable / efficient. It recognises that digital resources are not static. Once we have connectedness we almost inevitably have reuse.
As a way of teasing-out some of these points Chris explored the CURVE project and one of her own teaching modules (H805 Learning in the Connected Economy) to show in a very tangible way both the process and the exciting potential of LOs that are Los are ‘movable aroundable’.
All in all a cracking start to the day….