rsc east midlands newsletter "intouch" - autumn 2005

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The JISC Regional Support Centre (RSC) for the East Midlands produces a termly newsletter "intouch" that highlights current practice in e-learning/ILT in the region.


  • Autumn 2005 Volume 4 Issue 1

    the termly newsletter produced by RSC East Midlands

    Welcome from the EditorI trust youre all settling back into the new academic year after a relaxing summerbreak. Despite this busy time of year, I hope youll be able to find a few minutesto have a look through this edition of in touch.

    The last few months have seen significant changes for JISCs involvement in FE.

    However, the Regional Support Centre continues to offer advice and guidance to

    all of our supported sectors. For more information on how we can help you to make

    the most of new technologies, visit

    Rachael Pearson, e-Learning Advisor


    EVENTSKey themes in this years eventprogramme are: Emerging technologies for learning looks

    at how new technologies such as blogs,podcasting and mobile phones can beused in the educational setting;

    Teaching and learning examines how e-learning adds powerful tools to tackleissues such as accessibility, active learning,differentiation and learning styles;

    Management sessions cover strategic andoperational issues including copyright,risk management and quality;

    Our very successful Learning Journeyevent for practitioners new to e-learningwill be offered in several locations acrossthe region. One will be for scientists,another for staff developers;

    The technical theme includes a visit to Microsoft;

    Forums bring together colleagues fromacross the region to explore common issues.

    October6th Technical Forum11th i-skills Group Meeting13th Microsoft Technology Day

    November1st LRC Forum10th Specialist Colleges Forum10th JISC Legal Workshop:

    Copyright & e-Learning15th ILT Forum16th TechDis Practitioners &

    Management event18th Personalised Web

    Communications: Blogs &Podcasting

    22nd HE in FE Forum24th Introduction to JORUM,

    Reload and TOIA: NewTools for the Creation andStorage of Online Contentand Assessments

    29th JISC infoNet Workshop:Email Management

    30th The Learning Journey

    December1st MIS Forum8th Active Learning with

    Technology13th JISC infoNet Workshop:

    Risk Management14th Technical Forum

    For further details see our

    I N S I D ET h i s i s s u eWelcome

    Improving and Investing In Information Skills

    Check your ILT Health

    Course Genie: Issues arising from creatingyour own e-learning materials. Part two.

    UKERNA Networkshop: DelegateExperiences

    e-Learning in Derby

    Forthcoming events

    Focus on: The Standards Unit

    Hints and Tips: What can Moodle do for you?

    In support of a recent project investigating staffdevelopment needs in relation to information skills(i-skills), the JISC has produced three documentswhich provide guidelines and advice to institutionson developing staff information skills and whichoutline the anticipated benefits to the staff, theorganisation and the student:

    Investing in i-skills considers the benefits of investing in i-skills forboth the staff and the institution and includes a short self-assessment exercise.

    Improving i-skills looks at ways to improve staff i-skills and includessuggestions for creating a staff i-skills development programme.

    Introduction to i-skills a short introduction to pass around tocolleagues to help raise awareness of information skills.

    Copies of these documents have been sent to all college principalsand staff development officers. Further copies can be ordered bycontacting:

    They are also available to download from:

    Support for Information Skills from RSC East Midlands

    Last term the LRC Forum addressed the issue of promoting i-skills andconsidered drivers that have the potential to move i-skills from theperiphery to a more central position within the institution. Ways inwhich colleagues in the region could collaborate and share theirresources and expertise in this field were also discussed.

    As a result of these discussions, it was decided that an i-skills Groupwould be set up. A majority of those that attended the forum expressedan interest in being part of this group and Donna Harper, LRC Managerat North Nottinghamshire College kindly volunteered to act as Chair.The group will have an initial meeting on 11th October to consider theremit and scope of the group and plan a course of action to developfuture collaboration.

    If you did not attend the LRC Forum, but would like to be part of thei-skills Group, please let me know:

    It would be invaluable to have in the group at least one representativefrom each institution in the region and I look forward to hearing fromyou. If you attended the forum and have already expressed an interest,there is no need to contact me, as I already have your details.

    I look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

    Judi Millage, ILT Advisor


    Success for All was the Governments strategyto transform the learning and skills sector. Theimportance of collaborative approaches,improved teaching, training and learning,human resource development, and theoverarching emphasis on quality and success,all signified a new climate and drive.

    The DfES Standards Unit was established inJanuary 2003. The Standards Unit has aspecific role to act as a catalyst to acceleratethe transformation of teaching, training,learning, workforce development andleadership across the whole sector. The Unitworks with partner organisations to improvethe quality of provision in further educationcolleges, adult and community learning,work-based learning, school sixth forms andprisons.

    The Government made a commitment to establisha Standards Unit regional network. In each of thenine regions there is a team working incollaboration with partner organisations andcolleagues to ensure that the work of the StandardsUnit supports all learning organisations to:

    improve teaching, training and learning;

    develop their work force;

    achieve excellence and improve success forall their learners.

    Significant milestones achieved by the SU todate within the regions are:

    Launch and distribution of the free teaching andlearning multi media packages in the first fourpriority curriculum areas of Business, Science,Construction and Entry to Employment. The

    regional team are there to help all teachers andtrainers exploit these resources.

    Every post-16 provider has been invited tonominate a successful and experienced teacheror trainer as their subject learning coaches inthe four priority curriculum areas. Theseteachers and trainers will be champions forchange and be supported by the Standards Unitin the Regions. They can take part in theStandards Units free national trainingprogramme in coaching, which began in March2005.

    Launch of the Regional Network Meetingswhich are subject specific. All subjectlearning coaches are invited to become amember. This will assist in the subjectlearning coaches continuing professionaldevelopment.

    Phase Two curriculum materials are alsobeing developed and piloted by someproviders within the region for Maths, Land-Based, Health and Social Care and ICT, withnational launch of these free resources fromSeptember 2005. Work has already started onthe Phase Three curriculum areas of Adult andCommunity Learning, Engineering, InitialTeacher Training and Modern ForeignLanguages, with national roll-out planned forSeptember 2006.

    For more information, visit

    Tim Smith, East Midlands Regional Director, Standards tel: 0115 9299100

    Hints and Tips:The use of open source software is growing apaceand none more so than Moodle, the open sourceCourse Management System or Virtual LearningEnvironment. Some learning providers are lookingat Moodle, while others have decided to opt for itas their preferred platform.

    The nine Adult and Community learning providersin the region each have Moodle platforms courtesyof the East Midlands Broadband Consortium. Otheropen source VLEs are available. Other VirtualLearning Environments or Learning ManagementSystems continue to be deployed by East Midlandslearning providers. Some learning providers havedeveloped their Intranet.

    Questions have been raised about migrating,support, scaleability and accessibility. These arebeing addressed and its a good idea to keep goingback to check the Moodle site things move fast within this community,both nationally and internationally. There areforums and FAQs to provide support and help with

    both technical and practitioner queries.

    We are hoping to host a Moodle Introductory eventin the Spring term. Keep an eye on the web site.

    A JISCMail list has been created for disseminationof information and resources while providing theopportunity for practitioners to network:


    In addition to her e-learning blog, Josie Fraser atWyggeston and QE1 College has a Moodle blogcalled Moodlebug

    Several learning providers have courses up andrunning, some of which are accessible to guests.

    Ferl provides an overview of features and factors totake into consideration

    Martin Cooke, ILT Adviser

    Were you aware that there is now a regional Moodle network?

    w w w. r s c - e a s t - m i d l a n d s . a c . u k w w w. r s c - e a s t - m i d l a n d s . a c . u k

    Success for All - launched 19 November 2002

    Internet Resources in Healthcare and Medicine and Internet Resources in Animal Health