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.


<ul><li><p>Autumn 2005 Volume 4 Issue 1</p><p>the termly newsletter produced by RSC East Midlands</p><p>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.</p><p>The last few months have seen significant changes for JISCs involvement in FE.</p><p>However, the Regional Support Centre continues to offer advice and guidance to</p><p>all of our supported sectors. For more information on how we can help you to make</p><p>the most of new technologies, visit</p><p>Rachael Pearson, e-Learning Advisor</p><p>Forthcoming</p><p>EVENTSKey themes in this years eventprogramme are: Emerging technologies for learning looks</p><p>at how new technologies such as blogs,podcasting and mobile phones can beused in the educational setting;</p><p> Teaching and learning examines how e-learning adds powerful tools to tackleissues such as accessibility, active learning,differentiation and learning styles;</p><p> Management sessions cover strategic andoperational issues including copyright,risk management and quality; </p><p> 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;</p><p> The technical theme includes a visit to Microsoft; </p><p> Forums bring together colleagues fromacross the region to explore common issues.</p><p>October6th Technical Forum11th i-skills Group Meeting13th Microsoft Technology Day</p><p>November1st LRC Forum10th Specialist Colleges Forum10th JISC Legal Workshop:</p><p>Copyright &amp; e-Learning15th ILT Forum16th TechDis Practitioners &amp;</p><p>Management event18th Personalised Web</p><p>Communications: Blogs &amp;Podcasting</p><p>22nd HE in FE Forum24th Introduction to JORUM,</p><p>Reload and TOIA: NewTools for the Creation andStorage of Online Contentand Assessments</p><p>29th JISC infoNet Workshop:Email Management</p><p>30th The Learning Journey</p><p>December1st MIS Forum8th Active Learning with</p><p>Technology13th JISC infoNet Workshop:</p><p>Risk Management14th Technical Forum</p><p>For further details see our</p><p>I N S I D ET h i s i s s u eWelcome</p><p>Improving and Investing In Information Skills</p><p>Check your ILT Health</p><p>Course Genie: Issues arising from creatingyour own e-learning materials. Part two.</p><p>UKERNA Networkshop: DelegateExperiences</p><p>e-Learning in Derby</p><p>Forthcoming events</p><p>Focus on: The Standards Unit</p><p>Hints and Tips: What can Moodle do for you?</p><p>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:</p><p> 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.</p><p> Improving i-skills looks at ways to improve staff i-skills and includessuggestions for creating a staff i-skills development programme.</p><p> Introduction to i-skills a short introduction to pass around tocolleagues to help raise awareness of information skills. </p><p>Copies of these documents have been sent to all college principalsand staff development officers. Further copies can be ordered bycontacting:</p><p>They are also available to download from:</p><p>Support for Information Skills from RSC East Midlands</p><p>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. </p><p>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. </p><p>If you did not attend the LRC Forum, but would like to be part of thei-skills Group, please let me know:</p><p>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.</p><p>I look forward to seeing you at the meeting.</p><p>Judi Millage, ILT Advisor</p><p>intouch</p><p>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.</p><p>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. </p><p>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: </p><p> improve teaching, training and learning;</p><p> develop their work force;</p><p> achieve excellence and improve success forall their learners. </p><p>Significant milestones achieved by the SU todate within the regions are:</p><p> 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</p><p>regional team are there to help all teachers andtrainers exploit these resources.</p><p> 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. </p><p> 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. </p><p> 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.</p><p>For more information, visit</p><p>Tim Smith, East Midlands Regional Director, Standards tel: 0115 9299100</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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</p><p>both technical and practitioner queries. </p><p>We are hoping to host a Moodle Introductory eventin the Spring term. Keep an eye on the web site.</p><p>A JISCMail list has been created for disseminationof information and resources while providing theopportunity for practitioners to network:</p><p></p><p></p><p>Moodlebug</p><p>In addition to her e-learning blog, Josie Fraser atWyggeston and QE1 College has a Moodle blogcalled Moodlebug</p><p>Several learning providers have courses up andrunning, some of which are accessible to guests.</p><p>Ferl provides an overview of features and factors totake into consideration</p><p>Martin Cooke, ILT Adviser</p><p>Were you aware that there is now a regional Moodle network?</p><p>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</p><p>Success for All - launched 19 November 2002</p><p>Internet Resources in Healthcare and Medicine and Internet Resources in Animal Health from BIOMEFor further info go to</p><p>FREE BOOKLETS</p><p>Improving and Investing in Information Skills</p><p>F O C U SON...</p><p>What can Moodledo for you?</p></li><li><p>intouch</p><p>The success was sealed by the keynotespeaker, Terry Loane, who managed tocaptivate the audience of over 100. His humour, plain English and nontechnical approach enthused everyone.Other workshops such as the ones ledby Sharon Hutchings (JISC RSC EastMidlands) enabled participants to carry that enthusiasm into doing something practical. </p><p>Our embryonic learning platform wasavailable for everyone to glimpse atthings just round the corner but there isno doubt that demonstrating simple touse digital cameras and other pieces of</p><p>equipment helped to dissipate themystery of e-Learning. Its for everyone.</p><p>DerbyLearn has VAST POTENTIAL evenfor practical courses such as Fencing</p><p>Following on from the conference Terrywas invited back in June to lead someworkshops on our now establishedlearning platform Derbylearn.net By this timeinterest had grown significantly and theworkshops were spread over 2 days.We now have e-Learning boxes ofequipment established at main centresacross the city so on this occasion moreequipment was introduced including</p><p>video cameras, voice recorders, PDAsand scanners.</p><p>DerbyLearn will be a massive help toshift workers</p><p>It was becoming clear that people withlittle technical knowledge could not onlybecome involved, but get results quicklyand easily. Seeing their efforts in action has encouraged tutorsfrom each curriculum area to get involved.The surprise is that many tutors who hadexpressed a disinterest a year ago are nowamongst some of the most enthusiastic. </p><p>A great way to improve retention.</p><p>Jim Beizsley, Quality and CurriculumManager, Derby Adult Learning Service</p><p>The UKERNA Networkshop Experience</p><p>Marek BarcWhitegates Further Education UnitThis was my first time in Manchester, but with the aid of the handymap, provided to conference delegates, I managed to get toregistration on time. The conference covered all areas relating to theJANET network and technical developments, and the workshopenvironment allowed me to develop a much better understanding ofthe JANET network and the services available to institutionsconnected to it. There was a wide range of sessions available,covering many different topics including wireless networkingexperiences in the FE sector, Manchesters LIN deployment forNetworkshop 33, disaster recovery and many more. Bruce Rodgerenlivened his lecture by anecdotes from his experiences of thedisastrous fire at Strathclyde University. As well as improving myknowledge of the latest technologies, and the JANET network, I wasalso able to talk to colleagues from many different institutions, sharingideas and problems. The importance of sharing of knowledge withcolleagues cannot be underestimated. Finally, it has to be said that thefact that the conference dinner took place on the orient express onlyhelped to make Networkshop 33 even more memorable!</p><p>Paul DrageHomefield CollegeAs it was my first visit to Networkshop, this year held in the bustlingcity of Manchester, I didnt really know what to expect. I made myway to the main entrance where I bumped in to my old colleaguesfrom Loughborough College, and after making my way through thevery well organised foyer and obtaining the obligatory techieaccessory (the extremely well crafted Networkshop laptop bag) Imade my way in to the main hall where I spent the next hour or twodrooling at the various array of switches, security products andvideo streaming systems on offer. Over the course of the next fewdays I attended many excellent lectures, some were very impressive,such as Dr Chris Adies work at Edinburgh University on theShibboleth system, which allows secure transaction of data betweenuniversities across the world. Others had valuable advice on how tocope in an emergency, such as how Bruce Rodgers (IT Manager)coped after half of Strathclyde University burnt down! The qualityof every lecture was excellent matched only by the amenities andhospitality at Manchester University, where it seemed impossiblenot to be in a wireless hotspot. How could I end this piece withoutmentioning the Conference Dinner on the Orient Express? Amagical four hour round trip which included a four course meal andentertainment provided by an astounding slight of hand magician.Im still baffled as to where he plucked that coin from! All in all thiswas the perfect end to an informative and inspirational few days. Itmade me ponder on the clever name given to the event. Yes this wasan event based around the educational network JANET, but it wasalso about networking with colleagues across the UK (and indeedthe world) so that ultimately, we can work together to drive thetechnology and skills ever upwards for the benefit of all learners.</p><p>Page 3</p><p>e-Learning in DerbyMaking the decision to have e-Learning as a major theme at our AnnualTutor Conference at the end of April proved to be a good move.</p><p>Side effects are that the process provides an opportunity for staff toreview their existing material and reinforce their knowledge. A usefulstrategy in promoting CourseGenie to lecturing staff, who as a rule ofthumb never have a great deal of time to spare, would be toemphasise it as a system whereby life would be made easier.Electronic content is much more reusable than paper based, and ifwell thought out can also be repurposed in the future. The output thatCourseGenie provide...</p></li></ul>