rsc east midlands newsletter "intouch" - autumn 2006

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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 2006 Volume 5 Issue 1

    the termly newsletter produced by RSC East Midlands

    It may be natural modesty, but we in colleges andAdult and Community Learning in the East Midlandsare often a bit reluctant to proclaim the value of whatwe do. This years East Midlands e-fair offered thechance to celebrate achievements and share whatworks. In this issue you can read about some of thethings explored in the workshops and exhibition - andsee who you can spot in the pictures.

    Theres good news about the future of Regional Support Centres. The Learning and SkillsCouncil has agreed to fund RSCs until 2010 and we are busy planning how best to meetevolving learning provider needs. Recently introduced services such as the ILT Health Checkand the Learning Journey clearly do this and on page 4 you can read about a new placementbrokering service. This has been set up by Diane Wood who was herself taking part inanother RSC initiative by being seconded to the RSC.

    To set out our services more clearly, we are launching our revised website at the start ofOctober. In the meantime, you can find keynote and other presentations from the e-fair onour current website. Just follow the e-fair link from the home page.

    If you would like to know more about anything you read, we would be delighted to hearfrom you.

    Chris Hill, Manager

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

    East Midlands e-fair 2006

    Information Skills: support from RSC East Midlands

    National Learning Network Round 4 Materials

    e-fair montage

    e-portfolios: the state of the art or what will work?

    Forthcoming events

    Focus on: RSC Placements Service

    Hints and Tips: Adding text when viewing a slide show

    The East Midlands e-fair organised by the RSCat Derby University on 22 June was a reallygood day. Gilly Salmon and Terry Loane areinspirational speakers, fifteen breakoutsessions by regional learning providers andothers gave lots of ideas to think about, overthirty exhibitors set out a wealth of resourcesand support, and over 150 people were ableto network with each other in a friendly,relaxed environment with good food,giveaway prizes and even free parking.

    Colin Rose says that learning takes place indirect proportion to the amount of fun peopleare having, so plenty of learning certainlytook place at the e-fair. But will anythinghappen to change what people do?

    We asked delegates what actions theyintended to take as a result of an ideaencountered at the e-fair. Intentions, big andsmall, included:

    feedback to my colleagues;

    make a podcast; download free open source software; develop our use of Moodle with video clips; use the East Midlands Information Skills

    material for training; undertake Athens Devolved Authentication; visit the Learning and Skills Web website.

    Will those actions be implemented? Im suresome will but one of the RSC priorities for thiscoming year is to help you change more e-learning ideas into actions. For example, ifyou attend an RSC event or activity either in-house or elsewhere in the region, we willencourage you to plan for what you will doafterwards; RSC advisors will follow upactivities to see what further help you need; toensure that an event is not just an isolated day,we will provide material to think aboutbeforehand and the chance to discuss andreflect online afterwards.

    Incidentally, we also asked delegates, Whatwould you like the RSC to do for you? Many

    replies were very complimentary - Keepdoing everything you are doing already.However, we were also asked to supply ashoulder bag to carry all the goodies homeand someone suggested it would be helpful ifwe could simply print money.

    One of the best things about the e-fair is theopportunity to find out about the good thingsthat other learning providers in the region aredoing. If this year you try something in e-learning for the first time and it works, wedreally like you to share it at next years fair!

    Chris Hill, RSC Manager

    w w w. r s c - e m . a c . u k

    Ideas Into ActionIt is important that professional development activities are enjoyable inthemselves, but how do you ensure that the learning is applied once you getback to the ranch?

    Welcome edited by Martin CookeILT Advisor

  • The e-fair gave local LRC/library staff theopportunity to publicise the successfullaunch of the East Midlands InformationSkills Group. The Chair of the Group,Donna Harper, led a session in which sheoutlined how the Group have usedMoodle to create collaborativeInformation Skills materials. Herpresentation can be found on our websiteby following the e-fair link on the homepage.

    A person who is information literate isone who has good information skills.

    East Midlands Information Skills Group

    The East Midlands Information Skills Group(EMIS), supported by the East MidlandsRSC, was set up to support thecollaboration and sharing of IS resourcesand expertise within the region. During a successful first year, thegroup has produced a range of material to support the delivery ofinformation skills. These materials are hosted on the RSC East

    Midlands Moodle site and are freely available for you todownload and adapt as required.

    New members

    Whilst current EMIS members representwell over half of the FE institutions in theEast Midlands, it would be invaluable tohave in the group at least onerepresentative from every learning providerin the region. Interested colleagues fromSpecialist Colleges, the Adult andCommunity Learning Sector and HigherEducation supported by the RSC are alsoinvited to join.

    If you would like to become a member andcontribute to the work of the Group, pleasecontact either the current Chair, DonnaHarper: or myself,

    Judi Millage here at the RSC: Wewould very much like to hear from you.

    Judi Millage, ILT Advisor


    Information Skills:support from RSC East Midlands

    To be information literate, a person must beable to recognise when information is needed

    and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed

    informationUltimately, information literatepeople are those who have learned how to

    learn. They know how to learn because theyknow how knowledge is organised, how to

    find information and how to use information insuch a way that others can learn from them.

    They are people prepared for lifelong learning,because they can always find the information

    needed for any task or decision at hand.

    American Library Association PresidentialCommittee on Information Literacy, 1989

    Page 2

    NIACE saw the e-fair as an ideal opportunity to draw attention to the Round 4 NLN materials for Adult andCommunity Learning. You will find the presentation by Patsy Cummins and Sarah Perry on our website.Just follow the e-fair link on the homepage.

    The development of Round 4 NLN Materials has created e-learning materials specifically for the ACL sector in the following subject areas:

    Family learning

    Making learning work for you

    Modern foreign languages

    English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

    The Materials are a great source of ready-made e-learning resources that can be used in a variety of ways to help teaching and learning.

    If you visit, examples of the materials are highlighted exploring how you might use these with your learners.

    Accessing the materials

    If you work for a local authority which delivers ACL provision you can access the Materials in two main ways:

    visit: and select the learning content section. This will take you to Xtensis, the site hosting the materials. You

    will need to register to access the materials and this requires a password. To do this you will need to contact your E-Guide

    coordinator for details.

    on CD ROM. All the Round 4 subject areas will be on CD and these are soon to be distributed to E-Guide coordinators.

    If you are not sure who to contact in your organisation, or you have any questions about the new Round 4 Materials please email

    Sharon Hutchings at the RSC East Midlands for more details:

    Sharon Hutchings, ACL advisor

    National Learning Network Round 4 Materialsfor the Adult and Community Learning sector

    w w w. r s c - e m . a c . u k

  • intouch

    e-portfolios: the state of the art or what will workEssentially there are two approaches to e-portfolios and allpoints in between. The reference model will bestandardised, cross-sector and developed with governmentmoney. It has some way to go. There is as yet no agreementover what would be included, but it would need to combineboth assessment and reflection. This implies thecontribution of both learner and teacher/tutor. The localsolution cheap and cheerful but maybe less fraught withdangers and can be attempted now. Combining assessmentand reflection, however, might be problematic.

    Some may worry about the ownership of the informationand the possible dangers of government use of personaldata. Students may feel more inclined to use a system whichis not accessible to outsiders.

    As yet there is no agreed definition. The emphasis in HE is onself-reflection, while NVQs require a tick list of competencies.

    Nottingham University and Nottingham City arecollaborating on real-life interoperability. Buy-in from allsectors will pave the way towards greater interoperability.Have a look at:


    Meanwhile you could buy into one of the numerouscommercial vehicles available such as bksb or you could trythe cheap and cheerful r


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