31 January 2007

ICT bedrijvendag

Surf will organize a bedrijvendag on March 7, 2007. Read this (in Dutch): "Het hoger onderwijs heeft te maken met belangrijke maatschappelijke trends zoals klantgerichtheid, flexibilisering en effici├źntieverbetering. Dit stelt niet alleen hoger onderwijsinstellingen voor nieuwe uitdagingen, maar ook leveranciers die zich in de ICT-markt bewegen. Tijdens de ICT Bedrijvendag buigen hoger onderwijsinstellingen en ICT-leveranciers zich samen over vragen als: Hoe kan ICT een rol spelen bij de vertaling van deze trends in het hoger onderwijs? Hoe spelen ICT-leveranciers hierop in? Wat betekent dit voor hun producten- en dienstenaanbod?"
Meer informatie en inschrijving via de SURF website.

29 January 2007

How to archive courses on your VLE

Through a mailinglist I am subcribed to (I really don't recall which one, anymore), I was directed to a great paper, published in November 2002 (!). The paper discusses the issues that we all have: what to do with 'old' courses on our course management system (or LMS or VLE).

The author, Clifford Lynch, who is Executive director of the Coalition of Networked Information (www.cni.org), argues that this is essentially an information management issue. He proposes to deal with this in that matter and comes up with some interesting steps to take.

I know that at our institution this issue was not really dealt with on this level..... We just, in a very pragmatic way, have decided that we keep 'courses' on our production system for 2 academic years. After that they are archived, which means that only teaching staff and faculty have (read-only) access. Students don't have any privileges on this archive. It seems to work OK.

19 January 2007

You should sign!

Several national ICT-bodies urge you to sign their petition that will be handed over the European Commission.
What are you signing for? For freedom, for open access to research findings and results: "The following actions could be taken at the European level: (i) Establish a European policy mandating published articles arising from EC-funded research to be available after a given time period in open access archives, and (ii) Explore with Member States and with European research and academic associations whether and how such policies and open repositories could be implemented."

17 January 2007

JISC is worth every penny!

JISC is worth every penny that they get! That's the message that i get from a report that was published yesterday.
Or in their own words: "For every £1 spent on the JISC services budget, the UK education and research community receives £9 of demonstrable value. This is one of the findings of a newly-published value for money report commissioned by JISC to uncover some of the ‘hidden’ value of its activities in support of education and research."
I am quite sure that SURF has the same value within The Netherlands. Think, for example, about the licensing agreements that give us access to software at much lower cost than the market price. On the other hand: what if we would exclusively use opensource software within Higher Ed? Well, think about it!
Read all about it.

11 January 2007

Distance education in Europe

Thanks to Helge St├Ądtler from the University of Bremen (Germany), I was directed to an interesting European project, carried out from Norway by NKI Distance Education.

This project is called "Megatrends in E-Learning Provision". In one of their workpackages, that recently got finished, they have delivered some interesting case descriptions (based on interviews) of virtual universities and the like from all over Europe.

This specific workpackage started with a nominations round apparantly, whereby everyone (?) could nominate an institution to be included in the research. This list of nominations is quite long. But a lot of nominations were not investigated further because of failing to pass criteria like the number of enrollments per year (should be more than 5000) or the number of courses on offer (should be more than 100).

The project has identified, based on these criteria, no virtual universities within countries like Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Czechia and The Netherlands! There are case studies available from institutions from Germany, Estonia, the UK, Norway, Spain and Italy.