Friday, July 13, 2007

In search of a new colleague

My direct colleague has just received a great job offer, so we are now looking for a new colleague at short notice. You can find the job description at: Please note: this is in Dutch as the applicant will also be expected to speak Dutch.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Website Onderwijsdagen is now online

The website for the Onderwijsdagen is now online. The theme is the great tug of war between what is on offer and what really is demanded by teachers and students. There are great new pedagogical models out there describing whole new approaches to learning, but teachers and students are not always ready to adapt these new approaches and roles. And what is true of the beautiful vista's promised by using ict in your education? Is learning still not encouraged by a real life motivating teacher who is an inspiring subject matter expert? These are questions we want to address at this conference for ict in higher education in the Netherlands. We aim to match demand and what's on offer.

You can find the website at: (only in Dutch I'm afraid).

World of Warcraft in a course

Every 8 weeks or so all the coordinators from the different departments at Utrecht University meet up and discuss the latest developments. Today we had Harald Warmelink on a visit (now just started a PhD in Delft). He was studying Multimedia before and attended a course which was taught in the massive multiplayer role playing game World of Warcraft. It was not only in WOW but also about WOW. Marinka Copier (the teacher) required the students to perform all sorts of tasks from simple to complex, from individual to group effort. The final assignment was to research an aspect of World of Warcraft. All the separate chapters have been added together to form a book, which can be found (hidden between other articles) at:

You can view Harald's presentation below:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Blackboard usergroup meeting: portal the Wageningen example

Last Friday I missed the Blackboard usergroup meeting on portals. One solution was specially relevant for Utrecht: the use of a Sharepoint portal linked to Blackboard for the courses. Reading Willem van Valkenburg's description of their session (in Dutch I'm afraid) I am quite impressed. It sounds well thought out: I think it would be wise to pay Wageningen university a visit.

Twente has issued its Sakai report...

It is now public: the report on the examination whether Sakai could be a viable option for the University of Twente is now public. It can be found at:

There are a number of notable outcomes which are relevant for Utrecht University (which will also have to answer the same question in the coming year.) From the technical perspective it is interesting to note that it has been designed to be integrated in a Service Oriented Architecture, though this will naturally take some effort (as all integrations will). It should support various pedagogical scenario's although I do feel it has been designed for a teacher based style of learning (as most, if not all VLEs are at present). The one issue in Twente at the moment appears to be rooted in the Functional analysis/Educational use. There are still issues regarding usability and user experience which need to be addressed.

A very damp yet enjoyable morris weekend

I have returned (and recovered) from a very fun Morris weekend organised by Fox Morris in Bretforton (of all places). It was my first visit to the Cotswolds, I must say: they are very quaint. It was quite a change to be surrounded by mixed sides almost all dancing Border morris. I have never seen so many Blacked up faces in one spot. Amongst others there were: Foxs morris, Stone the Crows, Exmoor, Pink bunnies 'from a place warmer than here'. It was a shame the weather was rather lousy but otherwise it was very enjoyable.

Here a video compilation of all the various teams in action, and a show of how to rip your pants...