Thursday, November 27, 2008

Scenario 2020: what will the virtual and real learning landscap look like?

In the run up to the Onderwijsdagen I was asked to think along in developing scenarios for the learning landscape in 2020. The resulting four scenarios were presented as a keynote at the Onderwijsdagen. Our group was asked to fill in the situation for an institution directed curriculum and a student owned VLE. It was a bit of a puzzle to match these two conditions but we came up with the following history:
Europe goes through an economic crisis in which Asia comes out as a winner. In the field of knowledge they truly are competetive with European education. This calls for drastic measures. The European education system is forced into a period of harsh competition. European governments rally and decide on a strong standardisation of curricula. A Bachelor degree in Psychology consists of the same modules in every country. To encourage competition and exchange students can choose to take each module wherever they please, they can attend a local university, take a module abroad or follow an online course. They receive coupons for their life of learning. (Naturally this also creates a trade in coupons). All courses are allowed, as long as they are certified. Institutions can employ coaches from a pool of teachers, which also have to be certified.
We took the exchange of standards much further, there will be more than just email and RSS protocols, many more exchange standards will have been agreed upon. There will be standards for the delivery of content, various communication tools and of course testing tools. This will allow students to 'plug' their course into their personal virtual living environment (PVLE) (facebook extended). As soon as they plug in their course the widgets required will be available for the student in their PVLE. In this age of fierce competition these PVLEs are being offered by commercial parties, Monroom is just an exmaple we came up with, but there are many more. Students are not interested in institution VLEs as they are constantly taking modules in different institutions, sometimes even simultaneously.

So this was our view, now all we need is 12 years of patience to see whether we got it right...

A number of students created a video to illustrate what 2020 would look like according to each of the four scenario's. Our video can be found here.
The overview of all scenario's (including the newspapers) can be found here.

Presentation on Weblectures at the Onderwijsdagen preconference

On Tuesday the 11th of November (yes, rather a while ago), I gave a presentation on the Weblectures pilot which ran at Utrecht University in 2007. This was part of a more technically minded preconference on implementing Weblectures. The two more interesting slides in this presentation (compared to previous presentations) are our findings on criteria for a recording system. Reliability proved to be a key criteria for us. One criteria which was notably absent was price of the system. Of course this is of some importance, but we also found out that there were so many more costs involved that this cost was only a small part of the total cost. The other criteria proved to be much more important.
The other interesting slide is the slide regarding organisation. Setting up an organisation for Weblectures requires getting people involved from all corners and departments of your institution. The trick is not to create an unwieldy large consultation body but to keep all the varied partners involved...