OLI: Closing panel Q&A

March 12, 2008

Andy: fascinating talks covering from current systems improvement to bringing in informal new educational systems. So where should we concentrate? More on changing the current v entering new spaces.

Diana: we do have to do both – there must be a switch from the time spent on formal to a more productive.

John: need to support people who go passed the formal support and refurbishing of skills. OER is probably appealing to older users and to younger and perhaps those in the middle missing out. Should look at the two ends of the spectrum.

Jim: Changing institutions – develop resources to enable productive change. Work tends to be uninformed by how we came to be in the current state. 

Toru: not about abandoning old systems and jumping to new – but do need to increase the overlap from formal teachers to informal learning communities. But they do have the knowledge that is needed to actually support learning.


Judy: Maybe we are being too discouraged –there are a lot of changes. What are the things that are happening that would really help.

Toru: Michael ? at ? presented at Educause about device use not for learning. Great time for learning not for teaching!


Ken: Helping kids become better learners – which 21C learning skills need to be nurtured? Where should learning scientist focus?

John: Social network theory – looking at study groups. Pick up most of what we know from each other. We are guilty of leaving assets lying around – how to capture and index these for use e.g. by alumni. Need to rethink productivity and leverage natural learning mechanisms.


Q: Several communities K-12 v HE. How can we come up with coherent answers.

Diana: Do not think the distinction in sectors applies to her personal work. Ideas tend not to changes but customisation to context is needed. Also need to look at coherence of experience. Make public and exposed may not be enough, citing the OU – exposed material to public but did not align until named degrees.


John: Developing country – need to assist the formal system in developing world rather than the informal. Need to focus on the formal qualification system and align with teaching approach. E.g. civil service exam.

Toru: Agreed that this is an important step.

John: But in India students are coming out of Uni needing to be trained further before work and actually portfolios may be valued more in the creative industries.  He pointed to the moves in Singapore – teach less learn more (actually top down – “you will be creative”)


Marlene: How to get to the explanatory design approach. Already e.g.s of kind of open learning but do not know how they are doing a good job. Need to bring teachers in. Will be a research intensive process to spot what works in social world. Need to tie research to design principles?

Jim: Yes need to do this. Match with learning design approach and work on alignment.

Diana: Science v engineering – but at the moment carrying out design research, producing boundary objects between research and practice. Iterative loops within the research that engage the teachers in the process.

John: Will need to change the way we fund this – turn institutions into Learning Institutions.


Tammy: Creating new assets seems to fit our way of operating rather than reusing. How to get scale.

Diana: Need to see how to best spend time productively. How to find time to look at all that is available if we leave so many assets behind. [Like this one!]. E-learning strategy – most important was how to engage leaders. Not a research issue but a political issue, though tools may expose the issues especially around time and methods.

Toru: Actually this is Tammy’s problem if she is developing smart assessment system – then how to make sure it is used and valuable!


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