Making Connections – closing panel

April 30, 2008

The panel had split up to summarise the different strands of the conference. I didn’t know everyone on the panel and should have noted the names as they were introduced by Will Swann so apologies to Lindsay and Becky, though I caught Liz Hall who is leading the development of the OU’s National role, and I know Bob Lambourne leader of the piCETL, Chris Pegler, and Martin Weller.

Lindsay reported on the student experience – and the issues of how we measure it – and the way we try to intervene to change it.

Becky (working with employers strand) – employer engagement is an opportunity and threat. Bringing together activity like this shows the range of existing activity.OU does still have USP around consistency, excellence in teaching, technology, and expertise in the learner experience. We are also learning a lot by working with employers and listening to them.

A quick hands up in the hall led to all but one person seeing it as an opportunity (what does he know that we don’t!).

Liz Hall had looked at the academic work on employer links, while Bob talked about the way in which the CETL work had impacted across the conference: with good work on synchronous links, past use of Lyceum and future use of elluminate. Bob deliberately ended on a couple of negatives – the problems of technology (illustrated in the way it even impacts on presentations in the conference and so we can expect this to hit students). The other negative is the lack of academics in the audience.


Poll: ALs, students, Regional, Central academic. Majority were central academic but I still take Bob’s point that we are talking to the converted.


Chris: lots of interesting things going on but we must disseminate (repeating a quote Phil Candy had used – “research not published = research not done”). Chris talked about sessions that I had missed where FlashMeeting (another OpenLearn technology) had been used for joint project work. She described  delighters and exciters.


Martin presented both a tag cloud (in fact two – the abstracts and the discussions) and the crowdstatus of the twitters we made.


So to finish these notes and inspired by Martin here is the tagcloud for my own notes:



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