Great ideas at SideCAP kick off workshop

May 15, 2008

Today I joined in a workshop that marked the start of the SideCAP project – Staff improvement in distance education for Carribean, African and Pacific universities. There were representatives from Mauritius, West Indies and Fiji reflecting work in supporting distance education. Those involved have links to the Commonwealth of Learning supported Virtual University of the Small States of the Commonwealth, a great idea to build enough effort jointly to offer a range of subjects. SideCAP though is a separate project led from the OU by Prof Robin Mason and she has created an EU supported project that focuses on capacity building.

At the stage I joined the kick off meeting there seemed consensus around a real need Рto develop as an open resource guidance and materials about the finding and reuse of open resources. Other people have also seen this as a gap but the SideCAP plan has strengths in the diversity of the the group involved, the skills they have and also the plan to build up from OpenLearn and similar OER bases to be able to present concreted examples. 

In showing OpenLearn I showed the now award-winning free FM videoconferencing that can be used to arrange flashmeetings that are recorded – for this particular group it could represent a chance to reduce their carbon-footprint as they stay in touch with each other.

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