At the JISC Learning Resources one day conference. Tish Roberts is giving the introduction (standing in for Sarah Porter – sickness has also hit organsiers Lou McGill and Sarah Knight).

The Learning Resources and Activities area from JISC is fairly broad and overlaps with the digital resources area – the jiscinfonet site has gathered some of the reports together which sounds useful. The structure for the day involves repeated workshops followed by a panel with the intention to help JISC get focus.

Tish led into Allison Littlejohn’s keynote. Allison is presenting on the collective use of Learning Resources. She framed her work in terms of the the CLAX report and made the connection with the free way we share academic knowledge but less certain bout sharing learning. She brought up the idea of collective learning (the wisdom of crowds) with a key element being the “charting” of work. This was described as the next development from collaborative leearning. Allison seems e on the letter C – consumption – connection – contribution – collective – charting. The example she used was from the DIDET project – I think I remember this as part of the NSF/JISC work. Using a wiki to support design-based learning.

The next part of the talk was about the competency based approach (Skills for Scotland Report, 2007). This sounds a lot like the work of the TENCompetence project with chances to plan your own path through material.

Charting is “The actions of learners planning their own learning paths”. Dynamically changing plans. Differs from competence based as goals can be personal. At this point Allison cited the learner traces work of TENCompetence and older work by Phil Candy on autodidaxy. A new reference for me is Collins “The periodic table of expertise” – I have a feeling that Grainne may like a book with that table.

This area of charting fits well with how we might use learning paths in OpenLearn. As a way to pass expert use to novice use. The basis for pushing this forward was described.

In the questions covered the design connections, the link with work-based learning, the challenge of matching assessment programmes. Allison mentioned the OU as a model for the way the Caledonian Academy can move – and draw together teaching and research. Technology v pedagogy which is the lead. Business productivity value tends to lead to group work while the individual value system of universities. Allison replied with a plea to change from easy to measure metrics and more to listening to what employers value. What is needed is a mix of personal with collective learning. The answer should be diversity in university – employability can be a goal for e.g. Glasgow Caledonia v St Andrews say where they are a selecting university rather than a recruiting university.

Steve Draper pointed out that team work in business is driven by the varied skills required and practicality that means individuals hold on to knowledge. While academic collaboration for learning tends to require disagreement and then indivdual work that advances each person as an individual. This different form of intellectual team work is rare and teams of similar people – Tom Carey at Waterloo however has success in genuinely building interdiscipliniary teams. Hmm – will this point of “disagreement” advance both Steve and Allison. Though, of course, in practice Allison didn’t disagree completely with Steve.

David Kernohan & Neil Jacobs

They talked about the desk study carried out by a group of consultants. Seb Schmoller ran a workshop about this report at the OpenLearn. The desk study essentially reviewed many outputs from JISC and drew together some conclusions. The key ones picked out – that large scale sharing not happening, and the lack of knowledge of user requirements.

Concerns listed were cultural and IPR (perhaps a misconception according to David).

Cultural – attribution, web2.0 (push), institutional change towards sharing.

IPR – A legal “minefield” (or not) leads to lack of involvement, Trust, Policy in institutions (at the OU at least this is relatively clear for staff produced material the OU ownership is settled, some of the other points about student produced material I am less sure about).

Pedagogic issues were seen as less well addressed by the report – though there was the comment about looking for com ‘delivery endevour’ to solve the same problem. Not sure I entirely agree with the delivery focus, though the shared problem makes sense.

Neil then looked at the organisational and technology issues.

Organisational – mismatch with sharing, policy vacuum, no business case.

Technology – interoperability, push v pull (alerting v resource discovery), format & metadata (this showed the move away from labelling to usage and free text techniques).


The report itself is leading into a briefing paper. Whiteboard for answers to questions.


Jackie from Infornet revisited the web based resource to pull together the reports from the theme. Interesting angle on whether this is push or pull – tags allowed. Images fed from Flickr – could be useful as a set of images to illustrate so Iwill check what the tagging is. The delicious tagging is also in operation under learning.resource.and.activities. This was described as a skeleton resource with links through to project site pages.