Learning Lab Seminars

The Learning Lab - Where Technology Enables Knowledge

A new round of seminars from the learning lab have been announced - including What makes elearning effective for different sectors (22nd March), VLE's and beyond (3rd May), and e-Assessment (24th May).

Personalised Learning

A focus on personalised learning in schools was announced by the DfES recently (DfES, News Centre).  An expert panel has been created to review the current state of play, "recommend ways to ensure that personalised learning is a reality in every classroom and set out a vision for how teaching and learning should develop between now and 2020".The review, which is expected to report by the end of 2006 will look at: • teaching and learning strategies, especially in literacy and numeracy;• best use of setting and grouping;• improving parental engagement;• how personalised learning can close the achievement gap and boost social mobility;• addressing the needs of gifted and talented children;• use of ICT and pupil data to personalise learning; • the potential for workforce reform to support personalisation;• utilising flexibilities in the National Curriculum;• collaboration between schools to deliver educational opportunities.    

The Office Chart That Really Counts

This article from business week online highlights the growing use of social network analysis (SNA) in the corporate secter, and provides several interesting real-world examples of its use. However the question of confidentiality is also raised, and is a tricky one - maps can reveal sensitive information about the interconnections within an organisation, and as such access must be carefully monitored.

Orgnet also have a useful introduction and overview of SNA.

Problem Solving

What happens to a problem deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

The impact of an individual deferring problems, regardless of their role, can be devastating for an organisation. In the article, "Thinking through problem solving" (pdf), Valerie A Washington outlines the 6 stages of the 'Ladder of Problem Solving'model:

Skilled response
Directed results

which she believes will "help to develop personal accountability, collaborative problem solving, and growth.

CAMEL Partner is Website of the Month

Congratulations to Loughborough College who have been voted as the Times Educational Supplement's website of the month.

Loughborough College are one of the partner institutions involved with the CAMEL (Collaborative Approaches to the Management of ELearning) project, which Inspire Research are currently evaluating.

Podcasts on the bus?

What I'm dabbling with is using Feedreader on my Pocket PC (Dell Axim). This is relatively painless, and offers the potential to listen to Go Digital and many other sources while on the move. (Although I needed some extra storage capacity, the feederreader guidance on how to set it up is pretty straightforward, including pointing to the extra bits needed to put the software on your SD card.)

Potential sources of podcasts of interest can be found at Podcasting news . I may dip into Adventures in Transformative Learning: Discussions about Adult Learning and Change . Sounds interesting, and I'll report back on my findings!

Where did all this come from? I've been planning to do it for a while, but a recent article in Freepint set me off.

Pushing the Boundaries of Public Sector Research

This recent article, "On-line Focus Groups: Pushing the Boundaries of Public Sector Research" highlights some of the benefits of conducting qualitative research online, and specifically discusses focus groups.

efocus.com provide a hosting service for both online focus groups and discussion boards.