HE Forum Online Session – Quality in VLE – a Delphi Study

Filed Under (Events, Research, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by ronan on 18-01-2012

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Research from the comfort of my desk.

Last week I took part in a live online forum and presented some research that I had carried out on behalf of JISC and MEG (Mixed Economy Group of colleges).

It was a very interesting excercise both in terms of the technology use and the feedback and discussion that followed. This research was carried out in the Summer of 2011 and looked at perceptions about quality issues in virtual learning environments of staff in colleges who offer higer education.

I presented the findings firstly to the funders in Preston to colleagues from MEG and further afield. I also presented a very shortened version to the MEG Committee meeting in London in December 2011.

There has been quite a bit of interest at all dissemination events in the use of the Delphi technique and in particular the use of the Moodle system to manage the roll-out of the Delphi technique.

The reason I used Delphi in this instance was to test its validity in terms of exploring issues of technology – I was particularly keen to see how it might give up – good quality data about future directions in the use of technology within learning environments. On this occasion, perhaps due to the small scale of the study, the dataset did not provide significant indications of current issues or future challenges.

I hope to use the Delphi technique to undertake a much larger piece of research that will look at changing perceptions of knowledge and scholarship within learning environments and education systems.

The link is here if you want to view the whole session.    http://infodb.rsc-yh.ac.uk/events/event_details.asp?eid=846

From Lending to Learning – published

Filed Under (Built Learning Environments, General, Information Literacy, Professional practice, Research, Technology Reviews, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by ronan on 29-11-2010

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Ahh – finally… my book which is now available – an extract from the opening pages:

“As I write this introduction a debate on BBC Radio 4 suggests that in order to effect public sector efficiency savings, volunteers should run public libraries along the lines of charity shops. There are regular announcements of this type in the media with yet more initiatives to change public libraries. To breathe new life into them, to put new energy into the service and to take new approaches that range from raising noise levels to the provision of coffee and chat facilities. At the heart of all such announcements lies a very important, yet simple, question: what are public libraries for?

Wander into any one of the hundreds of public libraries in the UK and you will see a range of services there that have evolved in a fairly haphazard way. This is not to say that there is poor quality of service, simply a lack of consistent strategy. One is tempted to ask some very obvious questions. Who looks after the public libraries of this country? Is the power to shape the future of public libraries in the hands of the central government, the regional assemblies, local authorities or made-up agencies, quangos, held together by the short-term thinking of hands-off politicians and civil servants? What are the reasons for keeping an institution such as the public library active over centuries – is it simply tradition? And, looking ahead, what might be the public library needs of our grandchildren?

In the chapters that follow I try to unravel the complexity and distil a logic that might offer a way to view the public library not simply as a national institution steeped in tradition, or as a purposeless place providing little more than popular glossy magazine titles, but as a learning space. Or, more correctly, a space owned by and dedicated to learners.”

Order this title now through your local public library – or buy it yourself, read it and send me your comments.

Rónán O’Beirne From Lending to Learning – The development and extension of public libraries. 2010 Chandos Information Professional Series Chandos Publishing an imprint of Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Cambridge. ISBN 9781843343882.  – 216 pages  234 x 156mm  paperback £45.00 / US$75.00 / €55.00

More on Moodle

Filed Under (General, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 19-03-2010

In response to the large numbers of staff now actively using Moodle, the VLE team and Beth and Deborah have set up a space that provides three services for staff: – Support services for  all development issues; Showcase facilities to show-off what you have done and to see the work of others; and a Lounge facility to share and develop good practice.
Of course the feedback from our recent successful  IQER (Integrated Quality Enhancement Review) about our use of Moodle was very positive, however there is always more that can be done. This new space should be an excellent resource for staff beginning with e-learning generally and also for those with more experience who may be looking to extend their skills and knowledge. Go there now!

Moodle and Librarians

Filed Under (General, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 30-11-2009

I was very pleased to take part in a sort of “Librarians go wild in Moodle” workshop on our Training and Planning (TAP) day.

There has been magnificent progress made with providing access to e-resources across all courses with our HE provision being particularly well catered for. At least three different approaches to how Bradford College’s librarians are supporting the VLE were demonstrated to me: subject access to resources embedded in each course, reading lists embedded in the course, and the whole opac embedded in the course (well the search facility at least). I suppose this shows the versatility of Moodle but it also shows the impressive technical skills of the librarians.
Should we have just one way of structuring library and learning resource support within Moodle?

After the demonstrations we discussed further progress and this led to consideration of our wider strategy on the use of a repository. Needless to say we favoured an open access model but this in itself has many intellectual property rights issues with which we will need to grapple in the coming months.

Sri Lankan connections made

Filed Under (General, Research, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 28-09-2009

On Tuesday I spent time hosting two visitors from the Academy of Design in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Saluka Kotagama Principal and Manisha Gunawardane – Head of the Centre for Creative Enterprise. I gave a brief outline of my role and that of learning resources before we made our way to visit the VLE team in their office at Grove Library’s Victory room, for a demonstration of our Second Life and OpenSim activity. The project that is being set up has a focus on fashion design a real strength of the Academy of Design. We were particularly interested in merging the fashion design aspects with the use of live avatars in the virtual world. We were also intersted in how Moodle might be used to support collaborative learning between our two institutions. To set the ball rolling Tim gave a wonderful account of the history of Second Life, tracing the context and explaining some of the important detail. He then demonstrated an animated cat-walk along with lighting and effects. This served to ignite the discussion and a number of ideas were identified as possible ways forward. Richard took us through the latest developments with Moodle and there were some areas where collaboration with Srinreth the moodle support person at the AoD could be taken further. This work promises much for the future. Many thanks to Tim for the work he put in to making his get off to a great start.

Moodle – a Virtual Research Environment

Filed Under (Research, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 11-04-2009

cover of JISC RSC report 11th March 2009

The Yorrkshire and Humber JISC Regional Support Centre has brought out a publication that ties in with their event on March 11th at which I presented a paper about using Moodle as a virtual research envrionment.
“The substance of this paper gives a first-hand account of developing a virtual research environment and how scarce resources are deployed to accommodate a range of approaches while maintaining steady progress towards the realisation of enhanced pedagogy through using learning technology.
Download the full report here

March on Moodle – Newsletter Published

Filed Under (VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 11-03-2009

The latest and excellent VLE – Moodle newsletter is available from this link:

Well done to the VLE team!

Whistling Woods, Filmcity, Mumbai

Filed Under (VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 11-02-2009

Reception area

Whistling Woods is an excellent venture providing full media and film production training for the industry most obviously the local Bollywood scene. I have done some good work with Chaityana CC to develop a Moodle solution for their student group which numbers about 400. I discussed the strategic approach to e-learning with John Lee Dean of WWI and our Principal Michele Sutton OBE, from this it became clear that further joint ventures might be possible. For instance Baljit Panesar and Trevor Griffiths from our Arts and Creative Media department are working on a student exchange programme.

After a very interesting tour of the facilities and some lunch we sat down and talked about the best way to deploy the solutions. The staff here at WWI used the Mac version and apart from some small LDAP issues which were soon overcome, the setting up of Moodle was pretty much hassle-free.

I look forward to seeing their progress in the coming months.

Moodle – Toolkit (helps you get going)

Filed Under (VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 03-06-2008

VLE Logo
The Moodle Toolkit as developed by the Pathfinder Project is available here


Please use it and become more engaged with Moodle



Filed Under (VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 03-06-2008

Wimba LogoWe had an excellent presentation from the Wimba people yesterday who took us through the range of their classroom. We were interested in the way it might link with Moodle. We already use Course Genie which has been rebranded as Wimba Create.

Further datails of Wimba can be found here.