the future of publishing & the young generation

There has been a lot of interesting debate and discussion recently about the future of publishing with the prevalence of technologies and social networking. Add this to my existing concerns about the ‘them and us’ notions and views that some people seem to have of ‘students’ and the whole Lifelong learning agenda, I was pleased to stumble across a video and thought it was very clever indeed, you need to watch it to the end to get the full message: see video in Will Thalheimer’s post.

Can we share learning outcomes and other related info?

ASN, XCRI, LEAP, Curriculum Design and more meeting, Bolton 22 march

March saw a meeting to explore possible links between common areas of interest such as XCRI, LEAP, Curriculum Design and Delivery and included fellow CETIS colleagues, colleagues from down the road at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), and from ‘across the pond’ in the USA, namely University of Washington and JES and Co, Arizona. The meeting was a very interesting, educational, intense and productive session. Wilbert Kraan, CETIS Asst Director, organised the event after meeting Diny Golder, Chief Exec of JES and Co/ASN at a conference and realising that their fantastic work spanning many many years has much relevance to some of the issues that we are grappling with. The agenda went something like this:

• Overview of the Achievements Standards Network (ASN) it’s infrastructure, tools and models.
• Other relevant work that they have explored (and serendipitously so had MMU) is that undertaken at the Australian University of Southern Queensland.
• Overview of the eXchanging Course Related Information (XCRI) spec, it’s infrastructure, tools and models.
• Overview of the Leap 2 specification for portability and interoperability of e-portfolio information, it’s infrastructure, tools and models. Plus Leap2 in Atom and Leap2 in RDF.
• Information about the JISC Curriculum Design programme and links with this work.
• Crossovers and applications between all of the above.

The gist of what they all do:

In general there are 3 main parts to the ASN work:
1. Framework to describe something
2. Repository to store it
3. The services to make it work

XCRI exposes course information in a format to allow sharing and portability between learning providers (and ultimately for learners). “Opening up the offerings of learning providers creates new possibilities for value-added services and information channels for universities, colleges, and training providers.”

LEAP deals with learner information and exposing such information to be used and exchanged between e-portfolio and e-PDP tools.

The JISC Curriculum Design and Delivery programmes are, as the name suggests, looking at all aspects of the curriculum from planning through to approval and quality assurance to delivery / implementation. The main area of interest that was obvious to the work of the ASN was in the Curriculum Design aspects, and in particular being able to share and expose information about learning outcomes.

Why are they relevant to each other?
The Achievement Standard Network is interesting work to track as it can inform many areas of work especially many JISC programmes which CETIS support, such as Curriculum Design and Delivery, Lifelong Learning and Workforce development, Open Educational Resources and many more.

There are natural linkages between all the areas we discussed, and each individual area has a knock on effect on the others. Initiatives to help expose and share information such as learner competencies, learning outcomes, course information, curriculum models and so on are all beneficial to each other; it is such a vast and complex field that no one project or organisation could tackle it. It is critical in many developments to keep in mind the transferability of the findings and replication (indeed for funding bodies the wider application and sharing is an imperative.) To also have an international appeal broadens the scope and potential application of such work.

I’ve written up an account of the meeting, formed from my hastened notes as the discussions went on. I’ve added it as a seperate file as it is quite lengthy but is was a long meeting with lots of information! I’ll try to revisit it and break it down into digestible chunks…

I thought of the question ‘can we share learning outcomes?’ after I had written this post, as I tried to zoom out of focus and to think of how someone who wasn’t in the meeting may think, and for me, I suppose that was the question I went into the meeting with (but I hadn’t yet formulated it.)
My expanded notes from the meeting are in a seperate pdf file.