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Commentary 3 (Seb Schmoller)

Page history last edited by Martin Oliver 11 years, 3 months ago

Date: 19/7/2008


I enjoyed this article, but I was left with slight sense of disappointment. I'm not sure what is wanted or expected by way of peer commentary and it may be the comments below are wide of the mark.

1. Some basic data about the number of projects in what kinds of institution and with what sort of focus, would have helped the more distant reader grasp the nature of the initiatives discussed as well as giving Terry and Derek better scope to differentiate between the national programmes.


2. The Pew Grant programme had, as I recall, a strong element of giving participants analytical tools to aid decision making and planning, which was not as I understand it a feature of the UK intitiatives. That would be a point worth drawing out, for example in relation to the discussion of the Scottish Transformation Projects on page 14.


3. I watched TLTP (initially with FE envy, and then as a participant - in the Focus Project - one of the very few TLTP projects that had FE involvment), and I personally feel that some work should be done to see where TLTP people finished up and what they are now achieving before "dissing" TLTP as having had little effect. (Focus, for example, had involvement in it from amongst others, Grainne Conole, John Cook, Adam Warren, Tom Boyle, Dick Moore [now D of Technology at Ufi], Martin Oliver, and though "nowt happened" as a direct result of Focus, it is conceivable that TLTP acted as a giant distributed networking, professional development and capacity building programme, and that its longer term effects were substantial. Has anyone researched this?)


4. I bridled a bit at the term "Web 2.0 pedagogies" feeling that this kind of shorthand for a diverse set of kinds of activities and approaches by learners and teachers that should always be avoided. (I am quite close to this stuff, but for the life of me I would struggle to summarise what is meant by "Web 2.0 pedagogies".)


5. I marvelled at the 106 word sentence in paragraph 3 of the Discussion, as much for its overoptimism as for its excessive length!


6. Finally, the tangible benefits of elearning work led by JISCinfonet with ALT, seems to show that a lot of progress can be made on a disciplinary basis; some of the Scottish ELTP projects had a strong disciplinary focus (CELLS, say), and it would have been interesting to get a sense of the interplay between institution and discipline in the discussion of the pathfinder projects.



About the commentator(s)


I combine half-time employment with the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and work as an independent consultant. Between 1996 and 2002 I was Learning Technology Development Manager at The Sheffield College, and am now a Governor there. I used to be a member of the JISC Content Services Committee and now represent ALT on the JISC Learning and Teaching Committee. Since late 2002 I have written Fortnightly Mailing initially as a web based newsletter and since 2006 as blog+emailed summary.

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