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Emerging Technologies OU perspective on ICT in skills delivery Keith Williams

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1 Emerging Technologies OU perspective on ICT in skills delivery Keith Williams

2 The Open University in 2010 At 40+ officially middle aged Over 2 million students since 1971 200,000+ students each year 40,000 outside UK Network of over 300 UK study centres Part-time remote learners – modules: 10–15 hours a week for 32 weeks

3 UK four nations presence The University is funded in England and NI, Wales and Scotland – centres in each nation plus 10 English regions. – staffed by Director, student support and administrative staff Staff in these centres are responsible for: – the practical support and advising of students: learning advisors, tutors – the recruitment, training and supervision of 8,000 part-time Associate Lecturers (ALs) – face-to-face tutorials, residential schools, examinations and events

4 The Open University in 2010 Distributed institution built on scaleability Changed Student Socio Demographic context Technological Legacy Changing markets, Changing competition

5 Scaleability in the OU Tutor Team Central Faculty Reg Acad Student Design and develop course, set assessments exam and marking schemes x20 Recruit, develop and performance monitor tutors x75 Teach, support and assess students to standard procedures x20 Distributed students study to same pattern and standards Total 30,000 per faculty Admin Syst Media Design + Production

6 Scaleability – Mega-universities Mega Universities –Sir John Daniel circa ’95 –Institutions teaching 100,000+ –Invest heavily in Content Development Administrative Systems Distribution and Logistics –Scaleability delivers high quality at low cost per individual –Industrial scale teaching Cost Student Number Conventional Distance Learning

7 Changed Context and Markets Does the mass market still exist? Increased participation in HE reduces market for 2 nd chancers Increased participation in HE increases market for graduate lifelong learners Cost Student Number Conventional Distance Learning

8 Changing Technologies E technologies reduce costs of –Content Development –Administrative Systems –Distribution and Logistics Cross over point at lower student numbers Convergence of Conventional and Distance Learning Cost Student Number Conventional Distance Learning

9 198519901995 20002005 Systems stable DL text led Conv classroom led, some video classroom outreach 1 st standalone PC use in OU course 1 st online conferencing in OU course WWW raises profile of text resources 1 st Fully online OU course Intro to WWW 11,000 studs pa Distribution of course materials PDFs, quizes etc via VLEs reduces barriers of entry to distance learning for conventional univs MIT Open course- ware launched OU selects Moodle VLE Milestones to convergence ? Openlearn Facebook i-Tunes U

10 OU technology policy The Vision: We lead the learning revolution taking innovation to the heart of learning and research. We continuously seek new and better ways to inspire and enable learning. The reality: Knowledge Media Institute and Institute of Educational Technology lead technological and pedagogic research. Mainstream teaching exploits stable, domestically available technologies.

11 Dimensions of flexibility Time Place Resources/Interactivity Classroom teaching +ve -ve

12 What’s needed in the skills and CPD market ? HEFCE funded study of market potential for online CPD Employer and Professional Body membership survey –Small blocks of learning ( 20-30 hours max 2-3 credit) –Rapid availability, flexible study time –Work relevant and instantly applicable –Credit not essential but a nice to have extra –Acceptance of e-learning but limited experience –Access to HE academic staff

13 Centre for Professional Learning and Development Seeks to meet employer demand for both generic and custom programmes exploiting OU course inventory OU systems OU networks

14 Who for? Practising professionals wishing to extend and update their skills with quality CPD Members of professional bodies that require CPD evidence Staff in organisations which are pursuing organisational development Promotion/job seekers who want to prove their CPD Alumni who want post- qualification career-long learning

15 Practising professionals wishing to extend and update their skills with quality CPD Challenges Flexibility and availability Short online modules Relevance Work based context and activities Scalability Scale up and down Continuity Routes to credit and qualification


17 Skills Coverage Leadership Skills People Management Project and Programme Management SkillsProject and Programme Management Skills Analysis and Use of EvidenceAnalysis and Use of Evidence Financial Management SkillsFinancial Management Skills Strategic Thinking Skills Communications and Marketing SkillsCommunications and Marketing Skills Creative and Problem Solving SkillsCreative and Problem Solving Skills Key Corporate Skills Change Management SkillsChange Management Skills Ethical Practice Skills IT Skills Numeracy Skills

18 OU-Housing and Communities Academy Transfer of a face to face workshop based course to online environment Five days of collaborative workshops to be replaced by 5 workplace based sessions supported by remote online facilitator Desktop based conferencing Using the commercial Elluminate system, multiple participants, Audio, video and online chat channels whiteboards, application sharing, breakout rooms etc

19 OU-Housing and Communities Academy Trial with HCA and Stoke on Trent Council Facilitator led sessions during working hours Challenges: online use of rich picture techniques defaulted to text based post it techniques corporate firewalls advance planning and negotiation needed priority conflict if you’re in the office you can’t be on a course


21 The Executive Reading Group 90% of Professionals report “ Reading” as a Professional Development activity 50% report use of internet for discussion with fellow professionals Exec Reading Group based around “must read” books University Guru led Trialled using Elluminate system, synchronous discussion, whiteboard slides as scene setters Flexible in direction, follow on via blog Returns University to academic roots, students at the e-feet of the professor

22 Working with Employers and SSCs IT Professional Development Programme working with e-skills and major employers –6 modules leading to PG Certificate Certificate of Nuclear Professionalism, working with National Skills Academy –Nuclear and major employers –7 industry defined modules –Accessed through company, university and other providers –QCF registered qualification through OU Awarding Body



25 Routes to Credit

26 Flexible user led development Open Educational Resources OER movement provides flexible resources licenced under Creative Commons licencing to allow users to use, modify and share learning resources Open Learn – i-Tunes U –

27 Openlearn



30 Conclusions OU conservative but bold in its use of new technologies The principles of scaleability are under challenge Our resources and capable of supporting a range of novel skill development models We are a networked and networking institution. Innovation is in our life blood

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