Should e-learning policies be written to empower staff and students to abandon institutional provision?
Two weeks into the semester proper the 7 student researchers recruited for the first cohort are all engaging with the first module.
Forced to work outside of the UoB learning platforms (administrative issues), we have concentrated our communications around our WordPress.com site and Google Docs for formal support (negotiation of learning contracts), with the more informal aspects catered for by blog aggregation through YahooPipes, synchronous text chats & oral communication through skype, and some exploration of twitter and a beta beta IEC Statusometer (developed by Sam) – there are probably also things happening that I don’t know about.
Thus far there is no compelling reason to use institutional technology at all. A little more thought on my part on setting-up of the wordpress blogs would, however, have enhanced the experience for student researchers. For example, choosing at the point of making posts visible to allow comments or not as we currently have too many places where these can be left – turning this function off retrospectively hides comments already made.
Another issue is that of privacy as the model of learning we have developed requires the discussion of work issues that it may not be suitable to be aired publicly, but again with a little more thought up-front this could easily be catered for.