UK universities should take online lead

UK universities should take online lead:

“UK universities should push to become world leaders in online higher education, ministers will say tomorrow, despite the failure of the UK e-University four years ago.

The universities secretary, John Denham, is likely to call not for a revival of the UKeU, which collapsed in 2004, but to develop a “global Open University in the UK”.”

That seems like an ambitious proposal, however when you read more detail…

“But it lags behind in generating and making available high-quality modern online learning and teaching resources.

The report by Prof Sir Ron Cooke, chairman of the UK universities’ Joint Information Systems Committee, suggests creating centres of expertise in educational technology and e-teaching through clusters of institutions, with comprehensive staff and student training.

Learning resources should be grouped together, coordinated nationally and provided freely, he will say.”

I can’t help but think that it is another naive proposal to spend money (through Sir Ron’s JISC of course) and see no reason why it would work better than the UK e-University, the 74 CETLs, or the Lifelong Learning Networks at making a significant positive sector wide impact.

I thought that the false division between those working in “educational technology and e-teaching” and ‘other’ teaching was a thing of the past. Instead, this proposal appears to further entrench an unhelpful divide rather than see learners as having diverse and changing needs that can’t be pigeonholed simply to meet the world views of others.

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