I didn’t particularly like yellow, but I have a new affection for it now! Yesterday morning when I arrived into work there was a large yellow envelope waiting for me. It was a confirmation letter from the JISC to say that we had been successful in the bid we put in for the recent JISC Curriculum Design call for proposals. For once I avoided the temptation of trying to come up with some dreadful acronym (previous disasters have included FICTION and LADIE – yuk). So the title is pretty unsexy to say the least “Support new models for Curriculum Design and pedagogic understanding by implementing social networking and technology-supported design innovation’. The opening paragraph gives an overview of the proposed focus of the project:
This bid aims to extend and apply a new learning design methodology, which adopts an evidence-based, multi-faceted approach to support innovative approaches to curriculum design. Strategic investment funds have been provided by the OU for Learning Design over the past year, so we have already developed an extensive set of resources, workshop guidelines, different methods of thinking about design and innovative tools. This bid will enable us to explore the use of these in-depth across a number of institutional contexts. It has strong senior management support, we want in particular to align with the OU’s current curriculum business model project (which is trialling six different curriculum models across all 8 faculties) along with related institutional aspirations concerned with the application of emerging technologies (such as roll out of the VLE, reuse of Open Educational Resources and the application of web 2.0 technologies through the SocialLearn project). The bid will enable us to trial the methodology in 4 other institutions and across two pan e-learning contexts (the Moodle and LAMS communities).
The project, worth £400k is part of the JISC’s E-learning Programme, in a new strand of work on Curriculum Design. The call for proposals indicated that JISC were planning to fund between 10 – 12 projects, so it will provide a really valuable opportunity to tackle in depth and over a reasonable timeframe promoting innovation in Curriculum Design, A sister programme on Curriculum Delivery has also been initiated. We will be working with four other institutions – Brunel, Cambridge, London South Bank and Reading, who were ‘cluster c’ in the HE Academy pathfinder project that I was critical friend too (see previous postings about this, for example this and this). The JISC bid provides a nice opportunity to further the collaborations we have already developed as a group. We are giving a presentation about the Cluster C work at ALT-C in September.
Juliette, Simon and me
The bid will complement the existing work at the Open University, which is part of the OU Learning Design Initiative (OULDI). We are busy at the moment revamping our prototype social networking site for sharing learning and teaching ideas, and making updates to our visualisation tool for design, CompendiumLD. We are running three Designfests and a Cloudworks Summit in the nest month to capture designs and to gather views on the Cloudworks site – how it is designed and used, and how it might connect with other sites and initiatives. It’s a great team of people to work with – Andrew Brasher
is leading on the CompendiumLD work, Simon Cross on the project management and empirical data, Juliette Culver
on Cloudworks and Perry Williams, who is currently seeding the Cloudworks site. Also involved are Martin Weller
(providing his usual web 2.0 guruness), Paul Clark (looking at the learner perspectives) and Patrick McAndrew
(on application to OERs). Patrick and I are currently putting together a bid to the Hewlett foundation,
as a follow on the OpenLearn
initiative. The focus will be to develop a network (OLnet) for researchers, users and developers of OERs “OLnet aims to foster a global network for sharing methodologies and evidence on the effectiveness of OERs”. A strong theme of the proposal is application of the learning design work we have done to date to the OER context. The latest draft of the proposal is here
, comments welcome! So lots of exciting and complementary activities – will keep blogging as developments occur! Once we have the new Cloudworks site in place we plan to have a collective blog attached to that too.