Thursday, May 08, 2008


Yesterday I had a very early start for a JISC JORUM steering group . Those who work in College sector will know all about JISC and the services they provide . I just wanted to capture some of what is happening in one UK University.

The norm is for main lectures to be Videoed and are available as web streams. These can be accessed by students in satellite centres on other continents.

500 podcast lecture library is also available to learners.

They have a repository that contains lots of images and film footage digitised from a range of sources used for variety of purposes in lecture theatres or in the Virtual Learning Environment.

Through JISC they subscribe to many other collections , academic journals and other learning resources nationally and internationally.

They have problems with what to do with all the digital material they are building up - eg student concerts from the music department

They have some projects running in High Performance Computing area that are very bandwidth and storage hungry.

Faced with the digital deluge they are researching a data storage strategy.

Being Academics they are very concerned with Archiving but are never sure where to stop.

They use an Eprints repository and have a publications reporting strategy that automates their RAE returns ( captures and publishes research publications from all the academics on campus) .

The academic community make increasing use of local and national repositories mainly for research but increasingly for teaching and learning.

They have a search tool that allows searches across their Virtual Learning Environment, EPrints, the library catalogue and their learning object respository.

They may move sophistication of this out to i-google or some other external tool to open their meta data to others and improve local searches further.

They have been building intelligent classrooms that can utilise these resources with learners .

Soon they may do an MIT and release freely a lot of their learning and teaching materials.

The feeling is that as the momentum has grown so Research , learning and teaching have moved closer together.

They have a lot of student, learner generated content and are not sure how to manage this.

They have a "dead professor problem" - identity management issues across the institution some staff have multiple idents and Shibboleth authentication has not sorted this out yet.

They have now come to expect most students will arrive with a wireless laptop and expect access to all of the Universities services on campus and off campus 24/7

It's not the same everywhere and will vary a lot institution to institution and department to department even in a single university - but I thought this was a neat summary of a University that has got it and what learners get when they arrive at a University near you.

Colleges are couple of steps behind but sometimes stronger on Virtual Learning Environment implementation. Eight years working with JISC and the changes have been phenomenal . UKERNA delivers the backbone for GLOW.

Rattled this off on the train home last night sorry if it looks horrible

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