Event Review: ALT Large Scale Curriculum Redesign 21st May 2012

I recently attended a one day event organised by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) about large-scale curriculum redesign where technology plays a central role. There were various talks through-out the day from FE institutions who had set about delivering chunks of learning online. Worcester College of Technology talked about their PAL Packs, developed to provide 15% of every course online. South West College, Northern Ireland, presented their ‘virtual week’ where students were able to access all their learning from home. Leeds City College discussed how technology was driving large scale organisational change as well as transforming learning across their various campuses in Leeds.

Manchester Metropolitan University were also there and talked about how they are dealing with their move from 20 credits to 30 credits for all first year modules. Using technology, they have been able to make the management of the process more efficient providing a central point in which to enter information and then have this distributed to the various systems (validation, student records, timetables, VLE).

There were a few notable attendees including Maren Deepwell (Chief executive of ALT), Diana Laurillard (Institute of Education), author of the seminal book in learning theory, Rethinking University Teaching: A Conversational Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies, and a familiar face from the recent UDOL Conference here at Derby, Donald Clark.

Donald’s lecture was about scalability, arguing that this should be a condition of funding. The more scalable the delivery the more cost-effective its development will be for the institution. A big fan of the Khan Academy and the notion of the Flipped Classroom (mentioned in previous blog posts) he proposes that we should always be recording our lectures (to reach larger audiences) we should be utilising Open Educational Resources (to save creating something that already exists), peer assessment (to reduce the marking load for academics), adaptive algorithms (to provide personalised learning), and Cloud-based solutions (to save money on  providing hard ware and software infrastructure).

Although this was a very useful conference and I enjoyed hearing about what other institutions are trying to do, I came away with a clear message. The inclusion of technology to enhance the whole curriculum (across the institution) will only come about if the senior management team can be convinced of the potential benefits it may bring. The projects presented here had this, they were provided with resources, time and encouragement in order to make this organisational and cultural change. Is this possible at Derby?

4 thoughts on “Event Review: ALT Large Scale Curriculum Redesign 21st May 2012

  1. This whole notion of Flipped Classrooms is becoming slightly tired now and Mr Clarke’s shtick is becoming ever so slightly repetitive. Isn’t the so-called flipped classroom nothing more than reinvented pre-session materials with some video content chucked in for good measure? With regards to Donald Clark, I’ve seen him twice now: the first time was entertaining, the second time was the last time. Much of what he says on his blog is thought provoking, the rest is simply provoking and not in a helpful way.

  2. Pingback: When the flipped classroom flops | The University of Derby Learning Technology Blog

  3. Pingback: Top Posts of 2012 | The University of Derby Learning Technology Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s