Friday, 5 December 2008


LEX = Learner experiences (of technology)

JISC has recently been commissioning research studies/pilot projects that try to uncover what our netgenners really want from us (the gatekeepers of their education). The plethora of projects were synthesised into a glossy publication and a web resource last year entitled "the learner experiences". There are ressources, videos, case studies to help educators work with student expectations.

Now there is a phase 2
of this programme which has the following outputs thus far:

1. Usable materials, activities and resources for those engaged in staff
development (and links to RSC booking forms for the dissemination workshops for the Learner Experience projects) on

2. Learner video clips from the E4L project with a variety of learners from different educational backgrounds in an interactive case study
form: "These clips last anything from 20 seconds to 3 minutes and provide short, sharp and sweet experiences and opinions from the learners that
can be used to educate and inspire other learners, tutors, developers,managers,etc.

3. LexDis student strategies database - - a searchable database of strategies
from the learners involved with this project. " All the strategies have been provided by students who have first hand experience of e-learning.

4. national workshops. The B'ham next week is full but there are 3 more in 2009.

This work by JISC is complimented by a new research website by the The Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience , who has issued a report outlining their studies into what the google generation want/expect! Surprisingly amongst other recommendations, they were skeptical about the surface level learning afforded by the use of web 2.0 tools! But they still want organisations to promote them (looks like forums are old hat)? Students want to use technology, but not necessarily what their organisations are pushing (VLEs). Therefore a common ground needs to be found. A mix of web 2.0 and institutional tools is the order of the day! Sounds like Professor Mark Stiles' recent paper " the death of the VLE" was somehow quite accurate.

But lets not forget the
other JISC report earlier this year, that concluded that the digital natives lacked certain key critical thinking/searching/evaluation skills. Yes. "they" were born into the age of ubiquitous technology, but not all choose to use it. And not all know how to, and a fair proportion like the option to multi-task when communicating. Second life, face book, and email are routinely viewed as things that old people do. Note to self.. must get my twitter account up and running :O) .. and drop the "old skool" blogging!

On Tuesday of this week The Guardian issued a special supplement on the JISC Student
Experiences campaign. The web URL for this is It has a good mix of short features from podcasting to the need for new methods of assessment.
Dr Paul Brett from Wolverhampton University comments on how their TXTing project opened up alternative communication channels to reach new undergraduates. All of this linkes with the previous post where Paul Ramsden comments on the DIUS HE debate & need for student input to HE Quality assurance!

And, to finally link with another project to gives us something to work with whn designing new web 2.0'yfied curriculum:

This information from a related LEX project on web 2.0 & pedagogy

"Many development projects have explored the potential of web 2.0 technologies to enhance the experience of higher level study. There is now a considerably body of evidence linking the social affordances of web 2.0 with academic practices, such as":

  • Shared knowledge building (wikis, social book-marking, folksonomies)
  • Peer review (tagging, recommending and rating)
  • Freedom of ideas (open content, open source software, blogs and discussion sites)
  • Personal research (new tools for navigating and analysing information spaces)
  • Specialist communities of interest (community sites)

  • My colleague Martin Hawksey also alerted me to this paper from the LEAD project covering their research on student expectations. The digital divide is mentioned in here!

1 comment:

Martin Hawksey said...

Nice post Kev. As always full of useful resources.

Your twitter comment stuck in my mind. I've had various twitter accounts for over a year. I don't update my main one @mhawksey which is probably why I've only got one follower. I also have @accessapps which I embed into as a simple way to update latest news.

I've probably never fully committed to twitter to get the most out of it. There is a nice post by Shiela MacNeill which touches on twitter (check out the comments)

If you are looking to quickly create a twitter-sphere Jane Hart keeps a Directory of Learning Professionals (& Others) on Twitter