Thursday, October 07, 2010

Future of Higher Education in the Digital Age

Greetings from the Australian National University, where the MoodlePosium started this morning. Currently Peter Evans from USQ is talking on Moodle Hacks, Tips and Hints. One issue he raised was how communication between teachers, particularly temporary sessional teachers could be accommodated. Peter then went on to discuss how to get outsiders into a course. The obvious solution are "guests", but they can't interact with students. Self enrolling is a cumbersome process. He suggests using a meta-course and then establishing a community forum as a child course. He suggests making a student the moderator of a forum to allow them to demonstrate leadership.

One major issue was the way Austrlaian universities cut courses into 13 week individual modules. Peter suggested using a Mahara ePortfolio for the student over the life of their course and beyond. This rasies itneresting issues about the nature of education.

These might all sound like trivial details and hot related to the big issues of tertiary education, but as I will discuss in my talk tomorrow on Education Informed Research Using Moodle, it is these sort of details which are important to teachers and they will decide the future of education, not Vice Chancellors or government policy makers. For those who doubt the power of such event, I noticed Martin Dougiamas, developer of Moodle sitting just in front of me. The usual process of canvassing ideas, preparing proposals, having them reviewed, listed and implemented can be reduced from years to days. What is discussed here will shape the future of education in Australia. What I found from helping implement the Internet in the Australian government was if you proposed someone which made sense, people would implement it, without the need for formal policy.

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