Compendium LD – free learning design software from the OU

12 11 2008

Compendium LD is  a visual learning design tool developed by the Open University Knowledge Network. It allows users to arrange and interlink a variety of learning tasks, tools and resources to learning outcomes and assessments, providing a visual map of a learning sequence. Content from Microsoft Office packages can be uploaded, while hyperlinks can be made to external resources and related tasks within Compendium. The software can be downloaded for free here and there’s a presentation on its application here.





One to watch from the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education

23 10 2008

Supported by the JISC Collaborative research into curriculum delivery project, the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (DCE) are implementing the Cascade Delivery Project, which aims to “properly explore implementing the technologies that can transform a learning experience across the whole of the Department”.

JISC invited institutions “to transform how they deliver and support learning across a curriculum area through the effective use of technology, in response to a particular challenge faced by the discipline(s), department(s) or institution(s) involved“, the challenge in the DCE’s case being the Government’s withdrawal of funding for students studying for a qualification lower than one they already hold. There’s an interesting interplay of policy here, JISC’s Collaborative Research project being prompted by the  Leitch Review of Skills and the World Class Skills implementation plan, which place further emphasis on employer-targeted learning, while the DCE faces a withdrawal of funding for ‘lower’ courses, more than likely undertaken by people re-training or studying for pleasure.

While the work produced by the DCE will no doubt be as exciting as ever, the message from the government seems to yet again be that education is training for work, rather than for pleasure or personal enrichment and that once you have set down a path in your education or career, the opportunities to change it are going to be limited. If the government’s intention is to ‘put employers’ needs centre stage in the design and delivery of training‘, then what becomes of the needs of the people undertaking that training?