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New publications from the JISC e-Learning Programme – April 2008

Date posted: 13/05/2008

Technology-Rich Physical Space Design: An overview of JISC Activities
Good design and effective management are fundamental to the success of a new-build or refurbishment project. With the chance to influence the future direction of learning and teaching in an institution, much is at stake for directors of estates, project managers, academic and library staff embarking on a large capital project.

Since 2006, JISC has been helping institutions develop physical spaces that anticipate the pervasive use of technology in learning and teaching, enable innovative, learner-centred pedagogies and inspire and motivate wider participation in learning.

JISC resources support each stage of the journey towards a successful project – from determining the vision for technology-enhanced learning spaces to exploring the processes behind successful outcomes. The most recent include an investigation of the design and management issues associated with open-plan spaces and video case studies of the impact on practice and culture of five technology-rich new-build and refurbishment projects. This paper provides an overview of JISC activities to date and outlines the most recent work in more detail.  The paper is available from www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/bpelearnspacesv1.aspx.  

Use of Technology to Support Admissions to Higher Education
Technology and its role in supporting the work of admissions professionals in higher education institutions (HEIs) has been explored in three recent studies. The studies found that good practice exists in the areas of supporting learners through the application process, providing feedback to applicants and monitoring the process for fairness purposes. Technology already plays a role, but institutions would benefit from additional tools to help them in these tasks.

These JISC studies were designed to investigate whether there are further technological means of supporting admissions around the topics raised by these recent reports on the themes of: the need for applicants to have access to timely and accurate information about courses and their entry requirements, to know how they will be assessed, and then to receive feedback in the event of being unsuccessful in their application; ensuring that admissions practices are professional and fair. The briefing paper summarising these findings is available from www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/delregionalpilots.aspx.

Distributed e-Learning Programme: Stories from regional pilot projects
These stories are based on a selection of regional pilot projects3 (completed between 2005 and 2007) that took a regional, cross-institutional and collaborative approach to supporting lifelong learners and facilitating progression. The motivation for this was the recognition that work, background or personal commitments may act as barriers to learning, and these projects piloted ways to help people to engage more effectively with learning opportunities in their region.

The stories follow some of the institutions' activities through the regional pilots, and look at specific messages and lessons learned along the way. They consider the importance of personalisation, context and purpose, the need to look at people-related requirements as well as the usability of the technology, and show how the project managers motivated tutors and learners to get involved. They also touch on the issue of collaboration across different sectors and cultures.  The publication and related case studies are available from www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/delregionalpilots.aspx.

Tangible Benefits of e-Learning: Does investment yield interest?
A briefing paper has been published to disseminate the outcomes from the ’Tangible Benefits of e-Learning’ Project. The JISC e-Learning Programme set out to explore the diversity of current e-learning practice across the sector and to find out what evidence there is relating to return on investment. A project led by JISC infoNet, in partnership with ALT and the Higher Education Academy, worked with 16 universities and 8 subject areas to investigate this question. The project produced 37 case studies which show clear evidence of a range of significant benefits resulting from investment in various types of e-learning activity The briefing paper is available from: www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/bptangiblebenefitsv1.aspx.

In addition, the e-Learning Programme funded the production of the full publication produced by JISC InfoNet and launched at the JISC Conference in April, Exploring Tangible Benefits of e-Learning:Does investment yield interest?

This publication is available from www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/publications/info/tangible-benefits-publication.

To order further copies of the e-Learning publications, please email publications@jisc.ac.uk