donderdag, juni 14, 2007

The second day

Unfortunately I was only able to attend the morning sessions, since I had to join an important executive board meeting from the 3 technical universities in the Netherlands. The morning started with an interesting breakfast talk with Prof. Rolf Granow from Lubeck. I met him the first time during the Lubeck conference, and it was good to talk to him again. One of the things that came out was a further exploration concerning the possibility of developing a joint studyprogram on industrial engineering. This can be well related and embedded into initiaves that fit the Bologna process. After that I joined a presentation on Learning styles and the online environment by Susan Roig and Melissa Zhou (click here). On the one hand the presenters explained about the eight types of intellingence by Gardner and how that could reflect onto the instructional design of a course. They showed a nice example of a biology course, which was originally developed with another tool however. The course was presented in Sakai, but it could also have been another system. I was hoping to hear more specifically about how Sakai functionality was used in relation to specific learning styles. Maybe in terms of predefined sets of functionality that is required for a typical learning style (e.g. verbally oriented). On the other hand Zhou presented about a functional evaluation of Sakai. This was interesting, especially in relation with our own pilot project. It turned out to be a very critical analysis, although some of the points were more related to organisation instead of Sakai. I think it proves that the Sakai still has to deal with a major challenge from the end user perspective. Roig and Zhou argued that the emphasis is still too much on the development perspective and not on pedagogical issues. They hope that activities on pedagogy issues will increase further on Confluence.
After the coffee break I joined the session of Wytze Koopal. Obviously I was already well informed about the contents of his presentation, but was interested to hear from other experiences. The tips and tricks offered are already listed on Confluence, so I won't list them here again, but I think there are some quite useful issues among them. Today (Thursday, June 14) will be my third and last conference day. I will probably join some more sessions in the teaching and learning track, and of course Andreas Wittke's presentation, which has the challenging title "Why German Universities Choose Moodle instead of Sakai". Tommorow I will work in the quiet surroundings of my home office, trying to finalize on of our Sakai reports and prepare an internal Sakai presentation for next Monday morning.

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