© Alex Bloch, Corbis, 2010

I hope you will have noticed that I have made very few posts over the last two weeks. There are several reasons for this:

  • I have a lot of contract work at the moment that has left little time for contributions to the web site
  • the contract work includes assessing e-learning and distance education grant applications, program and institutional reviews, which require confidentiality, and hence make it difficult to report or comment on a number of issues and developments until the reviews are finished. (All these reviews will be completed by the end of January)
  • my web designer and I have been working on a redesign of the web site, mainly to improve its look, navigation and measurement of activity. The new look should be launched within the next few days.

However, this has given me the opportunity to be a little more planned about what will be covered by the site over the next two to three months, so in the best tradition of the movies, here are a few trailers of what’s to come.

  • developments and opportunities for e-learning in 2011
  • systemic barriers to online learning
  • online or face-to-face: guidelines for instructors. This will be in at least three parts. In each case the question will be raised (and answered, as best I can): ‘What criteria should be used to answer the following questions?’
    • what kinds of learners benefit most from online learning?
    • what parts of the curriculum are best done online and which face-to-face?
    • who should make these decisions, and how should they be made?
  • new course design models. This will explore the development of new course design models that move away from or are different from the traditional ‘ADDIE’ model, and particularly those affected by web 2.0 developments.
  • the Good, the Bad and the Ugly: a critique of the open educational resources movement
  • choosing appropriate media in online courses. The proliferation of podcasting, video clips, animations, synchronous online technologies, simulations, virtual worlds, e-portfolios, etc presents instructors with some difficult choices. This series of posts will cover the following topics, among others:
    • media or technology? What’s the difference and does it matter? If so how does it affect course design?
    • the SECTIONS/ACTIONS model for media selection: is it still relevant in a web 2.0 world?
    • how should we be looking at student access to technology in today’s technological environment? How does this affect course design?
    • more on the costs of e-learning and the economics of new media
    • more on organizational structures and the management of e-learning, especially governance models, shared services, student privacy and security of data, and how this affects the choice of media and technology
  • select, aggregated news about e-learning developments, with minor comments from me
  • more substantial blogs on significant e-learning news and developments
  • reviews, including:
    • Ferrer and Minguillon (eds.) ‘Content Management for e-Learning’
    • selected e-learning/DE journals
    • a new area for review, on selected open educational resources.

I will be interested in suggestions from you about what you would like to see discussed in the above topics, and also any other major topics you feel should be covered by this web site (no, I can’t do anything about Canada’s loss to Russia in junior hockey – see the Don Cherry blog for this.)

So apologies for the lack of posts recently, but I hope you’ll hang on in there as new stuff starts to flow – and may all your e-learning endeavours flourish and thrive in 2011.


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