This is the weblog of Paul Bacsich, focussing on a small number of topics in e-learning that are of especial interest to him and the organisations he works with and for: benchmarking e-learning, quality of e-learning, costs of e-learning, change management, procurement paradigms for e-learning systems, next-generation technologies to underpin e-learning, virtual universities, colleges and schools around the world, and critical success factors of virtual institutions and national e-learning programmes.
Today (Sunday or Monday - Monday here in New Zealand) seems an auspicious day and this seems an auspicious hemisphere (southern) in which to float a new concept.
This week at the DEANZ conference I shall be talking in a more public forum about the Multeversity - up to now this has only been in some online seminars and presentations to specific institutions and projects over the last few months.
The Multeversity (then called "Multiversity") started off life as an analytic container to bring together a lot of my work on virtual universities, colleges and schools over the last four years, but as I got into a number of related projects (OER, retention, funding, VLEs, etc) my former worries about the long-term health of the university sector began to surface again.
We are very pleased to have set up a new and fast-moving literature search project melding OER and student experience/learner voice. I am leading the team at Sero who are conducting a literature search on the topic "Learner Use of Online Resources", with a strong but not exclusive focus on OER, during May-June 2011. The project is funded by the HEA/JISC OER Programme Phase II.
There is a new release of Pick&Mix available. This is the beta 3 release of the new version 2.5 under development.
The release incorporates early input from the EU Re.ViCa project on Critical Success Factors and also the "headline" feedback from the Gwella phase of benchmarking with institutions in Wales in 2008-09.
We are particularly keen to hear from institutions currently undertaking benchmarking in case there are still gaps in the Supplementary Criteria.
The next beta aims to incorporate the outputs of several new concordance studies including on OBHE and several EU projects.
Little did I think when I stepped out of my blog in September 2006 that "I may be some time", to use the inimitable phrase of Captain Oates. By the standards of blogger's rest cures, it has been on the long side. But in addition to the usual excuses of overwork, life, the universe and everything, I had the additional one that I was doing a lot of blogging - and fostering of blogging - just not on my own blog.
I also fell in love in the fallow period (personal-blog-wise) with my second web 2.0 technology, the wiki - and that affair, like many web 2.0 affairs I hear of, is only now cooling - or at least settling into a less passionate relationship. I still like wikis but I am somewhat more critical than in my wiki-youth.
So the period of being "somebody else's blogger" is over and wikis to me are now a tool - not a way of life.
Also given the range of things I do, more and more of which do not fit neatly into the timesheets of projects, there is greater re need for a personal channel.
And last, I am part of a team of midwives bringing to birth a very large and lusty wiki baby in the next couple of months. Like all babies, it will need nurturing and fostering - and blogs are good for that.
So let's see if my resolve holds.
A particular challenge coming up is to see if I can blog while at a coference - and yet enjoy the socialising. My first test is at the Learning and Technology World Forum in January. To prepare I've even done some entries on the blog they provide for eacme as a delegate.
The work on ELTI is being urgently corrrelated with other input from pilot sites in order for colleagues to define the next release of ELTI.
The work on adapting eMM to the UK is now not so urgent since eMM is not being used in the Phase 1 round of benchmarking work in the UK (although it continues to be used at the University of Manchester).