Beyond the Online Tutorial
'Beyond the Online Lecture' was a one day workshop held in the University of Edinburgh Library on a rainy August day, which considered the pedagogical issues for projects which intend to supply the DNER with resources. Caroline Ingram chaired the event and Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston were the specialists in educational issues who took the bulk of the workshop.
Caroline opened the event by outlining the DNER as it is, and moved on to a description of what the service might be at some point in the future.
The first workshop session was on Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) and its relevance to the DNER strategy. Essentially the various kinds of partners in the creation and usage of resources were divided up, which illustrated that they have different interests and requirements. Those who need to create resources need to be able to assess what the students do with the resources, because that is the nature of the education game. The educational packages have to make educationally assessable sense. It is also necessary to look at the strategies which students use to get through educational courses, in order to design these so that they work properly, and also in order that the students requirements are met (not all students study because they are interested in the subject of study). There was also discussion of the learning design process, used in the creation of educational materials.
The main afternoon session was on Information Literacy, and looked at the various models which have been developed. This is another framework to help the packaging and promotion of resources to meet the needs of the market. The concept of Information Literacy is a key one, because how the resources might be used is as important as the resources themselves. I.e., students don't just need information, they need to know how to use information. Content and how things are taught are mutually permeable (Bill Johnston). The SCONUL '7 Pillars' model surfaced for discussion because of its relevance to the linking of resources with learning and teaching issues. Peter Burnhill dropped by for part of the day and, among other contributions, offered something from the UKOLN MODELS workshops: the notions of 'Discover, locate, request, access' - these concepts relate to the information literacy question.
After each of these workshops there was a breakout session, where the issues were discussed in groups of six or so. The final session was on improving integration and impact, and was in fact a brainstorming session where the participants came up with ideas for improving or creating DNER type services. The results of the session were then reported back to the whole group.
The workshop was very useful, particularly because it covered in detail an aspect of the creation of the visionary DNER (and that kind of service) which is at least as important as the technical architecture which lies behind the vision, and it is an aspect which hasn't been much addressed in public. The workshop is evidence that these issues are now a significant and necessary part of the agenda.