Daily Archives: December 1, 2009

What research groups are looking at the future of education

As outlined very briefly in a recent post I am involved in the early days of project that may result in some sort of proposal for a research group/centre around the future of education. This is meant to be some documentation of my early research to look for groups that are already doing work in this area.

This is still very early days. There’s a strong chance that the “direction” will be refined and/or changed. For example, it might become concerned with the future of education within regional areas. It might not. Finding out what others are doing in the area, will help inform any changes.

At the moment, I’m thinking of the following main groups to look for:

  1. Australian university research groups.
    By the nature this idea has to be aware of other groups and be seen to fit/collaborate with them.
  2. EC research groups.
    I have a vague recollection of the EU funding groups/research in this sort of thing.
  3. More broadly.
    In recent months the future of education, especially universities has been getting a bit of airplay within the media. There will be other folk doing work. Obviously there are also university/research groups from outside the EU and Australia. For example, if I google “future of education” it returns 69M+ hits.

Apart from reporting the findings when I search the above, the following also includes “factors”. A collection of ideas/thoughts/factors people think either are or will influence the future of education.

If you’re not interested in the filtering and summarisation I give below. You can view the list of resources I look at (but may not include below) on del.icio.us.

This isn’t complete. A bit more to do.

Australian research groups and resources

Australian universities – academic education groups :

Some fairly recent, short term insights into where various Australian governments are going.

Australian governments review of australian higher education and future directions

EU research groups

All things education and training in the European Commission seems to be able to be found from here.

More broadly

Factors

The following list of terms encompass factors which people think will influence the future of education. They include: openness, Web 2.0, “the flat world”,

The map of future forces affecting education from the KnowledgeWorks Foundation provides a much more detailed outline, including the ability to dive deeper.

This future of education post identifies a range of issues, but I’m somewhat underwhelmed by the conclusions.

Conference with range of speakers from 2007 on future of education

What am I doing?

In the University within which I work there has always been one particular divide. There are the faculties – these are the parts of the organisation in which the “normal” academics live – and there are the non-faculties – populated by those folk who are not “normal” teaching/research academics sitting within disciplines. For example, I’m employed as an academic, I do research, but I do no direct teaching and live within the Curriculum Design and Development Unit. I’m supposed to help the institution improve it’s learning and teaching.

The trouble is that almost all the academics are within the faculties. Those of outside the faculties are the “others” by being outside but we’re also somewhat invisible. In particular, what we do is typically seen as invisible because we aren’t within the faculties. Just recently someone I’ve known for sometime, asked someone else I work with, what I was doing. Coming from others, the question might have been, why are we still paying him if he’s not doing anything?

So, this post is to make public what I’m doing for the institution and also (and mostly) for me to outline what I have to do.

50/50

At the moment, my work effort/resource is split 50/50 between my official role as the e-learning and innovation specialist for the institution, and in a very much related role with the Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre at the same institution.

In my spare time, I’m trying to finish the write up of my thesis

Elearning and Innovation Specialist

In this position, I’m working on the following projects:

  • Support of people using BAM including support of existing courses/students/staff and helping new staff consider its use.
  • BAM into Moodle (BIM).
  • The indicators project.
  • Occasionally, some early discussions around curriculum mapping.

A large part of this role, apart from these tasks, is reading material and presenting

LTERC

I’m helping LTERC staff in the formulation of an application for a new collaborative research centre for CQU around learning, teaching and education.