LearnTel is one of the partners in the ManageLearn project which is partially funded under the EU Socrates-ODL (open and distance learning) Programme. The project has two distinctive objectives.
The first purpose is to create a wide ranging bibliography and literature review of open and distance learning for use by conventional higher educational institutions. Particular attention will be paid to the pedagogical and managerial issues concerning using multimedia telematics for open and distance learning.
This information will be collected from Europe and other parts of the world and added to the International Centre for Distance Learning (ICDL) WWW site based at the Open University, UK.
The second purpose of the ManageLearn project is to conduct a user needs analysis leading to a specification and a prototype for an "information resource" to assist policy and decision makers gain a better understanding of the implications concerning the use of multimedia telematics for ODL - in particular the pedagogical and managerial issues.
The first stage - a user needs analysis will aim to:
find out the driving forces for change within the organisation
look at the role of ODL within the organisation
look at the role of multimedia telematics systems
identify their needs in terms of knowledge and know-how required to help them make decisions to implement these methods.
The results of this analysis will be collated together in order to identify the key issues and needs of policy and decision makers in senior and middle management. This will result in a specification for an "information resource" - clearly defining the types of knowledge and know-how that policy and decision makers need to have in order to make decisions about using open and distance learning techniques and multimedia telematics tools within their organisation.
The second stage will involve developing a prototype "information resource". This will involve collecting together materials like research papers, case studies, examples of good practice based upon the specification for the "information resource".
The "information resource" will be initially developed using the hypertext facilities of the World Wide Web enabling it to be tested "virtually". It will be tested out and modified through an iterative process initially within a restricted core user group who will be invited to take part in an online discussion. English will be the main language during the development stage but it will be possible for French and German speakers to participate with the aid of Web translation tools.
Through a series of iterative processes other interested persons will also be invited to test out the prototype "information resource" to assist in its further refinement. This will also include a second series of consultation workshops to demonstrate the "information resource" and seek their views as to whether it would meet their particular needs.
The outcomes for this part of the project will include:
A report on the user needs analysis survey containing a draft specification for the "information resource".
A prototype "information resource" contained on the WWW.
A final report which will contain a final specification for the further development of an "information resource".
The target groups will be teachers, trainers, managers and policy makers in conventional higher education establishments with a secondary target group of government agencies.
For further information contact:
LearnTel, PO Box 72, Stevenage, Herts, SG2 8XP, United Kingdom
Tel & Fax +44 171 919 6521