JISC Conference 2009

March 21, 2009

On Tuesday the good and the great (and me) will be descending on Edinburgh for the JISC Conference.

JISC Conference 2009

Usually the JISC Conference is in Birmingham, this year for a change it’s North of the border.

I am flying up on Monday from Bristol, as the early flight on Tuesday is way too early for going up for one day; and there are pre-conference events on Monday too. There is a good programme and I am looking forward to it.

I am attending the session on student retention.

The need for improving retention is identified in the National Audit Office report on Student Retention (Feb 2008). The funding councils already provide additional funding to support institutions in meeting retention and widening participation targets. JISC projects have shown that technology has an important role in providing the administrative processes and support facilities that make learners feel better supported when starting a course in higher education. Several projects have demonstrated that the costs of small investments in technical infrastructure and processes can be covered by reducing student loss by just a few learners. This session will explore several examples of universities using technology to support students and, in doing so, helping to improve retention. We will hear feedback from the learners and discuss the potential of these approaches to make greater impact across the sector.

In the afternoon I am going to the Web 2.0 legal session.

Cultural perceptions about the relevance of legal issues in a Web 2.0 environment, and practical obstacles in locating authoritative resources about these issues, can present some of the biggest challenges in engagement with next generation technologies to support teaching, learning and research.

How do we encourage engagement by staff with these issues?

How can we engender a culture of mutual respect for creative works, as well as one recognising the need for pragmatism and a managed approached to risk?

Where can we go to find authoritative and appropriate resources and, once found, what tools should be used, when and how?

To address these issues the Web2Rights project, with support from JISC Legal, has taken an innovative approach by harnessing next generation technologies to develop an advisory toolkit and associated resources. Come along to find out more.

As per usual I hope to be blogging a few blog entries there, I will probably take a few photographs too, certainly will be Twittering and I may make a video or two…

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