Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Group discussion with Mark Nichols

Last Friday, Mark Nichols came in for a brief visit to CPIT. Staff at CPIT involved in elearning had a ‘roundish’ table discussion with him. The meeting was facilitated by Dr. David Gough, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Health & Sciences and attended by Dr. Nicky Page(library manager), Dr. Philippa Seaton (school of nursing elearning leader), Dr. Shirley Wilson (academic quality), Nick Ford (elearning developer), Lyn Williams (adult education), John Delaney (faculty academic advisor), Robin Graham (staff development & myself. Most of these staff have worked extensively on various elearning projects. The primary goal of the meeting was to make contact with Mark and his work at his former (Massey University) and current (Laidlaw College) institutions.

Of interest was Mark’s philosophy on elearning as ‘pedagogy powered by technology’ and his use of core & custom pedagogies to assist with strategy direction in planning for elearning programme / course development. Mark has also contributed to the NZ tertiary sector with the publishing of the Ako e- primer series. A comprehensive series of 'reports' on aspects of elearning relevant to the tertiary sector. Mark updates the contents of the e-primers on a blog.

With the formation of a 'Centre for Learning Development' (name still unofficial) and the movement of staff developers, elearning and educational designers into the new centre, it is important to begin conversations towards direction for how the centre is able to support staff and student learning. Elearning is but one spoke in the wheel (maybe Learning Development Hub a better name?). An interesting year ahead as the emergent centre develops. A position for centre manager / leader / director in the pipeline :) to coordinate the centre's activities and herd the other 5 staff in the centre along.

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