Distributed e-Learning programme
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The Distributed e-Learning Programme was a HEFCE funded programme of activity from 2004-6 which developed technologies and explored cultural and organisational issues around the use of technology to support lifelong learning, particularly with regional and subject communities. The programme provided funds for JISC and the Higher Education Academy to work together, and a large number of Subject Centres undertook a wide range of e-learning projects. This is part of a longer term collaborative plan to implement HEFCE’s e-learning strategy.
At a glance...
Reports about the programme
Reports on general themes beyond the programme
(All reports are available from the foot of the page.)
Aims and activities
The aim of developing the Distributed e-Learning technical architecture is to provide:
- better opportunities for learners through the use of better learning tools, easier access to personal learning information such as portfolios, and access to greater quantities of quality assured learning materials
- guidance for teachers on how to access, plan and use e-learning resources within appropriate e-learning systems. This will include guidance on locating and using existing learning resources and advice on how to share teaching materials with others. Difficult issues such as Intellectual Property Rights will be explored and guidance provided. Case studies of good practice in e-learning will be shared that will include approaches from different subject disciplines
- benefits to institutions by enabling links between schools, colleges and universities that can be used to encourage progression into higher education for some institutions. The programme will make available some open source e-learning tools that will complement commercially-provided resources. Provision of tools for personal development planning and e-portfolios will also help universities that need to meet the UUK requirement for provision of PDPs by autumn 2005.
- benefits to funders by providing exemplars of good practice in the use of e-learning systems; by exploring how technology can support widening participation and regional partnerships; by demonstrating how the Academy and the JISC can work fruitfully in partnership.
The overall aims of the programme fit with the strategic vision of JISC's e-Learning activities.
Aims and activities
The Distributed e-Learning programme will operate in six areas:
- e-Learning infrastructure
Aim: Define a web services architecture that supports e-learning locally and for the sharing of resources across regions and sectors. A number of projects have been funded to develop e-learning reference models in the context of the e-Framework. For further information on reference models and on the projects themselves, see Reference Models.
- Repositories for e-Learning and other resources
Aim: Develop architectures and standards for repositories that can be used at local, institutional, regional or national levels and pilot these standards with repositories. Distributed e-Learning has funded a number of repositories projects related to e-Learning under the Digital Repositories programme. These projects run for two years from summer 2005.
- e-Learning tools
Aim: Identify significant gaps in the range of current e-Learning tools to support lifelong learning and adapt or create standards-based, open source components to fill the high priority gaps.
- Cultural issues, subject differences and embedding
Aim: Provide a discipline specific focus through the Higher Education Academy Subject Centres for creating exemplars of good practice in adapting current content for educational use. See Higher Education Academy Subject Centre projects
- Sharing e-learning content
Aim: Assess the cultural and legal issues that might inhibit successful use of e-Learning systems and produce guidance for the educational community.
- A desk study on opportunities for distributed e-learning in the English regions was carried out in late 2004 and early 2005.
- Work was commissioned on a risk assessment and training needs analysis for the regional pilots and the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre projects.
- Demonstrate impact of the programme
Aim: Develop large-scale, regional projects that support the HEFCE regional agenda and e-Learning Strategy (developed through use of the infrastructure and guidance produced under 1-5)
e-Learning Programme meeting (December 2005)
A programme meeting was held on 6-7 December in York, bringing the regional pilots together with other related projects: the SFC e-learning transformation projects; Exchange for Learning phase 2; some of the Subject Centre projects; and e-learning projects from the Digital Repositories programme. The aim of the meeting was to share best practice and lessons learnt between these projects, and to encourage collaboration. See further information.
Distributed e-Learning and Framework and Tools programmes (April 2005)
A cross-programme meeting was held in Birmingham on 5-6 April 2005, to enable projects to find out about activities across the e-Learning programmes and to share experiences and ideas. See presentations from the event.