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Keynote and Theme Speakers

ProgrammeKeynote and Theme Speakers | Academic | Social | Pre & Post | Timetable

Keynote Speakers

Alan Gilbert

President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester

Alan Gilbert

Formerly Vice-Chancellor of The University of Melbourne, Australia's premier research-intensive university, Professor Gilbert has extensive international experience of higher education. He initiated and, for the first four years led, Universitas 21, an incorporated association of international universities drawn from ten countries. He was also Chair of the 'Group of 8', which represents Australia's leading universities.

Before his appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne in 1996, Professor Gilbert was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, during which time he oversaw its merger with its main competitor, the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology.

He has also served as a member of the Australian Higher Education Council, Hong Kong's Higher Education Council and Australia's Premier Industry Round Table.

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/whoswho/seniorofficers/

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Carol Twigg

President and CEO, National Center for Academic Transformation

Picture of Carol Twigg

Dr. Carol A. Twigg is an internationally recognized expert in using information technology to transform teaching and learning in higher education. She serves as President and CEO of the National Center for Academic Transformation. The Center serves as a resource for colleges and universities, providing leadership in how effective use of information technology can improve student learning while reducing instructional costs.

From 1993 to 1998, Carol served as Vice President of Educom (now EDUCAUSE), a national association of higher education institutions dedicated to the effective use of information technology. At Educom, she advanced the need for new models of student-centered, online teaching and learning, now commonly accepted in higher education. She also initiated the IMS Global Learning Consortium, which is establishing interoperable technical standards for online education and training.

Carol received her B.A. from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in English Literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. During the course of her career, she has become known as a strong advocate for the benefits of using technology in higher education. A widely published writer and a sought-after speaker, she is seen as an authority on a range of topics including the impact of information and communications technology on restructuring higher education, the need to improve productivity in higher education and the process of engaging college faculty in using instructional technology effectively. In 1995, Newsweek named Carol Twigg as one of the 50 most influential thinkers in the information revolution, and in 2003, she was the recipient of the prestigious McGraw Prize in Education.

Keynote Summary: Improving Learning and Reducing Costs - New Models for Online Learning

Colleges and universities are offering thousands of fully online courses, ostensibly altering centuries-old methods of teaching and learning. Few of these courses, however, make significant improvements in either the cost or quality dimensions of student learning; instead, they frequently replicate face-to-face pedagogies and organizational frameworks. Are you taking advantage of information technology's capabilities as you design new learning environments? Using examples drawn primarily from the Program in Course Redesign (PCR), I will discuss new models for online learning that improve the quality of student learning and reduce instructional costs. The PCR involves 50,000 students (annually) at 30 diverse U.S. institutions, and focuses on large-enrollment introductory courses.

Results to date have shown improved student learning in 25 of the 30 projects, with the remaining five achieving learning equivalent to traditional formats. Of the 24 that measured retention, 18 have shown noticeable increases. All 30 institutions have reduced their costs by 37% on average (ranging from 20% to 77%) and produced a collective annual savings of $3.1 million. Other qualitative outcomes include better student attitudes toward the subject matter and increased student satisfaction with the mode of instruction. Higher education must find ways to provide a cost-effective, high quality education for all students who can benefit. What lessons can be drawn from the experiences of both students and faculty engaged in large-scale course redesign to make this vision a reality?

Presentation used by Carol Twigg during her 7/9/2005 keynote - [0.6 MB PDF] Questions and answers following Carol Twigg's session - [60 kB PDF].

http://www.thencat.org/

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Etienne Wenger

An independent thinker, researcher, consultant, author, and speaker

Etienne Wenger

Etienne Wenger is a globally recognized thought leader in the field of communities of practice and their application to organizations. He was featured by Training Magazine in their "A new Breed of Visionaries" series. A pioneer of the "community of practice" research, he is author and co-author of seminal articles and books on the topic, including Situated Learning (Cambridge University Press, 1991), where the term was coined, Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity (Cambridge University Press, 1998), where he lays out a theory of learning based on the concept of communities of practice, and Cultivating Communities of Practice: a Guide to Managing Knowledge (Harvard Business School Press, 2002), addressed to practitioners in organizations. Etienne is also a founder of CPsquare, a cross-organizational, cross-sector community of practice on communities of practice. His work is influencing a growing number of organizations in the private and public sectors. Indeed, cultivating communities of practice is increasingly recognized as the most effective way for organizations to address the knowledge challenges they face. Etienne helps organizations apply these ideas through consulting, public speaking, and workshops, both online and face-to-face. His new research project, "Learning for a small planet," is a broad, cross-sectoral investigation of the nature of learning and learning institutions at the dawn of the new millennium.

Keynote Summary: Learning, Technology, and Community - a Journey of the Self

What is learning technology about? What is its promise? What kinds of new horizons does it open? How can the learning-technology community take charge of its own learning? The best way to address all these questions is to start by asking what learning itself is about. I will argue that a social learning theory that brings together issues of meaning making, social practice, community, and identity provides a useful framework to explore these questions. From this perspective, learning is a social journey as well as a cognitive process in that it involves our whole being. By transforming our ability to participate in the world, it is a transformation of our identity. And from this perspective, enabling learning is not merely the transmission of information and skills, but an invitation to a journey of the self.

This framework is finding applications in many sectors today. Leading organizations in the private and public sectors are discovering that the most significant learning takes place in self-governed communities where practitioners develop their knowledge together. Educators are using this perspective as a way to move beyond teacher-centric classroom-based approaches. Governments are using it to explore new roles for governance structures in a learning society. What can these trends teach us about how we enable learning, with the technology we design and with the connections we form among ourselves?

Presentation used by Etienne Wenger during his 8/9/2005 keynote - [1.5 MB PDF]. Summary note of Etienne's talk made by Stephen Downes.

http://www.ewenger.com/

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Theme Speakers

Tom Boyle
Design and Development

Director of the Learning Technology Research Institute (LTRI) at London Metropolitan University

Tom Boyle

Tom Boyle holds degrees from three British universities, with higher degrees in Psychology and Computing, and he has written a book and over one hundred journal and conference papers on learning technology. He has a long history of developing, using and evaluating innovative multimedia learning technology.

For the past three years he has been leading a major project on the development, use and evaluation of learning objects that has produced marked improvements in student performance. This work resulted in a European Academic Software Award (EASA) in 2004. He is Director of the new HEFCE funded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) in Reusable Learning Objects, based on a partnership of London Metropolitan, Cambridge and Nottingham universities.

http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ltri/

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Sal Cooke
Implementation (including staff and organisational development)

Head of Techdis

Sal Cooke

Sal comes to TechDis from a very wide background in e-learning. Originally teaching in Schools and Colleges of Further Education, Sal was seconded in the 1980s to work as the Curriculum Development Officer responsible for the integration of IT in post-16 education in Yorkshire and the Humber. From this post Sal was further seconded to various national agencies such as Ferl, Becta, JISC and more recently to the Standards Unit at the Department for Education and Skills. Through this role Sal also sat as a member of the E-learning Programme Board working on the e-Learning Strategy.

Sal was instrumental in developing the work of Ferl at Becta, leading to the successful implementation of both Ferl Service and the Ferl Practitioner Programme, linking heavily to the development of the 13 JISC Regional Support Centres across the UK. Throughout this time she had the full backing of Hull College where she still retained an active post in the management of both IT Services and e-learning, which included the creation of the E-learning Development Team, and was also still teaching at degree level, in particular within the teacher training area of the College.

http://www.techdis.ac.uk

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Stephen Downes
Collaboration (including cross-sectoral partnerships)

Senior Research Officer, E-Learning Group, Institute for Information Technology, National Research Council, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Stephen Downes

Stephen is a Senior Researcher in e-learning with a focus on learning object, metadata repositories, online learning communities and new media. He is responsible for initiating and coordinating world class research, participating in national and international discussions, and working with academic and private partners in product and service development. Stephen has become a leading voice in the areas of learning objects and metadata as well as the emerging fields of weblogs in education and content syndication.

Stephen is perhaps best known for his daily research newsletter, OLDaily (short for Online Learning Daily), which reaches thousands of readers across Canada and around the world. His work also includes the development of educational content syndication systems such as Edu RSS and DLORN along and the design of a digital rights management system for learning resources. Stephen is also frequently to be found the road giving seminars and lectures on the field of online learning, including the notable Buntime Oration delivered in Perth, Australia, in October, 2004.

http://www.downes.ca

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Oleg Liber
Architectures and Infrastructures

Professor of e-Learning at the University of Bolton

Oleg Liber

Oleg was previously Director of the Centre for Learning Technology at the University of Wales Bangor, where he established JISC's national Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards (CETIS), which moved with him to the University of Bolton. Professor Liber has been involved in pioneering work in learning technologies for over twenty years, managing a number of projects developing innovative technical systems, including distributed learning networks, multimedia databases, learning management systems, peer-to-peer collaborative learning environments (Colloquia) and tools for implementing e-learning standards (RELOAD).

He has published widely on e-learning, including co-authoring the widely cited JISC report "A Framework for the Pedagogical Evaluation of Virtual Learning Environments", and is regularly invited to speak at major e-learning events. He has provided consultancy for national government and European agencies on e-learning issues. His research interests are in organisational cybernetics and constructivist learning theory, and how these can inform the development, implementation and embedding of learning technologies.

http://www.bolton.ac.uk/~ol1/

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