Wednesday, July 11, 2007

First session

aka - what happens when session choice goes bad (you might discover this will be a recurring theme)

Session title - Meeting Pedagogical Goals with Bb Software from Babson College

First 3 lessons in conference session choice - US use of the "pedagogical" is a very loosely fitting suit, sessions that use words we would use in abstract eg "curriculum innovation" will probably disappoint and the one I thought I knew but chose to forget - if you've never heard of the institution, there is probably a reason for that.

So, session intro "let us tell you about our institution" 1,900 undergraduates, 1,400 postgraduate, 85 faculty and an e-learning team of 9. At that point I should have legged it for the door, but I was feeling generous/optimistic/jetferenced etc. Basically it would have been a good on-campus session explaining to academic staff how features of Bb can be used within their modules and the importance of site design for ease of use/time on task etc, but everyone in the room knew about the Bb feature set and didn't really need the extended advert. It wasn't about pedagogy at all really (not as we know it, anyway) it was about making things easy to use/easy to do. All that said, I was in a minority in the room, others got very enthusiastic about it all asking loads of questions about how to get staff involved (all 85 of them!), how to secure funding for e-learning teams, what to build/what to buy, just confirmed for me that it is all about targetting sessions from similar institutions to you.

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