Attendees: Karen, Judith, Mirabelle, Wendy, Jon, and Giselle – with Elaine on the phone from Ireland.
We started with news and updates. Jon reported that the iSpot project had won a prize, and was in the running for a second one. Jon was in the process of bidding to JISC for further funding for his part of iSpot. He and ChrisB had aubmitted an abstract for the CAL conference, about the history of online conferencing at the OU. Giselle continues to work with Tina Wilson on ethics and OERs. They have papers to CAL and a book chapter under review. Giselle, Judith and Soraya have a conference paper accepted for the SRHE (Society for Research in Higher Education). Wendy’s tablet PC project continues well, using a Ning network for communication among the 9 tutors. She has papers with Birgit Loch from Australia, to be presented at the Ascilite and ATEC conferences there. Mirabelle has a paper about feedback at the ISSOTL conference, together with colleagues in the Spanish Department. The proposed book on feedback is being discussed with possible publishers. Mirabelle has run a regional staff development workshop in Scotland, and continues her evaluation work on T215. Karen’s book is now in print. She is working on a bid with John Pettit related to real-time conferencing (e.g. using Elluminate). The paper with John Wookthorpe and two T175 ALs, about wikis, is now published. Judith has been working with Helen, Frances and Karen to write a paper about Elluminate in T175. They are using a wiki for this, which is working well. Elaine is in discussions with Arts staff tutors for a bid/seminar related to research on assessment.
For ‘other news’ Giselle reported that all the HEA subject centres have had funding withdrawn, so are likely to close. Karen reported briefly on the 2-year, EU-funded E-xcellence Next project - looking at quality in e-learning – which will start in January. Keith Williams is the lead for the OU, with Karen also involved. Giselle and Wendy are interested in contributing to the project.
We moved on to group discussion of a journal paper suggested by Mirabelle:
Nicol, David J. and Macfarlane-Dick, Debra(2006) ‘Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice’, Studies in Higher Education, 31: 2, 199 — 218.
Mirabelle led the discussion, beginning by clarifying the meanings of ‘formative’ and ‘summative’ assessment and ‘self-regulated learning’. After an interesting discussion, we agreed that it might be valuable to look at the seven principles and try to find examples of them.
We finished the meeting with a few points on group business e.g. finance, web presence. Karen reminded members to complete the OU audit of research. The first stage is to make sure all publications are in ORO (Open Research Online). She also mentioned the MCT and Science Faculty ‘Esteem’ initiative for STEM-related work. This will provide support for various kinds of projects.