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CAPITAL – Curriculum and Pedagogy in Technology Assisted Learning
A Harnessing Technology research project undertaken jointly by the University of Nottingham and Sero Consulting Ltd working in association with Becta

CAPITAL Horizon Scan ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE – FULL REPORT

Reference: Category: Author(s):

CAPITAL/horscan/round1/[priorityname]/[ Version num.].n Report (51 pp) Prof. Paul Bacsich, Sero Ltd Giles Pepler, Sero Ltd

Identifier: Verification: Date: Status: Availability:

HS-1-4 n/a 21/01/2009 Final (version 1.0) – 1.2 revisions Confidential

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Summary Note on v.1.2
This version (1.2) is a tidied version of version 1.0 released as version 1.2 in January 2009 as an annex to the new short Horizon Scan document on this topic. Version 1.0 was updated from 0.1 after an internal review process and further input from the research team. It benefited from the lapse of time since 0.1 was released: several important reports became available – or available publicly – during the intervening period. In keeping with wishes from Becta, some additional references were added to link the existing analysis in the document with trends and exemplars outside education and outside the UK. The document here does not incorporate several more key reports (e.g. on Pathfinder and Transformation) and some just-released reports (such as from UUK) – thus a further the impact of these will be covered in the new short Horizon Scan document on this topic rather than being incorporated into an already long report (51 pp).

Document History
Version History
Version 0.1 1.0 1.1 1.2 Status First Draft Final First Review Second Review Date June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 January 2009 Author(s) Prof. Paul Bacsich, Sero Ltd; Giles Pepler, Sero Ltd Prof. Paul Bacsich, Sero Ltd, Giles Pepler, Sero Ltd Prof. Paul Bacsich, Sero Ltd Prof. Paul Bacsich, Sero Ltd

Summary of Changes
Version 0.1 1.0 1.1 1.2 Section(s) All All All All Synopsis of Change None – first draft Extra references added and some new commentary including on WBL, PCDL and OLASS Added a little new material, mainly on FE Spell-check and minor edits

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Contents
1. Scope of the horizon scan
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Overview Aims Definitions Keywords

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4 5 6 6

2. Context and environment
2.1 2.2 2.3 HE FESR Schools

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9 10 11

3. Current and emerging trends
3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The landscape in English post-secondary education Benchmarking and Pathfinder in HE FESR developments Schools A note on HE and FE in other home nations

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14 18 20 25 26

4. Further issues, possibilities, and debates
4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Policy issues in HE: HEFCE and DIUS Benchmarking in HE – the future Enhancement in HE – and FE Change management approaches Developing critical success factors for organisational change

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28 28 30 31 40

The knowledge, skills and understanding needed by leaders of educational institutions 42

5. Exemplars 6. Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1 6.2 Conclusions

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45

Recommendations for handling organisational change caused by or needed for ICT 46

7. References 8. Annotated bibliography

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1. Scope of the horizon scan
1.1 Overview

This document outlines the impact of ICT-induced organisational change in England in the three sectors of HE, FESR and Schools. We begin with a pen-picture of these three sectors. 1. England is the most complex of the four home nations in university terms with well over 100 institutions which are universities or of university status and in receipt of HEFCE funding. Only one institution is fully private (University of Buckingham) but all universities seek to maximise their income from other than state sources. In addition some 200 colleges also receive some funds from HEFCE for teaching university-level courses and 29 of these belong to the “Mixed Economy Group” of FE-HE colleges. Although there have been at least two relatively recent waves of “creation” of new universities (1992 and 2002), most institutions created were in fact upgrades of earlier institutions. A new wave of creation of institutions in smaller towns is about to start. 2. In FESR, much of what is currently labelled FESR [Further Education, Skills & Regeneration] moved from local authority control to incorporated „independence‟ in 1993, interestingly, just after when many new universities were created. In current research it is commonly divided into four sub-sectors: FE, ACL [of which PCDL is a sub-set], WBL and OLASS. The largest number of institutions are in the FE sub-sector, currently comprising just under 400 colleges, of which 100 are sixth form colleges specialising largely in academic courses at level 3. The number of colleges has reduced by around 25% since the incorporation of the sector in 1993, with mergers impacting most strongly on general FE and tertiary colleges and land-based colleges. Whilst some large FE colleges make provision across all four sub-sectors, ACL has reverted increasingly to the organisational province of local authorities [LAs]; WBL is provided by a mix of national, regional and local private sector companies, alongside a number of FE colleges, and OLASS is largely managed by FE colleges, though with some private sector provision. This report focusses mainly on FE, where it is believed that organisational change is concentrated. 3. As regards schools, secondary schools have remained a mix of 11-16 and 11-18 throughout the past 15 years, with most of the 8-12, 9-13 and 11-14 middle schools disappearing early in this period; although some small primary schools have closed there has been relatively little structural reorganisation during this time. There has been increasing involvement of the private sector in these schools and a small [but growing] trend for head teachers to take on the management of additional schools perceived to be failing. The numbers and roles of teaching assistants have grown significantly during the past ten years and this has had an impact on classroom organisation and management – also with implications for pedagogy. The secondary focus of the school system on providing affordable child-care for working parents has until recently rarely been explicitly recognised, but the new name of DCSF and the surrounding policy changes in Childrens‟ Services have brought this into the spotlight. This constraint on school focus implies that organisational change in the schools sector cannot be nearly as extensive as that in FE (and maybe FESR) and HE.

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1.2

Aims

Within this horizon scan we will, among other things, review examples of attempts at large scale organisational change. Using terminology from an ongoing EU project,1 we describe these as MELIs [major e-learning initiatives] and NELIs [notable elearning initiatives, not as large as MELIs]. The criteria for these are given in detail in section 3 of this report; note that these are purely organisational criteria – the initiative might be good or bad, successful or not. In identifying areas for future issues, possibilities and debates we will focus on:  Adapting “classic” change management to the educational world when most of the levers of change as described in standard management textbooks are nonexistent or ineffective. Making Business Process Re-engineering and similar approaches acceptable (again?)2 in the educational sector. Persuading – by finding the right evidence – policy-makers that there has in fact been almost no step change in the FE or HE sectors since (before?) NLN despite much rhetoric. Digging out from HE organisations used to secrecy the few examples of significant change that are known to occur – Liverpool U/Laureate,3 HeriotWatt,4 Staffordshire U,5 Derby U.6 Persuading policy-makers that “outlier” examples – in particular OU and most importantly Ufi – have lessons that can be learned from. Learning from failures like Ultraversity and exotic outliers like Notschool.net,7 and dialogue with the charismatic individuals associated with them.

 

 

The aims of the Horizon Scan were summarised by Becta as follows:  Identify and develop successful models of organisation-level change management, local ownership and demand-led approaches that embed effective use of technology to support learning. clarify the related issues of the knowledge, skills and understanding needed by leaders of educational institutions

The key issue is to find ways of bringing about step change in the educational sector.

1 2

Re.ViCa, Review of Virtual Campuses, http://www.avnet.kuleuven.be/revica/. See http://www.pjb.co.uk/14-15/vu1.htm. 3 See http://www.uol.ohecampus.com/home/index.phtml. 4 For an overview of the Online MBA see http://www.ebsglobal.net/information/pages/prospectivestudents/studyoptions/studyoptionsselfst udy.html. 5 For an overview see http://nettskolen.nki.no/in_english/megatrends/Staffordshire_Article.pdf. 6 See e.g. http://www.ufi.com/home/section5/5_casestudies/vocationalGradforelEng.asp – and many more references. 7 See http://www.notschool.net/inclusiontrust.org/NS-overview-notschoolhome.html.

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A related issue also important is to envision what changes are required – an aspect of what used to be called Business Process Re-engineering.

1.3

Definitions

A number of phrases are used in the Becta brief which are not widely understood or widely used, in some cases not even within Becta. Thus it is important that the team has a common understanding of these. Organisation-level change We take this to mean changes at the level of the organisation, not at the level of groups within an organisation such as departments within a large university. There is a tendency in education to regard as significant some changes that in commerce or industry would just get “done” or “made” without being called a “change”. Without ignoring such smaller-level changes, we shall try to focus on what would be a “change” in the normal commercial/industrial world. (This is a particular issue for schools and smaller FESR providers – small colleges, PCDL, OLASS etc – who have limited institutional capacity.) This approach has affected the interpretation within education of the MIT90s change management model. See also the tone of the ICT Test Bed Evaluation in 2005.8 Local ownership By local ownership is meant that, usually within a national or sectoral context, the institution owns the decision – and can thus influence it – rather than accepting a solution from “above” the institution. A Becta paper on procurement strategy sums it up neatly. 9 Thus such decisions are taken by the leaders of institutions, no doubt after listening to their advisors. Local ownership does not refer to decisions being taken at lower levels within an institution, such as departments in a large university. Demand-led approach In one sense a demand-led approach could mean an approach sensitive to the demands (explicit and implicit) of learners – but here we take it to mean the demands of employers as this is the new element in the strategy (Leitch etc).10

1.4
1. 2. 3. 4.
8 9

Keywords
Change management Business Process Re-engineering Benchmarking Academic transformation

See http://www.evaluation.icttestbed.org.uk/reports/2005/summary. See http://foi.becta.org.uk/download.cfm?resID=20616&download_url=/content_files/corporate/resourc es/policy_and_strategy/board/0609-sept/paper2_procurement_strategy.doc. 10 See World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England, July 2007, http://www.dius.gov.uk/publications/publications-leitchreview.htm.

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5. Step change 6. Controlled experimentation 7. Large-scale pilots

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2. Context and environment
In headline terms, “ICT-induced organisational change in education” is an area where England is not as world-class as some in government think: it is clear to us that to catch up England (and more generally the UK) will have to learn lessons from its competitors. (This standpoint may affect the agenda and selection of speakers for the proposed World Summit on Technology in Education in January 2009.)11 This is not a conclusion we reach lightly, but is based on much study, most of it prior to this particular assignment.   There have been rather few major organisational changes in the traditional sectors caused by the needs of e-learning or ICT more generally. New-build institutions tend to follow the style of older ones or graft on a consortium approach but not an embedded one. Even the current DIUS policy paper on new regional HE provision12 assumes continuity. (See the last point in this list.) There are no fully virtual universities (any more) and few virtual schools of modern “e-enabled” style. There is only one fully virtual college. There have been several catastrophic failures in HE – UKeU and NHSU (and Scottish Knowledge and the Interactive University in Scotland). Unlike in other countries (e.g. Canada, Netherlands), rebuilding from these does not seem to occur. There have also been several more institutions which did not fulfil their early promise of the 1990s as leaders in and/or catalysts for e-learning – including not only Ufi/LearnDirect (the only virtual college in the UK) but arguably the Open University. The lack of competition is likely to be a cause.13 There is still a policy vacuum around e-learning even though experts contend and other countries demonstrate that it is a sound way of delivering regional HE, skills and widening participation using blends of lectures, campus-based provision and off-campus e-learning provision.14 The move in policy terms

 

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We were surprised to see that news of this was public due to FoI – see paragraph 9 of the Becta Board paper http://foi.becta.org.uk/content_files/corporate/resources/policy_and_strategy/board/0803mar/paper_4.pdf. 12 See A new ‘University Challenge’: Unlocking Britain’s Talent, Policy Update, http://www.dius.gov.uk/policy/documents/university-challenge.pdf. 13 To note that success in e-learning is not just a Western phenomenon, one could note the rivalry between the national and regional open universities in India and the several large providers in Malaysia. 14 The recent DIUS Policy Update, A new ‘University Challenge’: Unlocking Britain’s Talent, does not mention ICT, e-learning, distance learning or various synonyms thereof. (See http://www.dius.gov.uk/policy/documents/university-challenge.pdf.) The other recent document Higher Education at Work – High Skills: High Value, mentioned e-learning just once (in an example) and distance learning once (in the somewhat restricted context of accelerated degrees). (See http://www.dius.gov.uk/consultations/documents/Higher_Education_at_Work.pdf.) Off-the-record information available on the revision of the HEFCE e-learning strategy suggests that changes to the existing document will not be substantial.

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from viewing HE and FE as age-related state-subsidised rites of passage is still very slow.15 This brings us on to Dearing. It is often forgotten that even at the time of the Dearing Report16 (1997) there was already considerable development of e-learning at the operational level (not just research) in HE in the UK. For example, the Open University had deployed since 1991 a modern computer conferencing system (close to current Web 2.0 social software in underlying functionality) and was since 1994 using it on courses including for teacher training17 – in fact the use of computer conferencing at the OU went back to the mid 1980s. If a lack of successful long term major initiatives is true of HE, it is also true of the FESR and schools sector. Both of these sectors have been subject to externally imposed change, or organisational change driven by external forces, over the past 15 years. However, organisational change has been structural and mostly above the level of individual institutions – the creation of an FE sector independent of local control in 1993; the creation of Foundation schools, Academies and the increasing involvement of the private sector in state schools. Structural changes are still continuing with the forthcoming reorganisation of the management of 16-19 provision consequent on the splitting of the former DfES into DCSF and DIUS, but there is little evidence that organisational change in itself has had a significant impact on pedagogy, the curriculum or e-learning – or vice versa.

2.1

HE

There is a sorry story of expensive failed e-learning initiatives in English HE. The best known example is the UK e-University (UKeU) which is very well documented and will not be described further.18 This is often said to have lost around £50 million but in fact around £10 million of this was used after it closed to support a number of HE Academy initiatives including the Pathfinder programme,19 so that the actual loss was rather less. A less well-known but actually larger failure is the NHS University (NHSU), which seems to have lost around £90 million and achieved no practical results at all. Until recently there were no reports on this at all except for one strictly confidential and little-known report on its technology base, but one excellent report has recently become available – not quite public but for subscribers of the Observatory for

15

It is too early to say how substantial will be the implications of the new UUK Research report The future size and shape of the HE sector in the UK: threats and opportunities, available at http://bookshop.universitiesuk.ac.uk/downloads/Size_and_shape2.pdf. They may be as substantial as those of the UUK/HEFCE Business of Borderless Education Report nearly 10 years ago (for a summary of that see http://bookshop.universitiesuk.ac.uk/downloads/BorderlessSummary.pdf). On the other hand, evidence is that except possibly at the highest level, academic staff in UK universities are mostly unaware of demographic and market issues. 16 The Dearing Report, formally known as the Reports of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, is in fact a series of major reports into the future of Higher Education in the United Kingdom, published in 1997. See http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe/natrep.htm. 17 See for example “Beginning Teachers Using Information Technology: the Open University model”, by Michelle Selinger, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, Volume 5, Issue 3 1996 , pages 253 – 270. 18 See for example Lessons to be learned from the failure of the UK e-University, ODLAA, 2005, http://www.unisa.edu.au/odlaaconference/PDFs/32%20odlaa2005%20-%20bacsich.pdf – which has an extensive bibliography. 19 See http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/wiki/index.php/Pathfinder.

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Borderless Higher Education (OBHE).20 However, the archives of NHSU are closed (as they are for IU but not completely for UKeU)21 and many techno-pedagogic aspects were not covered in the OBHE report.

2.2

FESR

There are no failed initiatives on this scale in the FESR sector, but equally it is hard to find evidence of successful organisational transformation through technology use. There was an opportunity in the early 2000s to set up regional megacolleges that would have focussed on e-content and been a serious competitor to Ufi but this opportunity was not taken.22 Although college mergers are generating some economies of scale, there is evidence that they are also leading to uncertainty and short-term thinking, in addition to a steady loss of talent to the sector at senior management level. There is potentially an analytic gap in that the UUK report on The future size and shape of the HE sector in the UK: threats and opportunities focusses purely on HE, even though the underlying demographics affect all sectors.23 It would not be too difficult for an appropriate team to run this analysis for FESR. The Becta Technology Exemplar Network24 is presumed to represent best practice and rightly celebrates some innovative e-learning activities in colleges. However, the rate of change in England and other countries since the days of the English NLN programme25 a few years ago might have been expected to produce in English FE a pattern of more and larger-scale results and stronger growth in off-campus elearning, rather than additional ICT in the on-campus situation. Those outside the UK might feel that colleges now look behind the curve compared with universities. Whilst the NLN programme can demonstrate some imaginative and widely used curriculum materials, its impact has been patchy and there is no significant evidence yet from its successors. There are examples from WBL or from private providers26 to draw on –

20

The Institution That Wasn’t: The British National Health Service University, OBHE, 2008, http://www.obhe.ac.uk/products/reports/pdf/2007-12-01.pdf (available to subscribers only). Abstract: “This report presents a detailed account of a major educational initiative in the British health service, the organisation with the largest workforce in Europe. The initiative was to set up a „university for the National Health Service‟, an aspiration that gave birth to „NHSU‟. Work began in 2001, but the project ended abruptly in 2005. This paper is based on the analysis of a series of in-depth interviews with senior managerial staff and a review of policy documents. Its analysis explores both the political and the organisational aspects of NHSU. It concludes that two aspects of the initiative are key to understanding its demise: its politically-led nature and its challenge to the idea of a „university‟. Finally, the report attempts to draw conclusions from the experience of NHSU to inform other state-sponsored education and training interventions.” 21 The electronic archives of UKeU are available to a small number of specialists associated with the (former) e-Learning Research Centre and the new Research Observatory. At present none of the reports are publicly available but are to be remounted in summer 2008. The paper archives are held in storage on behalf of the HE Academy. It is envisaged that at some stage versions of the electronic and paper UKeU archives would be made available to scholars but in line with legislation all personal data and material relevant to potential legal action first has to be removed. There appears to be little demand for access to these – if there were, more might be done. Work on the UKeU archives and reports will restart in August 2008. 22 See earlier footnote on India. 23 See http://bookshop.universitiesuk.ac.uk/downloads/Size_and_shape2.pdf. 24 See http://feandskills.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?resID=35496. 25 See e.g. http://ferl.qia.org.uk/content_files/ferl/pages/onlineconferencing/2_future_rigby.ppt. 26 See for example the Abacus Learning Systems Virtual College (http://www.virtualcollege.co.uk/) – and of course many private training providers and company training houses such as Reuters.

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and nearby in Wales and Ireland27 – to demonstrate that it does not need Ufi-scale budgets to deliver interesting results and organisational change in e-learning. It is particularly surprising that at a time of considerable experimentation in new models of organisation and governance for schools (even if not correlated with e-learning) and at least theoretical ferment in the HE sector, that FE remains in a conventional “statist” paradigm.

2.3

Schools

Despite the large investment in ICT, schools, in terms of their top-level presentation to students and their parents/carers, have changed very little – with a familiar pattern of terms and school hours, with limited success in after-hours or holiday provision – and dogged resistance from parents and carers when even small changes are proposed to term times. The constraint of providing free child care is a strong force for conservatism. In time, the Extended Schools and BSF programmes may provide opportunities for more fundamental transformation, but this is for the future. The indications from BSF are not promising so far.28 The most significant attempt to transform learning in schools through the use of technology has been the South Yorkshire E-learning Project [SYeLP], an EU Objective 1 funded programme which ran from 2001 to 2007. It is too early to draw conclusions from this important case study since the final evaluation of this is still in progress, but there are Final Reports for Year 2 and Year 3.29 Notschool.net As a contrast to this rather depressing picture, a more fruitful approach may be to look at some of the so-called “outlier” activities and ask whether they could be mainstreamed. In the recent Sero report on Disadvantaged Learners, one key case study was Notschool. net. (There are others30 but they are mostly smaller, newer or even more marginal than Notschool. net.) Paraphrasing what we said there: Notschool.net is a national, Internet based, wholly online „virtual community‟ which offers alternative provision for young people who can no longer cope with school, specialist units or traditional home education. Notschool.net is seen as a: …last resort for those disengaged from the classroom because of illness, pregnancy, bullying, phobia, travelling, reluctance to learn, disaffection, exclusion or statement.31 It was established in 1998 by the research department32 at Anglia Polytechnic University using central government funding. It now operates under the umbrella
27

See Coleg Sir Gâr (Carmarthenshire College) Virtual College in Wales (http://www.colegsirgar.ac.uk/sites/web/online_learning.php) and Hibernia College in Ireland (http://www.hiberniacollege.net/). 28 See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7517060.stm “Schools design labelled „mediocre‟”. retrieved on 01.08.2008. 29 See http://www.syelp.org/ and follow the link to Aims & Achievements. 30 See Chapter 6 of the Sero report for the other case studies. 31 See http://www.notschool.net/inclusiontrust.org/NS-overview-notschoolhome.html.

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of the Inclusion Trust having been rebranded as TheCademy in 2005. Learning is facilitated through a young person‟s home or off-campus access to an intuitive and user friendly, community learning platform supported by dedicated mentors. Notschool.net has five levels of participant:      Researchers – the young people in the online community Mentors – teachers or online facilitators Experts – subject specialists Buddies – former Notschool.net researchers who actively support current researchers Local Authority Notschool.net Project Managers.

In 2007 there were some 20 English Local Authorities running Notschool.net projects and approximately 700 young people participating. Notschool.net Mentors are expected to develop individual learning plans with each of their researchers. Accreditation is through the NCFE awarding body although Notschool.net is focused on re-engagement above accreditation. Nationally, 99% of Notschool.net researchers achieve two or more certificates. A part „A‟ award is equivalent to entry level (pre GCSE) and a part „B‟ is equivalent to level 1 (or D-G at GCSE). Between March 2003 and January 2005, the 85 Notschool researchers each averaged 7 certificates with approximately 40% of these being the level 1 equivalent. However, many of the „lower end‟ certificates do not have a point score and are often not recognized by FE institutions or training providers. In spite of this a high proportion (in the region of 80%) of Researchers leaving Notschool.net make a „positive choice‟ to continue in education, employment or training. Notschool.net works on a basis of between 1 adult Mentor to 4, and 1 adult Mentor to 6 „researchers‟.33 Each Mentor submits a weekly online report about each Researcher. Mentors may also hold termly meetings for …updates, training, sharing of ideas and troubleshooting. 34 Researchers are not, however, permitted to attend any other form of training or learning. A crucial element in Notschool.net‟s personalization is its approach to assessment and accreditation: Notschool.net has pioneered a methodology of authenticating online awards and qualifications using a number of techniques such as tracking messages from researchers, looking at progression and development of work and by questions, dialogue and discussions online. 35 This case study raises many issues. 1. Could we take the bones of the Notschool.net model and develop an alternative mode of provision for more mainstream learners? 2. Perhaps those who have parents or carers interested in homeschooling?
32 33

Later to become Ultralab, itself now defunct. Students participating in Notschool.net are termed „researchers‟. 34 Interview with Local Authority Notschool.net Project Manager (June 07). 35 See http://www.notschool.net/inclusiontrust.org/NS-community-accreditation.html.

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3. Why is it that in the US36 and some other countries, homeschooling is so active and growing – and yet in the UK it remains on the back burner? 4. Will homeschooling continue to remain on the back burner in the UK through the coming years? A book shortly coming out, Everywhere All the Time: A New Deschooling Reader,37 explores the early Illich ideas on deschooling38 within a modern context.

36

See for example Homeschooling: back to the future (1998) at http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa294.html. 37 See http://www.akpress.org/2008/items/everywhereallthetimeakpress. 38 See Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich (1976).

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3. Current and emerging trends
3.1 The landscape in English post-secondary education

When Sir Ron (now Lord) Dearing said in his 1997 report39 that “change would take a generation”, there was much scoffing from experts and managers in charge of the early HE e-learning initiatives. The Sheffield Hallam University Virtual Campus40 was up and running by 1997 and the Middlesex University Global Campus41 about the same time. This ferment grew until UKeU was set up around 2001 and rapidly acted as a change agent across much of the sector (not all) until the collapse of UKeU in early 2004. After that, silence. It took nearly two years until the HE Academy took up the challenge of re-introducing an approach to analysing HEI strengths and weaknesses (Benchmarking) and putting change into effect (Pathfinder).42 But just as the HE Academy seemed to be getting into its stride it appears that such programmes will stop as the funding stops. Fortunately, JISC are taking up at least part of the challenge with their curriculum design project strand starting with Circular 05/08 which is reportedly very well-subscribed.43 There is a separate but essentially parallel and isolated history involving the Ufi and NLN – and indeed they are largely isolated from each other, not only from HE. Opportunities were lost on at least two occasions – when there was no enthusiasm from DfES for the regional megacollege concept of the early 2000s (focussing on content factories upscaling from NLN)44 and when the Ufi attempt to claim the mainstream of higher-level skills (Ufi2) was unsuccessful,45 leading arguably to its slow but inexorable downsizing.46 At the meso level a particular issue has been the inability of initiatives to break through the “second stage ignition” barrier – typically around 1000 students in nontraditional modes (be they classroom or traditional print-based distance learning). Examples include the Virtual Campus of Sheffield Hallam University, the Global Campus of Middlesex University and Ultraversity47 at Anglia Ruskin – this last now closed, along with Ultralab – not to mention eCollege Wales and examples of decline

39 40

See http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe/natrep.htm. In addition to all the usual research papers and breathy press releases, attention should be drawn to the dull but explicit reference in the Financial Report to Governors of the academic year 1997-98 at http://www.shu.ac.uk/services/finance/accounts1998.pdf. 41 See http://www.mdx.ac.uk/gc/research.html – note the list of research papers generated. 42 See http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/learning/elearning/benchmarking and http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/learning/elearning/pathfinder respectively. 43 See http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/funding_calls/2008/04/circular508.aspx and ALT Fortnightly news digest 156, 13 June 2008. Informal indications are that a dozen or so strong HE bids will be funded, with a focus (but not exclusively) on the English post-1992 sector. 44 See The Future of eLearning for the Learning and Skills Sector: the College Online Scoping Exercise, report (60 pp.) from Sheffield Hallam University to DfES, December 2002, unpublished 45 See for example “‟University for Industry‟ failed to attract private cash” in the Guardian of 10 December 2004, http://education.guardian.co.uk/elearning/story/0,,1370296,00.html. 46 It is by no means an uncommon phenomenon. Similar attrition has been in place over the last ten years at the Central China Radio and TV University (beset by regional rivals and elite players such as Tsinghua) and the University of the Air in Japan, now publicly renamed the Open University of Japan (http://www.u-air.ac.jp/eng/message.html). Readers will forgive the lack of references for these comments – those of them who have visited the relevant ministries will know what is going on. 47 See the old document http://www.ultraversity.net/templates/application/media/september07.pdf.

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in Scottish HE e-learning including arguably at some players who were formerly strong.48 England and the UK generally has nothing to compare with the way that other countries manage to restart failed initiatives in a new direction. Consider the phased migration of the Open Learning Agency‟s distance learning operation into a new-build university upstate in British Columbia – Thompson Rivers University49 – upgraded from a local college; thus turning an earlier high-profile failure into a possible more mainstream success. At a more modest level, another of the Canadian failures, the new-build high-tech TechBC was then taken over by Simon Fraser University50 and revitalised as the Surrey Campus, and the Télé-université de Quebec51 was merged back into the University of Quebec at Montreal. And yet Canadian universities are criticised for their “petrified campus” approach52 – which some certainly still have, including the one whose senate voted against e-learning. One could even, but more arguably, regard the Houdini-like ability of the Dutch Open University to survive multiple crises including but not only the recent failure of the Dutch Digital University consortium53 to represent the triumph of will over events. To progress the analysis further it is helpful to introduce some terminology. A Major E-Learning Initiative (MELI) is defined as follows:54 1. It requires at least one per cent of the institutional budget. 2. It affects or is planned to affect at least 10% of students. 3. The person responsible (as the majority proportion of his/her job) for leading that initiative has a rank and salary at least equivalent to that of a university full professor at Head of Department level, or a member of the organisation‟s senior management team in the FESR and schools sectors. 4. There is a specific section of the organisation to manage and deliver the initiative with a degree of autonomy from mainstream IT, library, pedagogic or quality structures. 5. Progress of the initiative is overseen by a Steering Group chaired by one of the most senior managers in the institution. 6. The initiative is part of the institution‟s business plan and is not totally dependent on any particular externally funded project.55

48

These views are from expert Scottish commentators. It may be relevant in future phases to scope such views more systematically with a specific study. 49 See http://www.tru.ca/distance.html. Our team has a good personal contact at senior level within the institution. 50 There are multiple standpoints to this story: for two see the unofficial but reliable TechBC archive site at http://www.techbc.ca/ and the blog posting at http://www.nowpublic.com/culture/techbc-sfusurrey-troubled-history. 51 See http://www.teluq.ca/. 52 See Petrified Campus: The Crisis In Canada's Universities by David Bercuson, Robert Bothwell, and J. L. Granatstein (Hardcover – 1997). 53 The Dutch, along with the French and Germans, are much better at hiding their failures (even in their own language) than we in the UK. Something well known to analysts and much discussed among them is hard to evidence from public web information in English. 54 We are indebted to the Re.ViCa project (funded under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme) for making these definitions available to us and also providing some detailed information from their files on the UK HE scene. The Dissemination Workpackage (WP5) of Re.ViCa includes dissemination to and liaison with national policy bodies. See http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/wiki/index.php/Re.ViCa.

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7. There are strategy, planning and operational documents defining the initiative (including its costs and benefits) and regularly updated. 8. The head of the institution (Vice-Chancellor, Principal, etc) will from time to time in senior management meetings be notified of progress and problems with the initiative. 9. The head of the institution is able to discuss the initiative in general terms with equivalent heads of other institutions – in the way that he/she would be able to discuss a new library, laboratory or similar large-scale development. Note that these are purely organisational criteria – the initiative might be good or bad, successful or not. Again, it is not crucial what the details of the definition are – what we are trying to capture is a sense of “step change” and “scale”. A Notable E-Learning Initiative (NELI) is defined as one which is interesting in a country (e.g. to other universities, ministries, EU, analysts etc) and satisfies many but not all of the above criteria, or all the criteria but not at the same scale. There is an interesting ongoing discussion about subspecies of NELI to categorise for example the initiatives (several below) led by a powerful department (but not the institutional leadership) and also the many pervasive but non-transformative initiatives (i.e. universal but low-level use of VLE for lecture notes and timetables). There are fewer MELIs than there were in the heyday of English HE e-learning during the UKeU era of the early 2000s. However, the following seem prima facie cases:    University of Liverpool – joint venture with Laureate at MSc level University of Derby (a former member of the Global University Alliance and active in Work-Based Learning under Ufi contracts) Staffordshire University (with several pure e-learning programmes).

NELIs which might earlier have been aspiring to be MELIs include:   Middlesex University – Global Campus (downsized after key staff losses) Anglia Ruskin University – Ultraversity and Ultralab (both now closed).

There are some new NELIs and a few may be rising to near-MELI status soon. These include:    University of Bolton (who have re-launched an “Ultraversity-like” operation and taken on board some key staff from Anglia Ruskin)56 Canterbury Christ Church University iTeach57 – a joint venture with Hibernia College (Ireland) for teacher training Essex University – joint venture with the commercial provider Kaplan for an online Foundation Degree58

55

Note for example the reference to “Virtual Campus” in the Sheffield Hallam University financial reports at http://www.shu.ac.uk/services/finance/accounts1998.pdf. 56 See http://idibl.bolton.ac.uk/. 57 See http://www.iteach.ac.uk/. 58 See http://www.kaplanopenlearning.org.uk/pr-online-foundation-degree-launch.html.

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University of Leicester – featured in the MegaTrends report,59 one of the few English universities to have overcome the “second-stage ignition problem” limits on distance learning students60 Northumbria University – including operation as an ASP provider Northumbria Learning.61

There is very little such activity in the FESR sector (apart from Ufi, see below). Very major HE initiatives include the following: 1. Open University 2. University for Industry (Ufi) 3. London University External Programme. It should be noted that the main focus of Ufi is FE. However there is a small amount of HE delivery in the Work-Based Learning area from partner universities (Derby, Chester, etc) via a specialist Ufi subsystem learn through work.62 Both the Open University and Ufi have largely failed to achieve any overt mega-level catalytic effect on the rest of their sectors. It seems that they are still seen as just too large and too different – and it was not that long ago that this view was shared by HEFCE63 and even made public. HEFCE have now funded an OU post to foster OU collaboration with other parts of HE and FE but more could be done, and it cannot all be the OU‟s responsibility to “push”, others must “pull”. Little has been heard recently of the OU-Manchester partnership64 but that was just with one HEI – more efforts should be made including by agencies to foster links and joint projects relevant to both the OU and non-OU players. To its credit, Ufi have tried on more than one occasion to break out of its government-assigned comfort zone – and more might have happened if the College Online Proposals had been taken forward. It is time that the potential value to FESR (and beyond) of Ufi-type models and the catalytic effect of Ufi is looked at again. The Ecotec 2001 report to DfES on learndirect – a comparative study – contains many recommendations (see section 7.0) still relevant to Ufi and to the FESR sector in which Ufi is embedded.65 The report is one of the few public reports in the UK where any explicit international comparative work was done. Some updating on exemplars would be needed including new interesting examples from Brazil,66 China and India, but a report building on that earlier one could have a large effect.

59

Mega Trends in E-Learning Provision, 2008, http://nettskolen.nki.no/in_english/megatrends/index.html. 60 Of course one key step was to appoint a Director of Distance Learning -and one from the Open University. The post is being upgraded and re-advertised as the first incumbent has left – see http://www.soas.ac.uk/news/newsitem43770. 61 See http://www.northumbrialearning.co.uk/. 62 See http://www.learndirect.co.uk/learningthroughwork/. 63 See its many utterances on the OU when it was setting up UKeU. Few traces of these remain on the public web but analysts might like to read http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/circlets/2000/cl04_00a.htm and then the OU response at http://www.open.ac.uk/university-documents/e-universityouresponse.doc. 64 See http://www3.open.ac.uk/media/fullstory.aspx?id=8519. 65 See http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RRX2.PDF. 66 Organisations like SENAI in Brazil play a massive role in training and are active in e-learning but on a recent visit it was clear that there are some issues between them and the universities in the WBL area. See http://www.ilo.org/public/english/region/ampro/cinterfor/ifp/senai/index.htm.

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The OU is now putting a lot of effort into forming partnerships with smaller (face to face teaching) institutions but progress is slow. However, the fact that the OU employs thousands of part-time tutors (Associate Lecturers) has had a long-term steady effect on skill levels and knowledge across the HE sector – and FE also. Again, though arguably, the effort that the OU is putting into OpenLearn, its approach to Open Educational Resources67 may have an effect (see below). The London University External Programme68 has been in existence for just over 150 years. For many years it focussed purely on print-based distance learning, but recent offerings have been much more innovative. Since it acts essentially on behalf of the constituent Colleges of the University of London, it is increasingly able to flow back its knowhow into these. OpenLearn It may be useful to have some information on how the OU markets OpenLearn. This could be used for other repositories of OER for FESR and schools. The following is distilled from information circulating widely on UNESCO bulletin boards:  Link to teachers, educational practitioners, librarians and careers advisors as a good long-term strategy for reaching learners and ensuring use of OERs within course development. Approach policy makers in government, development agencies, subject associations, professional bodies, online educational networks and teaching unions for ease of reaching as many people as possible (with the downside being the message can be diluted and take a while to filter through). Participation by these groups often takes a while as it is a culture change within the practice of an organisation to adopt OER. Reach people who are not in formal education indirectly by using links with a number of partners and associations (e.g. the prison service, unions, HR professional bodies, the National Health Service, training providers, youth workers, community volunteers, and social entrepreneurs). Again these are not quick wins but start to influence the people who have the most to gain from OER. Build awareness directly among potential “openlearners” (e.g. prospective HE students, current HE/FE students, mature learners, job seekers, home-schoolers, talented and gifted youth, leisure learners, alumni, home bound) using a number of channels to spread the word.

Note the focus (unusual in the UK) on home-schoolers.

3.2

Benchmarking and Pathfinder in HE

Benchmarking The Benchmarking e-Learning Programme was run in three phases (Pilot, Phase 1 and Phase 2) by the HE Academy. It benchmarked e-learning at over 50 universities and university colleges. As yet there is no overall report on the programme but there are three reports on Phase 2 which together give a reasonable description of the

67 68

See http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/. See http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/.

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achievements.69 These reports are complemented by a particularly frank report by the University of Worcester including an assessment of its overall position in e-learning.70 (It was uncommon in the HE Academy programme for any overt comparisons to be done or published.)71 The programme came to an end effectively in late January 2008 with the close of the operational period of Phase 2 benchmarking. Although there is a follow-on Welsh phase72 Gwella which among other things will ensure the benchmarking of the four remaining un-benchmarked Welsh universities, plus some isolated follow-on activity at a few institutions, actively managed English benchmarking is at an end – for the moment. The three phases together are judged as a great success. In England, despite the undoubted success of the three benchmarking phases, there are still many university-level institutions – by some counts slightly over half of those funded by HEFCE – that are still not benchmarked. Though many of these are university colleges or constituent colleges of the University of London, there are 25 universities outside London not benchmarked. In high-paradigm research-led universities, nine English members of the Russell Group remain un-benchmarked. The situation is better in the 1994 Group, Million+ and GuildHE constituencies. There is much less coverage in the HE-FE hinterland – in particular most of the 29 members of the Mixed Economy Group73 of FE colleges delivering substantial amounts of HE are un-benchmarked. This seems an unsatisfactory situation as the threshold for the “step change” and the period of “controlled experimentation” gets closer in both FE and HE, in order to deliver on the targets for the Leitch agenda and deal with demographic downturn. And the picture of e-learning across the sector is still patchy. HE Pathfinder The two phases of Pathfinder have taught the sector and the institutions involved many valuable lessons. There was a large event on June 26 at which almost all Pathfinder institutions were represented – and many agency staff were there also.

69

The three reports are: 1. Higher Education Academy/JISC e-Learning Benchmarking Exercise: Phase 2 Review, Glenaffric, April 2008, http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/benchmarking/wpcontent/uploads/Benchmarking2SummaryReport21April08F.pdf. 2. Higher Education Academy/JISC E-learning Benchmarking Phase 2 Overview Report, BELA, March 2008, http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/benchmarking/wpcontent/uploads/2008/04/BenchmarkingPhase2_BELAreport.pdf. HEA/JISC Benchmarking Initiative e-learning Benchmarking – Phase 2: OBHE/ACU Final Report, December 2007, http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/benchmarking/wpcontent/uploads/2008/04/BenchmarkingPhase2_OBHEreport.pdf.

3.

70

See http://ebenchmark.worc.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/university-of-worcester-heaelearning-benchmarking-final-report.doc. 71 However it is well known that in the Pick&Mix and eMM methodology cohorts in Phase 2, “carpets” were produced and shared between cohort partners. 72 See http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/gwella/. 73 It has often struck us as surprising that such a key group of institutions does not have its own web site. For those wishing to know more about issues affecting the Mixed Economy Group a good starting point is the QAA report at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews/academicReview/learningfromAR/default.asp.

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Experts attending that meeting – including those from agencies – were interested in finding out answers to the following questions (all much easier to answer with hindsight, of course):      Was there too much focus on finding a “new path” of interest to the institution rather than necessarily a “new path” for the sector? Was too much money put into potentially recurrent staff budgets (in particular, for faculty-based e-learning coordinators), leading to issues of sustainability? Was the focus on small-scale piloting or on bigger changes? (Bearing in mind that big change is hard to do in one year.) Was too little funding put into building knowhow (e.g. in knowhow of students or better documented e-aware quality processes)? Was any attention paid to issues of “e-readiness” (even if not called that)? (This would immediately affect any attempt at a rapid “step change” or large-scale “controlled experimentation”.) What was the balance between transformation and enhancement (with the “cost+” issues that this raises)?

Once the answers to such questions are clearer it will be easier for agencies and institutions to plan a way forward.

3.3

FESR developments

Colleges The Becta EMFFE was piloted in 15 colleges during 2006/2007 and is currently being redeveloped by PA Consulting. Of the pilot colleges, City Lit74 is perhaps worth pursuing: the earlier version of EMFFE [v 3.1] has been used within the organisation to provide a structure for a whole institution e-learning development plan. However, a perusal of their web site does not give any sign of significant e-learning and the approach to e-learning has a rather tentative and old-fashioned flavour (including vocabulary) compared with other providers in this space. City Lit is of course a PCDL provider also. Other large FE colleges where significant e-learning developments have taken place include The Sheffield College and Cornwall College and some of those in the Becta Technology Exemplar network. The Sheffield College developed an on-line English GCSE course which has been extremely successful [and won a National Training Award in 2003] but this is basically still at the level of learning and teaching redesign rather than ICT-induced organisational change. There are also a number of other courses in similar vein and these are grouped together under the Online College banner, linked from the toplevel page75 – a good test across the world of the institutional importance of online services to an institution. Thus even though Sheffield College does not any more have a noted e-learning figure in charge of its e-learning activity it seems evident that it achieves at least NELI status.

74 75

See http://www.citylit.ac.uk/. See http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk/.

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Cornwall College describes itself as the UK's largest Further Education provider with over 3500 full-time and part-time courses to choose from. It also has a Cornwall College Online operation but there is little evidence available of the scale of this (with some evidence that the scale is limited) and no links to it from the top-level college page.76 Grimsby Institute of Higher and Further Education also has some Distance Learning. PCDL A brief overview of this sector may help. This is distilled from Sero‟s April 2008 report to Becta E-maturity in personal and community development learning: Review report,77 Section 1.3.1. There are currently just over 200 LSC funded providers of PCDL in England, of which a large majority are local authorities.  75 per cent of the local authorities are involved in direct delivery; several of these also support provision offered through community organisations which they fund, while some may also sub-contract some of their work to FE sector colleges...  The remaining 25 per cent of local authorities sub-contract most or all of their PCDL work to other providers, whilst retaining a management capacity...  Additionally, a number of FE sector colleges are funded directly for PCDL work by LSC. The overall analysis of colleges has been undertaken through the parallel FE sector survey; this study has examined some college provision which is delivered through local authority contracting out arrangements and also one FE sector college (a specialist designated institution providing exclusively ACL programmes).  PCDL is also delivered by a range of voluntary and community sector organisations and one has been included in this study. From this and material later in section 1.3.1 it is clear that one is unlikely to find exemplars of major organisational change induced by ICT in the areas of direct delivery and voluntary and community sector organisations. The issue of what is going on in FE has been already covered, but one should mention that City Lit is the natural case study. Section 4.3.7.3 gives a depressingly long list of the barriers to engendering institutional change. Highlighting those not easily soluble gives the following list, which should be useful for further planning:      
76 77

CPD – high numbers of part-time staff and high staff turnover make CPD programmes problematic and expensive The capacity of small services to lead and manage The lack of secure funding with which to plan Working across networks of different providers and establishing protocols for access Large number and diverse type of delivery sites Commissioning provision removes the control that direct delivery benefits from – open and competitive tendering may result in a changing profile of providers78

See http://www.cornwall.ac.uk/cc/index.php?page=_Home. See http://partners.becta.org.uk/uploaddir/downloads/page_documents/research/ematurity_pcdl_report.doc. 78 But suitably handled and aggregated this could be an advantage – if local authorities were grouped together for procurement.

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Staff capacity, time and resources – in relatively small full-time establishments, elearning is an additional responsibility to existing job roles at all levels.

WBL One issue with the WBL sector is that there does not seem to be an authoritative definition of Work Based Learning in the FESR sector except “that which the LSC recognises and contracts for”. In the otherwise useful LSC document Requirements for Funding Work-based Learning for Young People and Adults 2007/08 there is no definition of Work Based Learning, not even in the Glossary at Annex A.79 In contrast, in HE – where much work-based learning is carried out – there are a number of definitions. Alluding to these may help. For example, the University of the West of Scotland defines WBL as:80 WBL takes place when a student applies learning in a work setting, for which learning outcomes are identified. In the fulfilment of which the student is supported by appropriate teaching and guidance and credit is awarded. (Readers will note that there is no specific mention of HE here.) QAA comments that the matter is complex.81 More practically, the Engineering Subject Centre notes:82 A Work Based Learning Programme is a process for recognising, creating and applying knowledge through, for and at work which forms part (credits) or all of a higher education qualification.” Ofsted inspection reports for WBL in 2006-2007 highlighted that only five organisations were deemed to be delivering outstanding provision. The five organisations were:      LITE Ltd British Gas Engineering Academy Protocol Consultancy Services Trackss Limited Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

None stand out as leaders in e-learning. In the Ofsted reports, technology was hardly mentioned even in these „outstanding‟ organisations. It may be that the technology was so embedded that the inspectors did not mention it specifically but we suspect that it is only the larger organisations that have this and the average SME/WBL environment is still struggling to use it effectively. The Mackinnon Partnership have produced a report Measuring e-maturity amongst work-based learning providers 2008 which Becta have now made public,83 just in time for us to give it a quick overview for the purposes of this report.
79

See http://readingroom.lsc.gov.uk/lsc/National/Requirements_for_Funding_WbL_2007-08August2007.pdf. 80 See http://www.paisley.ac.uk/schoolsdepts/capd/signposts/workbasedlearning-signpost.asp. 81 See http://www.qaa.ac.uk/education/roundtable/notes/CodeSection9.asp. 82 See http://www.engsc.ac.uk/er/wbl/index.asp. 83 See http://partners.becta.org.uk/uploaddir/downloads/page_documents/research/ematurity_wbl_report.doc.

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On page 68 it gives Conclusions: Our research suggests that 35 per cent of work-based learning providers can be considered e-mature. This is made of a small number of providers (2 per cent) that are rated innovative in their use of ICT and e-learning and one third of providers (33 per cent) that are considered to have embedded ICT and elearning into their activities. Just six per cent of providers have a localised approach to the use of ICT and e-learning (the lowest e-maturity category). This is the first time a measure of e-maturity has been developed and tested with work-based learning providers. It is therefore not possible to say how far the work-based learning sector has moved towards e-maturity over time. However, the 2005 ICT and E-learning work-based learning Provider Survey found that seven per cent of providers thought they had “been using ICT and e-learning for some time and it is well embedded” and that one fifth (20 per cent) were “currently embedding e-learning activities”. This suggests that ICT and e-learning may have become more embedded in to work-based learning provider activities over the last two years. It is the 2% of innovative providers who merit most attention in future work. On page 18 it notes: Senior managers identified three key management issues impacting on their ability to effectively use ICT:  the level of investment required to introduce technology. Most work-based learning providers have limited resources and shortterm LSC contracts raises the risks (and therefore costs) of raising funds commercially. They are therefore:

o reluctant to invest in technology that does not have a proven
business benefit;

o less able to make large investments in ICT which can make a
step change in their activity. Change therefore takes longer....   the size and layout of premises...; managing cultural change. Whilst senior management in workbased learning providers are committed to making effective use of ICT to aid both business processes and learning, a number highlighted the challenges of changing the attitudes of other staff. Two areas were highlighted:

o ensuring staff change their working methods to make most
effective use of the technology being invested in;

o ensuring managers and practitioners recognise the importance
of learning new skills to use the technology effectively and as importantly make time to learn these skills. Work-based learning provision is a competitive industry and it can be

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difficult to free up time for staff development. The natural conclusion is that adjustments to the procurement procedures should be used to resolve these issues – but this assumes that those in LSC writing the procurement specifications know what they need in e-learning terms. One cannot really expect small companies engaged in competitive short-term procurements to move away from their comfort zone. On page 57 Mackinnon report that: Providers were asked to identify the three main barriers to their organisation using ICT to manage or deliver e-learning in the next two years. As in previous years the highest proportion of providers identified:    time to investigate or implement e-learning (55 per cent); lack of skills amongst staff to implement e-learning (44 per cent); lack of knowledge about its potential use and implementation (41 per cent).

Further consideration needs to be given to merge this kind of information with information from those parts of the commercial training sector not affected or funded by LSC. There are many commercial providers and EU projects falling in this category and large firms (especially in the financial sector) with massive e-learning programmes that are contracted out in whole or part. One example out of several would be the work at Reuters.84 However, such analytic work is at present well out of scope for this Horizon Scan.85 OLASS Much of the material that follows is taken from the DIUS document The Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) in England: A Brief Guide.86 The Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) went live in its current form across England on 31 July 2006 following a year-long trial in three development regions. The new delivery arrangements build on the partnerships established in April 2004 between the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the National Probation Service to address the learning needs of offenders in the community. There is a complex set of stakeholders including DIUS and DCSF, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), with the main operational focus coming from the LSC, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS, including HM Prison Service and the National Probation Service), the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and the Youth Offending Teams (YOTs), Jobcentre Plus and the Connexions Service.

84

See for example http://www.stephenp.net/2006/11/30/reuters-view-of-e-learning-charles-jenningsglobal-head-of-learning-reuters/. 85 A fascinating subset of this analysis is the way that companies (and the military) judge the use of time very differently from universities, leading to very different conclusions about cost-effectiveness. For an example see the work which links to “time of the third kind”. e.g. at http://www.epic.co.uk/content/resources/show_reports/blendedlearning0903_showreport.htm. 86 See http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/offenderlearning/uploads/documents/OLASS%20Booklet%20.pdf.

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Such a complex net of stakeholders and delivery pathways is on the whole likely to lead to conservatism in approach. When coupled with the conservatism within the prison system and the need for appropriate security (including internet security) – not to mention overcrowding at present – this is likely to foster pedagogic and technological conservatism also. DIUS further notes that OLASS is not a „Service‟ in the same sense as the Ambulance Service or the Women‟s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS). It has neither dedicated staff nor an organisation structure. This again makes for conservatism since there is no autonomous management team or agency to think outside of the box. There is further complexity introduced (paragraph 14) with private prisons (holding some 10% of prisoners) and transfers between English and Welsh prisons. On a more positive note (paragraph 18), OLASS is delivered by contractors appointed by the LSC. In many places, those contractors have appointed subcontractors to assist them in delivering the broad service required by the Offender‟s Learning Journey and sub-contractors include organisations from the voluntary and community sector. As noted above for PCDL, suitably handled this could be an agent of change – and the very conservatism of the OLASS sector means that once an e-learning innovation is brought about it could last for years. Conservatism in e-learning is not always a bad thing – the OU has used essentially the same e-learning system for 17 years and is only now changing it. The document gives a list of OLASS providers. The majority of them are colleges or consortia of these, the rest are commercial providers: Tribal, A4E and CfBT. There should in theory be no particular problem with ensuring via procurement that the commercial providers take appropriate steps in e-learning subject to constraints from the Prisons sector and stakeholders. The colleges should likewise be tapping into their mainstream e-maturity to deliver. Becta has not yet made public the report they commissioned on e-maturity in OLASS, Without access to that report it is not possible to comment further on OLASS – and it would be a poor use of Becta funds to rerun parts of that study in order to comment further here.

3.4

Schools

As noted earlier, there has been large scale investment in ICT in schools, but schools have changed very little in top-level presentation – the constraint of providing free child care is a strong force for conservatism. Organisational change does not seem, in itself, to have had a significant impact on school structures and learning and teaching design – or vice versa. Thus for step change effects it will be necessary to look for subtler versions of added value caused by pedagogic change and ICT investment. The companion Horizon Scan on Learning and Teaching Redesign is the place to find a more thorough treatment of such issues, One institution worth particular note here is the Djanogly

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City Academy with not only its high-tech approach to ICT provision but also its pedagogic approach using the “New Basics”.87 More generally, changes in pedagogy have followed the spread of technology and devices. For example, the ubiquity of interactive whiteboards has had a significant effect on the way pupils interact with teachers88 but the spread of email has only had a relatively limited effect, though it has impacted on communications between schools and parents/carers89 and the use of SMS for alerting parents to possible truancy.90 The extension of the PFI building programme into BSF [Building Schools for the Future] and the development of Extended Schools have the potential to unlock broader organisational change and wider opportunities for teaching and learning redesign: BSF proposals may centre on bricks and mortar, but many LAs [e.g. Rotherham and Sheffield] are using their proposals as a vehicle for attempting to transform learning. The Sheffield BSF programme offers the opportunity to develop the ICT infrastructure investments of the SYeLP programme. But this is all for the future.

3.5

A note on HE and FE in other home nations

Scotland There are 14 universities in Scotland. There is no e-learning strategy from SHEFC. However, there is JISC funding for Transformation Projects91 which to some extent takes the place of a strategy. The situation with Scottish universities was reviewed with Scottish experts earlier in the year. The following conclusions were reached:  Some earlier major e-learning developments had “faded” but it was likely that Robert Gordon University (RGU – the Virtual Campus),92 Paisley University (now the University of the West of Scotland, UWS) and Heriot-Watt University (despite the Interactive University debacle) still had MELI status. Other sources suggest that Napier is worth attention also. The “new MELI on the block” was likely to be Edinburgh University, although the extent to which the research and development work had fed through to operational deployment was not clear from public information. In addition to any “faded MELIs” above, NELIs were likely to be found at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), although this last has also rather faded including at the political level.

The Transformation Projects involved both universities and colleges. Although there is no public evaluation report yet available, the first research article has now
87

See the ALT Newsletter article by Sanjesh Sharma at http://newsletter.alt.ac.uk/e_article000924935.cfm?x=bbrBpT6,b3PBgpr3,w. 88 See reports on the South Yorkshire e-learning Project [SYeLP]. 89 See for example ParentMail at Balsall Common Primary School (http://www.bcpsonline.org.uk/ParentMail.html). 90 The most widely available commercial product is Truancy Call, which sends automatic SMS messages to nominated numbers when pupils are recorded as absent. 91 See http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning_sfc.aspx. 92 See http://campus.rgu.com/.

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appeared.93 In a nutshell, much was achieved but of less grandeur than the original level of funding might have suggested – and organisational change was not a clear outcome. (English agencies have been given to understand that the final report on the Formative Evaluation is on the whole positive, with particular merit being seen in the REAP and TESEP projects.)94 Nevertheless, the Transformation Projects are of interest as a possible role model for the Welsh and as an example of a version of the Carol Twigg “Academic Transformation” approach in action. While at DfES, Diana Laurillard tried to gain buyin for deploying the model in England – but did not succeed.95 (More of this later.) Only a handful of Scottish universities took part in the Academy benchmarking exercise and the Scottish Benchmarking Group has achieved little that is visible.96 At present Scotland seems to be digesting the impact of the Scottish Transformation Projects rather than conclusions from the little benchmarking it did. There are also ongoing discussions about major reorganisations of the Scottish universities Funding Council which may further hinder short-term progress in e-learning related areas.97 In Scottish FE, Sero undertook the “e-maturity” study for Scottish FE colleges98 but do not feel that any have NELI status – none are MELIs. Wales and Northern Ireland There appears to be no significant e-learning activity at the NELI level in Welsh FE with the exception of Coleg Sir Gâr, one of the largest Further Education Colleges in Wales.99 In HE, the only NELI-level activity is now at the University of Glamorgan, which has developed a large blended learning programme after the cessation of EU funding for the distance learning eCollege Wales scheme. In Northern Ireland, the situation with Campus One at the University of Ulster100 is paradigmatic at the MELI level across the whole of Ireland101 and cannot be ignored in any analysis. (The e-learning situation with Northern Irish FE is not believed to yield any NELI-level activity.)

93

See “You take the high road: national programmes for the development of e-learning in Higher Education” by Terry Mayes and Derek Morrison, in Reflecting Education, Vol. 4 no 1, 2008 – http://www.reflectingeducation.net/index.php/index/index.php?journal=reflecting&page=article&op =view&path[]=51&path[]=52. It is generating a lively and wide-ranging online debate. 94 The main critique emanating even from Scottish sources is at the “programme value for money level” – did one have to spend that much to get that much? The English Pathfinder and Welsh (Gwella) Enhancement programmes are much more modestly funded on a per-institution basis. 95 See http://huveauxlearning.com/content/resources/show_reports/higher_ed.htm. 96 There is a stub web site at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/aboutus/scotland/institutions/sbg and occasional SBG presentations at conferences. 97 See NEW RELATIONSHIPS AND FUNDING REGIME PROPOSED FOR UNIVERSITIES (June 2008) at http://www.sfc.ac.uk/news/news_release_university_taskforce_report_launch_240608.pdf. Even though the more extreme scenarios seem now to be ruled out, a period of uncertainty is expected. 98 See http://www.sfc.ac.uk/information/information_learning/key_policy_areas/sero_e_activity_study.pdf 99 See http://www.colegsirgar.ac.uk/sites/web/online_learning.php. 100 See http://campusone.ulster.ac.uk/. 101 South of the border, the only significant providers are NDEC (soon to be wound down and absorbed back into Dublin City University (compare the situation of the Télé-université de Quebec) and the commercial Hibernia College.

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4. Further issues, possibilities, and debates
The areas explored briefly below suggest a range of policy issues to monitor and influence, and debates within and across sectors:

4.1

Policy issues in HE: HEFCE and DIUS

HEFCE no longer has a Director of Teaching and Learning since Liz Beaty resigned to take up a post at the University of Cumbria, and HEFCE has made it clear that it does not intend to replace her – her role is now absorbed into that of John Selby. It has also been made clear that in the e-learning area, almost all activity is devolved to the agency level – mainly JISC but also still the Academy.102 103 For various reasons not germane to this analysis104 the Academy does not seem likely in the short term to be able to build on its success in Benchmarking and Pathfinder. At a strategic level, the Academy has been criticised by some – but praised by others! – for acting within a belief system set up by HEFCE after the demise of UKeU which asserted that major initiatives were too high risk and so incremental change rather than step-change was best for the HE sector. However, developments above and beside HEFCE are calling this approach of the Academy into question:  DIUS, the government department (half of the former DfES) that oversees HEFCE have released a grant letter which takes a much more directive tone105 and hints at a step-change of “controlled experimentation” in the areas of skills, lifelong learning and accelerated programmes (a 3-year degree in two elapsed years).106 The new release of the “Harnessing Technology” strategy for the college sector (developed by Becta) talks about discontinuous change – and internal planning papers behind that are much more explicit. Indeed they are reminiscent of certain never-published government scenario papers of a few years ago.107 Sero‟s commissioned work on a benchmarking system for “institutional e-readiness for step change” tends to confirm that, but it is for Becta to comment.

4.2

Benchmarking in HE – the future

Benchmarking is a key technique for inducing organisational change and while the approach in HE so far has assisted universities to better understand themselves it has not helped them so much to better position themselves vis a vis others, and has made it hard for agencies to get an overview of the HE sector.108 From time to time
102

There are some much smaller but crucial players, in particular the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE). 103 This was confirmed by John Selby in his keynote to the HE audience at the HE Academy Benchmarking and Pathfinder final event on June 26. 104 Management, staffing, budget and inter-agency issues. 105 It has to be noted that other position papers from DIUS – on local universities and on work-based learning have been criticised as taking a conservative view of pedagogy. 106 Interestingly and depressingly this was recommended by Dearing in 1996. Progress has been rather slow. And some recent policy papers from DIUS have seemed very conservative in technological terms. 107 These involved DfES projects with the code name “College Online”. A few fragmentary references can be found, e.g. at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2003_0003 and http://archive.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/e-envoy/reports-annrep-2002/$file/04-06.htm. 108 It has to be said that many universities regard that last point as a feature not a bug.

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the uniformity – or apparent uniformity109 – of the approach to e-maturity in FESR has been held up to HE as an exemplar. It has been suggested to us by an HE-aware expert that the English HE sector be offered one benchmarking methodology which has the following features: 1. Focussed on ensuring e-readiness for success in the impending era of step change and controlled experimentation, rather than on a large list of criteria of questionable relevance to this goal aligned to the HEFCE Measures of Success (in their current and evolving state) public and documented within an “open educational methodologies” paradigm sustainable, with a clear development lead within a community of practice paradigm, and sustainability costs not all falling on public funds affordable by large and small institutions consistent across the HE sector, and beyond into HE in FE (within the framework of a QAA-OFSTED coordinated approach – this may be seen as a naive goal but it is surely best to try) evolving, refining and re-normalising across time but slowly and systematically so as to allow valid year on year comparisons built on a foundation of one of the methodologies used in the earlier phases with optional extensions for topics of institutional or sub-sectoral interest and guidance for those HEIs who wish to produce narrative reports (as several non-OBHE institutions did).

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10.

These principles have largely been put into practice for Welsh HE benchmarking, which is being taken forward on a basis of the HE Pick&Mix scheme, now renamed ELDDA.110 Suitably reworded for FESR it seems to us that the principles are reasonable approaches for a benchmarking/maturity approach for FESR – and maybe even schools – although the practice (the specific scheme) might be different. Compatibility between HE and FE How much consistency there would be between any FESR scheme and an HE scheme conforming to the above principles remains to be seen. The situation in HE is different from FESR in that benchmarking schemes are either proprietary (like OBHE) or more usually, public domain within a Creative Commons paradigm (like Pick&Mix/ELDDA or eMM) – in neither case do agencies have much direct influence on the schemes.111

109

As Becta is well aware it is not so uniform with rapid development of EMF, the continuing presence of other legacy systems such as eLPS, and incompatible survey parameters needing much reworking to come to FESR-wide conclusions. 110 See the Gwella blog posting of June 25 at http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/gwella/?p=33 and the EDSuT position paper at http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/gwella/wpcontent/uploads/2008/04/BMWales250408.pdf. Also see http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/wiki/index.php/ELDDA. 111 It is somewhat similar to the Moodle situation.

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The role of the Mixed Economy Group would be crucial – as would be their views – since they suffer most from “double regulation”.

4.3

Enhancement in HE – and FE

We believe that the Scots have chosen the correct word for what is required in any new phase, namely Transformation. We have been thinking about what is required long before the recent JISC Circular 05/08 on Institutional Approaches to Curriculum Design came out.112 We believe that the focus for future funding should be to transform one or more academic programmes, not infrastructure or systems. Funding should not be available for IT infrastructure or software. Any academic programme proposed for transformation would have to go through a full (re)validation process which is e-learning aware and takes due account of market research and competitor research information. This is the way the Swiss Virtual Campus113 was set up and has functioned for some years. (There will be a full evaluation of the Swiss Virtual Campus done by an OU expert this summer. However since the SVC used several UK experts as project referees, more is known about it in the UK than might at first be realised.) There is a debate to be had about funding, and access to funding: ideally, sources of funding would be multiple, including HE Academy funding and some funding taken from other HEFCE initiatives including part of the “controlled experimentation” moneys for the Leitch agenda. Access to this funding should as usual be competitive and based on the following features:    the degree of alignment with HEFCE/DIUS agendas for innovative programmes the extent to which issues raised by benchmarking criteria are being prioritised for fixing compliance with best practice in transformation.

To make a difference in the sector, we would hope that at least 20 institutions could be funded, at a cost of around £15 million. Thus the current JISC Call is just a start in our view. See later for which approach to change management we recommend. More will not be said here as this could be argued to be more properly the domain of the companion report on “learning and teaching redesign”. But note that the boundary between these is flexible. Much of this could in our view be easily adapted for FESR, at least for the larger FE colleges. WBL, PCDL and OLASS would need a different approach, probably through an intermediary layer of “consolidator”. To group together smaller colleges the JISC RSCs might play a role, at least in those regions where they are regarded locally as effective. It is interesting that this is the case in Wales and there are much closer links between the RSC and the HE Academy than elsewhere.

112

See http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/funding_calls/2008/04/circular508.aspx. By early August the results should be public. 113 See http://www.virtualcampus.ch/.

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4.4

Change management approaches

Transformation is hard for all types of public educational institutions, in all countries of the world with the partial exception of universities in the US: 1. Institutions are reluctant to change what and how they teach, even when demographic and business pressures are strong, and even when new markets emerge. 2. Many patterns of incentives have been tried at the sector level in many countries, but at best lead to incremental change, usually with increased costs. 3. Even when institutions accept that they have to change, they seem to find it particularly hard to make the changes. This can be down to several reasons of which the most important are usually poor or badly-trained management, weak local incentives and an inadequate knowledge base. This section particularly focusses on the knowledge base aspect of point 3. The fundamental issue with change management in educational institutions from a knowledge base point of view is that if one takes a standard textbook on change management in business114 and removes the parts which are not seen as relevant (not the same as not actually relevant) one ends up with a slim pamphlet. There is also a strong reluctance, except occasionally in universities,115 to distrust any solution that comes from business. This leads to a number of softer or more intellectual solutions being proposed, for those few still prepared to “give change a go”. There are five main approaches to change management that have been used, or at least proposed for use in, institutions in the education sector in England: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Business Process Re-engineering MIT90s Theory of Change Complexity Theory The Twigg approach to academic transformation.

We finish with some commentary. Business Process Re-engineering In the 1990s a number of e-learning experts including Bacsich116 in the UK and Collis117 in the Netherlands put forward transformative approaches to campus-based education based on business process re-engineering. Such ideas were popular across the world118 and in some cases experts were actually allowed or encouraged
114

See for example The Theory and Practice of Change Management by John Hayes (Leeds Business School), http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?is=1403992983. 115 Driven on the whole by institutional leaders not from the Business School. 116 See for example http://www.ssrc.hku.hk/sym/98/keynotes.html. 117 See for example Workflow Applied to Projects in Higher Education, by Betty Collis et al, http://projects.edte.utwente.nl/cea/11/Publications/Workflow_Applied_to_Projects_in_Higher_Educ ation.doc. 118 Usually more popular the further the prophets travelled from their home base.

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by their institutions to put them into practice.119 Many such ideas were articulated in the heyday of the virtual campus concept, part of the ferment which in the UK led to UKeU and the Interactive University – though other international experts were more sceptical. Since then there has been disenchantment in academia with such a forceful approach to change management, but it is surprising how many references to this work still are extant.120 As with a number of other approaches (including MIT90s), business process reengineering was developed in the early 1990s – again like others, it had a recognised guru – or pair of gurus actually, Michael Hammer and James Champy.121 They defined it as: the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed. The use of “strong” words such as “fundamental”, “radical”, “dramatic” and so on – plus the use of metrics including cost – served to differentiate BPR from more incremental schemes of quality enhancement and perhaps suited the business crisis in the US of the early 1990s – but it has also served to put people off, especially in the education sector. In the mid 1990s there were (as usual) the publication of critiques of the approach and the zeal in the US began to wane. However, the focus on business processes as a starting point for analysis and redesign is now a standard part of a change management portfolio, and indeed forms the whole basis of some benchmarking schemes such as eMM.122 There is also a supposition in the US that the major changes in commerce and industry due to the global market and IT have now been made – but is this true in the UK? And is it true for the educational sector, especially those post-secondary parts exposed to foreign competition?123 Certainly, business process re-engineering is largely out of fashion among e-learning gurus even in the university sector, let alone in colleges and schools – which does not mean that it is not relevant and not being quietly used in some institutions.124 In particular the BPR tools used for reconceptualising change may be particularly valuable. MIT90s MIT90s is a softer model with perhaps a sounder theoretical basis. It was first developed in the early 1990s by a group at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and then applied to IT-induced transformation of US corporates. (A very similar timescale to BPR.)

119

See Re-Engineering the Campus with Web and Related Technology for the Virtual University, based largely on an instantiation by Bacsich at Sheffield Hallam University, http://www.pjb.co.uk/14-15/vu1.htm. 120 See for example the hits for "Business Process Re-engineering" AND "virtual campus" on Google – and leave out the hyphen for even more. 121 The seminal book is Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution, by Michael Hammer and James Champy, first published in hardback in 1993 – but the original academic article on which the book is based goes back to 1990. 122 See http://www.utdc.vuw.ac.nz/research/emm/index.shtml. 123 Cue the recent UUK report on The future size and shape of the HE sector in the UK: threats and opportunities. 124 There is an intriguing Edinburgh University reference in the Academic Board papers at http://www.acaffairs.ed.ac.uk/Committees/APC/documents/Minute_000.pdf.

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MIT90s was later applied to the education sector, in Australia especially.125 It also became central to a number of JISC126 and related studies (including from DfES) on adoption and maturity in schools and FE. In universities, it was used for benchmarking e-learning, by the University of Strathclyde in 2006, and (after substantial reworking) by a consortium of four universities in 2007: three in England: Bradford, Brighton, and Thames Valley University; and one in Wales: Glamorgan. (No colleges have used it, to our knowledge.) Thus the model has some traction within English academia. It also remains attractive to a number of experts in information systems departments of universities interested in theories of IT-induced change. In summary, it has provided a useful contextual scheme for benchmarking and a gentler framework for academic transformation. There is an overall survey paper on MIT90s available127 and an informative page on MIT90s on the HE Academy wiki,128 so that the rest of this subsection will be brief. The key notions of MIT90s are:   Categories under which an institution can be analysed, and trajectories of change between these categories Transformation levels, representing the “depth” of change.

The categories are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The external environment (this one is often ignored) The organisational strategy Individuals and their roles (leaders, staff, students) The organisational structures The technology being used (ICT in this case) The management processes (and here are the links to BPR, quality, etc).

The concept of transformation levels is best regarded as a graft-on to the core MIT90s proposition. There are five transformation levels proposed: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Localised exploitation Internal integration Business process redesign Business network redesign Business scope redefinition.

In earlier DfES-era thinking it was found useful to map these into five stages of reachable institutional maturity (as for example used for EMFFE) – this was seen as convenient and perhaps motivating to the sector. However, we suggest the time has come in the demand-led skills era to “re-normalise” the levels for education (as has to occur from time to time in such schemes) – in fact, to now use the conventional
125

See Managing the Introduction of Technology in the Delivery and Administration of Higher Education”, by Philip Yetton et al, http://www.dest.gov.au/archive/highered/eippubs/eip9703/front.htm. 126 See A Framework for Managing the Risks of E-learning Investment, 2004, a report to JISC by the University of Strathclyde and Kilmarnock College,. 127 See The relevance of the MIT90s framework to benchmarking e-learning, by Paul Bacsich, http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/benchmarking/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/MIT90ssurvey-20060925.doc. 128 See http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/wiki/index.php/MIT90s.

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MIT90s mappings within business and commerce. This particularly affects levels 3, 4 and 5. See the table below where the first three columns are taken from MIT90s with the right-hand column a new interpretation for the educational sector.
level 3 description Business process redesign Business network redesign mapping to commerce (from MIT90s book) – with our italics ...results from a fundamental rethinking of the most effective way to conduct business. ...the use of IT by the organisation to include suppliers, customers or any other trading partner to contribute to the organisation‟s effectiveness. In a sense one is moving from the traditional, formal organisation, to a “virtual” or “networked” organisation that works together to accomplish a particular purpose. ...where an organisation decides to break out and exploit the new technology in the marketplace. The aim is to explain the logic underlying the composition of the organisation‟s portfolio of businesses, identify differential strategic thrusts and develop criteria for allocation of scarce resources among the businesses. Considerations of business scope dictate major strategic activities such as diversification, divestment, consolidation and mergers and acquisitions. relevance to education Rather like BPR or process-driven benchmarking-induced change Appropriate for a “Learner 2.0” mode of operation – and demand-led, thus including employer partners also

4

5

Business scope redefinition

Appropriate for new styles of institution, such as:  substantial outsourcing to shared services (not only from JISC and JANET) dual-mode universities virtual colleges (US model) FE content factories open educational repositories virtual schools (e.g. based on mainstreamed Notschool.net approaches) extended schools lifelong learning networks embedded in HEIs and FECs

    

 

Theory of Change Now follow a number of change management approaches of a “softer” nature and of interest to social scientists. The first is the Theory of Change. As noted on the HE Academy wiki:129 A theory of change describes the types of intervention that bring about the outcomes depicted in a change map leading from one institutional state to another via a series of "interventions". The theory should also take account of the assumptions that stakeholders use to explain the change process represented by the change framework. The concept is associated recently with the work at the ActKnowledge research organisation and the Aspen Institute. This has an active web site.130

129 130

See http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/wiki/index.php/Theory_of_change, accessed 24 June 2008. See http://www.theoryofchange.org.

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However, the concept appears originally to date from the work of Kurt Lewin who is better known in e-learning circles for his (related) work on force field analysis. Approaches in the theory of change genre have been used for some years in the UK in social science research and to an increasing extent in e-learning evaluation – see for example the Glenaffric131 abstract for ALT-C 2007.132 It has also begun to be used in UK universities at the planning level. In terms of sectoral traction in university management, it has to be said that the only evidence available to the team is its usage by senior management at the University of Sheffield, but no details are public. Of the 36 or so English HE institutions (over half the institutions benchmarked) that members of the Sero team have been in contact with in connection with benchmarking e-learning, none have mentioned it in a management context. We would be surprised if the situation is different in the FESR sector or in schools, especially since such theories come with a steep learning curve which busy managers in hard-pressed institutions (especially smaller ones) on the whole do not wish to get to grips with. Having said that, in the research and evaluation community, Theory of Change approaches are certainly of some interest, and not only for research at the University of Sheffield (Desila project).133 Examples include work at Lancaster University Business School for the Gateshead Skills for Life Partnership134 and at the Change Academy.135 On the other hand, it is not a subject that has come up much in ALT or ESRC circles connected with e-learning – or in EU circles – always with the proviso that this comment relates to discussions that members of the Sero team are familiar with. Complexity Theory Complexity theory has a number of distinct meanings in the physical and social sciences – here we focus on the application of complexity theory to organisations, thus part of strategic management and organisational studies. Wikipedia notes that:136 complexity theory is used in these domains to understand how organizations or firms adapt to their environments. The theory treats organizations and firms as collections of strategies and structures. When the organization or firm shares the properties of other complex adaptive systems – which is often defined as consisting of a small number of relatively simple and partially connected structures – they are more likely to adapt to their environment and, thus, survive. Complexity theoretic thinking has been present in strategy and organizational studies since their inception as academic disciplines.

131

Glenaffric are a firm of evaluators based in Scotland and used by JISC and the HE Academy for many studies. See http://www.glenaffric.co.uk. 132 See http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2007/timetable/abstract.php?abstract_id=1286. 133 See http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning_pedagogy/elp_desila.aspx. 134 See http://www.lums.lancs.ac.uk/leadership/cel/research/projects0607. 135 See Some concepts and tools for evaluating the effects of complex change projects, by Murray Saunders, Bernadette Charlier and Joel Bonamy, circa 2004, http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/ourwork/institutions/change_academy/CA0 27D_Saunders_ToolsForEvaluatingComplexChange.doc. 136 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_of_complexity_theory_to_organizations.

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There are links of complexity theory to cybernetics. The JISC Infonet page on Complexity Theory goes into more details on complexity theory, oriented to the UK educational scene.137 However, the JISC site mentions complexity theory in only two places, one for a Northumbria University e-learning bid and once as a marginal reference in a piece of work at the University of Strathclyde. There is also a useful two-page summary on the HE Academy web site.138 Our own information from the English HE sector confirms that its use in projects and by management is minimal. However, as with Theory of Change, the situation may be different in the research and evaluation community. Overseas there is clear use, in particular in Hong Kong (a region which in the past has looked a lot to the UK for its university and schools ICT development). There is a masterly analysis of the theoretical issues surrounding complexity theory in a paper by Shum and Fox (both based in Hong Kong) for ASCILITE in 2004.139 The third thrust of Fullan's work is the significance he gives to complexity theory. He argues that change is complex and uncontrollable, and with reference to the work of Stacey (cited in Fullan, 1993), Fullan introduces into the field of education a theory that was originally developed in the natural sciences. The roots of complexity theory can be traced to the idea of 'emergence' and 'unpredictability' in the nineteenth century. The Open System Theory is considered a more recent forerunner of complexity theory. In a nutshell, complexity theory is a "holistic, connectionist and integrationist view of the individual and the environment" (Morrison, 2002, pp. 6-7). In addition to introducing new theoretical concepts, Fullan tries to bridge the language gap between the two disciplines. This alone is a formidable task. He tries to translate complexity theory concepts into terms that stakeholders in the education policy arena can make use of in policy discourses. Fullan's work is inspiring yet we would argue that to translate complexity theory into a compatible education theory (Fullan, 2003), is more a collection of practical 'wisdom statements' than theoretical constructs that can guide empirical research. Fruitful insights can be gained from Fullan's work, yet it is not viable to put the concepts together into a single research framework. Those who attempt to apply complexity theory in their research encounter this difficulty. Reviewing the work of Byrne (1998), Morrison (2002) and McNaught (2003), some common problems are identified – for example the lack of concrete measurements and vague concepts that often require the support of other theories. The applicability therefore of complexity theory is questioned and its adaptation into the social sciences and into the field of education in particular may still need more time and research to fully mature and to be applicable to guide empirical research.

137

See http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/change-management/theoretical-models/complexitytheory. 138 See Complexity Theory – A Perspective on Education by Paul Tosey, http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/resourcedatabase/id53_complexity _theory_a_perspective_on_education.pdf. 139 See Changing schools through exploring innovative pedagogical practices using ICTs, by Ip Pui Shum and Robert Fox, University of Hong Kong, http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/ip.html.

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The whole paper is worth reading. For an application in higher education, we recommend the paper by Parchoma in Canada.140 This is particularly interesting as she references “mainstream” e-learning theorists such as Tony Bates; and there is also a good bibliography. The Twigg approach to academic transformation There is a particular approach to academic transformation that was pioneered by a team in the US under the direction of Carol Twigg, with funding from the Pew Foundation. Later, the National Center for Academic Transformation141 was set up, with Carol as the Director. In 2003 meetings were called at DfES in London by Diana Laurillard, then Head of ELearning at DfES, to discuss with both HE and FE whether the Twigg approach should be tried in England. A review of it was commissioned from an OBHE team involving the University of Surrey.142 The review was measured although on balance somewhat negative, but it is said that some agencies and institutions were more negative – and it was perhaps a bit close to the UKeU debacle to have got the attention it deserved – in England. Not at the time, although one could stretch a point and say that some elements in, or at least aspirations for, Pathfinder were reminiscent of Twigg. However, in Scotland, the approach was more directly taken up in the Scottish Transformation Programme, although the extent to which this followed a strict Twigg model may not be clear until the formative evaluation of that is published. A justreleased research paper143 draws some cautious interim conclusions in careful language: The scale of these two programmes [Transformation and Pathfinder] is comparable to the Pew Grant programme in course redesign in USA higher education, which claimed both improved learning and reduced costs through the introduction of technology enhancements. This paper considers how these claims influenced the UK initiatives, and how divergent strategic considerations led the national programmes to be defined differently. A conclusion is that the way the initiatives were framed has influenced their outcomes. However, both programmes have succeeded in building a crossinstitutional level of capacity development that offers a policy direction for the future. Despite a number of setbacks and false starts, the ideas of Twigg have not gone away and surface from time to time in various ways.144 Certainly we recommend that the methodological base of any transformation methodology for HE or FE should be close to the Academic Transformation methodology of NCAT associated with the name of Carol Twigg. However, it will need to be updated in the light of studies of this
140

See Visualizing ICT Change in the Academy, by Gale Parchoma (University of Saskatchewan, http://www.igi-global.com/downloads/excerpts/reference/IGR3010_86XSe7e7BA.pdf. 141 See http://www.thencat.org. 142 See Redesigning Teaching and Learning in Higher Education using ICT: Balancing Quality, Access and Cost – A review of the US Pew Grant Program in Course Redesign and its potential for UK higher education – Final Report. Never published. There was an interim report also. 143 See “You take the high road: national programmes for the development of e-learning in Higher Education”, by Terry Mayes and Derek Morrison, Reflecting Education, Vol. 4 no 1, 2008, http://www.reflectingeducation.net/index.php/index/index.php?journal=reflecting&page=article&op =view&path[]=51&path[]=52. 144 Including her “institutional readiness” criteria appearing in a recent Becta ITT.

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programme (e.g. the one commissioned by DfES), criticisms of some aspects of its approach (e.g. on costing), better links with MIT90s145 change management thinking, and results from the Scottish Transformation Programme and, in time, from Gwella. Since consensus needs to be built (or more accurately rebuilt) and care taken to ensure that any approach is up to date, an initial study is needed to determine the details of approach, and in this, due note should be taken of the views of experts on the applicability of business process re-engineering, change management, and similar techniques to the university sector – these experts should include but not be restricted to the Pathfinder Critical Friends and those associated with relevant EU, Canadian and Australian projects. Commentary Behind the energetic debate on change management, three aspects, vital though they are, get rather little attention. The first is costing. Ever since a number of key studies on costs of e-learning from the late 1990s,146 there has been general agreement that cost issues are important to change in elearning (especially step-change), but a general feeling of tiredness in the sector at the thought of doing anything about it. The HEFCE Strategy for e-Learning mentions “cost” just twice in its 19 pages,147 although the second mention is as a component of Objective 4.2 of Strand 4 “Strategic management, human resources and capacity development”, which lists as the third action in that Objective: HEFCE to investigate costing methodologies/models for developing and delivering e-learning in the context of the review of its teaching funding method To the first approximation, nothing has been done by HEFCE.148 One should note that most HEFCE actions on e-learning are delegated to agencies, mainly JISC and the HE Academy but also including the more minor ones such as the Leadership Foundation – but this action on costing has not been delegated. (It is one of a handful of such actions not activated directly or delegated – the other group is in Objective 6.2 which pertains to international analytic activity – see later.) A similar situation appears to pertain in FE. Although in the US and Australia costing analysis continues, the topic remains at a low level of interest in the UK, at least until recently. However, JISC in its background review relevant to the Curriculum Design call (05/08) has again cited costs work as relevant to institutions wishing to bid. Specifically Helen Beetham in her JISC report Key messages on curriculum design for technology-rich learning environments,149 references the following:

145

See The relevance of the MIT90s framework to benchmarking e-learning, http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/benchmarking/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/MIT90ssurvey-20060925.doc. 146 In particular the CNL and INSIGHT studies from JISC and the TCO study from Becta. 147 See http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2005/05_12/05_12.doc. 148 HEFCE might contend that one or more studies by JM Consulting pertain to this issue – see e.g. http://www.hefce.ac.uk/Learning/founddeg/funding.htm. We would contend that no specific study has been done. 149 At http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearningcapital/curriculumbriefingkeideas.doc.

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Insight: a model for evaluating the costs and benefits of ICT in Teaching and Learning. Bacsich et al‟s Costs of Networked Learning project (2001) is widely referenced in the literature and remains a benchmark study.150 See also “The Costs of Networked Learning” (chapter) in Networked Learning: Perspectives and Issues.151 See also the cost savings/resource efficiency chapter of the CAMEL Tangible Benefits of e-Learning report.152 This last report is getting a lot of attention; although more anecdotal (but still evidenced) though less analytic than the others, it is perhaps a good way to make costing issues palatable to institutions. The second topic is market research. Though institutions are rather coy at admitting they do explicit market research, and many academics are unaware of what the central departments do in this area, it is clear that market research is carried out. Furthermore, when the few public reports on markets come out, they are seized on. A good case study of this was that when the full version of the Pricing Survey and Analysis of Online Degree and MBA Courses was released by British Council in autumn 2005 via its GETIS service, it was downloaded avidly.153 Although HEFCE have not activated directly their Objective 6.2, it could be argued by some that the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education subscription service is a partial fulfilment of that HEFCE Objective, noting that the fraction of OBHE material pertaining to e-learning is actually quite low.154 The final topic, getting least attention of all in HE and FE, is new styles of institutional providers. There is nothing in the post-16 sectors like the City Academies programme or the various other routes (and discussed potential routes) to set up new types of schools with new governance models. It is as if having set up OU, Ufi and UKeU a feeling of tiredness set in – “two out of three ain‟t bad”. This is in stark contrast to the new styles of organisations appearing in several other countries – by no means all underdeveloped countries – indeed several are in the EU and not all in the East. It may be (still) some way from current government policy but the role of the private sector in universities and the link to e-learning is much discussed across the world and in international agencies such as the World Bank, UNESCO, etc.155 Perhaps one should not be surprised given the development of e-learning in the corporate training sector (and indeed in some public sectors such as the military across several nations).

150 151

See http://www.matic-media.co.uk/CNL-1.doc. See C. Ash and P. Bacsich (2001) in C. Jones and C. Steeples (eds) Perspectives and Issues in Networked Learning, Springer-Verlag: New York. 152 See http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/case-studies/tangible. 153 A minimal public version of this is at http://www.matic-media.co.uk/ukeu/UKEU-r03-pricingpublic-2005.doc. 154 See http://www.obhe.ac.uk/aboutus/. 155 See for example the e-learning speakers, including Tony Bates and Terry Hilsberg, at the 2006 International Investment Forum for Private Higher Education (http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/che.nsf/Content/Ed_Forum_2006_Agenda), including some from UK HE – see http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/che.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/Ed_06_Lefrere/$FILE/Lefrere_OnLine+to+Bl ended+Delivery.pdf.

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In this context it is interesting that material normally discussed only among a few internationally-aware policy wonks156 has surfaced in the 2008 UUK Report already mentioned. For example one aspect of Scenario 3 has as a feature: highly innovative providers, including many more private providers than there are now, with a greater awareness and commitment to develop and exploit their particular strengths and bring new products combining new technological approaches to enhance the student learning experience to new better defined market; And Scenario 3 is not the only scenario where the private sector makes an appearance. For longer-term issues see the report by Machin.157 It may be too fanciful to hope, but one could regard the upcoming restructuring of the LSC with a larger role for local authorities as an opportunity to rethink some of the governance models and funding approaches to the FE sector. It is good to see forward-looking local authorities already participating in the mechanisms for this massive change in the “machinery of government” for 14-19.158 It is verging on out of scope but it is said that there are some structural issues to do with home nations and regional governance which make it rather less likely than in other countries that regional/state/provincial rivalry will create new-style institutions and thus absolve government of the responsibility. Basically, England is too big and the other home nations too small; and the regional tier is vague, often too low in population and not relevant to current business structures (e.g. commute patterns for city-regions etc). But one should not be too despondent and a comparison with other countries and regions in Europe gives rise to some optimism. Consider the following:   If Catalonia can have its own open university,159 why not Scotland? If Estonia can have its own e-University,160 and Ireland a commercial online provider (Hibernia College), why not Wales? Or Yorkshire?161

4.5

Developing critical success factors for organisational change

The last section leads naturally back to organisational change – as we expect the number of new-build institutions to be few, then the main challenge is to transform existing ones. There is much discussion as to what exactly a critical success factor is – and the term is often used in widely different ways. On the HE Academy wiki there is an
156

There are some exceptions. Those who listened to the insights from Cliff Allan, former Director of the HE Academy, would know this. The trace of the event does not really do it justice – “you had to be there”. But if you were not, see Reflections on Dearing and the future for HE at http://www.brad.ac.uk/lss/tqeg/conferences/2008/outlines.php#allan. 157 Public/Private Education Partnerships 2025, Beyond Current Horizons, http://www.beyondcurrenthorizons.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/bch_challenge_paper_public_private_stephen_machin.pdf. 158 See for example the recent East Midlands event at http://readingroom.lsc.gov.uk/LSC/EastMidlands/LSC_LEA_1419_changes_presentation_April08.ppt. 159 See http://www.uoc.es/portal/english/. 160 See http://www.e-uni.ee/documents/e-Uni_Strategy.pdf. 161 It is said (in Yorkshire – at http://www.ackroydfamilyresearch.co.uk/sizeyork.htm) that “Yorkshire has a greater population than nations like Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Libya, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and New Zealand, is approximately equal in size to countries like Israel and El Salvador and has a greater population than all but 14 states of the USA”.

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attempt to produce a synthesis and grounding in the business and management literature.162 There it states that (our italics): A critical success factor is a factor whose presence is necessary for an organisation to fulfil its mission – in other words, if it is not present then its absence will cause organisational failure. So a critical success factor is required (mandatory) for success – thus many socalled “hygiene” factors, however popular with government and agencies, are unlikely to quality. This leads to the approach of distilling (or filtering) critical success factors out of a longer list of benchmarking or maturity (or even quality) criteria. Becta is aware of the exploratory work Sero has undertaken on developing a set of critical success factors for predicting capacity for organisational change related to elearning in the English FESR sector. In that project, after some debate and consultation with Becta, the definition of critical success factor settled down to “critical success factor for step-change in e-learning”. The confusion comes in because there can be different levels of “mission” for an organisation, even within the e-learning space. There are at least three “strengths” of mission for an organisation: 1. Ensure that more and more e-learning activity takes place each year. 2. Ensure that a significant extra amount of e-learning activity takes place fast – the step-change – but the organisation could in theory continue without elearning (at least in the short term). This is quite close to the NELI and MELI categorisation. 3. Organisations which do nothing but e-learning: like UKeU (did), Ufi, virtual colleges, Notschool.net, etc – or are so dependent on it that it is businesscritical like several US and Australian universities – so avoiding e-learning is not an option. Most previous literature in this area is either at level 1 or level 3 – very little so far at level 2. A further confusion creeps in where the “organisation” is finessed to be a department, faculty or even programme of study. We are here only concerned with whole organisations in the sense of legal entities known and visible to government and its agencies. Much of the level 1 literature is actually not about whole universities, for example. Apart from the Sero team and those experts linked to this, there are other groups in the UK interested in critical success factors. Some but not all tend to come from a background of analysing failures. The groups include:  An informal group so far consisting (apart from Sero staff) of Su White (Southampton) who is interested in failed initiatives and Maggie McPherson (Leeds) who has just completed a PhD dissertation on this topic with application to university e-learning development (this is rather similar to benchmarking). The CAPITAL Project Director met Su and Maggie in Sheffield on March 10. Having said that, it is early days for their work and the demands of our projects are likely to require faster developments than academics are comfortable with. Su White co-chaired a workshop on this topic in 2006 with an impressive list of contributors
See http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/wiki/index.php/Critical_success_factor.

162

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and many papers published in BJET.163 There was a particularly interesting contribution from John Cook and his team which includes a reconstructed MIT90s diagram motivating our proposed renormalisation of the transformation levels. 164  A more systematic group associated with Professor Geoff Peters (OU, former Pro-Vice Chancellor and active in EADTU) and Lee Taylor (formerly with NHSU). Members of it contributed to the recent NHSU report from OBHE but that report did not have a critical success factors scheme. There are plans for an invitational seminar on major public sector and corporate e-learning initiatives in October 2008. Finally, at an EU level work is also going on looking at critical success factors for HE, under the already-mentioned Re.ViCa project.165 This started contractually in September 2007 and runs for two years under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme. It has recently (early June) had its second project meeting (the first one where it met with a number of notable e-learning advisors from round the world including Tony Bates).166 At that meeting there was a position paper discussed on adopting a particular critical success factors scheme for e-learning in HE across Europe.167 This scheme was split into three sections and each section discussed by one group of advisors – two made useful contributions much in line with UK views while the third seemed to struggle – but it is interesting that the third group had to wrestle with criteria in the more demand-led areas (employers etc) with which it seems few non-UK experts are familiar. A more considered view will be available late in the summer.

4.6

The knowledge, skills and understanding needed by leaders of educational institutions

Current Sero work for Becta168 on e-readiness/critical success factors gives us an indication of what is relevant, if pedagogy and the curriculum are to engage in transformational change. This area is worth pursuing for further debate. In HE, the benchmarking and Re.ViCa analyses suggest the following as crucial abilities that leaders (Vice-Chancellors, PVCs and Directors) should (a) have (solely or with others) or (b) ensure that their key staff have. Note that in many cases the best practice statement requires some reinterpretation to phrase it as a skill – for example “The institution has a reasoned approach to managing its brand” translates to “ability to make evidence-based decisions on the institution‟s brand”. Note that one should regard well-researched benchmarking/maturity schemes (especially the practice statements for higher levels) as being repositories of expert and management wisdom on best practice including on leadership and change management.

163 164

See http://www.csfic.ecs.soton.ac.uk. See Change in e-Learning in a UK university – London Met RLO-CETL, by John Cook et al, paper presented at CSFIC 06 (a workshop at ECDL 2006), Alicante, Spain, http://www.csfic.ecs.soton.ac.uk/Cook.pdf. 165 See http://www.avnet.kuleuven.be/revica/. There is also an extensive wiki but this is private. 166 See http://www.avnet.kuleuven.be/revica/p9.html. 167 By agreement with the developer of Pick&Mix/ELDDA, this scheme was released early to the Re.ViCa group prior to it being put into Creative Commons in summer 2008. 168 Sero‟s report on critical success factors for assessing institutional readiness for step change has been delivered to Becta: this report is internal to Becta and will not be published.

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Best practice statement The capability of leaders to make decisions regarding e-learning is fully developed. Regularly updated e-Learning Strategy, integrated with Learning and Teaching Strategy and all related strategies (e.g. Distance Learning, if relevant). Activity-Based Costing or a system with equivalent functionality being used to some extent in all departments. Effective academic programme decision-making for e-learning across the whole institution, including variations when justified. The institution has a reasoned approach to collaboration at various levels to gain additional benefit from sharing e-learning material, methodologies and systems. The institution has a reasoned approach to managing its brand The institution has a reasoned approach to managing its Unique Selling Propositions Time to market is low compared with comparators Cost of sales is low compared with comparators The management style is a hybrid of academic and corporate, accepted by staff Effective foresight function Widespread skill in selling e-learning and the theory to support the skills. Market research done centrally and in or on behalf of all departments, and aware of e-learning aspects; updated annually or prior to major programme planning. Competitor research done centrally and in or on behalf of all departments, and fully aware of elearning aspects.

MIT90s category

169

OBHE category

170

Leader have personally? Y

Individuals (Leaders) Strategy

Management and leadership Strategy development Resources and value for money Management and leadership Partnership and collaboration Management and leadership Management and leadership Management and leadership Management and leadership Management and leadership Management and leadership Management and leadership Communication, evaluation and review Communication, evaluation and review

Processes

Processes

Y

External environment

Y

External environment External environment External environment External environment Individuals (Leaders) External environment Processes

Y Y

Y Y

External environment

Y

External environment

Y

169 170

This is relevant since MIT90s is a relevant and viable change management approach. This is relevant since the OBHE scheme is the basis of several international comparison exercises.

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5. Exemplars
Within England, exemplars are given below. However, in other home nations and outside the UK, there are many exemplars of great relevance, which have been noted in the relevant sections. It would be unwise to determine too much of English policy from the rather impoverished set of exemplars we now have in England. In particular, at a minimum Coleg Sir Gâr, Hibernia College and several Scottish examples should be considered before going further into EU and beyond. Schools 1. SYeLP 2. Notschool.net 3. Djanogly City Academy FESR 4. City Lit 5. The Sheffield College Online 6. Cornwall College HE 7. Examples described in section 3 of this report. General 8. OpenLearn.

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6. Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1 Conclusions

Our top-level conclusions are as follows: 1. England is not convincingly world-class in outcomes of ICT investment though it clearly is in money spent on ICT. Countries such as Australia, Brazil and Canada – to name but three – contain many useful lessons for England as regards all parts of the education sector. However, England is world class in the analytic tools to determine such outcomes – if there is the will to use them. 2. There are many changes at the sector level (i.e. above institutions) but these are not really caused by ICT or linked back to it. However, some (like LEAs coming back into play for colleges) might help (e.g. to provide a vehicle for shared services or foster institutional change including but not only of funding and governance) if managed, otherwise they will continue to lead to uncertainty. 3. The HE sector has had a few mergers and a few new institutions traded up from old but very few new-build institutions. 4. The FE sector has had lots of mergers and a few closures but no real organisational change within institutions and very little new-build other than new buildings for existing institutions. 5. The schools sector has had a number of new-build new-style providers (Academies etc) but not driven by ICT with only rare exceptions. NotSchool and its relatives etc are rare examples of virtual schools; there are many more in other countries. 6. In reality there is very little organisational change which is both within institutions (not above them) and ICT-induced. This is particularly true for schools which due to being constrained by their mission for affordable child care during working hours have changed very little. 7. In universities (but not in colleges) the main ICT-induced change is a slow drift towards a hub+spokes model for e-learning support in these institutions taking it seriously (a model dating back to the 1990s or even earlier at the OU – 1977). The merger of IT and libraries in universities is often tokenistic and only in a few places is yet exploiting synergies, web 2.0 etc. HEFCE have started to pay attention to this and JISC certainly are. 8. Many of the things thought to be organisational change are in fact new styles of courses and so best discussed under "learning and teaching redesign" in our companion report.

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6.2

Recommendations for handling organisational change caused by or needed for ICT

Government and agencies 1. The concept of the demand-led cost-effective institution must be embedded right across the sector. This is particularly important in the light of upcoming economic exigency (now referred to openly in other policy papers). 2. Coupled with this must be the propagation by government of the knowhow and the tools to manage such institutions, across all parts of the sector in appropriate ways. Long-standing weaknesses in market research, costing and decision-making (exposed by maturity and benchmarking studies) must be put right, at last. More attention must be paid to funding and regulatory regimes and to minimise the distortions and inhibitors that they cause; 3. Government must make it clear that ICT is not a “change” but is an ongoing feature of institutions – like electricity – and like electricity it can shock if not correctly used. There may be changes required which ICT can facilitate, but ICT is not the change. This implies that ICT management approaches conventional for many years now outside education must be propagated across the sector – this applies particularly to schools and small/specialist FESR. Lessons must be learned from the corporate training sector‟s use of elearning. 4. Government must give more consideration as to how small and/or specialised institutions (colleges, PCDL providers, specialist HE, special schools etc) can be aggregated for the purposes of running an effective and cost-effective ICT operation. This may involve shared services, JANET, JISC RSCs or even new consolidators as appropriate. 5. Policy must be technology-neutral but demand-sensitive. However, since not many organisations can yet “read the tea-leaves” and work out the ICT implications of policy, documents (on regional provision, skills, etc) should contain case studies and examples of suggested best practice enabled by ICT. This will overcome the bias (real or perceived) of government against ICT, e-learning, distance learning etc. 6. No specific change management approach should be mandated by government unless when funding large-scale initiatives. However, government should be sensitive to the compliance costs of such approaches and its agencies should advise against those which are not suitable for smaller organisations. In particular, care should be taken when deploying methodologies attractive to researchers or evaluators which have not been piloted at an operational level in institutions. 7. More attention should be paid to creating new-build institutions and to selecting against the status quo in doing so. Carefully handled, elements of “regional” (in a loose sense) and home nation pride and autonomy can be used to engender change.

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HE and FESR 1. The best practices found in the more e-learning aware universities and colleges should be propagated across the sector, and the worst practices selected against. 2. Those practices not yet found even in the most e-learning aware organisations need to be embedded – in particular costing and market research. Quality procedures for e-learning also need attention in many institutions (but not all), particularly when they cross sector boundaries. 3. The paradigm should be a hub+spokes model of e-learning support with, for the next few years, a senior person in charge of e-learning activities. The costs for this should not fall long-term on government. 4. JISC have many resources in this area. Consideration should be given to a revised version of JISC Infonet targeted to this specific need but it must be correlated with HE Academy and Becta material, and perhaps that of other agencies. Schools 1. The headline is that schools should use the normal panoply of management approaches to ICT appropriate to organisations of their size. This will imply due attention to setting up and running an ICT committee, paying more attention to procurement, etc. The ICT Test Bed reports contain many examples of good practice. 2. As far as possible and in part due to the changes in the 14-19 approach, schools and colleges should aim to converge their approach to management of ICT. 3. While respecting the secondary but vital mission of schools to supply affordable child care, more attention should be paid to “virtual school” models and not only for the usual categories of disadvantaged learners.

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7. References
Key references are indicated as footnotes in the text for ease of access.

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8. Annotated bibliography
This bibliography focusses on general material relevant to organisational change. For material specific to particular institutions or projects, see the footnotes. Bacsich, Paul (1997). Re-Engineering the Campus with Web and Related Technology for the Virtual University, http://www.pjb.co.uk/14-15/vu1.htm. Bacsich, Paul; Ash, Charlotte et al (1999). The Costs of Networked Learning (CNL), report to JISC from Sheffield Hallam University, with Kim Boniwell and Leon Kaplan with the assistance of Jane Mardell and Andrew Caven-Atack, October 1999, http://www.matic-media.co.uk/CNL-1.doc. Bacsich, Paul (2005). Lessons to be learned from the failure of the UK e-University, ODLAA, 2005, http://www.unisa.edu.au/odlaaconference/PDFs/32%20odlaa2005%20%20bacsich.pdf. Bacsich, Paul (2006). The relevance of the MIT90s framework to benchmarking elearning, 2006. http://elearning.heacademy.ac.uk/weblogs/benchmarking/wpcontent/uploads/2006/09/MIT90s-survey-20060925.doc. Beetham, Helen (2008). Key messages on curriculum design for technology-rich learning environments identified from previous studies and projects, 2008 http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearningcapital/curriculumb riefingkeideas.doc. Cliff, Dave; O‟Malley, Claire; and Taylor, Josie (2008). Future Issues in SocioTechnical Change for UK Education, Beyond Current Horizons, as yet unpublished. Cook, John et al (2006). Change in e-Learning in a UK university – London Met RLOCETL, paper presented at CSFIC 06 (a workshop at ECDL 2006), Alicante, Spain, http://www.csfic.ecs.soton.ac.uk/Cook.pdf. Dearing, Sir Ron (1997). Report of the National Committee of Enquiry into Higher Education, http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe/natrep.htm. DfES (2006). ICT Test Bed Evaluation: Final Report 2006, by a team at MMU and NTU, http://www.evaluation.icttestbed.org.uk/learning. DIUS (2007). World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England, July 2007, http://www.dius.gov.uk/publications/publicationsleitchreview.htm. DIUS (2008a). Higher Education at Work – High Skills: High Value, Consultation Document, April 2008, http://www.dius.gov.uk/consultations/documents/Higher_Education_at_Work.pdf. DIUS (2008b). A new ‘University Challenge’: Unlocking Britain’s Talent, Policy Update, http://www.dius.gov.uk/policy/documents/university-challenge.pdf. Ecotec (2001). learndirect – a comparative study, http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RRX2.PDF.
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Glenaffric: The Scottish Transformation Projects – formative evaluation report from Glenaffric (coming soon). See http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning_sfc.aspx for news. Hayes, John (2006). The Theory and Practice of Change Management: 2nd edition, Palgrave, http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?is=1403992983. JISC Infonet. Change Management InfoKit, http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/change-management/index_html. JISC Infonet (2008). Exploring Tangible Benefits of e-Learning: does investment yield interest?, http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/bptangiblebenefitsv1.aspx. Laurillard, Diana. “Modelling benefits-oriented costs for technology enhanced learning”, Higher Education, Volume 54, Number 1, Springer Netherlands, July 2007. Laurillard, Diana (2008). Digital Technologies and Their Role in Achieving Our Ambitions for Education, Inaugural Lecture at Institute of Education, 2008. (Available on Amazon and soon via ALT.) Mackinnnon (2008). Measuring e-maturity amongst work-based learning providers 2008, http://partners.becta.org.uk/uploaddir/downloads/page_documents/research/ematurity_wbl_report.doc LSN (2008). Measuring e-maturity in the FE sector, Final Report by the Learning and Skills Network, March 2008, http://partners.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=rh&catcode=_re_rp_02&rid=1453 3. Machin, Stephen (2008). Public/Private Education Partnerships 2025, Beyond Current Horizons, http://www.beyondcurrenthorizons.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/bch_challenge_paper_public_private_stephen_machin.pdf. Mayes, Terry & Morrison, Derek (2008). “You take the high road: national programmes for the development of e-learning in Higher Education”. Reflecting Education, Vol. 4 no 1, http://www.reflectingeducation.net/index.php/index/index.php?journal=reflecting& page=article&op=view&path[]=51&path[]=52. OBHE. Redesigning Teaching and Learning in Higher Education using ICT: Balancing Quality, Access and Cost – A review of the US Pew Grant Program in Course Redesign and its potential for UK higher education – Final Report, Done for the Department for Education & Skills but never published. Selim, H. M. (2007). “Critical Success Factors for E-Learning Acceptance: Confirmatory Factor Models”, Computers and Education 49(2), 396-413. Sero (2008a). Disadvantaged Learners: a report to Becta, by John Popham and Barry Phillips, March 2008.

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Sero (2008b). E-maturity in personal and community development learning: Review report, April 2008, http://partners.becta.org.uk/uploaddir/downloads/page_documents/research/ematurity_pcdl_report.doc. Somekh, Bridget and Davis, Niki – editors (1997). Using Information Technology Effectively in Teaching and Learning: Studies in Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Education, Routledge. Sun, P., Tsai, R, J. Finger, G., Chen, Y and Dowming, Y. D. (2007). Awaiting publication. “What drives a successful e-Learning? An empirical investigation of the critical factors influencing learner satisfaction”, accepted by Computers & Education, available online 12 January 2007, pp. 81-89. Twigg, Carol. NCAT documentation. See http://www.thencat.org. Taylor, Scott; Bell, Emma; Grugulis, Irena and Storey, John (2007). The Institution That Wasn’t: The British National Health Service University, University of Essex; Queen Mary, University of London; University of Bradford; Open University Business School, December 2007, http://www.obhe.ac.uk/products/reports/pdf/2007-12-01.pdf (available to subscribers only). UUK (2008), The future size and shape of the HE sector in the UK: threats and opportunities, http://bookshop.universitiesuk.ac.uk/downloads/Size_and_shape2.pdf. Volery, T., & Lord, D. (2000). “Critical success factors in on-line education”, The International Journal of Educational Management, 14(5), 216-223. White, Su (2007). “Critical success factors for e-learning and institutional change – some organisational perspectives on campus-wide e-learning”, British Journal of Educational Technology, 38 (5), 840-850.

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