Getting there ....by degrees
In December last year, the UK's very own Prince of Darkness, Lord Mandelson, declared that 2 year degrees would be the future of higher education. The Business Secretary ordered a 'shift away' from traditional three-year degrees, despite warnings that shorter degree programmes might dilute academic standards. His reasoning is that 2 year degrees would free up more spaces for undergraduate study across all disciplines, and ultimately, there would be less expenditure, and less student debt. All well and good. But to deliver the so called 'fast track' degrees, universities will need to work smarter than ever before, and will need to adopt better flexible learning methods. This is where learning technologies will come to the fore.
We are holding the first UK national conference here at the University of Plymouth, on June 18th (which just happens to be the anniversary of the infamous Battle of Waterloo - I don't know why I pointed that out - may be an omen) where keynote speeches, workshops and other activities will highlight what universities will need to do to ensure standards are maintained whilst adapting to fast track degree delivery. Among the speakers at this free event will be Professor John Traxler (Wolverhampton University) who will talk about: 'Mobile Learning vs Fast Learning: On the Same Track?' and Mark Stubbs (Head of Learning and Research technologies at Manchester Metropolitan University). It should be a great day - and if you are in the region and free on that day, you may want to attend. Remember - it's a free event. Go to the conference website to register.