ODLAA 2005 Conference

Well, that was one heck of a conference, rarely if ever have I encountered such a high ratio of PPEE (Professors Per Everyone Else) and there was conversation to match too!

Met and enjoyed the company of a huge crowd of people (all of whom *should* but *don’t* have blogs), I’ve already mentioned Terry Anderson, Paul McKey and the one and only Tony Bates but add to that Jon Baggaley, another Tony who’s surname I’ve totally forgotten, Allan Herrmann, Alan Smith (I want a uni website that does that for me!!!), David Murphy, Mark Keough (of the interesting new elearning provider Archer College), Ian MacDonald and… it wasn’t just a boys club… Robin Mason (yes, the Robin Mason, howabout that!)

So I haven’t got the faintest idea of what was presented on but I do have a flipping *great* list of people to continue conversations with ;)

OK, honestly there were some really excellent papers there as well. In particular I’d recommend having a look at the following (.pdf) :

Distance learning – Social software’s killer ap? – Terry Anderson
(Terry Anderson is using Elgg and loving it… communities of inquiry ahoy!)

Resource sharing in an open source course management environment – Wolfgang Bauer and Gerd Kortemeyer (have you seen LON-CAPA… whooooooah, I think you should. Whatever your personal opinions about assessment driven teaching this is a fascinating project)

Exploring pre-existing factors and instructor actions influencing community development in online settings – Chris Brook and Ron Oliver (This is an absolutely excellent follow up to some of their earlier work on communities – especially this AJET article ‘Online learning communities: Investigating a design framework‘ which is well worth a read – and should be compulsory for anyone who’s examining teaching and learning online…. won the research award… deservedly!)

‘Just link and leave’ a recipe for disaster for online discussions
– Marie T Williams and Dale Wache (good example of how screwed up discussion boards are… have to say though that there aren’t that many people ‘getting it’ that online communication DOES NOT MEAN bulletin boards!!!!!)

Anyway, great conference, one of the best I’ve been to actually, circumstances permitting I’ll definitely be going back in 2007.