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altC – Advanced Learning Technology Centre

University of Oslo

Concept:

In the context of lifelong learning, Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) is an invaluable tool, which today mostly has a “one-size-fits-all” design. altC will turn CAIs in health sciences into personalised and intelligent tutoring systems that measure learning needs, methods and progress. This will provide efficient learning through adaptive testing and personalised feedback, teach learners to become self-regulated and provide knowledge tailored to the learner’s individual needs.


Strengths and weaknesses:

The bid comes from a medical school with leading, world-class research groups, and strong commitment to research-based education. Hence, the input factors are very solid. There is a very strong team combining health education and a generic education expertise. Benchmarking data and collaborative activity in a European context is commendable. However, the panel misses a clearer sense of the pedagogical practice, student engagement and student achievement. This is a major drawback.

The organisation of the centre is reasonable, and the structure of the plans is at a high level. Student involvement is good when it comes to the development of resources. The dissemination plan seems solid, although somewhat underdeveloped.

The plans for the centre remain rather general and unclear. There are some interesting ideas, but more details on implementation is necessary. Furthermore, the way that the proposed centre is building on previous achievement in the chosen area and takes these areas to the next level, should have been addressed.

The proposal seems more about developing a specific tool or a product than a Centre for Excellence in Education. The rationale for developing a ’generic ICT framework’ which is possibly applicable globally, is not clear. More information about the evidence-base for doing so would shed light on issues such as contextualisation and contingency. How this product is closing the gap of current tools and approaches should have been outlined, as well as how this tool will impact learning, practice and institutional development.

The focus on collaboration seems limited to the centre’s second five years period. The panel is unsure of this sequential approach. In addition, the evaluation and impact measures should have focused more on student learning outcomes. Overall, the plan lacks a clear statement of purpose and coherence.


Points to consider:

  • What is the rationale behind developing a generic and possibly globally applicable ICT framework?
  • How are students involved in shaping the centre plan (including in the development of the pedagogical approach)?
  • What pedagogical interventions might be proposed, at different stages of this project, to assist the driving up of student achievement?
  • What are the student learning outcomes?

Grade: 2
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