A mid-project stop/go review meeting on the development of the directory of UK online courses took place near the end of last week. The initial phases of this work (technical feasibility work undertaken by Michael Webb and Tim Richard of Jisc) and a service design review by LiveWork were carefully reviewed and the decision was made not to progress the building of the prototype any further. The review found that significant work would be required, including by universities and colleges, to make the directory a reality. Furthermore, that the directory was not felt to be central enough to Jisc’s remit to merit the amount of work required.
However, the work on this strand of the scaling up online learning project will certainly not be going to waste as many of the findings around online course discovery and online student needs are just as relevant to individual institutions as they are to a national directory of online courses. An overview of some of these findings can be found in these previous blog posts (here and here) and all relevant information will be incorporated into the forthcoming Scaling up online learning Jisc Guide. We will also be investigating whether there may be additional ways of sharing this information with institutions.
Jisc R&D projects
The directory UK of online courses strand of the scaling up online learning project was in the experimental/discovery innovation phase of Jisc R&D projects, where we explore new ideas and emerging technologies and identify the most promising ideas to work on further. This is also the stage where stop/go decisions are most commonly made (though this can happen at any of the innovation phases if considered appropriate). Managing projects through each of these phases is all part of us focussing innovation on where it can have the most impact and the continuing cycle of evaluation and improvement which lasts for the duration of any Jisc service or product. If you want to know more about how we innovate see: https://jisc.ac.uk/rd/how-we-innovate