New start in September – Looking ahead to the Paris Research Workshop

Back to work after the summer earlier this month, now is the time to take a moment to write a new blog entry. My summer holiday was a very relaxing 3 weeks in France, mostly in lower Normandy in the Suisse Normande. We have two theories of managing holiday at home: the first is that you should use your leave entitlement for lots of short but regular breaks; the second is that you should save up your holiday to have a long break away from work. This year we went for the second approach and I must say it worked. Plenty of gardening and walking, plus a trip to the Bordeaux area kept me fit and well.

So back to the development of EDEN’s activities, and the chance for a meeting last week in Paris at UNESCO with the two Vice Presidents, Ulrich Bernath and Martine Vidal, together with our excellent Secretary-General Andras Szucs.


We were meeting firstly to talk in detail about the proposal to publish a book drawing on the best of the papers submitted to conferences and articles published in EURODL over the last 10 years. Thanks to the work of Martine Vidal we have a publisher who has made a commitment to working with us on this project. We want to produce a book that will give a historical oversight of the last 10 years, demonstrating the ways in which EDEN through its strategy for scholarship has identified and addressed the major issues and themes as they have arisen.

We also took the opportunity to look over the facilities in UNESCO Paris where our Research Workshop is to take place on October 20-22. They look very good indeed, and for those who don’t know that part of Paris it is a real joy to be around that area: with the Eiffel Tower so close, Napoleon’s magnificent tomb nearby, and the elegance of the Ecole Militaire with its cavalry school. Paris at its very best!


My work at the Open University UK this autumn is focused on a number of major projects, at the core of which is what we are calling the ‘course business models’ agenda. We want to move from the dominance of a course production and presentation model we have entitled ‘OU Classic’, where all the resources are produced by the University over a timescale that is often of necessity somewhat lengthy, to a range of models selected on pedagogical grounds. This will grow more variety of pedagogical skills with students, in particular developing their abilities to investigate and research under direction using the riches of the web, as well as delivering faster speed to market and efficiencies that will build cost-effectiveness. We have identified 6 models across the University, and are now working to identify where we can identify these in our current provisions, and the balance and distribution we want to get to in our courses and awards in the future. This will include OU Classic which will remain part of our repertoire, to be sued for reasons we will be able to explain to ourselves. But it is proposed that we become more innovative and reflexive about our learning and teaching strategies in this way.

I hope all EDEN members will have had good opportunities to relax over the summer too, and that we will meet again in Paris this October or in Gdansk at our main EDEN conference next June.

Share this via...Share on Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Leave a Reply