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UCISA workshop slides
I talk a bit about what the education system was designed for, and its central design problem of needing to manage the complexity of learners desires with limited resources. Traditionally this has been achieved through the hierarchical structural design of institutional departments to courses to lesssons, with the resulting fragmentation of individual learning. So far learning technologies like VLEs have sought to make the existing design work more efficiently, but technologies can be recruited to support a radical restructuring of the whole educational edifice. This is not a trivial undertaking, and we need to have a deep understanding of the role of organisations as a mechanisms for handling complexity to be able to design the use of technology to rebalance the complexity equation. This will necessarily involve identifying where institutional inertia is is located. I suggest that IS departments (the audience in this case should look at redesigning their role to become enablers of change, and stop being just providers of technical systems. It may be time to give up offering technical systems when much better ones are becoming available on the web that can be exploited for learning and teaching, and to start finding ways in which we can exploit what learners bring to their learning.