The event attracted over two hundred delegates from across the sectors. Many agreed that one of the highlights was the presence of learners both as delegates and presenters. Also, those presenting rose to the challenge and delivered sessions that were thought provoking and helped delegates identify lots of things that they or their organisations could be doing to improve organisational efficiency and the learner experience.
The #efactor2012 twitter tag was busy during and after the event. I was pleased to see Rachel Preece’s blog post, in which she reflects on her experience as a presenter. This year we were overwhelmed with proposals for presentations and to me this is testimony to how much the sector has matured with the JISC RSC support.
At a time of substantial changes to how further and higher education are funded and new quality drivers being introduced by both the QAA and Ofsted, a key question I put to those who believe in the potential of technology was how to make good practice with technology the norm.
In his plenary speech, Peter Mayhew-Smith, Principal of Kingston and Carshalton College Federation, made it clear that achieving widespread good practice with technology remains a huge challenge. As Peter pointed out, despite all advances with technology and the good practice on show at the e-Factor 2012, there may still be such a thing as a grade 4 e-learning lesson and that is where our focus should be. However, pockets of good practice must be stimulated, for they push boundaries and help set new visions and objectives for individuals, departments and the whole organisation.
What struck me, though, was how much Peter felt he had learned himself, simply from being there:
“I’ve never seen an e-learning strategy that summarises what I’ve seen today. And what I’ve seen today is an e-learning strategy. I have learned a great deal of things that I will take back to my organisation”.
This year, thanks to the exhibitors, we were able to offer some lucky delegates a raffle prize. We will endeavour to do the same next year. For all that I saw and heard I couldn’t help but agree with most delegates when they said that this has been one of the best event yet. We are already looking forward to next year’s one.
Regional Manager, JISC RSC London