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Recommendations on Digital Study and Working environment (DSWO)

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  • 1. Scientific Technical Council Recommendations on Digital Study and Working Environment Utrecht, 1 September 2010, version: 1.0, status: Final Commissioning party: Stichting SURF Platforms WTR 10.1749
  • 2. Contents REQUEST FOR RECOMMENDATIONS AND APPROACH ................................................. 3 Request for recommendations ..................................................................................... 3 Approach................................................................................................................. 3 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS ........................................................................................ 4 Towards a Digital Study and Working Environment: DSWE ............................................... 4 Varying degrees of ICT maturity .................................................................................. 4 What do users want? ................................................................................................. 5 Students .............................................................................................................. 5 Instructors............................................................................................................ 5 Researchers .......................................................................................................... 6 New user groups.................................................................................................... 7 Consensus on overall approach ................................................................................... 7 Challenges in the change process for the DSWE ............................................................. 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................ 10 FINAL REMARKS ..................................................................................................... 14 APPENDIX 1: PARTIES CONSULTED ......................................................................... 15 APPENDIX 2: BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................. 16
  • 3. Request for recommendations and approach Request for recommendations In a letter (10.0311), the platform managers of Stichting SURF requested SURF’s Scientific Technical Council (WTR) to carry out a study of the Digital Learning and Working Environment (DLWE) in higher education. In 2008, SURFfoundation – working in collaboration with the higher education sector – drew up scenarios for the future of the digital learning and working environment as a prelude to a programme concerning this topic. In order to give focus to such a programme and to select activities to be prioritised, the platform managers wish to have a better idea of the current position of the institutions, the problems that they are facing, and their aims for the future as regards the DLWE. The three platforms requested the WTR to concern itself in the study with the technological, educational logistics, and pedagogical aspects, and with aspects concerning research communication. The research question for the study is: What is the current situation as regards the digital learning and working environment in higher education? What current problems are there as regards the DLWE, and what ambitions and expectations for the future do the institutions have with respect to the DLWE? In the light of the conclusions generated by the study, the commissioning parties wish to have recommendations for: 1. giving focus and direction to a joint long-range programme; 2. activities to be prioritised. Approach The WTR appointed a committee to carry out the evaluation, consisting of  Prof.dr. P. Kirschner  Dr. E. van den Berg  Prof.dr. J. van Hillegersberg The committee was assisted by Dr L.A. Plugge, secretary to the WTR. The committee had a large number of documents available for the study; these derived from SURF (specifically SURFnet), individual institutions, and partnerships. The WTR also made use of the information assembled with a view to evaluating SURFshare, for example the documents for the planned e-Science Research Centre (eSCR). Not all of the institutions have set out their aims for the future in writing; use was therefore also made of interviews with stakeholders such as administrators, students and researchers, and parties involved in support and design/development (IT management and functional administrators). A list of the interviewees is given in Appendix 1. The documentation used is listed in Appendix 2. 1 September 2010 3
  • 4. Findings and analysis Towards a Digital Study and Working Environment: DSWE The WTR’s assignment refers to the digital learning and working environment. Given the research question, however, the WTR is applying a broad definition under the name “Digital Study and Working Environment” (DSWE): A combination of digital services organised by an institution to support activities by students, staff, and guests at/of an institution for higher education and research. This definition refers to “activities” and not to “learning”, “teaching”, or “researching”. The hope and expectation is, for example, that a student will learn and that the digital services will help him or her to do so. Whether that is actually the case remains uncertain and difficult to demonstrate. The definition therefore refers to the broader concept of ”activities”. This includes looking up class timetables, scheduling appointments, sending and receiving messages, collaborating on an assignment, and so forth. Another reason for the broader definition is that as students make progress in their programme, the boundary between learning and research, for example, becomes blurred. The activities carried out by a student who is working on an assignment or conducting research for a graduation project do not differ all that much from those carried out by a member of staff, for example researchers. The WTR therefore recommends referring in future to a “Digital Study and Working Environment” or DSWE, a name that will do justice to this broader definition. It became clear during the interviews that many of the interviewees define “digital learning and working environment” more narrowly: they regard it as synonymous with the “electronic learning environment” (ELE) for students and instructors. A smaller number of interviewees used the broader definition. The preponderance of the narrower definition (i.e. a synonym for the ELE) means that the findings in fact provide more information on digital environments for students and instructors than for researchers and (even less so) support staff and administrators. Varying degrees of ICT maturity As anticipated, the various institutions differed considerably with respect to the maturity of their ICT facilities and services. Indeed, they can scarcely be compared with one another in that regard. Early adopters and followers can be found at both large and small institutions, and at both research universities and universities of applied sciences. The institutions also differ enormously with respect to the specific ICT services that they have pioneered. In some cases, the difference lies in the maturity of the architecture. For example, the three universities of technology are currently implementing a service-oriented architecture. Among these three universities the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has made the most progress in implementing such architecture. Another example of a mature architecture – based on services and brokers – as well as mature, integrated service delivery can be found at Zeeland University of Applied Sciences. What typifies the latter two examples is that the institutions have focused more on providing proper ICT services for support purposes, and less, or hardly at all, on using ICT as a general or pedagogical tool. The arguments put forward by institutions that focus more on educational support processes are:  a well-organised educational setting is a requirement for creating a proper teaching and study environment;  proper, well-integrated services focusing on support processes produce immediate and visible advantages in terms of the amount of time that staff (instructors, researchers and other staff) and students must invest in order to teach or take lessons;  focusing on support processes makes the task (i.e. providing ICT support) clearer and more manageable for a centralised ICT department;  it forces the organisation to review its support processes and to make agreements on (de facto) standardisation and on removing duplicate data and data systems, so that the data and systems can be used collectively; 1 September 2010 4
  • 5.  it makes it possible to support multiple didacticala models, so that instructors can select the most effective one instead of taking a “one size fits all” approach. It is the WTR’s impression that institutions that have organised and standardised their support processes properly are better able to provide integrated ICT support for these processes and receive higher marks in terms of user satisfaction. What do users want? Students The interviewees were largely in agreement on the following point: students think that the ICT facilities provided in higher education generally lag behind those made available by many commercial vendors, whose customers include students. According to the interviewees, there are also too many instructors who fail to make effective use of ICT in their teaching. As mentioned above, in terms of the services provided, there are considerable differences between institutions, as well as between instructors. When asked, the interviewees were also able to provide examples of what they consider effective use of ICT by instructors and the institution. It is clear that in the eyes of many students, too many instructors still frequently have technical problems when using new facilities, for example smart boards, and/or are unable to use facilities in the most effective manner, for example Microsoft PowerPoint. In the first example, the problem lies in the user’s technical skills; in the second, it is related to presentation and teaching skills, i.e. didactics. But it is not only instructors who lack the necessary knowledge and skills. Many students also have only a limited (i.e. one-sided) knowledge of new facilities. The interviews revealed that students are often very familiar with facilities popular in their age group, such as Skype, MSN, Facebook, Twitter, Hyves, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. They are less familiar or even entirely unfamiliar, however, with information sources that are generally available, for example iTunes-U for open courseware. Describing young people as “digital natives” is a generalisation that overestimates their knowledge and skills. Opinions among students differ as to what aspect of ICT requires the most attention. In order to improve the quality of their education, they believe improvements are needed both in the ICT facilities for supportive processes in education and in the use of ICT for didactical purposes. They have a slight preference, however, for ICT facilities for the supportive processes. Such prerequisite facilities create an environment that makes it possible for instructors, students and researchers to focus on their core activities. Instructors Unlike the students, who are united in two national organisations, instructors do not have a national platform through which they can express their views. That is also the conclusion of a report by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) entitled Towards instructor professionalism in Dutch higher education: Why a professional infrastructure is needed to achieve scholastic success [Docentprofessionaliteit in het Nederlandse hoger 24 onderwijs - Naar een professionele infrastructuur als voorwaarde voor studiesucces] (Van Alst et al., 2009). The report’s first recommendation is, therefore (p. 53): In line with examples abroad, there should be a platform of, for and by instructors that will act as their permanent representative in the higher education sector. In a similar way, instructors’ opinions also only reach SURF through indirect channels, for example via the platform contact persons and the ICT expertise centres. Those representing the instructors are therefore generally not instructors themselves, even though the demands that instructors in higher education make on ICT may well be even more varied than those of students. That is because instructors specialise in different fields, and the requirements that they have probably differ considerably from one HERPb a In Dutch and in German there is a clear distinction between didactics, i.e. a teaching method or educational style, and pedagogy which is about leading children in their growth toward adulthood. b HERP: The Higher Education and Research Plan [Hoger Onderwijs en Onderzoek Plan], a policy plan issued every other year by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for the higher education sector. The HERP sectors are: Agriculture, Nature, Technology, Health, Economics, Law, Behaviour & Society, Language & Culture, Education, and Miscellaneous. 1 September 2010 5
  • 6. sector to the next, but also within each sector, per academic phase, and between research universities and universities of applied sciences. In addition, there are also groups that act as instructors but are not officially registered as such, for example guest lecturers, graduate students and student assistants. Within the given timeframe of this study it was not feasible to obtain a representative picture of what instructors require, based directly on their opinions. Each of the institutions can, however, gather a general idea of what those requirements might be. For example, surveys conducted by a number of the institutions show that instructors generally regard the existing ELE facilities as satisfactory. (See, for example, reports 8, 19, 25 and 26 in the bibliography.) A study at VU University Amsterdam8 reveals that the majority of instructors (approx. 82%) use mainly the basic functions, such as uploading content (documents), and – to a lesser extent – posting notifications and, occasionally, posting lists of marks (p. 21). It is unlikely that this picture will differ dramatically from one institution to the next, given what the students, among others, say about their instructors’ ICT skills. On top of this, instructor professionalism/support is a frequent and recurring issue. This corresponds to the notion that the instructors’ limited knowledge and skills still inhibit widespread and more intensive use of ICT in education. Researchers The extent to which researchers use ICT and what they wish to do with it, depends largely on their field of research. In data-intensive fields, for example high-energy physics or bioinformatics, researchers involved in research programmes are better able to join forces and articulate their needs. The degree to which researchers utilise network bandwidth may serve as an indication of the extent to which they use ICT. Figure 1, p. 7, shows that only a small percentage of the researchers (C) are heavyweight users of bandwidth. The majority of users consist of lightweight (A) and moderate (B) users. Currently, a special infrastructure is being set up for researchers in the C category, i.e. those working in data-intensive interdisciplinary fields. The future eScience Research Centre (eSRC) and SURF data & computing facilities (SURFcdf) will provide support for this new infrastructure. For the vast majority of researchers (A in Figure 1), ICT plays a subordinate – and sometimes a very subordinate – role. In their case, the eSRC is a too powerful solution to a relatively small problem, at least for the time being. In addition, some researchers simply are not (yet) convinced that digitising their research data is the right thing to do, for example because of a fear for loss of information. Despite the differences between these groups of researchers, the interviews showed that researchers in every field have the same basic (generic) need for low-threshold facilities to:  communicate with fellow researchers;  share data;  collaborate on documents and data;  store data for individual and collective use. 1 September 2010 6
  • 7. a Figure 1: Researchers categorised by bandwidth use SURFgroepen is cited explicitly as an example of a good facility. Researchers also thought that SURFgroepen is a good alternative to the (free of charge) services offered by commercial service providers such as Google Docs or Windows Live. Specifically, they had their doubts about the privacy of the latter and felt that they were at the mercy of the arbitrariness of commercial service providers. New user groups Knowledge networks [lectoraten] have been around for some time now, but ICT facilities have not yet been sufficiently geared towards taking this structure into account. Knowledge networks focus on education, business, research and research results. This calls for more outward-looking ICT facilities that must also be accessible by third parties. Although institutions are attempting to key into these changes, major adjustments have yet to be made. Both research universities and universities of applied sciences have more or less “rediscovered” the alumnus. Unlike universities in the English-speaking world, Dutch universities do not have a tradition of alumni associations. The institutions are now considering how to cultivate the relationship with their alumni, for example by offering them online facilities. Cultural differences between the United States and the Netherlands mean, however, that it would be impossible to simply adopt the same models used there, for example. Consensus on overall approach Despite all the differences, there is clear consensus in the Dutch higher education sector about the use of ICT facilities in education. Three trends appear to be developing: 1. the emphasis on using ICT for didactical purposes is shifting to an emphasis on the ICT facilities for supporting processes to lighten the organisational and administrative burden, thus allowing instructors and students to focus on teaching and learning; 2. giving users (students and staff) more freedom to decide for themselves which facilities they will use, in what way, when, and on which devices; 3. a reassessment of the facilities and functionalities that are needed to better serve users, and a reconsideration of who should produce these services: external service providers or the institution’s IT department. a Illustration provided by Prof.dr.ir. Cees de Laat 1 September 2010 7
  • 8. With respect to item 3, the interviewees noted that one way to approach the problem of service provision was to determine whether a facility/service was needed in order to qualify for accreditation. This is similar to Edwards and Peppard’s “qualifying and underpinning processes” a,1 (see Figure 2). The yellow diamond represents the strategic processes, with the competitive processes making it possible for the organisation to compete and promote itself. The transformational processes indicate the organisation’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances, for example in legislation, but also to the ICT induced behavioural changes. As time passes, some competitive processes change into underpinning processes. For example, providing access to the Internet was a competitive advantage in the 1990s, but in the past ten years, Internet access has gradually become an underpinning process: it is no longer considered a unique feature in higher education, although it remains a necessary one. Digital access to scientific data sources is an example of a qualifying process: without such access, the institution cannot give its students a good education and it is unlikely that it will obtain accreditation. An example of a transformational process is the training of teaching staff in the use of new technology, or the setting up of a new curriculum. Competitive processes include employing a distinctive educational method or special facilities to support education. 1 Figure 2 Operational processes as categorised by Edwards & Peppard Challenges in the change process for the DSWE Technology advances in a rapid pace, and our culture is changing just as rapidly. The ideal that we imagined at the start of the present century – that we would have information at our fingertips, anytime, anywhere, using any device – has become reality. The market and the public have embraced these changes with enormous speed – so quickly, in fact, that some users appear to treat privacy and security somewhat nonchalantly, or perhaps naively. It is not only the general public that is wrestling with the blurring boundaries between private, public, work and study, but also – and in particular – the higher education and research sector. The higher education sector has always been an open community, particularly at research universities. The latest advances require us to redefine the limits of openness, however. What inside information is allowed out, which outsiders are allowed in, and to what are they granted access? This question is all the more urgent because technology and society are changing so rapidly that the institutions of higher education appear unable to keep up. Technology is growing ever more complex and we are becoming increasingly dependent on it. Moreover, the institutions’ ICT departments are increasingly having difficulty keeping pace with the new technology and to live up to their users’ expectations of quality. The fact is that a growing number of users have better and more flexible online facilities at home a With gratitude to J. Jasperse, Zeeland University of Applied Sciences 1 September 2010 8
  • 9. than at work or school. This development increases the pressure on the institutions and their ICT departments. All too often, users – both students and staff – find that only suboptimal use is made of ICT in various supporting processes. The problem frequently comes down to the “alignment” between ICT and the supporting operational processes. It was notable how often the interviewees said that their institution's management was not prioritising this issue sufficiently. There are also institutions, however, that have indeed recorded good results when it comes to alignment and delivering quality. These institutions have a number of features in common: they have a particular vision, they focus on support processes, they follow a consistent policy, and their units and departments cooperate closely with one another. Nevertheless, even these successful institutions are facing a new set of decisions:  What services/functionality should our institution offer and what can students and staffs get themselves from commercial providers?  How should we deal with all the new devices that users want to use to gain access to information and services?  How should we deal with new groups of (guest) users, users at other institutions, companies, or civil-society organisations, and the general public?  How do we take care of our data if we no longer know precisely where our commercial service provider is storing it, and the service provider cannot or does not want to reveal this information, for example for security reasons?  How can we offer users more choice and freedom while also bearing in mind the requirements of security, the need for standardisation, and so on? What SURF must ask itself is what role it can play as a collaborative organisation / partnership in the light of the developments outlined above. This topic is addressed in the following section. 1 September 2010 9
  • 10. Conclusions and recommendations Given the above findings, the WTR has reached the following conclusions. 1. The boundaries are blurring between many basic/generic activities in education, research and the processes that support them. Although every user group will continue to perform specific activities, and therefore will continue to require dedicated ICT facilities, there are a growing number of ICT services that are no longer specific to just a single group (communication by e-mail, chatting, video-conferencing, collaboration on documents, information and data-sharing, word- processing, presentation of results or progress reports, etc.). Each group uses these generic facilities to process different types of content and employs them for a different purpose, but the functionality remains the same. The facilities themselves are content and purpose-neutral. The mobile phone went through a similar evolution; at first, mobile telephony was a solution used only by specific groups, but in the end it became part of everyone’s life. The increasingly generic nature of many ICT functionalities is having a particularly significant impact on how we think about the “learning” environment. Previously, systems were specifically developed for education. Nowadays there is a trend to develop systems with generic functions to support different groups of users. Each group still has its own specific facilities, but a growing number of services are identical for all users and can also be found in use in business and in other types of organisation. Provided that security and privacy requirements are met, this makes these services highly suitable for delivery from “the cloud”. Given that many of the activities do not differ fundamentally from one another, there is now the tendency to support working (instructors, researchers and management) and studying (students), as opposed to thinking in terms of electronic learning environments. The electronic learning environment is evolving into a digital study and working environment (DSWE), offering facilities that can also be used by researchers. This emphasis on basic support processes was confirmed during a meeting of the DLWE Special Interest Group on 22 June 2010.32 This is an important observation for SURF, because the focus within the current three platforms will shift from the individual platforms to the area where education, research and organisation/operations meet. It will thus be vital for the platforms and subsidiaries to coordinate and collaborate with one another. Organisation (Operations) Research Education Figure 3 Generic ICT facilities in the overlap between platforms 1 September 2010 10
  • 11. Recommendation 1: More than before, collaboration will be necessary within SURF – both within SURFfoundation and with/between the subsidiaries – in planning new innovation activities. This goes beyond collaborating on long-range plans; it also means working together on the annual plans. It is no longer enough to simply read and comment on the annual plans. More alignment is required during the preparation of the annual plans to decide on the division of responsibilities. Recommendation 2: SURF and the institutions should cooperate on surveying which services are generic in nature and investigate whether multi-institutional collaboration would be possible in the case of some services. A possible option is set up shared services covering the entire higher education sector. A pertinent example is the intended infrastructure for Testing and Test feedback-based Learning. The deployment of monolithic systems for a single user group and/or a single purpose (such as a “learning environment") no longer fits within a modular system of generic services. SURF can organize demand aggregation and provide a basic infrastructure with facilities to simplify the use of cloud services. SURFfederatie is an example of such a facility. 2. The views on ICT in higher education sector are subject to change; instead of focusing on using ICT for pedagogical purposes, the trend is towards using it for support purposes. When it comes to using ICT for didactical purposes, the specific needs and requirements differ dramatically from one programme, course, course unit or even instructor to the next. This makes the ICT tool requirements so varied that it is difficult to make the necessary arrangements centrally, for an entire institution. The educational units will have to take their own decisions when it comes to using ICT for specific didactical purposes. Central services can then consider how best to satisfy these wishes: whether through decentralised facilities, centralised facilities, or other services provided either internally or by external parties. On the other hand, there are a growing number of generic facilities that can be organised centrally. However, in many cases it is no longer obvious that it is the institution that should produce them all or make the necessary arrangements. Undoubtedly, institutions will continue to provide some generic educational services and facilities, for example timetabling. The technical work can, however, be outsourced, provided that there is a proper information infrastructure for data-sharing between systems. Recommendation 3: Conclusion 2 has significant implications for the focus of SURF’s innovation activities. Previously, ICT-related educational innovation was entrusted to the ICT and Education Platform, given the attention paid to innovation in the teaching-learning process. The focus will now shift to the ICT and Organisation (Operations) Platform, in view of the attention given to the support processes. The most important challenges will be business process redesign and ICT alignment. SURF can initiate and coordinate discussion of the institutions' policy, and draw on expertise to support that discussion. Based on these results, the individual institutions will be able to define their policy and redesign their processes. SURF can then investigate which services (or service components) have generated enough collective interest to offer them in partnership with the institutions (or groups of institutions). Primary responsibility for the support processes will continue to be borne by the individual institutions, and not by SURF. Only the institutions are capable of redesigning their own processes and making arrangements about data sources and data flows. 1 September 2010 11
  • 12. Recommendation 4: SURF can play an important role in disseminating best practices; it can also encourage and support collaboration in developing and disseminating new architecture and systems and in standardising data and drawing up process models. Models and standards of this kind are vital when it comes to outsourcing services (or service components) to a shared service centre or to individual commercial parties. 3. Not enough has been done to improve the ICT-related knowledge and skills of instructors. Their technical knowledge and didactical use of ICT often fall short. Instructors today can draw upon a huge number of tools to support their teaching, but their knowledge of the available tools is inadequate. In the report Knowledge and Innovation Agenda [Kennis en Innovatie Agenda]27 (KIA) 2011-2020, the KIA partners list five priorities, the first one being "an outstanding instructor for every participant in the educational process" (p. 4). In order to achieve this, it is essential for instructors to have sufficient knowledge and skills to make effective and efficient use of ICT in their teaching. This necessitates an effective platform so that instructors can communicate their needs and requirements directly. Recommendation 5: SURF should offer institutions more options for upgrading their instructors’ professional skills via the SURFacademy, so that instructors acquire the technical and didactical knowledge they need to use ICT facilities in their teaching. The focus in that respect should not be on the latest gadgets, but on a basic knowledge of facilities (such as smart boards) and basic user skills (for example making effective use of presentation software). One obvious means would be to incorporate these skills requirements into the Basic Teaching Qualification [Basiskwalificatie Onderwijs], a teaching certificate for university lecturers. It would be preferable to address this at grass-roots level, as close as possible to the instructor. With respect to this goal, a more direct connection between SURF’s target groups and its existing platforms is advisable. 4. There is no hard evidence to support the high expectations with regard to the knowledge and skills of students in using ICT for educational purposes. Institutions need to pay more attention to students’ computer information skills. The fact that students and their peer group make use of ICT does not mean that they are knowledgeable about effective use of ICT facilities for educational purposes. In addition to ensuring "an outstanding instructor for every participant in the educational process", the KIA report27 also lists the following aim: "a more tailor-made approach in teaching". That should include promoting heterogeneous ICT knowledge and skills in order to improve the student success rate. Recommendation 6: SURF can encourage the institutions to enhance their students’ ICT knowledge and skills as part of their effort to improve the student success rate. In the past years several innovative projects in this area have been carried out that deserve a broader and more consistent follow-up. 5. To some extent, the services provided by the institutions developed from a past situation in which they were uncommon. That is no longer the case, however. Similar to the decision to dispense with “PC shops” and home Internet connections, the institutions will have to decide what services do and do not lie within their area of responsibility, and also what services they wish to offer as extras for promotional reasons. In its 2008 Trend Report28 the WTR wrote (p. 57): "Higher education must urgently start to make its services available online and transform them from mass services into interactive, context sensitive and no-threshold services. Attention should be given to the opportunities provided by, for example, location-specific information and knowledge of student profiles. Access restrictions that now apply to location (outside campus) and time (outside office hours) must be eliminated, and existing paper processes must be converted into electronic ones." The recommendations and examples given in that report continue to apply. 1 September 2010 12
  • 13. Recommendation 7: As recommended by the Veerman Committee, SURF should encourage institutions to look critically at the services they offer, and in particular to consider new services that can help them promote the institutions individually, as a group, and nationally or internationally. Accreditation criteria will also play a role in this regard. Recommendation 8: SURFdiensten can play a key role in helping users (instructors and students) find, assess and use services offered on the Internet. Crowdsourcing can be used to survey the services/information sources that are suitable for use in teaching, research and studying. Systems of this kind can be modelled on existing popular software sites.a Technical access and the use and integration of institutional services can be organised via SURFnet’s new Collaboration Infrastructure (CoIn). 6. Institutions will need to adjust their policies (e.g. security) and their technical facilities to the growing range of (wireless) devices being used. The use of multifunctional mobile devices is growing unabated, and it would be putting off the inevitable to simply forbid or ignore this trend. Mobile devices have already become indispensable, similar to the unstoppable advance of the PC and the Internet in the corporate environment. Recommendation 9: SURFnet can play an important role in developing and supporting the development of institutional policies and technical facilities to grant access by means of wireless devices. This topic has a close relationship with SURFnet’s current interest in identification, authentication and authorisation and the wireless network topic in GigaPort3. 7. Researchers need more basic support for international collaboration with fellow researchers. Such basic facilities should be low-threshold, reliable and meet security/privacy requirements. Recommendation 10: SURF can play an important role in creating a multi-institutional facility for researchers. This will require close collaboration and coordination between SURFshare, the eSRC (NWO, SURF and KNAW), SURFnet (CoIn) and SURFdiensten. a Examples are Tucows en Cnet download. 1 September 2010 13
  • 14. Final remarks The observed shift away from using ICT for didactical purposes to using it in support processes represents a minor revolution in the way we think about ICT in higher education. The advantages are clear, however: better and more effectively integrated support processes, facilitated by ICT, create an environment that enables a focus on what really matters: research, teaching and studying. It gives users the freedom and flexibility in organizing their core activities. However, the story does not end with properly supported processes. At least as important are attention to the knowledge and skills of users to manage the growing variety of new ICT facilities. Development of a DSWE requires more innovation in the way institutions are organised. Experience shows this is a complex undertaking due to the number of stakeholders involved and the complexity of the organisations. However, the need for change is urgent. The urgency is emphasised by the public pressure for a more efficient and effective use of resources whilst the number of students is growing. Collaborating in SURF does preclude individual merit – on the contrary. By collaborating on properly organising the underpinning and qualifying processes, institutions create opportunity to concentrate on their distinguishing features. On behalf of the Scientific Technical Council, Prof.dr. F. Leijnse Dr. L.A. Plugge Chairperson Secretary 1 September 2010 14
  • 15. Appendix 1: Parties consulted The following persons were interviewed for this study (degrees and other titles have been omitted): S. van den Berg Wageningen University and Research Centre C. Brouwer Board member of the Open University of the Netherlands, Chairman of the ICT and Organisation Platform CIO Consultation Group members present during the meeting in Ermelo on 19 May 2010 P.W. Doop Board member of the University of Amsterdam, Vice President of the Executive Board and Chairman of the Board of the SURF ICT and Research Platform S. Dormans Radboud University, Social Geography, and postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Academy’s Virtual Knowledge Studio until March 2010 G. Eenink SURFdiensten, on behalf of J. Bakker E. Fioole Avans University of Applied Sciences, LIC G.E. Jansen VU University Amsterdam N. Juist SURF SharePoint, Inholland F. Kalmthout Board member of Avans University of Applied Sciences, ICT and Education Platform R. Ketelaar student, representing the student union LSVb J. Koets student, representing the student union ISO R. Kooy COMIT, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, CIO Consultation Group B. Mons NBIC, BioAssist programme coordinator D. Paap student, representing the student union ISO, treasurer G. Pronk SURFnet Platform contact persons Platform Contact Persons Day, 10 March 2010 R. Rexwinkel SURFnet M. van Rijn Avans University of Applied Sciences, DIFF SIG DLWE Special Interest Group Digital Learning and Working Environment, 22 June 2010 J. Snijders Avans University of Applied Sciences, LIC D. van der Ven student, representing the student union LSVb R. Waterham Chief Information Officer, Eindhoven University of Technology, 3TU P. Wolters InHolland University of Applied Sciences D. van Zaane Green Knowledge Network A. Zandstra Wageningen University and Research Centre The interviews were conducted between April and June 2010. 1 September 2010 15
  • 16. Appendix 2: Bibliography 1. Edwards, C. & Peppard, J. A critical issue in business process re-engineering: focussing the initiative, Cranfield School of management, 1997. 2. SURF, Toekomstscenario's: De nieuwe digitale leer- en werkomgeving voor studenten en docenten in 2020, nov. 2008. 3. SURFnet, Collaboration Infrastructure, report 2009. 4. SURFnet, Roadmap 2010 Online MultiMediaal Samenwerken, augustus 2009, versie 0.5. 5. DLWO-Sharepoint Consortium, Jaarplan 2009-2010. 6. Verkenning Next DLO VU, Resultaten Behoefteonderzoek, Onderwijscentrum VU, okt 2009. 7. Verkenning Next DLO VU, Overzicht Alternatieve Systemen, Onderwijscentrum VU, okt. 2009. 8. Verkenning Next DLO VU, Evaluatierapport Blackboard 2009, Onderwijscentrum VU, okt. 2009. 9. Verkenning Next DLO VU, Evaluatierapport Digitaal Portfolio / Blackboard Content System, Onderwijscentrum VU, okt. 2009. 10. DU, E-learning trends 2004, juni 2004. 11. DU, Eindrapportage Digitale Leer- en Werkomgeving Next Generation, april 2005. 12. 3TU, Op weg naar een federatieve Digitale Leer- en Werkomgeving, jan. 2008. 13. Wind, H. Verkenning van de samenwerkingsmogelijkheden op het gebied van de werkplekomgeving, RuG CIT, UMCG, Hanzehogeschool, 7 april 2010. 14. Cynop, Advies keuze teleleerplatform 2000, juli 2000. 15. DLWO- Sharepoint Consortium, Jaarplan 2009-2010, juli 2009. 16. Stuurgroep ICT Vernieuwing, Avans & ICT, presentatie Portaal, ELO en Mobiliteit. 17. SURFnet, Gebruikersonderzoek SURFgroepen en SURFmedia, 2010. 18. Wageningen UR, Systeemvisie – uitgangspunten Virtuele Werkplek Wageningen UR, versie 0.5, 15 maart 2010. 19. Van der Zanden, P. The facilitating university, proefschrift, december 2009. 20. Universiteit Twente, Functionaliteiten voor de student in een Digitale Leer- en Werkomgeving, november 2005. 21. SURFnet Kennisnet Innovatieprogramma, Jaarplan 2009. 22. SURFnet, SURFworks Jaarplan 2010, oktober 2009. 23. SURF, Portals: de nieuwe ELO’s? e-Learning reeks deel 5, september 2005. 24. Van Alst, J., De Jong, R., Van Keulen, H. Docentprofessionaliteit in het Nederlandse hoger onderwijs - Naar een professionele infrastructuur als voorwaarde voor studiesucces, mei 2009, VSNU. 25. Baars, G., Van de Ven, M. ICT-Monitor 2008 - ICT in het onderwijs aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, EUR, juli 2008. 26. Lam, I., Ritzen, M. Eén ELO voor de UU, IVLOS-expertisecentrum ICT in het onderwijs, juli 2008. 27. KIA-overgangsbestuur, Kennis en Innovatie Agenda 2011-2020, Den Haag, juni 2010. 28. WTR, ICT – fundament voor vernieuwing, Trendrapport 2008. 29. Van Popta, E. Onderwijsconcept en digitale Leeromgeving, Presentatie, 22 juni 2010. 30. Juist, N. Een visie op DLWO, Themabijeenkomst en presentatie, 22 juni 2010. 31. Zijlstra, E., Blijker, G. Een nieuwe ELO voor de HvA “from scratch”, Presentatie, 22 juni 2010. 32. Zijsltra, E. Uitwerking sheets van themagroepen tijdens visie bijeenkomst DLWO, 22 juni 2010. 1 September 2010 16