The infobesity issue: a webinar on using productivity to save time for creativity

Bertin, Imogen (2011) The infobesity issue: a webinar on using productivity to save time for creativity. [Conference Proceedings]


If open and distance learning (ODL) is to become integral to higher education institutions, then faculty and administrators need opportunities to acquire new skills for “College 2.0”, in an environment of restricted resources, increased work burdens and heightened uncertainty.With the help of my colleague Catherine O’Mahony, I piloted a short course for mixed ability adults, including UCC lecturers, to learn “Communication Skills for the New Media Age”. The course materials are available for re-use and repurpose at, and on Moodle by request.The course aimed to motivate learners by helping them to become more productive with information and communications technology (ICT) in their day-to-day work. This releases time for study and for creativity in adapting materials for ODL or other projects. Communications theory underpinned the content to help participants understand the importance of creating a two-way conversation, rather than one-way information distribution.One learner spoke memorably about 'infobesity’, the increasing amount of information which had to be handled each day, blocking time needed for reflection and strategic direction. This webinar focuses on the solutions that we and the learners, working collaboratively from different disciplinary backgrounds, came up with for handling infobesity.The task of adapting the course for open and distance learning (ODL) is now under way. This has highlighted the problem of course content that requires constant topical update. The instructional design model of the future, regardless of the model of delivery, will be a schema of underpinning theory with sockets, into which small sections of content can be plugged. The material must be carefully constructed to cater for differing learning styles and provide opportunities for collaboration and feedback. This has implications for metadata content tagging and virtual learning environments (VLEs).

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