Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ The Future of LTSC

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Nov 11, 2006

The IEEE Learning Technologies Sub Committee (LTSC) is reconsidering its mandate and role. Some interesting comments have been posted on the mailing list. Here is my short contribution:

Wayne wrote:

my sense is that we had an extremely comprehensive and far reaching discussion on the future of not only LTSC but also on standards in general, adjacent domains to learning, education and training and anything else which would be appropriate means to our common end goal of improved learning and performance.

I attended very briefly, you may not have even seen me, sound wasn't working and all I could see is some stationary slide. Now I regret not being more persistent, but this comment leads me to this thought: it's too bad that no recording of the meeting was made.

I have long disliked the format of these standards meetings, which is why I am such an infrequent attendee. I dislike scheduled and closed discussions. They feel to me like some kind of unsavory backroom lobbying session, and I get the sense that participants are interested in manipulating the process for their company's advantage. I am uncomfortable being complicit in this, in sanctioning the results of such a process.

I wonder whether bodies like LTSC could fine relevance again by opening up the process. Having the meeting on Breeze was an excellent idea. Recording it and posting it in topic-based chunks would allow a wider audience to listen. In an ideal world, a transcription would be posted. Distribute meeting notices, news and other items via RSS. On the website post items more frequently (eg., it would have helped to have a series of items and discussions rather than an after-the-fact notice that 'competencies has passed'). Open a discussion area (with email and RSS options) to follow up the meeting.

I have my views on the role of LTSC and the nature of standards, too, but these in my mind really take a back seat to process.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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