Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Clash

"The Magnificnet Seven"

The Clash

Over run!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


"Growing up" - Bruce Springsteen

This week I saved a Basil plant that was dying in my garden by transplanting him. Every day I see new leaves and new life in him. As my wife says "gardening may not be cheap but it saves your soul".

Presenting at ASCILITE 08

"But I tried to keep the overhead low" - Ryan Adams

I will be presenting 'Employing Educatonal Technologists: A Call for Evidenced Change' at at ASCILITE 08 in Melbourne: "Flexible technology-enhanced learning environments, both educationally and institutionally are key enablers for delivering efficient mass higher education. Educational technologists make significant contributions to the development and organizational embedding of such environments. Their emerging role is complex as it requires current knowledge and skills in learning and teaching, management and information technology. Given the strategic importance of the contributions that educational technologists now make to their institutions, we propose an international program of empirical research to analyze current issues and future trajectories relating to their aspirations, careers, management and organizational locations."

Keywords: educational technologists, flexible learning, management, organizational structure

The full citation is: Shurville, S., Browne, H. and Whitaker, M. (2008) Employing Educatonal Technologists: A Call for Evidenced Change. In Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology? Proceedings ascilite Melbourne 2008.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Hopi Leader Speaks

"Gimmie some truth" - John Lennon

"You have been telling the people that this is the eleventh hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the hour. And there are things to be considered . . .
  • Where are you living?

  • What are you doing?

  • What are your relationships?

  • Where is your water?

  • Know your garden.

  • It is time to speak your truth.

  • Create your community.

  • Be good to each other.

  • And do not look outside yourself for the leader."

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, "This could be a good time!"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

2009 DACeL Conference

"Back in the highlife again" - Steve Winwood

I am proud to be on the scientific commitee of DACeL 2009, which aims to address the many opportunities, challenges and new directions presented by ICT innovations in Defence-related educational settings.

Its plenary sessions, workshops, and round table discussions enable a sustained examination of how e-learning can be effectively integrated into all facets of Defence and Professional military Education. As such, the conference will provide participants with a forum for intensive interdisciplinary interaction and collegial debate. Those attending DACeL 2009 will leave with an excellent overview of current thinking, strategies, practices, and tools for creating e-learning environments appropriate for twenty-first century Defence education establishments.

Venue: Stellenbosch, South Africa on 25-27th of March, 2009.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Epistemological unification of the disciplines

"... One too many mornings,
and a 1000 miles behind"

- Bobby D

Here is a paper that Bernard Scott and I wrote called Epistemological Unification of the Disciplines: The Contributions of Socioccybernetics. We presented it at the 6th European Congress on Systems Science in Paris in 2005: "In order to develop transdisciplinary working across the disciplines, clear epistemological foundations are required. Without these, even simplistic approaches to interdisciplinarity are likely to fail. Our proposal is that sociocybernetics promises to provide the required unifying metadisciplinary epistemological foundations and transdisciplinary frameworks. We note that second order cybernetics provides a metadisciplinary framework for discerning the causes and cures for the schisms within the natural and cognitive sciences. The particular contributions of sociocybernetics are to (i) extend the second order understandings to unify the social sciences and (ii) by incorporating extant sociological theory back into the transdisciplinary pursuits of cybernetics and systems theory to enlighten and enrich those pursuits. In order to highlight the power and fruitfulness of these contributions from sociocybernetics, we problematise, deconstruct and reconstruct key concepts concerned with human communication. To do this, we take as central the question, What is a symbol?”.

It is a follow on to my first ever paper: Shurville, S. (1993). “The Symbol Grounding Problem and Machine Learning”, in Proceedings of IASTED/IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Manufacturing, Christ Church, Oxford, September 1993.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Professors are Revolting Against the High Prices of Textbooks

"I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind,
got my paperAnd I was free." - The Indigo Girls

Bob Lefsetz runs a facinating mailing list on the e-changes going on in the music buisiness (an old stomping ground of mine). Today he ran the following snippet on a related issue that should interest academics and educational technologists: "The most fascinating story of today is in the "New York Times". Wherein professors are revolting against the high prices of textbooks. And releasing their own works online, for free! In one case forgoing a $100,000 advance. The silver lining? Greater distribution. A wider spread of the information. ("

You can visit Tom's archive: you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,


The following is from my mate Asher Rospigliosi's blog:

One of the highlights for me, at ALt-C was the Edupunk debate. My mate (from ICICTE 2007) Steve Wheeler challenged us with a great presentation, and took the table by storm with his funny and poetic stance. Who could not be inspired? Well, it turned out age race and gender might have had a slight impact, as Helen Keegan pointed out "EduPunk: Yes it is a white, male, middle-aged thing. Our students would be ashamed of us". This was the livliest discussion I got to participate in at an inspiring and very lively conference!
Here is PowerPoint presentation for the Edupunk session

More on fanzines

" .. the kind you find in a second hand strore"

Rasberry Berret - Prince

The British Library runs an interesting site on Fanzines at I was interested to learn there more about a genre called Women's Zines: "Women's zines are generally independent small-circulation self-published magazines and are characterised by a striking do-it-yourself aesthetic and attitude. They are diverse, covering topics from music, art, politics, parenting, ethnicity, sexuality, class issues, religion, feminism and much more. Distributed at concerts, record shops, and at ladyfests, weekend music and discourse festivals devoted to women performers, they complement and derive from the punk-related feminist rock music scene, particularly the Riot Grrrl movement with its immediate origins in the early 1990s music scene of British Columbia, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest of the United States." I remember meeting Karren Ablze, probably not her real name, at some 90s womens punk concerts where she used to hawk a great womens' music zine called Ablaze. I wonder what happened to her?

Lew Stringer has written a nice blog entry about modern comics fanzines: "The glory days of numerous self-published comics fanzines may reside in the 1970s and 1980s but the internet hasn't completely killed off these labours of love. At the Birmingham International Comics Show a few weeks ago I picked up two titles that dedicate themselves to two sometimes neglected areas of comics; classic British weeklies and Fifties horror comics." This is ineteresting reading for everyone who wonders about alternatives to Web 2.0. The social networking that comes from hawking a fanzine is incredible (I met some of my best friends through the old comics and punk fanzine culture). It is like playing a gig verses distributing tunes via the YouTube. Both have their place but the web should offer an alternative not the whole enchalada.

There is a good article on how much fanzines can be worth at Amazingly the one on the right is going for £325.00. But as Butch Hancock once sang "Who can put a price on what you learn, baby what's it worth to you?".

Saturday, September 13, 2008


"Let's go crazy" - Prince (get it?)

My first experiance of self publishing, which was a distant precursor to this blog, was a fanzine called Planet, which was printed by my mother Shirely Slimane. She worked long and hard on that!

In those days we used Gestetner duplicating printers. A recent visit to Comics Kingdom in Syndey took me right back to the era. There were some fanzines from back in the day. It is amazing that they have survived over thirty years.
The picture at the top of the page is of Bemusing, which was a great fanzine published by Martin Lock. I have a soft spot in my memory for The Comics Times (published by Asher Rospigliosi back when we called him Pel) and the works of Paul Hudson (later emporer of Comics Showcase in Covent Garden and Oxford and now a postman), Guy Lawley and Nick Niocholas. There was also an interesting chap called Andy Polaris who went onto be the singer in the great forgotten band Animal Nightlife (he and his mates were the generation just after us who went around comic conventions dressed rather stylishly as Rick Deckard from Blade Runner when we still dressed like Shane McGowan without the class). In the words of my old mate Si Spannavich "all those blokes came good".

Friday, September 12, 2008

Always Coming Home: Applying Force Field Analysis

"OOOOHHHH, OOOOHHHH, OOOOHHHH, OOOOHHHH, Can you feel the force?" - The Real Thing

"Always Coming Home: Applying Force Field Analysis as a Structured Approach to Eliciting Ongoing Organizational Contexts and Requirements for Flexible Learning" is a paper I wrote for ICICTE 2007 with Mrs Aurélie Owens of Cranfield University. It is due to see publication in the UCFV Research Review. This paper is about helping academic and professional university staff to engage with flexible learning. We will argue that flexible learning is, in Ursula LeGuin’s phrase, “always coming home” because transformations to flexible learning can never be complete. This notion suggests that flexible learning actually requires a constant personal and institutional commitment to change management and staff development. The paper features a tutorial on applying Force Field Analysis to drive staff development workshops to engage academic and professional staff in the personal and institutional changes heralded by flexible learning. It also includes reflections on the use of Force Field Analysis from a facilitator and a participant observer. This is an example of practice-based research, which enables professionals to make informed decisions about if, where, and when to use a particular method. As The UCFV Research Review is not a specialized educational journal, we will introduce flexible learning, its critiques and some of the burning issues which herald widespread change to individual practice and institutional structure in higher education.

Keywords: change management, flexible learning, force field analysis, institutional change in higher education, personal change, practice-based research, staff development, staff development workshops

ConFigures: The Laptop Bake-Off

"Baking* rocks in the hot sun"
- The Clash (channeling Bobby Fuller and his fearsome four)

Sarah Elkins, a configuration management specialist and knowledge gardener, runs a very interesting blog at Her Laptop Bake-Off is a great idea!

* OK Clash and Fuller fans, you know I cheated with the lyrics there.

Research Communities: A Commercial REAL for Distributed Postgraduates and Professionals

"Real, real gone" - Van Morrison

Here is a paper called Research Communities: A Commercial REAL for Distributed Postgraduates and Professionals that I wrote with Richard Harding of Harrow Business School, University of Westminster and Dr Sarah Vaughan of Research Communities back at the turn of the century. " ... We then describe the design of Research Communities, a commercial learning environment that augments traditional Rich Environments for Active Learning (REALs) in three ways: (i) by providing AI tools for independent research, (ii) by maintaining a learning portfolio and (iii) by facilitating the formation of self organizing communities of practice. Finally, we describe a formative evaluation undertaken with international MBA students. ... A suitable Rich Environments for Active Learning (REAL) should address the learners’ needs for access to authentic materials and management of limited research time. REALs need not be centered upon pre-designed multimedia or micro-world resources (Grabinger and Dunlap, 2000). However, if REALs are centered upon such resources, they may restrict learners to a predetermined conclusion, solution or opinion. Centering on the World Wide Web contrasts with such closed resources because it offers any number of viewpoints on a given topic. The potential problem is that the learner must spend precious searching time for relevant information. Research Communities applied intelligent tools to tame the web and help learners to optimize their research time ... " (Shurville, Vaughan S. and Harding R., 2001).

Reference: Shurville S., Vaughan S. and Harding R., (2001). Research Communities: a Commercial Research Environment for Active Learning for Distributed Postgraduates and Professionals, Computer Aided Learning 2001, University of Warwick, UK.

Educational Technology: An Ecumenical Stance

"Get up, stand up" - Bob Marley

Here is the paper Educational Technology: An Ecumenical Stance, which I wrote with Sue Greener and Asher Rospigliosi for ICICTE 2008. (The picture is of Urulua LeGuin, who wrote The Ecumen books).

We examine media & technological determinism in the context of educational technology. We argue that educational technologists cannot take a ‘deterministic stance’ & should practice ethics founded on an ecumenical view of theory & technology. Taking a cue from social cognitive theory, senior educational technologists should also visibly engage in reflective practice leading to ethical outcomes to motivate less senior members of the profession to do likewise. We note the problem that many senior educational technologists are aligned with a particular theory and/or technology, which has helped them to secure their position. They will need to change their outlook in order to address these goals & this is very hard for senior practioners to do. We suggest that action learning might offer a supportive route to personal transformation.

Shurville, S., Greener, S. and Rospiglosi, A. (2008). Educational Technology: An Ecumenical Stance. In the proceedings of the 8th International Conference of Information and Communications Technologies in Education, Corfu, Greece.

Developing collaborative competence in the records managers of the future

"People have the Power" - Patti Smith

Here is the PowerPoint from my presentation at Adopting & Adapting, the 25th International Convention of the Records Management Association of Australasia, 7th - 10th September 2008, Sydney, Australia. Developing Records Managers with their Mashedup Heads in the Clouds. Be good little PowerPoint.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh Maggie, I wish I'd never seen your face

"Oh Maggie I wish I'd never seen your face ..."
- Rod Stewart only as performed by The Pogues

I'm just back from Syndey. I was staying in the Spanish Quater in Liverpool Street, where the Tapas is good and Comics Kingdom is a trasure trove. I visted Red Eye Records and bought the new Pogues boxed set, which is something magic. Everyone should have one. Their version of Maggie May is 'worth the dying' as James Crumley once wrote of the rockies.

And talking of Liverpool and Maggie, here are some fine words that a certain Pogues producer once wrote about a Maggie I wish I had never seen:

"Well I hope I dont die too soon

I pray the lord my soul to save
Oh Ill be a good boy, Im trying so hard to behave
Because theres one thing I know, Id like to liveLong enough to savour
Thats when they finally put you in the ground
I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down ..." - Elvis Costello

Fair play to you Elvis, fair play!

'cause I've heard so much about it, I don't want to live without it

"Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes ..."
- Billy Joel (but as sung by Ronnie Spector)

OK, so a small come back; if it's good enough for Bill Clinton, then it's good enough for me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

"Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes,

now it's time for goodbye again"

- Billy Joel (but as sung by Ronnie Spector)

Well, it has been fun; but I am going to retire from this blog as I have more pressing things to do.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Archivin' in Freo

'And she said "Tell me are you a Christian child?"
And I said "Ma'am I am tonight"... ' - Marc Cohen

I just returned from a few days in Perth for the conference of the Australian Society of Archivists (Archives: Discovery and Exploration). I learnt a fair amount about archiving and its culture in the digital age and was impressed by the organization of the conference. Professor Eric Ketelaar, keynote "Exploration of the archived world: from De Vlamingh’s plate to digital realities” was excellent.

In Perth I encountered some wisdom from Confucius waiting patiently within 78 Records. I also picked up a remastered copy of Rock N Roll by John Lennon for ten bucks. His version of Stand By Me always reminds me of Marian. Being in W.A. meant I got to catch up with Peter Mayall and Barry O'Grady of ICICTE fame (these guys won the friends of the conference award this year). Hanging with Barry and Pete is always a privilege. Pete cooked up a wicked BBQ and Barry went well above and beyond the call over the next few days. I stayed in Fremantle, which offered the opportunity to revisit some old haunts. Clancy’s Fish Pub is still a winner. The buskers in the Fremantle Market Bar did not disappoint. One of them recognized me as an old Freo hand and sang a George Formby classic in honour of my wife and a version of 'Guilty' for me. Most of all, however, it was nice just to recognize faces in the street of people I have never met but know nonetheless. As Frank Sinatra should have sung ‘Fremantle, you’re my kind of town’.

Still, it is always inspireing to come back home to Adealide. To feel the fresh air from the antarctic and see the hills protecting the city. And, in Marc Cohen's words, to touch down in the pouring rain. I swear our lemon tree seems has grown while I was away and the Bougainvillea is winning its battle against the frost. Be brave little plant, as Phil used to sing "The nights are getting warmer, It won't be long, Won't be long till summer comes ..." I dedicate that one to Barry and his good lady Gill.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Exploring style: Enhancing the capacity to learn

"Unlimited capacity for love" - Grace Jones

A special issue of Education and Training: "Exploring style: Enhancing the capacity to learn"

This special issue features a selection of papers from the 12th Annual European Learning Styles Information Network Conference on the place of cognitive style in enhancing the capacity to learn. These papers discussed articulate various ways through the cognitive/learning style terminology conundrum to help facilitate advancements in educational practice in a meaningful and informed way. Go to volume 50, issue 2.
I am interested by the learning styles debate and I am very glad to see this special issue offer an accessable way in to the current debate .

The Library and the Internet: Special Issue of On The Horizon

"Somewhere out on that horizon" - Joe Walsh (from The Warriors soundtrack)
A special issue of On The Horizon: “The Library and the Internet”

On the Horizon is the strategic planning resource for education professionals in the international post secondary and life-long learning arena. An environmental scanning journal, On the Horizon covers corporate universities, e-learning, private for-profit degree granting institutions as well as the traditional university. Areas include the business of education delivery, content and certification, as well as rules and regulations in areas such as institutions and intellectual property.

This special issue is devoted to new concepts and innovations in higher education, especially online, that may provide impetus for a paradigm shift. Go to volume 16, number 1, 2008. The papers include:

  • Constructing the café university: teaching and learning on the digital frontier by Cornel J. Reinhart
  • Can we talk? Course management software and the construction of knowledge by Carla R. Payne and Cornel J. Reinhart
  • Adaptive individualization: the next generation of online education by Nish Sonwalkar
As program director for the MSc in Library and Information Management at the University of South Australia, I am always glad of the chance to keep up to date with progress in this area.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


"These miss you nights ... are the long nights" - Cliff Richard

Sadly we could not attend ICICTE this year as it was impossible to get plane tickets from Australia to Greece due to the Olympics. However, we were pleased to be woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call from Henk, Ken, Nancy and Nicole from the conference dinner. Even though you were eating Greek lamb on a balmy summer evening and we were huddled in a South Australia winter without central heating, we missed you guys.

I also missed my spars Asher and Mitch at ICICTE. However, I was unsuprised to learn that Asher has burned down his house in the country in order to move into a Tipee. Anyway, I hear he did a great job of presenting the paper by Shurville, Greener and Rospigliosi.

This year the ICICTE special issue of Campus Wide Information Systems will be edited by Dr Michael Henderson. Mike is already doing a superb job and I predict he will edit his own journal before we know it.

Some recent papers

"Now I believe this, and it's been proven by research ..." - Joe Strummer

Here are some recent publications and presentations:

  • Shurville, S. and Owens, A. (in press). Always Coming Home: Applying Force Field Analysis as a Structured Approach to Eliciting Ongoing Organizational Contexts and Requirements for Flexible Learning. UCFV Research Review.
  • Shurville, S., O’Grady, T., and Mayall, P. (2008). Educational and institutional Flexibility of Australian Educational Software. Campus-Wide Information Systems,Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 74-84.
  • Scott, B., Shurville, S., Maclean, P. and Cong, C. (2007). Cybernetic Principles for Learning Design. Kybernetes, Volume 36, Issue 9/10, pp 1497 - 1514.
  • Browne, T. and Shurville, S. (2007) Educating Minds for the Knowledge Economy. Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 3-12.
  • Greener, S., Rospiglosi, A. and Shurville, S. (2007). Engaging from the Inside: Reflections on the Value of Social Cognitive Theory for Learning in Online Discussion. In the proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on e-Learning, Columbia University, New York, USA.
  • Greener, S., Shurville, S. and Rospiglosi, A. (2007). The Value of Social Cognitive Theory in Online Discussion: Reflection via a Critical Incident repertory Grid. In the proceedings of the 7th International Conference of Information and Communications Technologies in Education, Crete, Greece.
  • Shurville, S. and Browne, T. (eds.) (2007). A special double issue of the Journal of Organizational Transformation and Social Change on ICT-Driven Change in Higher Education (Part Two). Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Volume 4, Issue 1.
  • Shurville, S. and Fernstrom, K. (eds.) (2007a). Special Issue of Campus Wide Information Systems on Global Educational Networks for the Common Good. Campus Wide Information Systems, Volume 24, Issue 3.
  • Shurville, S. and Fernstrom, K. (2007b). From Rhodes to Global Educational Networks for the Common Good. Campus Wide Information Systems, Volume 24, Issue 3.
  • Shurville, S. and Owens, A. (2007). Engaging Colleagues in Personal and Organizational Change via Force Field Analysis. In the proceedings of the 7th International Conference of Information and Communications Technologies in Education, Crete, Greece.
  • Shurville, S. (2007) Successful ICT-Driven Change in Higher Education. Presented at International Hive User Group 3rd Annual Conference, Perth Western Australia.
  • Browne, T. and Shurville, S. (2006). Initiating E-learning by Stealth at a Late Majority Institution. In Fernstrom, K. and Tsolakidis, K. (eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Technologies in Education pp 101-106.
  • Luckin, R., Shurville, S. and Browne, T. (2006). Initiating E-Learning by Stealth, Participation and Consultation in a Late Majority Institution. Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 317-332.
  • Shurville, S. and Browne, T. (eds.) (2006a). A special double issue of the Journal of Organizational Transformation and Social Change on ICT-Driven Change in Higher Education (Part One). Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Volume 3, Issue 3.
  • Shurville, S. and Browne, T. (2006b). Introduction: ICT-Driven Change in Higher Education: Learning from E-Learning. Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 245-250.
  • Shurville, S., Simpson-Horn, G., Scott, B., Lee, M. P. and Harrison, A. (2006) Outcomes of the Periodic Review of an MSc in Knowledge Management Systems Taught via Flexible Learning. In Fernstrom, K. and Tsolakidis, K. (eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Technologies in Education, pp 348-352.
  • Scott, B. and Shurville, S. (2005). Epistemological Unification of the Disciplines: The Contributions of Socio- Cybernetics. In the proceedings of the Sixth European Congress on Systems Science Paris, France, September 19-22, 2005 (CD-ROM only).
  • Shurville, S., Rospigliosi, A. and Scott, B. (2005). Innovative courses in E-Business Information Systems for SMEs. In Méndez-Vilas, A. , González-Pereira, B., J. Mesa González, J., and Mesa González, J.A. (eds.) Recent Research Developments in Learning Technologies. Published by FORMATEX, Badajoz, Spain, pp 160-164.
  • Shurville, S. Lee, M., Scott, B. and Harrison, A. (2005). Design, Development and Delivery of an Innovative Blended MSc in Knowledge Management. In Hawamdeh, S. (ed.) Knowledge Management: Nurturing Culture, Innovation and Technology, Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific, pp 537-550.
  • Shurville, S. and Williams, J. (2005). Managing In-House Development of a Campus-Wide Information System. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 22, 1, pp 15-27.

Where the copyright is kosher, these can be requested from me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bose Acoustic Wave® Music System II

"Wave" - Patti Smith Group

I have just bought an Acoustic Wave® Music System II for the family room. As my wife and I share this room, it had to sound good and be unobtrusive. It also has to rock like Phil Lynott drinking with Alex Harvey in The Speakeasy.

Like many people, I find Bose products over priced (I bought mine from e-bay) and they do not provide what I would call true hi-fi. *But* they make really usable products, that sound great and that you can enjoy in living areas of the house (come round to the music room and I will play you some ugly hi fi that would make Phil and Alex reach for another sharpner). I find that the Acoustic Wave fills the room with enough of the Byrds live at the Albert Hall to fill my chest cavity while working out on the cross trainer, which is important. On the other hand, for a AU$2000 system it is penny pinching not to get the Wave® Music System Premium Backlit Remote Control as standard (I had to order one from e-bay USA): once you get past 40 it is impossible to read standard remotes and who else can afford to buy this stuff? (Rich young people seem happy to use computers as sound sources and Bose make a really nice Companion® 3 Series II Multimedia Speaker System for them.)

Bose are *not* the Apple of hi-fi, which is what I think they aspire to be, but they do make some neat products. On the basis of this system I recommend them. We are already on the lookout for a second hand 5.1 system and I’d love an external system for the new deck.

PS If you want real hi fi for a reasonable price I reccomend Naim of Salisbury, UK. Especially the new HDX Hard Disk player with Burr-Brown PCM1791A digital to analogue converter. Incidentally, if you love pre-loved hi fi and live in the UK, then you cannot do better than visit the nice man at Tom Tom Audio.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'Surely she's noticed that everybody is writing science fiction now?'

"And it stoned me" - Van Morrison

This is rather off topic but, since I love Ursula K Le Guin and Jeanette Winterson, finding out that Ursula had reviewed Winterson's The Stone Gods was something I just had to share.

I bought a copy of The Stone Gods in Adealide shortly after I moved to Australia. As the first full-price book I had bought in Australia, it will always leave a large hole in my mental wallet! Books are expensive here. In this case it was worth the $. The Stone Gods is a great read.

Always Coming Home - a paper accepted by the UCFV Research Review

"I left home too young" - Bob Dylan

The UCFV Research Review have accepted a paper I wrote with Ms Aurélie Owens* of Cranfield University, entitled 'Always Coming Home: Applying Force Field Analysis as a Structured Approach to Eliciting Ongoing Organizational Contexts and Requirements for Flexible Learning'.

The paper is about helping academic and professional university staff to engage with flexible learning. We will argue that flexible learning is, in Ursula LeGuin’s phrase, “always coming home” because transformations to flexible learning can never be complete. This notion suggests that flexible learning actually requires a constant personal and institutional commitment to change management and staff development. The paper features a tutorial on applying Force Field Analysis (Lewin, 1951) to drive staff development workshops to engage academic and professional staff in the personal and institutional changes heralded by flexible learning. It also includes reflections (Schön, 1983) on the use of Force Field Analysis from a facilitator and a participant observer. This is an example of practice-based research (Bourner and O’Hara, 2000), which enables professionals to make informed decisions about if, where, and when to use a particular method. As The UCFV Research Review is not a specialized educational journal, we will introduce flexible learning, its critiques and some of the burning issues which herald widespread change to individual practice and institutional structure in higher education.


  • Bourner, T. & O’Hara, S. (2000). Practitioner-centered research, in: Bourner, T., Katz, T. & Watson, D. (Eds.) New directions in professional higher education (Buckingham, SRHE/Open University Press).

  • Le Guin, U. K. (1985). Always Coming Home. New York: Gollancz.

  • Lewin K. (1951). Field Theory in Social Science. New York: Harper and Row.

  • Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Cambridge, MA: Basic Books.

*Aurélie Owens has been active in the plagerism debate.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Upcoming conferences

"Hey, Eddie, can you lend me a few bucks,
And tonight can you get us a ride?"
- Bruce Springsteen

This year I plan to attend the following conferences:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Indigenous knowledge management event

"I'll be courting some disasterWith the Melbourne wrecking crew" - The Indigo Girls (God bless them)

I have just returned from a master class in indigenous knowledge management held in Melbourne.

This is an area I am really interested in partly because I want to learn more about the history of my new home and partly because I think that the desert knowledge, in particular, is going to become really useful as things heat up here and elsewhere. (You can learn more about desert knowledge from the program of the 2008 DESERT INNOVATION FESTIVAL.)

There are many other issues involved in the area of indigenous knowledge management. For example

  • how western corporations can learn from owners of indigenous knowledge without exploiting them
  • how IT professionals can interact ethically and professionally with owners of indigenous knowledge.

Our track record in both cases is not good. Looking to the future, I hope to integrate indigenous knowledge management into the BIM and L&IM programs I direct at the University of South Australia.

In terms of e-learning, indigenous knowledge is hard to represent for a good many cultural reasons, not least of which is the permission to use knowledge that developers do not own. Also, within some cultures, representing people with multimedia can mean that the material cannot be used when these people die. I think that all of us will come to rely on a good deal of indigenous knowledge for our future survival. There are many challenges ahead. We need to start thinking about the ethical and educational issues before the sun sets.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Interactive Technology and Smart Education - Call for Papers

"Baby this a new age ... maybe we can start a new phase" - Ayo Technology, 50 Cent

As an Emerald assistant editor, I am always interested when Emerald picks up a new educational technology journal and they have just made the following announcment.

Interactive Technology and Smart Education - Call for Papers

Emerald Group Publishing Limited is pleased to announce the acquisition of Interactive Technology and Smart Education (ITSE) and invites authors to submit a paper to the journal.

Interactive Technology and Smart Education (ITSE) is a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal, which provides a distinct forum to specially promote innovation and human-/user-centred approaches. This is through a passionate emphasis on the need to seriously employ solutions from Human Computer Interaction (HCI) to technology and education. It also encourages combining solutions from HCI with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and/or multimedia and the Web technology to advance innovation in interactive technology generally and its applications in education. The journal also promotes evaluation as a continuous and an integral part of the development cycle of usable solutions/systems (rather than a final stage in the development cycle). By bringing together these specialist fields, the journal aims to bridge an existing gap in interactive technology and educational technology research, which would help advance innovation in these areas.

CoverageContributions are solicited in any of the two main broad themes - interactive technology and SMART education - covered individually or combined. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Novel approaches
  • Participatory approaches for design and development
  • Ergonomics and Human factors
  • Interaction, usability and accessibility issues
  • Approaches providing solutions for users with various special needs
    Related social and psychological issues
  • Other cultural issues (e.g. multilingual and multicultural issues)
  • Pedagogical methods and quality assurance
  • New emerging technologies (e.g. Multimedia and the Web)
  • Computer-supported co-operative approaches and Mediated communication
  • Assessment and evaluation techniques and methodologies
    Design (e.g. user interface design, types of interfaces, principles of good design practice)
  • Interaction and Interaction Styles
  • Usability engineering methods and concepts
  • Usability evaluation
Submissions should be emailed to the Editor

Friday, May 30, 2008

Institute of Change Management

"Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards" - Bob Dylan

The University of Brighton Business School has announced a formal launch for the Institute of Change Management ™.

When: 18th June 2008
Where: University of Brighton, Sallis Benney Theatre, Grand Parade, Brighton
What time: 5.30pm onwards

This gathering will be the first in a series of networking events, where change management practitioners will be able to mix, exchange experiences, renew old friendships and make new ones. A varied programme of guest speakers, information about the role and activity of the Institute and facilitated networking will be buoyed along by food and refreshments.

If you would like to attend the event from 5.00pm 18 June, please respond to or telephone + 44 (0)1273 643222.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Special issue of Quality Assurance in Education on Assuring Quality in E-Learning

The Editor of Quality Assurance in Education invites submissions for a special issue of the journal on Assuring Quality in E-Learning, guest Edited by Dr Alistair Inglis.

With growth in the capability of Internet, interest in e-learning amongst education and training providers, and national accreditation and quality agencies has grown exponentially. Delivery of courses is a multi-faceted activity. Consequently, the process of measuring quality in education relies on addressing the range of factors that impact the learner’s experience and measuring those appropriately. While in many countries, moves to measure quality are often controversial, in the developing nations particular difficulties are experienced because of the relative lack of sophistication of governmental and institutional administrative infrastructure.

Over the years, Quality Assurance in Education has carried a number of articles dealing with particular aspects of e-learning. The aim of this special issue is to present in one volume, perspectives on a variety of matters faced by education providers in relation to quality assurance in electronic delivery of education.

Articles are sought on any of the following topics:

  • Pedagogical and assessment strategies for quality in electronic educational delivery,
  • Effective strategies for incorporating e-learning into campus-based courses,
  • Monitoring and improving quality of education in an electronic environment,
  • Benchmarking for electronic educational delivery,
  • Optimising systems for electronic educational delivery,
  • Developing and validating quality frameworks for electronic education, and
  • Transnational issues and policy development for electronic educational delivery and accreditation.

Articles submitted for consideration should be research-based looking at different aspects of, and approaches to quality in e-learning. An article may take a critical look at the issues from an institutional perspective or in terms of some aspect of educational theory, or alternatively may examine the social and national policy issues involved in developing/monitoring quality assurance systems.

Submissions should preferably be sent as email attachments to to arrive no later than 15th December 2008. For a general submission guidelines see: Manuscripts will be reviewed and a decision on acceptance will be made within 12 weeks of receipt of a submission.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Village Records News Blog

"Eight miles high ... and when you touch down" - The Byrds

This is off topic but ... Village Records, who are the best online source of CDs for educational technologists of a certain age, now have a blog: It is a great place to find news about music like that pictured on the right. I just bought some great live albums from them by Gene Clark, Tift Merrit, Southside Johnny and Tom Russell. Plus a great disc of Tom Russell obscurities. Go treat yourselves!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Campus-Wide Information Systems- Special Issue on ePortfolios, employability and lifelong learning in the knowledge society

This year CWIS will publish a special issue with the highest ranking academic papers from the ePortfolio conference 2007, which was held in October 2007. (cf. ePortfolio is the key international event for the growing community of professionals interested in, and working with, ePortfolios. It brings together policy-makers, researchers, teachers, trainers, human resource managers and technologists. As a thematic event devoted to one domain, it allows an in-depth and broad exploration of the issues - and results in real outcomes. The special issue will be guest-edited by Professor Rob Koper and Dr Steven Verjans (click here for Steven's blog).

I am managing the issue for CWIS and having seen the papers I know this will be another excellent issue.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CALL FOR CHAPTERS: Online Learning Communities and Teacher Professional Development: Methods for Improved Education Delivery

Prof. Ken Fernstrom of ICICTE asked me to post this call. He is on the EAB for this project. So you *know* it is going to be interesting!


Proposals Submission Deadline: 5/31/2008

Full Chapters Due: 9/30/2008

Online Learning Communities and Teacher Professional Development: Methods for Improved Education Delivery

A book edited by J Ola Lindberg, Mid Sweden University, Sweden and Anders D Olofsson, Umeå University, Sweden


In today’s society, teachers need professional development due to the constant change in working conditions and the impact that information and communication technologies have in teaching practices. Teachers must be prepared to adapt to the future demands of their workplace, and consequentially, their knowledge and skills are in constant need of improvement. Teacher professional development (TPD), anchored in participation, collaborative activities and dialogue, allows for such professional development by offering a way to bridge theory and practice. Online communities provide productive arenas for TPD for teachers, teacher trainees, and school leaders. In such enterprise, technology as innovation will have a crucial place both as leverage and catalyst of change, and as a pedagogical tool in itself.

TPD is often constricted by a number of barriers, such as the following: top-down decision making, a lack of ownership of the professional development process, an inaccessibility of professional development opportunities, and the lack of support in transferring professional development ideas to the classroom. Other barriers that have been recognised are, for example, that TPD is arranged and carried out in a single session or in short sessions which the teachers attend in person.

In order to interconnect TPD and the online community, TPD will be discussed in terms of change. Change is understood as a consequence of innovation and pedagogy. In this book, TPD in online communities will therefore be examined in terms of innovation and pedagogy. Teachers from all levels of education, from pre-service to in-service education up to university teachers may be included.

The book’s discussion on the innovations of technology will focus on different aspects of the need for teachers to develop the knowledge and skills for integrating technology into their everyday teaching practices. In particular, the book will discuss how technology itself can serve as an important resource in terms of providing arenas for professional development together with colleagues in online communities. The book will also focus on pedagogy and the intertwining of education, teaching, learning, ethics and morals and how these aspects are affected by technological innovations. The main objectives of the manuscript will be to shed light on different aspects of the continuing need for teachers to develop professionally, to discuss and share with colleagues new knowledge and understandings of the recent pedagogical research in order to inform their own teaching practices, and to investigate the possibilities for teachers to share such knowledge, understanding, and practices in online communities. Overall, these objectives could be seen as an attempt to both understand TPD, framed within online communities, and to understand the design of virtual arenas in which teachers have possibilities to develop into professionals who have the capacity to not only respond to changing conditions, but also anticipate future technologies, and, in the process, re-define their practice.

Objectives, Contribution and Potential Impact of the Book

Three key objectives of this book are as follows:
· To present the most recent advances in TPD in online communities
· To examine the possibilities to enhance TPD by a critical discussion about the role and scope of technology
· To participate in an international dialogue about TPD and ICT

This volume will thereby contribute to a wider and deeper understanding of the potentials of using ICT and internet resources such as online communities in TPD, both at the level of pre-service teachers and in-service teachers and also at the policy-making level as the content will show a way of bridging the otherwise separated groups of professionals concerned with learning to teach and actually teaching.

In this book, ideas will be offered concerning how to move away from TPD-barriers, such as top-down decision making and the little to no support which is provided in transferring professional development ideas to the classroom.

Target Audience

This book is intended for professionals who, on a daily basis, work with issues concerning TPD, ICT and the internet. Teachers, principals, educational researchers, curriculum developers, teacher professional associations, teacher training staff, teacher trainees, universities, colleges and potentially also parents will find that the content of the book is firmly anchored in the inner lives of schools and universities. It will also be helpful for those who will design for TPD through the use of different media and technology. Even though the book will have an explicit focus on teachers and their joint efforts for professional development, the basic ideas in the book are grounded in learning theories possible to apply to numerous adult learning situations and vocations where beginning professionals can be helped by being guided by more experienced peers. The content of the book can also be of interest for a broader, local or national audience of policymakers and politicians.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
· Theoretical foundations of TPD
· Theoretical foundations of online communities
· The theory and practice divide in relation to TPD
· Learning in Networks in relation to TPD
· Models of online communities in TPD
· Different accounts of online communities
· Innovations in the use of technology and TPD
· Different accounts of technological use
· Web 2.0 and TPD
· Pod Casting, mobile learning and TPD
· Pedagogies afforded by technology in TPD
· Case studies and examples on successes and failures of TPD and online communities
· Different accounts of pedagogical use of technological affordances and constraints
· Pros and Cons of the use of technology in relation to online TPD
· Future Trends

Submission ProcedureResearchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before May 31, 2008, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of their proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by June 30, 2008 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by September 30, 2008. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. The book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.),, publisher of the Information Science Reference (formerly Idea Group Reference) and Medical Information Science Reference imprints.
Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) or by mail to:
J. Ola LindbergDept. of EducationMid Sweden University, 871 88 Härnösand, SwedenTel: (+46)61186291, Fax: (+46)

Monday, April 21, 2008

From Silo to Assimilation: changing corporate perceptions of records and information management

I am proud to be presenting a paper at the 25th International Convention of the Records Management Association of Australasia 7th - 10th September 2008, Sydney, Australia. The paper will be writen in collaboration with Professor Paula Swatman and will be based upon Professor Swatman's original abstract, which is available on the conference web site. Here is an extract:

"This paper will discuss the changing perceptions of managing corporate information: from the 20th century’s silo-based approach, where individual specialists jealously guarded the borders of their own territory – to the 21st century perception that information is the most significant in strategic asset of any organisation. Beginning with a brief survey of the drivers which have changed our perception of information and its management, this paper will review the major issues, enablers and obstacles to achieving a unified and effective approach to managing corporate information across the organisation – whether that be a public sector agency or a private corporation."

Presentations at the 25th International Convention of the Records Management Association of Australasiawill discuss the ways in which records & information managers adopt new methodologies and processes as they adapt to new technologies in an effort to maintain their knowledge in a fast changing and dynamic environment and the challenges that face them in doing so.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fame at last

"Fame, (fame) what you like is in the limo ..." - David Bowie

James Dalziel wrote in the LAMS Newsletter:

"Why does Australia produce such good educational software? An articleSimon Shurville, originally from the UK, but recently arrived in Australia, has written an article with Barry O'Grady and Peter Mayall of Curtin Business School for Campus Wide Information Systems called 'Educational and Institutional Flexibility of Australian Educational Software'. It is an attempt to answer the question of why Australia seems to produce such good educational software, based on an analysis of LAMS, Moodle and Harvest Road Hive. This is a question I get asked all the time as I travel, so it's great to have a new perspective on this. For details and a link to a copy of the article, see"

To subscribe see:

ATN Assessment Conference 2008: Selected papers to be published in Campus-Wide Information Systems

"96 tears" - Question Mark and the Mysterians

The ATN Assessment Conference 2008 will be held at on 20-21 November at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

"The theme of engaging students in assessment is an opportunity to explore assessment in the context of an increased focus on student engagement and recognition of the increasing diversity of student cohorts.

The conference provides participants with the opportunity to explore ways to maximise student engagement through effective assessment policies, procedures and practices. Participants will engage with colleagues across disciplines as well as students and employers.

Topics will include:

  • Transforming assessment and feedback for student engagement
  • Cultural and academic diversity: designing assessment to engage all students
  • Discipline-based practices in engaging students in assessment
  • Using technology to enhance engagement in assessment.

The ATNConference08 committee is calling for for YOUR contributions to what is shaping up to be an exciting conference with some highly-regarded national and international keynote speakers (details soon).

The key dates for papers are:
Call for papers: May 2008
Abstracts due: 1 June, 2008
Notice of acceptance: 20 June, 2008
Full papers due: 18 August 2008

The conference will be held within the landmark new UniSA Hawke Building, City West Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide."*

Campus-Wide Information Systems have agreed to publish a special issue based upon the conference, which will be guest edited by Dr Diana Quinn and myself. The issue will focus on the theme of using technology to enhance engagement in assessment.

* The quoted text is from the conference web page

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Australians love of gadgets means they make great educational software

"Go gadget ..." - Inspector Gadget Theme

In our recent paper 'Educational and Institutional Flexibility of Australian Educational Software', we advanced the thesis that Australia’s historical strength in distance learning has created a culture where academic and industrial entrepreneurs now offer a range of educational software that is well aligned with the demands of flexible education such as the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) (which we rated highly).

Professor James Dalziel the inventor of LAMS sent me the following: "I agree with your observations, but would add to this a more general factor in Australia culture which is that we love gadgets and new technology, adopt them quickly, and actually use them a lot right from the start ... I think it is some sort of confluence of this rapid Australian tech adoption and use factor together with [our history of] distance learning, etc that have provided fertile soil."

Having lived in Australia a little longer now, I have to say I agree with James' observation. Australians do love and use new technology. Plus the free-to-air HD TV here is great!

Monday, March 31, 2008

ICICTE special issue of Campus-Wide Information Systems is now published

"He's just a stereotype" - The Specials

The ICICTE 2007 special issue of Campus-Wide Information Systems is now published. This is an Australasian issue and it provides a snapshot of e-learning in Australasia for international readers. It was edited by Ken Fernstrom, Barry O’Grady, Michael Henderson and me. This may be the first special issue in the history of academic publishing to go to press four months early and come out a month late.

Paper on 'Educational and Institutional Fexibility of Australian Educational Software' published by Campus Wide Information Systems

"Bend me, shape me, anyway you want me,
long as you love me, its all right" - Amen Corner

Campus Wide Information Systems have just published 'Educational and Institutional Flexibility of Australian Educational Software', a viewpoint paper which I wrote with Barry O'Grady and Peter Mayall of Curtin Business School. The heart of the paper is the identification of these categories:

"Well-designed educational software can be a key enabler for flexible education, although embedding it at an institutional level brings its own demands for change management. Here
we define flexible educational software to mean applications that provide both educational and institutional flexibility. Educationally flexible software should enable educators to design and manage effective learning experiences and materials and provide an interface that is appropriate for educating. Meanwhile it should provide students with opportunities to learn at their convenience and provide an interface dedicated to learning. Institutionally flexible software should provide institutions and their developers with facilities to adapt and integrate the product with local administrative processes, IT platforms and teaching culture. It should also help universities to join effective federations and partnerships with other institutions, which requires adherence to open standards and tolerance of diverse coding languages and platforms, including those that are popular in other nations ... The three [Australian] educational software packages we introduce below each match our informal definitions of educationally and institutionally flexible educational software and provide solid support and training to domestic and international clients." (Shurville, O'Grady and Mayall, 2008, p 76-77).

The paper is part of a special issue on Australasian E-Learning which I co-edited with Professor Ken Fernstrom (University College of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia), Dr Michael Henderson (Monash) and Barry O’Grady (Curtin). The papers were sourced from ICICTE 2007.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Submission posted by the ALIA workforce summit

"Do you believe what you read?" - The Boomtown Rats

The ALIA Education and Workforce Summit has accepted my submission entitled ‘The business information management and library and information management programs for the future: a partnership between Fuji Xerox, the State Library of South Australia, State Records of South Australia, and the University of South Australia’. It is available online.

I thank the partners who commented on the document and the original authors of the program documentation, some of which was adapted for the submission.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Campus-Wide Information Systems Indexing

"Searchin'.... for so long" - Change

Campus-Wide Information Systems is now indexed and abstracted in:

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The BIM and LIM programs at University of South Australia

"Teachers teach that knowledge waits" - Bob Dylan

I am now program director of the business information management and the library and information management programs at the University of South Australia.

The BIM program

The business information management suite of postgraduate programs have been developed to meet the needs of the 21st Century and are offered, together with associated applied research, to educate technically skilled:

  • administrators

  • archivists

  • information system designers

  • internet/intranet coordinators

  • knowledge and information officers

  • librarians

  • records managers

Click here to see the current program outlines from Graduate Certificate through Graduate Diploma to a fill MSc by coursework or research.

The LIM program

Newly qualified librarians in the 21st century need to be familiar with standards and technologies for information management and also require mature capabilities to collaborate across allied professions, such as archives, information systems and records management, as well as the diverse cultures of business and public service. Ideally they will also bring experience from the workplace. Moreover, understandings of change and innovation management, human resource management, organizational learning and project management are becoming ‘table stakes’ for all knowledge workers. Hence, postgraduate education for librarians must augment the core curricula necessary for ALIA accreditation with key knowledge from multiple disciplines and also encourage networking and teamwork with fellow professionals. Further, due to the rate of change in processes and technologies, it should foster skills for lifelong learning and continuing professional development. The problem is that providing such a range of knowledge and experience is beyond the capability of a single institution. So, the collaborative capability that we seek to foster needs to be a fundamental part of designing, delivering and improving such educational offerings.

Collecting and managing information is increasingly vital in all areas of modern life: from small businesses and multinational organisations, to schools, universities, libraries and museums. Among the many professions that deal with information - record managers, archivists, librarians and information officers - the need for a new type of information manager has emerged!

The library and information management programs are designed to provide replacements for the current, Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)-accredited programs currently offered by the School of Communication .

All courses will be available totally online, part-time or full-time depending on your circumstances. The choice is yours! To make the programs even more exciting some of the teaching staff are actual industry based lecturers who can bring real-world experiences to your studies.

The new programs provide a continuing path of learning from the Graduate Certificate in BIM (Library Management specialisation) through to a Graduate Diploma or Masters qualification in Library and Information Management.

There is an increase in interest for both the Business Information Management and the Library and Information Management programs from industry sectors. Employers and employees wanting to be retrained to meet industry requirements along with career minded employees.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Now a professional member of ALIA

"Just can't find the way" - Mary Gauthier

I am proud to say that I have just been accepted as an associate of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), which is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector. ALIA seeks to empower the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services to the nation, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support.

I have three papers accepted by ICICTE 2008

"We three ..." - Patti Smith*

I have three papers accepted for ICICTE 2008 this year:

  • Building a Variety of Educational Technology Worth Wanting by Dr Simon Shurville, Dr Sue Greener and Pericles ‘Asher’ Rospigliosi.

  • Embedding Educational Technologists within University Structures by Dr Tom Browne, Dr Marian Whitaker and Dr Simon Shurville.

  • The Extended Mind and Learner Generated Contexts by Dr Simon Shurville.

Henk Eijkman and I are also running a symposium at the conference on the philosophy of educational technology. I hope to see lots of regulars at the conference and look forward to co-editing the Campus-Wide Information Systems special issue based upon it.


* "Every night on sep'rate stars, before we go to sleep, we pray so breathlessly. Baby, please, don't take my hope away from me."

If you have not heard We Three sung by Patti Smith (or Bob Dylan), then do yourself a very big favour and buy Patti's Easter album then take out an hour or three to engage with a Rock N Roll poet at the top of her game. Finding the Dylan version takes a bit longer with a torrent search engine but as Stan Lee would say "it qualifies you as a true beliver".

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ICICTE 2007 special issue of CWIS gone to press

"... its a wide open road" - The Triffids

The ICICTE 2007 special issue of Campus-Wide Information Systems has now gone to press. This is an Australasian issue and it provides a snapshot of e-learning in Australasia for international readers. It was edited by Ken Fernstrom, Barry O’Grady, Michael Henderson and me. This may be the first special issue in the history of academic publishing to go to press four months early.

Here is a snippet from the editorial to whet your appetite:

The issue features papers presented at the International Conference on Information and Communications Technology in Education (ICICTE). ICICTE addresses the many challenges and new directions presented by technological innovations in educational settings. Each year academic and professional participants at ICICTE gain an excellent overview of current thinking and practices in applications of technology to education. This was exemplified in 2007 by our keynote speaker Professor Rob Koper of the Open University of the Netherlands, who gave an overview the €10,000,000 pan European TenCompetence project (see Stefanov and Koper, 2007): “The aim of the project is to build a European Network for Lifelong Competence Development by establishing a technical and organizational infrastructure for lifelong competence development. The infrastructure will use open-source, standards-based, sustainable and innovative technology to support the lifelong development of competences by any citizen, team or organization” (TenCompetence, 2007, online). Although TenCompetence is a European Union funded project, it is important that contributions from the accession countries and beyond Europe have been included in the research and dissemination agenda. For example Richards, Donkers, Hatala and Dufresne (2007) have contributed work undertaken in Canada. Such cosmopolitanism shows that the educational technology community is taking strides towards the internationalist goals set by Papandreou at ICICTE in 2006 and practical steps toward global interoperability.

Informal discussions of Koper’s keynote throughout the conference noted that TenCompetence seems to be as concerned with fostering international networks as it is about pioneering new educational technologies. Such multi-cultural activity is also a hallmark of ICICTE. While the conferences are based in Greece, they are co-organized between local universities and the University College of the Fraser Valley in Canada. Throughout the conference delegates can find themselves networking with colleagues from all five continents. Conspicuously, despite the travel costs, Australasian delegates have loyally attended year after year; making sizable contributions to the both academic and social life of the conference. Indeed, it is fair to say that ICICTE just would not be ICICTE without them. So the organizers thought it appropriate to acknowledge the dedication of the Australasian contingent by selecting papers from the 2007 event that offer overseas readers a snapshot of current developments in Australasian e-learning and flexible education. This is a timely decision as Australasian institutions have made considerable inroads into Asian higher education and are now turning their gaze towards China. As a forthcoming themed issue of this journal will attest, the Chinese market for e-learning is set to grow considerably and China’s choice of platforms and partners could decisively affect international standards and technologies. With its new Mandarin speaking prime minister taking a public interest in educational technology, Australia is particularly well positioned to enter this emerging market. Competitors and potential collaborators are therefore advised to follow developments in Australasian e-learning closely.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Homepages at UniSA

"Home thoughts from abroad" - Clifford T. Ward

Dr Simon Shurville has a new homepage at the University of South Australia. There is also a page about my work on the BIM and LIM programs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Wanted to study in Australia and thought you couldn't?

"Your kind of country; good as it gets" - Shane Howard

International students wishing to study Business Information Management and Library Information Management at University of South Australia can now apply! The CRICOS codes for the Master of Library and Information Management program have been approved - Fast Track - 062517B OR Standard Track 062518A

Depending on student background, the program may be completed in either the Standard track option (4 study periods over 2 academic years) or fast track option (3 study periods over 1.5 academic years). The standard option requires students to complete 13.5 units of courses per study period over 4 study periods or part-time equivalent. The fast track option requires students to complete 18 units of courses per study period over 3 study periods or equivalent.

Find out more about international application!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business is now online

"I found her diary beneath a tree ..." - Bread

The first issue of the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business has just gone online. It provides broad coverage of all aspects of project management, from strategy to planning and implementation. With a unique and practical focus on project management in business, it is an essential resource for all those involved in the field of project management. I think that e-learning could stand a robust infusion of project management knowledge!

I am a member of the editorial board for this journal and I am currently working on a book review and a paper for submission to it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Started at Uni SA today

"... it will be a start!" - The Jam

I have started work a Senior Lecturer in Information Systems in the School of Computer and Information Science at the University of South! I am based at the City West Campus and my new e-mail is Simon.Shurville at My home page at Uni Sa is I am program director of Business Information Management and Library Information Management.

I flew in from Perth a couple of weeks ago to start the reno on our house in Brighton. I have lifted a lot of dusty carpet so far. Marian flew over a few days later and has been busy stripping wall paper. The reno is going well and our furniture from Brighton, Enfgland and Fremantle arrived this morning. Fairly soon we will be able to relax in the pool and watch Skippy the cat slide on our newly polished floors into our newly painted walls. Bliss.

Monday, January 7, 2008

ICICTE 2008: Call For Papers

"Call me, call me any anytime ..." - Blondie

The call is now open for papers for plenary sessions examining the theoretical and practical applications of technology in education at all levels in both the public and private sectors. All proposals and papers are peer reviewed by members of the Scientific Committee. If you wish to present at ICICTE 2008 and have your paper published in the conference proceedings submit your proposal to Nancy Pyrini at by February 21, 2008. Papers from the conference will be published in special issues of Campus-Wide Information Systems (here is the 2007 issue), the UCFV Research Review and Interactive Learning Environments. Conference papers will be considered by each publication’s editorial board and authors will be invited to submit journal-length articles.

Proposals should be in MS Word and include title, purpose/objective section, and a 250–300 word summary. Papers must be suitable for a 15–20 minute presentation at a plenary session. Please include name, position and department, institution and contact information (mail, phone, fax and e-mail).Each proposal will be double-blind reviewed by the Scientific Committee. Notification on whether the proposal has been accepted will be sent by February 28, 2008.Completed manuscripts must be submitted by April 15, 2008 and will be double-blind peer reviewed by the Scientific Committee. Comments will be forwarded to the authors, and final manuscripts, with editorial changes, must be received by May 26, 2008.

Papers presented at the conference will be published in the proceedings under the title Information Communication Technologies in Education. Papers received after the deadline will not be included in the proceedings.Papers must not exceed 10 pages (including abstract, references, tables, figures and diagrams). Papers exceeding the stated limits will be returned to the authors for revision. Please consult the Manuscript Preparation Guidelines at the conference web site before submitting the final version of your paper.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

On linked in

"Are you in or are you out?" - Ani Difranco

You can find me on linked in by following the linked button at the right. It has been great fun finding some old friends and colleagues. I would really like to track down Stephen Pantlin from Hampton Court if he is around. I suspect he moved to Australia a long time ago. Also David Wilshin from Epsom.
View Simon Shurville's profile on LinkedIn

Paper on Learning Design Published in Kybernetes

"Don't have the inclination to look back on any mistake" - Bob Dylan

Ranulph Glanville has just edited a special issue of Kybernetes: The International Journal of Systems, Cybernetics and Management Science (voume 36, isue 9/10) on Cybernetics and Design. The hard copy arrived in the post today and it is a very interesting read. I have a paper included co-authored with Bernard Scott, Piers MacLean and Chunyu Cong called 'Cybernetic Principles for Learning Design'.

Title: Cybernetic principles for learning design
Author(s): Bernard Scott, Simon Shurville, Piers Maclean, Chunyu Cong
Journal: Kybernetes
ISSN: 0368-492X
Year: 2007 Volume: 36 Issue: 9/10 Page: 1497 - 1514
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract: Purpose – This paper aims to present an approach from first principles to the design of learning experiences in interactive learning environments, that is “learning designs” in the broadest sense. Design/methodology/approach – The approach is based on conversation theory (CT), a theory of learning and teaching with principled foundations in cybernetics. The approach to learning design that is proposed is not dissimilar from other approaches such as that proposed by Rowntree. However, its basis in CT provides a coherent theoretical underpinning. Findings – Currently, in the world of e-learning, the terms “instructional design” and “learning design” are used to refer to the application of theories of learning and instruction to the creation of e-learning material and online learning experiences. The paper examines the roots of the two terms and discusses similarities and differences in usage. It then discusses how the processes of learning design fit into the larger processes of course, design, development and delivery. It goes on to examine the concept of a “learning design pattern”. Originality/value – The paper contends that, whilst learning design patterns are useful as starting-points for individual learning designs, learning designers should adopt the cybernetic principles of reflective practice – as expressed in CT – to create learning designs where received wisdom is enriched by contextual feedback from colleagues and learners.
Keywords: Cybernetics, Design, Learning
Article Type: Conceptual paper
Article URL:

There are a wide range of papers in this special issue that should appeal to anyone with an interest in cybernetics or design. I hope that the cross over between design theory and learning design will be investigated by other researchers. There is too much good design research to be ignored by learning designers.