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ASCILITE 2004 Keynote speakers

Stephen Marshall photo
A/Professor Stephen J. Marshall
Director, Institute of Higher Education Research and Development
Director, Centre for Professional Development (CPD)
Director, Postgraduate Program in Educational Leadership
Macquarie University, New South Wales, 2109

Leading the development of e-learning environments: An issue of comfort or discomfort?

Creating organisational environments to support widespread, effective use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in teaching has proven a challenge for even the most generously resourced institution. It is a complex, multi-faceted process of change requiring integrated and coherent decision-making and action on the part of individuals and groups within organisations.

The last decade has shown that sustainable, effective use of ICTs in teaching can't rely on the efforts of local enthusiasts or natural diffusion. Nor can cash incentives, mandating the use of ICTs, establishing expert Centres to provide advice and support, or the installation of complex infrastructure to make the technology readily available to staff and students.

While each of these strategies has provided valuable impetus towards enabling individuals and groups to utilise ICTs, they fall short of the integrated, coherent strategy that experience and the research suggest is needed to realise widespread, sustainable and effective use of ICTs across our organisations.

In this paper I will articulate a model for leading and managing the development of effective e.learning environments. I will identify the essential leadership challenges to be faced, and I will question how effectively we are prepared to address these challenges within higher education.

About the speaker

Stephen Marshall was appointed Coordinator of the Leadership and Management Development program within the Centre for Higher Education and Professional Development at Macquarie University in January 1997. In April 1998 he was appointed Acting Director of the new created Centre for Professional Development, and in November 1999, Director.

In 2000 Stephen was invited to assume the role of Director of Postgraduate Programs in Educational Leadership within the Australian Centre for Educational Studies, and in 2003 the role of Foundation Director of the new Institute of Higher Education Research and Development.

Stephen holds a PhD (Educational Administration) from the University of Alberta, a Master of Educational Management from Flinders University, and a Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching from the Adelaide College of the Arts and Education. He is an Associate Professor in the Australian Centre for Educational Studies.

During his academic career he has taught undergraduate and postgraduate classes in learning and teaching, curriculum, educational administration, leadership and management. He has supervised students preparing Masters and Doctoral theses, and acted as a consultant to the school, industry, and higher education sectors.

His research activity has embraced basic, applied, and institutional research projects in the broad areas of academic leadership, professional and staff development, policy implementation and change, educational innovation, program evaluation, and performance appraisal.

Current research projects focus on the nature of academic leadership, the development of academic leaders and managers, curriculum innovation and change in higher education institutions particularly in relation to e.learning. Past Research projects have focused on professional and organisational development; policy and quality processes in higher education institutions; and program evaluation.

Selected publications

Marshall, S. J., Adams, M. J., Cameron, A. and Sullivan, G. (2000). Academics' perceptions of their professional development needs related to leadership and management: What can we learn? International Journal for Academic Development, 5 (1), 42-53.

Marshall, S.J. (2001). Assuring quality through quality management: But how do we assure the quality of our managers? Paper presented at the SRHE Annual Conference, 'Excellence, Enterprise and Equity', University of Cambridge, 12-14 December 2001.

Marshall, S., Adams, M. and Cameron, A. (2001). In search of academic leadership. In L. Richardson and J. Lidstone (Eds), Flexible Learning for a Flexible Society, 483-492. Proceedings of ASET-HERDSA 2000 Conference, Toowoomba, Qld, 2-5 July 2000. ASET and HERDSA.

Marshall, S.J. (2000). Academic leadership and management development: A strategic approach for a new millennium. Paper presented at the European Association for Institutional Research (EAIR) Annual Forum, Berlin, 6-9 September 2000.

Marshall, S. (Ed.) (1998). Maintaining and developing quality in institutions of higher education in the 21st century [Special issue]. Australian Journal of Education, 42(3), 233-336.

Martin Valcke photo
Professor Dr Martin Valcke
Professor of Instructional Sciences
Head of Department of Educational Sciences
Ghent University, Belgium

ICT in higher education: An uncomfortable zone
for institutes and their policies

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become a mainstream issue in Higher Education. In the Western European context, it is an accepted practice to integrate ICT in major logistical, organisational and educational processes of HE. However, current practice hardly does, or only in isolated cases, mirror the large potential of ICT as it was projected a couple of years ago.

In this keynote, a state-of-the-art example of the current level of integration of ICT in HE will be presented. This presentation mirrors a large number of difficulties at the micro- and meso-level as to the integration of ICT in HE. The overview builds on a number of evaluation studies and experiences with HE-support organisations and higher education consortia that foster innovation processes and integrated use of ICT. We give a couple of examples that will be discussed during the talk:

  1. ICT is mainly promoting the quality of existing, established educational models/teaching-learning approaches. We observe only to a very restricted extent that ICT has fostered "new" educational arrangements, such as e-portfolios, electronic problem-based learning, or electronic master thesis support provisions. ICT has mainly promoted the optimisation of HE but has hardly changed it.
  2. Available research focuses dominantly on collaborative learning and subtopics such as conditions, characteristics of students/groups and the learning environment, and focus on psycho-social, cognitive and affective variables. The results are very positive but challenge educational practice at implementation level. Evaluation and coaching are critical.
  3. There is a growing demand for ICT-policy development, large scale staff training that supersedes the institutional perspective.
  4. There is growing adoption of open source ICT-environments, but earlier technical choices have "immobilised" developments in some institutes.
A recurrent theme in the examples is the commitment, involvement, strategic planning, expertise development, etc. at institute level. In general the overview about ICT and HE institutes can be labelled as "an uncomfortable zone".

The talk will also cover ways to become more "comfortable" with ICT at institutional level. A typical example in this context is the growing trend to build up large inter-institutional consortia. These are also promoted by governmental bodies.

For a first orientation on examples that will be discussed during the presentation, visit the following websites or For a first look at evaluation data about ICT in HE, check

About the speaker

Martin Valcke's field of research focuses on the innovation of Higher Education and the integrated use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). He coordinates projects introducing ICT-based open and distance learning strategies to traditional Higher Education institutes. His current research includes work in developing countries such as Uganda (e-learning and Teacher-Education) and Ecuador (Teacher Education and ICT in primary schools to foster new ways of teaching and learning).

He is an active member of the Scientific Technical Council of SURF (Dutch higher education and research partnership organisation for network services and information and communications technology). In this context he is also involved in large scale national projects, programs, and international collaborations (eg. JISC). A recent international activity was the elaboration of a comparative study of Australian Higher Education in a collaborative effort between UK and Dutch researchers: Keeping up with our neighbours [].

Major topics of his research are related learning styles, alternative assessment and evaluation procedures and work-based training. He worked at the Dutch Open University, focusing on the design of ODL-information systems: systems to design, develop and exploit flexible electronic learning materials to be delivered just-in-time, on-demand, via the Internet, CD or by printing-on-demand.

He has been involved in a large number of national and international research and consultancy projects in countries of South Africa, Latin and Middle America. He is regularly involved in activities and projects of the World Bank, the European Commission (Flexible Universities, Multi-Media program, TEMPUS, Socrates, IST, and other international organisations. He has published a large variety of international journals and international books. He is on the editorial board of Distance Education, the journal Carréfour de l'Éducation and involved in Computers & Education and Learning & Instruction).

Selected publications

Hanson, J. & Valcke, M. (2003). University of Melbourne: ICT to transform the curriculum. In P. Boezerooy (ed.), Keeping up with our neighbours: ICT developments in Australian Higher Education, pp.87-92. Oxford - York: ALT - LTSN GC.

Kirschner, P., Valcke, M. & Sluijsmans, D. (1999). Design and Development of Third Generation Distance Learning Materials : From an Industrial Second Generation Approach towards realizing Third Generation Distance education. In J. van den Akker, R. Branch, K. Gustafson, N. Nieveen & T. Plomp (eds.), Design approaches and tools in Education and training, pp.81-94. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Schellens, T. & Valcke, M. (2000). Re-engineering conventional university education: Implications for students' learning styles. Distance Education, 21(2), 361-384.

Schellens, T. & Valcke, M. (2004, accepted). Collaborative learning in asynchronous discussion groups: What about the impact on cognitive processing? Computers in Human Behavior.

Schellens, T. & Valcke, M. (2004, accepted). Cooperative learning in asynchronous discussion groups: The impact on cognitive processing. Computers & Education.

Duane Varan photo
Professor Duane Varan
Director, Interactive Television Research Institute
Foundation Chair in New Media
Murdoch University, Western Australia

When beyond the comfort zone IS the comfort zone

The advent of digital technologies is rapidly changing the ways in which people experience media characterised primarily by an increasing degree of control, choice and interaction. In this keynote presentation Professor Varan will explore how stepping out of our comfort zone as educators will often require that we enter into the comfort zone of our students, working to capitalise on new frontiers enabled through digital technologies. Professor Varan will share findings from a range of studies designed to better understand the psychology of the interactive viewer and explore their implications for new approaches to mediated education.

About the speaker

Professor Duane Varan is Director of the Interactive Television Research Institute at Murdoch University where he holds the Foundation Chair in New Media. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Prime Minister's Award for University Teacher of the Year (2001); the Australian Award for University Teaching in Economics, Business and Related Studies (2001); a Forty Under Forty award (2002); and an Asia-Pacific ITT Award of Excellence in recognition of his attempts to bridge strategy, creative design and information technologies (2000).

Professor Varan's clients include many of the world's leading media platforms and advertising brands including the BBC, British Sky Broadcasting, Turner Communications, the American Broadcasting Company, Nickelodeon, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Procter and Gamble, Nike and many others. He is considered a global authority on the emerging interactive television industry and regularly presents at conferences globally.

ASCILITE 2004 © Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education