"CETIS is the best group of its kind in the world and I've always had a very high respect for their work."
James Dalziel, Director, MELCOE, Macquarie University
"The work that CETIS does is a big part of the reputation for high quality innovation that JISC enjoys, both as itself and as background to JISC programmes and reports."
David Kernohan, JISC Proramme Manager
"I find the staff at CETIS very helpful, knowledgeable and all-round good people to work with."
Heather Williamson, JISC Programme Manager
"I try to keep up to date with what is going on across Europe and in the commercial world as well as in our own sector and this brings home to me how lucky we are to have such a service and what a privilege it is to be able to work with people who are such leaders in their field."
Gill Ferrell, Director of the JISC Curriculum Design & Delivery
Support & Synthesis Project
"I think very highly of the CETIS work and reference it frequently. The data being gathered and disseminated is valuable to the entire international community. Because the data spans a number of years and has established communities, it is timely and useful!"
Mike Halm, Penn State University.
Overview of JISC CETIS
JISC CETIS is an Innovation Support Centre advising UK further and higher education on the strategic, technical and pedagogical implications of educational technology and standards. It also provides strategic advice to JISC, supports its innovation programmes, and represents JISC on international standardisation initiatives. It supports the wider educational community by organising meetings, workshops and conferences and offers daily comment and analysis on current developments in educational technology through its website.
Through an iterative cycle of horizon scanning, publications, and community engagement, JISC CETIS fulfils a crucial role in linking innovative technological and standards developments with JISC programme scoping, funding and management. Involvement in relevant communities of practice and standards bodies, both nationally and internationally, is key in supporting these activities.
Key Areas of Work
Working with standards initiatives
In recent years, the rapid uptake of e-learning has given greater impetus to efforts in learning technology interoperability, requiring the creation of learning technology standards. For the past decade JISC CETIS has played an active role in international standards bodies, representing the needs of UK post-16 and higher education within organisations such as the IMS Global Learning Consortium, CEN, IEEE and ISO (International Standards Organization).
Communities are at the heart of the JISC CETIS team's work. As their Special Interest Groups have developed into broader communities they have established expert working groups to enable exploration of specific issues such as semantic technologies and widget development, and the implications of cloud computing for institutions. The team support the growth and evolution of their communities by running events covering a broad range of current, relevant themes, and encouraging broad amplification of the outcomes of these events.
JISC CETIS's work with communities and standards bodies enables identification of requirements for the development of standards. One example of this is the eXchanging Course Related Information (XCRI) specification. This began life as an idea in the JISC CETIS Enterprise Special Interest Group; it has since been enthusiastically taken up in the UK, and in 2010 it will become a European Standard. The JISC CETIS team and the communities they support are also currently working on Leap2A, a specification for e-portfolio portability, and a new version of the IMS QTI specification for exchanging data between e-assessment systems.
Events and conference
JISC CETIS runs 12 public events each year on innovative technologies for teaching and learning. The annual JISC CETIS conference is a gathering of many of the best minds in educational technology, providing an opportunity to discuss and establish emerging development priorities for the coming year.
The Centre provides direct support to JISC for a number of their development programmes. Current JISC programmes being supported by the team include Open Educational Resources, Curriculum Design and Delivery, Lifelong Learning for Workforce Development, and Relationship Management and Flexible Service Delivery. One example of JISC CETIS's support for JISC programmes is the custom-developed project database (PROD) for recording each project's use of technologies and standards, allowing managers to see at a glance the technology in use across a programme.
Website and briefing papers
JISC CETIS provides daily news and expert commentary on current developments in educational technology and standards. It also provides briefing papers on new technologies and their implications for the sector, collections of resources for current topics of interest, and more substantial resources such as the Guide to service oriented approaches (soa).
JISC CETIS is a distributed organisation managed by the Institute for Educational Cybernetics at the University of Bolton, and partnered by the University of Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt University. Our 22 members of staff have a wide range of experience and expertise in educational technologies and the education sector. Further information about the JISC CETIS team is available in the Contact section.
Written by Sarah Currier