Libraries and eLearning: Organizational and Technical Interoperability

Neil McLean

Pro Vice-Chancellor, E-Learning and Information Services
Macquarie University
Sydney, Australia
Director, IMS Australia

20 March 2002

9:00-9:30 Coffee and Doughnuts
9:30-11:00 Presentation

OCLC Auditorium
6565 Frantz Road
Dublin, OH 43017

Recent years have seen instructional technology join academic computing, administrative computing, and library as a major focus of investment and planning on campus. In many environments, a large part of the student and teacher experience will be managed by a systems framework, which manages the learning life cycle, and interfaces to administrative systems.

This brings up interesting questions about how libraries surface their information resources in these new learning spaces and how they 'fold' information into the learning experience. It also raises new political, organizational, and services questions about who does what, and about how services develop.

This presentation will consider questions surrounding eLearning and focus on organizational and technical interoperability. It will refer to recent standards work with the Instructional Management Systems Centre (IMS), and draw on recent experiences in Australian-funded work.

About the speaker:
For the past year, Professor Neil McLean has been director of IMS Australia, as part of a Commonwealth Government funding initiative. IMS is charged with the responsibility for establishing and driving a set of uniform technical specifications that can be adopted to deliver eLearning and information services in a range of online education environments.

Since 1990, Professor McLean has held several positions at Macquarie University, including university librarian from 1996 to 2001, and currently pro vice-chancellor, e-learning and information services. He has published extensively in fields relating the application of IT to learning and information services.

Professor McLean has strong involvement in a number of Australian national committees aimed at increasing technical interoperability within and across the education sectors. This includes his role as chair of the EdNA metadata working group that coordinates national metadata initiatives across the education sectors in Australia.

Prior to returning to Australia in 1990, Professor McLean was head of library services at the Polytechnic of Central London (now University of Westminster) for ten years and director of the UK Library and Information Technology Centre for eight years.