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Anyone else used PREST?

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David Murphy
8 October 2009

A few months ago while enjoying a stint at Wawasan Open University, I ran some workshops on research in open and distance learning. Being aware of the excellent resources available from COL, I made use use of the Practitioner Research and Evaluation Skills Training (PREST) series. If you've never seen the series, take a look now - they provide excellent exemplars, not just of how to approach research, but of engaging and interactive ODL materials. This isn't surprising, given the authors include Alan Woodley, Rob Walker and Jane Brindley!

What was particularly helpful about the materials is that the units are available in Moodle format, so that not only could they be discussed in the workshops, but participants could easily refer back to them via their own LMS at a later date.

Using PREST also helped with continuity and coherence of the workshops, as I did the first two sessions, and another visiting colleague, Insung Jung, did the remainder. As we had little time and opportunity to plan and discuss the workshops, having the materials as a foundation was just the ticket.

Anyway, to get to the point, has anyone else used these materials and how did they find them? If not, I'd be interested to hear opinions on why such terrific resources are not used more. Is it just the 'not invented here' syndrome, or something else? Perhaps they are used extensively and I just don't know about it!

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