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RUSC 2012 : Informalisation of Education


When Mar 1, 2012 - Jun 30, 2012
Where Spain
Submission Deadline Jun 30, 2012

Call For Papers



Call for articles open for the next monographic issue on Informalisation of Education

The reform of traditional education and training models is currently the topic of much debate. The convergence of formal, informal and non-formal education elements was one response to the need to reform professional training. The ever-changing context of learning technology applications has made this even more essential, and has been featured in recent work by Attwell (2010a), Cross (2007) and Kamenetz (2010). Similarly, Siemens (2005) considers informal learning to be an overarching feature of the entire learning journey. A key feature of professional training and development reform is personalisation: adapting policies to meet the specific needs of each individual, according to their approach to learning. This has raised the profile of Personal Learning Environments (PLE) (Attwell, 2010b) highlighting the move towards each individual taking decisions regarding the most appropriate models and learning resources; individuals are now charting their own learning trajectories – a departure from the constraints of formal, institutional models. According to Walsh (1999), expertise and knowledge are being transformed and now function in different ways, due to the open channels of communication which are available online. According to O’Reilly (2005), Web 2.0 is the ideal environment for this.
The rapid expansion of social networks within the Web 2.0 context is a part of this phenomenon. Cross (2010), Downes (2007) and Siemens (2004) have all described the benefits of informal learning, underpinned by connectivism. The possibility of creating networks of virtual contacts and online communities; the ability to access content and information not physically available to us; and participation in experiences developed by professionals in remote contexts have meant that all individuals can now become communication nodes that simultaneously give and receive. Great emphasis is placed on the potential and benefits that such learning networks can offer professional development. In this context, it is clear that the use of technology in education and training extends and enhances the potential learning spaces available for professional development and the updating of skills.
Conservative institutions, particularly universities, are challenged by this trend. Learning becomes increasingly informal as people develop complex networks to help each other and deepen the perception that education and training are no longer exclusively provided by institutions but can also result from collaboration between individuals and their specialised networks. The emergence of user-generated content initiatives, the growth of open educational practices and the currently called “massive online open courses” (MOOCs), and the creation of new providers of self-education solutions such as the OER University and the University of the People are shifting known scenarios to other domains of a much more uncertain nature.
Although informalisation is a recognisable trend, there is a dearth of published research-based evidence around many of the questions that may be asked: What evidence of actual learning could we gain from these experiences? How could we assess and ensure their quality? How are universities approaching and preparing to welcome this sort of informalisation of education? What roles might other institutions and organisations play? Which business models might universities need to develop to recognise that informal learning can be sustainable?

Subject areas

We are interested in receiving research articles on the theme of the Dossier from all educational sectors around the world.
Specifically, the thematic areas of the Dossier are as follows (the list of themes is not exhaustive, but might include):
• Alternative methods of informal learning assessment
• Quality assurance and quality enhancement processes for open educational resources
• Evaluation of MOOC initiatives, processes and outcomes
• New ways of providing education through universities
• Changing roles of academics and professional educators
• Informal accreditation of courses and outcomes
• Learning design for informal learning purposes
• Ways in which students construct their own informal learning paths
• New business models supporting informal learning

Guest Editors

Albert Sangrà
Director, eLearn Center
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Senior lecturer in Education, ICTs and e-learning at UOC. He was also the programme director for the university’s master’s degree in Education and ICTs (e-learning) (2004-2011).

His main research interests are ICT uses in education and training and, particularly, the policies, organisation, management and leadership of e-learning implementation, and its quality assurance. He has worked as a consultant and trainer in several online and blended learning projects in Europe, America and Asia, focusing on implementation strategies for the use of technology for teaching and learning. He was a visiting scholar at the Korea National Open University, South Korea, in 2010.

He is the vice-president of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning (EFQUEL). He was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN) (2003-2009), and of the Advisory Board of the Open University of Portugal (2007-2008).

He is a regional editor of the European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning. He also serves on the editorial boards of a number of learning technology and education related academic journals, including the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, Revista de Formación e Innovación Educativa, Pixel-Bit, and Edutec.

Steve Wheeler
Associate Professor, Learning Technologies
Plymouth University

Originally trained as a psychologist, he has spent his entire career working in media, technology and learning, predominantly in nurse education (National Health Service 1981-1995) and teacher education and training (1976-1981 and 1995-present). He is now in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society.

He specialises in research on e-learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on social media and Web 2.0 tools. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles and a prolific edublogger. His blog “Learning with ‘e’s” is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education and training.

He chairs the Plymouth e-Learning Conference and, from 2008 to 2011, was the co-editor of the journal Interactive Learning Environments. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of learning technology and education related open access academic journals including Research in Learning Technology (formerly ALT-J), the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning and Digital Culture and Education.


Articles should be submitted by 30 June 2012. No articles received after that date will be accepted.

Articles will be published in volume 10, issue 1, on January 2013.

Author guidelines and submission process

Articles should not exceed 5,000 words and must contain the following:

- Title
- Abstract (200-300 words)
- 4 to 6 keywords
- Article (divided into sections and subsections)
- References
- Figures can be included within the article, but please also attach them in a separate file.

In order to ensure a blind review, please place authors’ personal details in a separate file. The personal details required are:

- Name and surname
- Position or academic appointment
- Author information (name and surname, position or academic affiliation, full professional postal address and e-mail address)
- Short CV (100-200 words)

The articles selected by the editors will be peer reviewed by at least two members of RUSC’s Editorial Board or by recognised experts in the field, as indicated by the editor.

You need to register as an author on the journal’s website in order to submit work ( Once registered, enter the username and password you receive during the registration process to begin the submission process. In Step 1, select the Monograph section, and accept the prior conditions for submission and copyright. In Step 2, enter the metadata (title, abstract, keywords). In Step 3, attach the original. You can leave Step 4 empty if there are no additional files, but you need to go on to Step 5 to complete the process.

We strongly recommend checking the journal’s author guidelines ( before submitting an article.
You should specify that the article being submitted is for the DOSSIER.

RUSC. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento

RUSC. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento is an open-access e-journal published by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC) twice a year, in January and July.

The purpose of the journal is to study and analyse the links between the knowledge society and higher education institutions. With this in mind, RUSC publishes original academic works on the following topics: university models in the knowledge society; educational models and the use of technology in higher education; open-access systems in the use of learning materials; technological models and free and open-source software; transformations in learning processes in higher education as a result of the use of ICTs; organisational and administrative perspectives on the use of ICTs in institutions of higher learning; leadership and administration of universities in the knowledge society, and university internet presence models.

RUSC has been accepted and indexed by a number of directories, catalogues, libraries and databases, including the following:

Databases for the identification, evaluation and impact of scientific journals
• SCOPUS (Elsevier)
Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources
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Database for the identification and evaluation of the citing of humanities and social sciences journals
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Online regional information system for Latin American and Caribbean, Spanish and Portuguese scientific journals
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Bibliographic databases (access via subscription)
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Databases of academic resources on social sciences and education
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ERA is a comprehensive database comprising specially selected high-quality abstracts which cover the current international research in education
Australian Council for Educational Research
Autonomous University of Mexico Index of Higher Education and Research Journals
Directory of Social Sciences and Humanities Journals

Reference directories of journals
• Ulrich's periodicals directory
Reference source of worldwide journals
• Intute
Web resources for education and research, evaluated and selected, promoted by seven British universities (Manchester, Oxford, Manchester Metropolitan, Nottingham, Heriot Watt, Bristol and Birmingham Universities)
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International Center for Journal Standards database

Content databases
• Dialnet
Portal for the dissemination of Spanish-American scientific work promoted by the University of La Rioja

Databases of open access journals
Directory of Open Access Journals (Lund University Libraries)
Bank of open access Catalan journals
Bank of open access journals with worldwide application (University of Michigan)
• Scientific Commons
Bank of open access journals with worldwide application (University of Saint Gallen)
• Redalyc
Network of Latin American and Caribbean, Spanish and Portuguese scientific journals
• E-Revistas
Database of Spanish and Latin American scientific journals (CINDOC-CSIC)

RUSC. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento

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