Last modified 31/03/09 16:16:34

Welcome to the Isthmus Project Archive Site

Bridge Image

Linking the personal and institutional in learning technologies

The  JISC funded Isthmus project was part of the User Owned Technology Demonstrators' strand. It ran between March 2007 and February 2009 attempting to connect the two worlds of institutional online course provision and that wider culture of the web. In recent years it has become clear that the types of services available for free on the web are often more agile and potentially more useful than those the institution provides for learning. In parallel with this students may be becoming more familiar with the use of these external services such as voice chat, instant messaging, social bookmarking, social bookmarking and information gathering (Wikipedia, youTube, etc etc).

Through a series of pilots the project planned to take advantage of the changing culture on the web by creating bridges to appropriate technologies or by adjusting the institutions provision to reflect the contemporary use of the web (for example providing audio and video chat functions). The Isthmus pilots ran on or around live  online distance courses provided by the Department for Continuing Education. As such the project will be talking not only technical issues but also pedagogical, legal and management challenges, experimenting with bridging the divide between institutional provision and the wider web. All activities within the project were undertaken after consulting with students, tutors and course providers to ensure that the pilots answered genuine needs.


This site is now an archive of the relevant project outputs which are in the form of two reports:

  1. The projects Final Report which is a comprehensive write-up of the projects activities and findings. It also contains narratives and evaluations of each of the pilots.
  1. The Isthmus Headlines paper which details the two major conceptual findings of the project: The 'Visitor-Resident' principle and the 'Institution as a Catalyst' idea.

Other outputs of note:


  • A summary poster outlining the main themes and activities of the project created for the final JISC programme meeting of the strand.
  • A poster on the Visitor-Resident principle presented at the  CAL 09 conference in March 2009.

Blog posts

The Visitor-Resident Principle

Some key responses to the principle:


Or you can take a look at the main page of the site as it was during the project. Old Project Site

JISC logo


For further information about the project, please contact: david.white@ David White – project lead or marion.manton@ Marion Manton – evaluator

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