Thursday, May 03, 2007

JISC webinar - Thursday

The topic for the penultimate day of the Web 2.0 webinar is 'Policy and strategy-concerns, issues, and suggestions relating to high-level HEI policy and strategy'. We had a few technical hitches yesterday, so today I've logged in early to the presentation. While waiting for the session to start, I've been browsing the Moodle discussion fora - which seem to perfectly demonstrate the '1% rule' (,,1823959,00.html - 'It's an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will "interact" with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it.') Although we have had up to 50 people 'participating' over the 3 days so far, we have few discussion posts in comparison.

An interesting survey is mentioned in the text-chat - on 'some real data on Web 2.0 use' - it is at >>> (University of Oxford).

The first speaker, David White, from TALL Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning). His slides are at slideshare >>>. He talked about the 'edge of the institution' (eg Does the institution want to own or facilitate the ‘chat down the pub'?) and 'if everybody does their learning online, does e-learning become simply 'learning'? He suggests that Web 2.0 is changing the role of institutions' computer services, and that the future challenges will shift from the technological to the social, if these services offer e-learning and social spaces; their role might, he says, shift from provision to advice if students and staff are using services and applications outside the institution.

He asks whether it is a good thing for an academic to have a posting on Wikipedia, and presented some interesting results from the survey mentioned above.

People are listening actively, as we get a steady stream of input from the text-chat boxes (and instant reaction sometimes) - maybe the Moodle being not linked directly makes it a link too far for people to go to and use?

The second speaker is Chris Adie, from University of Edinburgh, looking at institutional policies on externally hosted Web 2.0 services. His materials are also at slideshare >>>. He touched on some interesting legislative issues affecting the link between the institution and the external service provider (eg Data Protection re: supplying student details to external bodies, Freedom of Information and Disability Discrimination Acts, sharing data outside the EU). University regulations (eg on assessment) might impact links with external providers in the case of online assessed materials (eg will the material still be available in 4-5 years time when the student finally graduates?). A whole set of interesting questions.

One issue raised was the assessment of student-created Wikipedia entries, for example, and how copies or the history might be tracked - one participant turned things on their head and asked whether one assessment criteria might be not whether the entry remains stable, but how much it is changed by others - interesting.

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