OU Conf: Ekkehard Thumm et al – OpenStudio

Ekkehard Thumm, Jamie Daniels, Esther Snelson (MPM for T189 Digital Photography). Stephen Peake, CTC for T189 here too.

(Linda Price chairing)

Ekkehard – Photography traditionally thought unsuitable for distance teaching … but it is now.  Less about the course but more about the process and the software.  (If you are interested in T189, there’s a talk tomorrow morning about it.)

Jamie demos the tool – it’s pretty cool – a lot like Flickr (!) only with OU stuff and organisation  (Just remembered link to OpenStudio from Biodiversity Observatory – it is very relevant and we want to do it.) Does autoconversion for you to a web-based format, and thumbnail and so on.  Comment interface, arrangement in to small group – and week by week.  Very very tightly integrated to how T189 works at the moment – including assignments and so on. Has flag for possibly-offensive stuff to alert Course Team – only used twice and in each instance didn’t need taking up.  Also has way in profile to say “here’s my other photo site (e.g. Flickr)”.

Has a bit in a profile to indicate participation level – photos posted, comments made, comments received, photos made favourites by others.  Some permutation of those gives a final judgement that gives you e.g. a smiley face.

Students plot themselves on a skills graph – visual awareness on one axis, technical knowledge and skill on the other.  Then visualised on a graph showing X for each students – can click on Xs to find individuals to contact for help – to give or to get!

Esther – collaboration with course team has been very good.  Has created a real community.  Looked at student forums to see what they were saying about it, and took that on board for further developments.

Stephen – Course Team Chair – it was a co-design process, like an agile programming team, work together on a daily basis.  Originally said ‘let’s just use Flickr’ – why reinvent the wheel?  Started like that but kept hitting barriers – especially about rights, keeping outside world out of the digital classroom, and so on.  Corporately you just can’t deal with them – our lawyers just couldn’t get a reply.  So eventually said ‘Oh let’s just do it’.  Can now be used for all sorts of applications – not just applications.
Martin – Congratulations, it looks decent unlike other things we’ve done.  Still don’t understand why not Flickr.  Can’t we just go Creative Commons, and isn’t it better to just be open? We try to bring too much.

Esther – At the point of negotiation , Flickr were getting taken over.

Jamie – creating logins, getting groups together, managing IDs

Stephen – sense of trust, it’s all moderated; they all migrate to Flickr anyway

Martin – we’re teaching them to be part of that broader photography network

s/o – Didn’t get to end of course.  Application in other areas – expand?  Looks like can only do one thing.

Stephen – Holy Grail of Design is collaborative design, in teams, so could adapt this for a team design project.  Second area – coming of spring plants and animals, biodiversity projects, for monitoring seasons and so on – in science, geology (could this be Biodiversity Observatory? we may not be picking it all up)

Esther – also a computer animation game course, upload those & other AV media

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Author: dougclow

Academic in the Institute of Educational Technology, the Open University, UK. Interested in technology-enhanced learning and learning analytics.