Notes from OU eLearning Community event, 17 February 2009
Sarah Davies and Ingrid Nix are organising the events for the first part of this year.
Social learning objects and Cloudworks – Chris Pegler
Juliette Culver is the developer of Cloudworks.
Chris draws a distinction between ‘social object’-oriented networks – delicious, Flickr etc where there’s a (learning?) object and more ‘ego-centric’ networks where it’s people connecting to people – e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Engeström claims that “social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object”. Hugh McLeod “The object comes first”. Martin Weller along these lines too. You need something to talk about.
Cloudworks – supports finding, sharing and discussing learning and teaching ideas, experiences and issues. In alpha at the moment. Working well at conferences/events to use as a site for storing discussion and debate.
Wants to see more social conversations around reusable learning objects (RLOs) – metadata.
The OU in Facebook – Stuart Brown and Sam Dick
Almost all of the room are on Facebook, fewer fans, only 3 or so have the OU Facebook app.
8.5m unique users (accounts) in the UK. Top or second-top site in OU. About 5000 studying/graduated from the OU. Bit report – New Media Consortium/Educause Horizon Report – “Students and faculty continue to view and experience technology very differently”.
Many motivations for OU in FB. Open University page.
Open University Library – set up a Facebook page. A lot of their Wall traffic (biggest focus) is students looking for others on the same course. Is it a failure of our official web presence/support systems? Or is it understandable that they want a non-official/personal route? Survey of students – bimodal, some really keen on FB, some really hate it. Forum gets traffic too, building up started by students. Analytics (Facebook); 66% female 34% male. (Meta-comment: Facebook does age segmentation 13-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45+! Rather lower-focused than many.)
Future plans: staff profiles, resource, helpdesk online chat, find/recommend resources. OU Library alreayd has an iGoogle gadget for searching the catalogue; want to embed in Facebook.
OU profile page – (possibly) biggest UK university page, >15,600 fans.
OU Facebook apps: My OU story (283 users). Course Profiles (6,222 users – something like 5% of current students, I’d guess). Course Profiles helps with the “who’s studying/has studied course X” issue – can specify previous courses studied, current, future plans. Each course gives you: course details, find a new study buddy, your friends on the course, recommend to a friend, OpenLearn content, comments Wall. My OU Story – mood update, gives you mood history graph too. Post ‘Story’ which is a comment on how you’re doing.
Useful page showing all places where the OU wants to have a conversation with people – i.e. social networks with an OU presence: Platform, OU podcasts, iTunesU, Facebook, YouTube, OpenLearn, Twitter, Open2.net, Course Reviews.
Data from Facebook apps is available for analysis … Tony Hirst is custodian (of course).
OU online services have a coordinating set of pages.
Setting up a social community site (Ning and Twitter) – Sarah Davies
Again with the division of social networks: object-centric, ego-centric, white-label.
Object-centric: Flickr, delicious, SumbleUpon, digg, imdb, LibraryThing, Meetup, SecondLife, World of Warcraft. Ego-centric: Myspace, Facebook, Bebo, LinkedIn. White-label: Ning, Elgg. But categories are blurred.
Review of typical features of sites. Analysis of sites as communities of practice – Lave and Wenger – Peripheral (lurker), inbound (novice), insider (regular) boundary (leader), outbound (elder).
Twitter overview. Tag tweets with #elcommunity to appear on eLC Ning site.
Ning overview. Demo of new eLearning Community Ning site. Originally set up for talk for ALs on Web 2.0 tools.
Work/social life mix. Intrusion/time intensity. Balance/tradeoff between VLE/OU-hosted stuff and external services.