Build networks, not destinations


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A presentation for the Dundee eLearning conference, June 2011.

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  • friendfeed was our solution started in Jan 2010, now on second cohort of students using it. started by ex-google employees and acquired by facebook in Aug 2009 Many of the new features of the friend news stream in facebook came from friendfeed design auto refresh friend of a friend every student creates and account and follows staff members, can then see other student posts we comment on create search terms on the fly by adding # to a word
  • students began in October using friendfeed immediately as a way to share their concerns about the course and ask advice there was lots of discussion about which text books to buy one other first year student (blue) had already done some research advice from peer mentors on how they used them (green and organe comments from second year students)
  • as term moved on, students posted links from google reader by sharing chosen Google Reader items and making comments in the notes section. These were automatically posted to FriendFeed through RSS aggregation.
  • towards the end of the first term, students started to post about revising for their first set of exams. They were also giving advice on the best methods to use to test their knowledge and understanding, suggesting different text books to use and quizes to work on. Each different colour represents a different student contribution. In all there were 18 different students chatting on this thread.
  • in term 2, we introduced the 'my diary' concept, where students posted once a week to reflect on what they had been doing and how they could improve. This is one example from a student towards the end of term 2. The student was starting to see that they were improving in writing essays and that their lecture notes were useful. They had also thought of a plan to approach a debate they had to prepare for.
  • That’s all folks.
  • Build networks, not destinations

    1. 1. Build networks, not destinations Alan Cann School of Biological Sciences University of Leicester twitter. com/AJCann scienceoftheinvisible . blogspot .com microbiologybytes .com aobblog .com
    2. 2. Social media: A guide for researchers Cann, Dimitriou & Hooley (2011) Social media: A guide for researchers Research Information Network
    3. 3. That’s the way we’ve always done it <ul><li>Too much work </li></ul><ul><li>Too many students </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of quality </li></ul><ul><li>etc </li></ul>
    4. 4. Solutions?
    5. 5. Online Assessment <ul><li>Via Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Every topic </li></ul><ul><li>Summative </li></ul><ul><li>Question banks </li></ul>
    6. 6. Over-assessment <ul><li>Via Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Every topic </li></ul><ul><li>Summative </li></ul><ul><li>Question banks </li></ul>Midterm, end of module
    7. 7. Good Video <ul><li>StatsBytes </li></ul><ul><li>MicrobiologyBytes Video Library </li></ul><ul><li>Not talking head! </li></ul>Blah Blah Blah
    8. 8. Video Feedback
    9. 9. What’s a middle aged man doing sitting in front of a video camera holding imaginary conversations with a sock puppet? D.W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality. (Penguin 1971). Play is important in counteracting the implicit threat in transitional spaces which limit learning.
    10. 10. But: Video externalizes &quot;experience&quot;, reading internalizes it.
    11. 13. Peer Networks <ul><li>Friendfeed = Facebook but not Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Minimalist guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion (object centred) </li></ul><ul><li>Staff support, not lead </li></ul>
    12. 14. Friendfeed
    13. 20. Engagement? <ul><li>10 weeks, 134 students: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5,376 entries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8,151 comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5,232 &quot;likes” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>199,853 words - average of 1,491 words each </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(not including private messages) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>~15% of students continued to use the service more than one month after the end of assessment - </li></ul><ul><li>( ePortfolios <1%) </li></ul>
    14. 23.
    15. 24. Quality? Does online = less? More with less - is it cheaper? More with less - is it quicker? Laboratory skills? 2D Boy
    16. 25. &quot;Communications tools don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring... It's when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound changes happen.&quot; Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody, 2008
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