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ALT-C 2012 Mainstreaming grass roots innovation in open educational practice: benefits and challenges

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Process.arts, a grass roots web2.0 open educational environment for sharing day-to-day arts practice and research of staff and students, currently provides a new ‘open learning’ space to the ...

Process.arts, a grass roots web2.0 open educational environment for sharing day-to-day arts practice and research of staff and students, currently provides a new ‘open learning’ space to the University of the Arts London (UAL) that straddles the institution/educational (formal learning) environment and the social (informal learning) environment. It creates an ‘experimental’ space for open educational practitioners to develop and define a new language for open edu-social practice without conforming or being influenced by pre-existing academic structures and processes. The transition of process.arts into an official UAL service will test this model and raise questions as to how institutions successfully support and develop autonomous and independent grassroots innovation without homogenising innovation.

Background

Chris Follows initially developed Process.arts in 2008 with the support of UAL’s Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (CLTAD). Chris was awarded a secondment and fellowship to develop his ideas for creating an open educational web environment for arts staff and students to share and cluster rich media content and resources. Process.arts has been maintained and developed by Chris as a sustainable and independent system, through agile experimentation, small project support, voluntary support, stewardship and an open university SCORE fellowship project.

In 2012 UAL began the process of rebuilding its VLE framework, and process.arts was identified as a valuable resource that could fit into the University’s new portfolio of tools; consequently, process.arts is due to be officially introduced as a supported ‘service’ in September 2012.

However, the structure of process.arts does not map onto courses; meta data links user-generated pieces of openly licensed text, image, video and audio content together through individual profiles and subject specific interest groups. Like many web2.0 environments used for education, process.arts can neither really be described as a repository nor as a VLE. Because of this it provides a novel and alternative VLE environment that encourages and supports rich media experimentation and informal learning, a welcome alternative for many to commercial alternatives.

Conversion to a full service will provide a firm foundation for long term stability, integration wth other systems, support and growth. The project team is in the process of integrating the current informal agile development approach into a more formal in-house system. The team are addressing outstanding bugs, monitoring user interface changes and identifying outstanding functionality. There will inevitably be some loss of agile spontaneity although we aim to retain the overall grass root

Title: Mainstreaming grass roots innovation in open educational practice: benefits and challenges (ID 171)

Authors: Chris Follows

Affiliation: University of the arts London, DIAL & SCORE open University

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    ALT-C 2012 Mainstreaming grass roots innovation in open educational practice: benefits and challenges ALT-C 2012 Mainstreaming grass roots innovation in open educational practice: benefits and challenges Presentation Transcript

    • Chris Follows University of the arts LondonMainstreaming grass roots innovationin open educational practice: benefits and challenges ALT-C 2012 11 September 2012
    • http://process.arts.ac.uk/
    • http://process.arts.ac.uk/• Open resource for sharing practice/knowledge and creating OERs.• Not course aligned, alternative VLE environment that encourages and supports rich media experimentation and informal learning.• Non-commercial but sector driven/owned.• Grass roots, innovation & agile development.• Open to everyone, staff & students: Global and local.• Straddles the institution/educational (formal learning) environment and the social (informal learning) environment.• Experimental’ space for open educational practitioners.• Defining a new language for open edu-social practice without conforming or being influenced by pre-existing academic structures and processes.• Informal learning.
    • Participation May 2012AVERAGE PER MONTH:4k visitors a month. Logged in users = 3622-3k unique visitors a month. All content posts = 1450.Below Analytics May 2012: • Video direct = 195. • 3rd Party video posts = 150. • Image/text/audio = 950. • Forum topics = 105. Conversation: • Comments = 470. • Tags = Thousands.
    • Connectivity is king?• ‘Content is not king’ (Andrew Odlyzko)• ‘Despite the rhetoric of the content industry, the most valuable contribution to our economy comes from connectivity, not content. Content is the ginger in gingerbread—important, no doubt, but nothing like the most valuable component in the mix.’ (Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. Lawrence Lessig)
    • The specialist group sections have continued to develop and wenow have 15 active groups. Once a community can commit andwant to take ownership of a specialist section we have develop this requirement appropriately.
    • Voluntary soft skills for creating OER & OEP communities• Digital Citizenship• Guidance• Global and local networks/communities• Respectful & open aware (content use & IPR)• Open practice mentor• Monitoring and supervision• Acknowledgment (is someone out there)• Stewardship
    • DIAL Surveys Your Digital World - please tell us more!
    • http://www.metro.co.uk/tech/908698-facebook-sets-out-plans-to-put-adverts-in-users-newsfeeds
    • How do we create places for OER Rich media communities?
    • Transition into a service
    • Project plan System DocumentationBugs - document current issues to be fixed and prioritySee: http://process.arts.ac.uk/content/high-priority-bug-fixPlanned Features - document new features planned for PASee - http://process.arts.ac.uk/forum/1894Functional refinements - document required refinements for PAUser documentation - Create help files and help section for all areas ofuser support.Admin documentation - Create a list of admin tasks, whatsinvolved, user questions, support, content and comment moderationetc.
    • Project plan Code review, documentation and recommendations• Code fix Integration and testing Migrate to Drupal 7 Moodle Code fix Workflow (Mahara) Refine UI/UX Filestore (edshare)• Plan training and support MyBlogs (Wordpress) Submit code to repository (live service) Future Development
    • Benefits• Long term Institutional support• Long-term future• Stability• Improved service• Development plan (expand)• Institutional adoption & acceptance• On the agenda; inform policy, IPR, open agenda• A live case study
    • Support IPRpolicy anddevelopment forUAL openeducationalpractice
    • Challenges• Lose independent spirit (institutional & commercial).• Slow progress (Institutional bureaucracy).• Maintain agile development (keep up).• Growth beyond the Institution.• Danger of having too close an affiliated.
    • Primary ChallengeMotivation to participate
    • Lodger Visitor Novice
    • Dynamics Voluntary participation (Difficult) What are the rewards? orCompulsory participation (Easy & difficult)? What are the rewards? Compulsory e.g. part of the assessment
    • UAL new VLE portfolio
    • Thank youChris FollowsEmail: c.follows@arts.ac.ukUniversity of the Arts London272 High HolbornLondonWC1V 7EYMobile: 07703 887845