Informal social networking For learning and support

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Informal social networking For learning and support

  1. 1. INFORMAL SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR LEARNING AND SUPPORT Prof Gunter Saunders and Federica Oradini Online Learning Development
  2. 2. University of Westminster • 22,000 students • Many international, mature or part-time • Emphasis is on face to face learning • Blackboard is used extensively
  3. 3. Introduction to
  4. 4. What is and why it was chosen? www.elgg.org • Developed UK 2003/4 • Open source • Pick & mix: customisable • Based on LAMP software • Thorough privacy controls
  5. 5. Link from the Student Home Page
  6. 6. My Profile
  7. 7. Create Themes
  8. 8. My Blog
  9. 9. Communities I created
  10. 10. Key Factors Driving Development of • Lack of social opportunities/spaces • Students’ Union • Clubs, societies, broaden SU reach, student Course reps • Pre-arrival and international students • Facilitate community building between subject areas (vs BB) • Giving users more power
  11. 11. Student Union
  12. 12. Hosted internally 1. Control over customisation / tailoring 2. Integration with University systems 3. Offer single sign on 4. Retain ownership of content 5. Who’s who 6. No adverts 7. Branding in the site’s url 8. Access statistics
  13. 13. Resources supporting Connect • Driven by Online Learning • Server managed by central IS but not a ‘frontline’ system yet • Design by Marketing • Promotion by Student Union and academic registrar’s dept.
  14. 14. 4300/500 How has it been used • Communities – Based around interests e.g. Film, cats, wine – Activities e.g. Football, Cricket – Student led learning e.g. Visual culture group – Staff led learning e.g. Giving presentations, homeopathy – Strategy development e.g. Library review • Personal blog – Some reflective e.g. on university life – Academic subject based – Seeking contacts, information, solutions
  15. 15. Student views Staff views ↓Facebook  Help build community ↓Design prior/after arrival  Tutor presence  Role to play in T&L  Social vs University  Blog about research &  Own space linked to their best teaching practice & subject studies  Link to Blackboard  Link to Blackboard
  16. 16. Staff and Student views
  17. 17. Lessons Learnt • Raised the profile of Web 2.0 • Gave the institution a chance to engage with an online movement ... it has opened up staff’s eyes • Better integration with University system • Involve users from the beginning to the end • Make them feel it’s their tool • Offer training (?) • Involve different departments in the development but have a ‘dedicated’ project manager • Get Central IS ‘buy-in’
  18. 18. is Westminster’s online social network where you can make friends, find out the latest news from UWSU clubs and societies and meet like minded students. Go to http://connect.wmin.ac.uk and log-on using your University username and password. http://connect.wmin.ac.uk Photo used under a Creative Commons licence. http://flickr.com/photos/throughhislens/508671414

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