Michael Webb, SCHoMs 2008 - Celtic Manor
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Michael Webb, SCHoMs 2008 - Celtic Manor






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Michael Webb, SCHoMs 2008 - Celtic Manor Michael Webb, SCHoMs 2008 - Celtic Manor Presentation Transcript

  • VIRTUAL LEARNING SPACES AT NEWPORT SCHoMS Michael Webb Head of IT and Media Services
  • Overview
    • MyCommunity
    • (blogging, forums, photo galleries)
    • MyNewport
    • ( Facebook access to MyLearning Essentials)
    • Mylearning Essential SMS
    • (Making Texting as easy as email)
  • About Newport
    • Around 9000 students
    • A fairly even split of full-time, part-time and franchise students
    • Widening participation agenda
    • Many students not traditional 18 – 21 year old undergraduates
  • Our approach to eLearning
    • No ‘traditional’ VLE
      • MyLearning Essentials is a portal to tools to match learners needs.
    • MyCommunity, MyNewport and SMS are part of MyLearning Essentials
      • Tools to make use of ‘Web 2.0’ and mobile devices.
      • These tool are all to aid communication.
  • 1. MyCommunity
    • Blogging/Forum/Photo galleries for all staff and students
    • Beta Launch May 2006 – Full Launch Sept 2006
    • No signup procedure, ‘click and go’
    • Publically visible at
      • http://mycommunity.newport.ac.uk
    • Some blogs (e.g. reflective practice) are private
  • Why?
    • Part of a strategy started three years ago to engage with Web 2.0 technologies
      • To create a tools set for learning and teaching
      • To create tools and places for social purposes
      • To find out what works
    • Services also created at the same time including:
      • Institutional Wiki ( http://wiki.newport.ac.uk )
      • Internal Instant Messaging Service
      • Both partial successes
  • Forums
    • How are they used?
      • Most aren’t connected to courses.
      • Used more by students than blogs
      • Finding people/accommodation/selling things
      • Comment on the University
        • Not frequent, but how does the institution deal with valid comment?
  • Obvious questions
    • How has it been used?
      • Most staff/students don’t blog for fun!
        • A few ‘traditional’ staff/student blogs
        • Used for direct communication (eg events, finding people)
        • Reflective practice (private)
        • Informal communication from schools
      • How do you monitor it/has it been abused?
        • Very ‘light-touch’ moderation
        • Virtually no abuse
  • Hosting
      • Is it still relevant to host our own service?
        • Blogger, WordPress, Facebook etc all free and now widely adopted
      • Reasons to host
        • Varying student skills (widening participation agenda) – we can probably provide better support for our own services
        • Need to carry out very robust due diligence process before handing confidential data to someone else.
      • Reasons not to host
        • Cost/someone else can do it better for nothing.
        • Student preference?
  • 2. MyNewport@Facebook
    • Access to myLearning Essentials through Facebook
      • Launched Sept 2007
      • Essentially an experiment
      • Would students prefer to create their own learning space?
      • Many (most?) use Facebook anyway.
      • Very ‘lightweight’ development (about 2 days work)
  • My ‘Learning’ Space
  • Has it worked?
    • 376 users (from yesterday)
      • So hasn’t replaced our own portal!
      • User installed it very quickly with little publicity from us
    • Far fewer daily active users (a handful)
    • Positive feedback from those that do use it
    • Contributed to debate on personal learning
  • 3. Text Messages
    • Why?
      • Email is increasing become a ‘retro’ technology (discuss!)
    • We’ve tried to make it as easy to send a text to students as an email
      • Link from MyLearning Essentials for staff…
  • Sending a message Step1… Choose a course from a list of your courses or modules Step 2… Type the message and click send
  • Why not?
      • Cost
  • Closing Thoughts
    • This is an incredibly fast moving area!
      • Twitter, Google Friends, Ning….all new in the last few months or so
    • Matching pedagogy and technology is obviously crucial
      • Key areas of development for us at the moment – Peer Evaluation (WebPA), PDPs (?), group working space (Elgg)
    • But…we can also use technology to help with the overall learning environment
  • Questions and Contact Details
    • Email: [email_address]
    • Twitter: michaeldwebb
    • Blog: http://mycommunity.newport.ac.uk/blogs/michael