Michael Webb, SCHoMs 2008 - Celtic Manor


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Michael Webb, SCHoMs 2008 - Celtic Manor

  1. 1. VIRTUAL LEARNING SPACES AT NEWPORT SCHoMS Michael Webb Head of IT and Media Services
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>MyCommunity </li></ul><ul><li>(blogging, forums, photo galleries) </li></ul><ul><li>MyNewport </li></ul><ul><li>( Facebook access to MyLearning Essentials) </li></ul><ul><li>Mylearning Essential SMS </li></ul><ul><li>(Making Texting as easy as email) </li></ul>
  3. 3. About Newport <ul><li>Around 9000 students </li></ul><ul><li>A fairly even split of full-time, part-time and franchise students </li></ul><ul><li>Widening participation agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Many students not traditional 18 – 21 year old undergraduates </li></ul>
  4. 4. Our approach to eLearning <ul><li>No ‘traditional’ VLE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MyLearning Essentials is a portal to tools to match learners needs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MyCommunity, MyNewport and SMS are part of MyLearning Essentials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools to make use of ‘Web 2.0’ and mobile devices. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These tool are all to aid communication. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 1. MyCommunity <ul><li>Blogging/Forum/Photo galleries for all staff and students </li></ul><ul><li>Beta Launch May 2006 – Full Launch Sept 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>No signup procedure, ‘click and go’ </li></ul><ul><li>Publically visible at </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://mycommunity.newport.ac.uk </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some blogs (e.g. reflective practice) are private </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why? <ul><li>Part of a strategy started three years ago to engage with Web 2.0 technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To create a tools set for learning and teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To create tools and places for social purposes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To find out what works </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Services also created at the same time including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional Wiki ( http://wiki.newport.ac.uk ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal Instant Messaging Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both partial successes </li></ul></ul>
  7. 12. Forums <ul><li>How are they used? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most aren’t connected to courses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used more by students than blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding people/accommodation/selling things </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment on the University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not frequent, but how does the institution deal with valid comment? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 13. Obvious questions <ul><li>How has it been used? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most staff/students don’t blog for fun! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A few ‘traditional’ staff/student blogs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Used for direct communication (eg events, finding people) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reflective practice (private) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Informal communication from schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you monitor it/has it been abused? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very ‘light-touch’ moderation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Virtually no abuse </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 14. Hosting <ul><ul><li>Is it still relevant to host our own service? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger, WordPress, Facebook etc all free and now widely adopted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reasons to host </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Varying student skills (widening participation agenda) – we can probably provide better support for our own services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need to carry out very robust due diligence process before handing confidential data to someone else. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reasons not to host </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cost/someone else can do it better for nothing. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Student preference? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 15. 2. MyNewport@Facebook <ul><li>Access to myLearning Essentials through Facebook </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Launched Sept 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Essentially an experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would students prefer to create their own learning space? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many (most?) use Facebook anyway. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very ‘lightweight’ development (about 2 days work) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 16. My ‘Learning’ Space
  12. 18. Has it worked? <ul><li>376 users (from yesterday) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So hasn’t replaced our own portal! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User installed it very quickly with little publicity from us </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Far fewer daily active users (a handful) </li></ul><ul><li>Positive feedback from those that do use it </li></ul><ul><li>Contributed to debate on personal learning </li></ul>
  13. 19. 3. Text Messages <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email is increasing become a ‘retro’ technology (discuss!) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We’ve tried to make it as easy to send a text to students as an email </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Link from MyLearning Essentials for staff… </li></ul></ul>
  14. 20. Sending a message Step1… Choose a course from a list of your courses or modules Step 2… Type the message and click send
  15. 21. Why not? <ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul></ul>
  16. 22. Closing Thoughts <ul><li>This is an incredibly fast moving area! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter, Google Friends, Ning….all new in the last few months or so </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Matching pedagogy and technology is obviously crucial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key areas of development for us at the moment – Peer Evaluation (WebPA), PDPs (?), group working space (Elgg) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But…we can also use technology to help with the overall learning environment </li></ul>
  17. 23. Questions and Contact Details <ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: michaeldwebb </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: http://mycommunity.newport.ac.uk/blogs/michael </li></ul>