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Using social technologies to support interdisciplinary collaboration: the experience of the xDelia project


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Presentation given at CAL 2011 conference in Manchester on 15th April, 2011 by Gill Clough and Grainne Conole

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Using social technologies to support interdisciplinary collaboration: the experience of the xDelia project

  1. 1. Using social technologies to support interdisciplinary collaboration: the experience of the xDelia project Gill Clough, Gráinne Conole & Eileen Scanlon
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Characteristics of new social and participatory media </li></ul><ul><li>The xDelia project </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary collaboration: challenges and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering and supporting interdisciplinarity </li></ul>
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  6. 6. xDelia – 3-year EU Project <ul><li>It’s goal: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To use bio-sensors and serious games to identify & address the effects of emotional regulation on financial decision making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target audience private investors </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Evaluation
  8. 8. Challenges and Opportunities <ul><li>Interdisciplinary consortium </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CIMNE, Spain (Project Management) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OU Business School, UK (Traders and Investors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Saxo Bank, Denmark (Traders and Investors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Sweden (Serious Games) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Erasmus University, The Netherlands (Cognitive Psychology) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forschungszentrum Informatik, Germany (Bio-sensors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OU Institute of Educational Technology, UK (Evaluation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to collaborate together effectively to achieve a common goal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>learn from each other and conduct top quality interdisciplinary research </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. F2F Collaborations <ul><li>Workshops to share knowledge and create games prototypes </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings to brainstorm ideas </li></ul>
  10. 10. Collaborative Technologies <ul><li>Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>secure wiki not ideal collaborative tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SVN </li></ul><ul><ul><li>secure document repository </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing software </li></ul><ul><li>Google Wave </li></ul><ul><li>Google Docs </li></ul><ul><li>Dropbox </li></ul><ul><li>Cloudworks </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul>
  11. 11. Social Technologies for Synchronous Collaboration <ul><li>Skype for audio </li></ul><ul><li>Google Wave for synchronous brainstorming, sharing links and collating ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Wave copied to Google docs for asynchronous collaboration to produce finished proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal downloaded to word and submitted via conference web site </li></ul>
  12. 12. Interdisciplinarity <ul><li>18 interviews with key TEL researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews and observations with xDelia partners </li></ul><ul><li>Research questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the nature of interdisciplinarity in TEL research? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What theories and methodologies are used? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the challenges to working in an interdisciplinary fashion? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How are technologies being used to support interdisciplinary work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the benefits of interdisciplinary research? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What strategies can be used to promote interdisciplinarity? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Technologies and users continually co-evolve. </li></ul><ul><li>TEL is an interdisciplinary field. </li></ul><ul><li>TEL researchers use a range of technologies to support research. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media are changing the way researchers work and collaborate. </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies provide the potential to break down disciplinary boundaries. </li></ul><ul><li>Many benefits to interdisciplinary working. </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary research is challenging. </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinarity offers new theoretical insights and methodological innovations. </li></ul><ul><li>Current structures are barriers to interdisciplinarity. </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinarity is essential for TEL research . </li></ul>
  14. 14. Conclusion <ul><li>Evaluation of xDelia has given us rich insights into an interdisciplinary project in action </li></ul><ul><li>Better understanding of the challenges and strategies for promoting interdisciplinary collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of choosing the right technologies for collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Effective use of technologies has proved crucial, alongside face-to-face communication </li></ul>
  15. 15. References <ul><li>Clough, Gill; Conole, Gráinne and Scanlon, Eileen (2010). Using participatory evaluation to support collaboration in an interdisciplinary context. In: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Networked Learning 2010, 3-4 May, 2010, Aalborg, Denmark. </li></ul><ul><li>Clough, Gill; Conole, Gráinne and Scanlon, Eileen (2009). Behavioural finance and immersive games: a pan-European framework for design and evaluation. In: Same places, different spaces - Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009, 6-9 December 2009, Auckland, New Zealand </li></ul><ul><li>Conole, Grainne and Alevizou, Panagiota (2010). A literature review of the use of Web 2.0 tools in Higher Education. HEA Academy, York, UK. </li></ul><ul><li>Conole, Grainne; Scanlon, Eileen; Mundin, Paul and Farrow, Robert (2010). Interdisciplinary Research: Findings from the TEL Research Programme. TEL Programme . </li></ul>
  16. 16. Gill Clough [email_address] Gráinne Conole Institute of Educational Technology The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA <ul><li> </li></ul>