Options for Poly Wikis

Posted on August 24th, 2010 in Planning & Plotting,Polytechnic by Kirsty Tags: , ,

Options for Poly Wikis

This shows my current thinking about a way forward for wikis at the polytechnic. I’ll test it with some colleagues, project team members and through the student evaluation coming up.

Draft recommendations

  1. A combination of external and self-hosted wiki pages will give the following benefits:
    Branding and online presence as a leader in Open and Connected Learning.
    Participation in a wider, global community of educators and learners.
    Support with technical issues and ongoing maintenance. and so on
  2. Teachers use Wikiversity/WikiEducator to create and host their learning materials. Student group and collaborative work is also done on Wikiversity/WikiEducator.
  3. All materials from the Category “TasPoly” to be mirrored on a Polytechnic hosted wiki.  This builds in risk management as well as raising our profile in the global education community.
  4. A blog platform for learners and teachers to be hosted by the Polytechnic. Support also given to those staff and students for a limited range of externally hosted services eg Flickr, YouTube, Blogger, Edublogs…
  5. Staff and learners supported to use RSS readers to streamline accessing information from multiple points. This can be achieved through Outlook and/or Google Reader.
  6. Policy will support teachers releasing learning materials through a Creative Commons Attribution – ShareAlike licence.

Comments welcomed!

Report from Recent Changes Camp Participation

Posted on August 24th, 2010 in Planning & Plotting,Polytechnic,Reporting and Reading by Kirsty

Wednesday August 11th 2010

Recent Changes Camp was held at the University of Canberra, and organised by Leigh Blackall. It was held as an ‘unconference’ which means that the schedule and agenda are framed by the participants at the start of the day around a central theme, in this case, wikis. The group formed a list of potential sessions and then placed names against which sessions they would like to attend.
URL: http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/University_of_Canberra/RCC_Canberra
Through the day there were four sessions held:

  • Usability and accessibility
  • Wikiversity
  • Wikis for learning and education
  • Conversations and community behind wikis

My expectations prior to the event were to learn more about how other individuals and organisations were using wikis, both for learning and other purposes. I was also seeking wisdom about implementation and hosting implications.

During the sessions I captured my notes in mindmap form on my iPad as shown below (click thunbnails for larger images). The process I used is documented here.

Wikis in EducationCommunication behind the wikisSummary of my notes from #ucrccUsability session

One happy feature of an event like this is the shared note taking – notes were taken on the events Wikiversity pages (http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/University_of_Canberra/RCC_Canberra) and also in Twitter (link to hashtag archive for #ucrcc)

What came from the event for me?
1. I was able to start making decisions about our wiki solution for the Tasmanian Polytechnic. More here -
2. A recognition that the names Wikiversity/WikiEducator may actually be a barrier to teachers and students in our VET context or maybe not. This needs to be tested in student and teacher consultation.
3. Initial research suggests that an alternative to wiki pages is needed for student reflection/ journal type information for privacy, ownership and longevity.
4. A recognition that with the wiki work underway at the Poly we are actually a fair way down the path in terms of organisational approach, and there is much further we could go.
5. It would be useful to have a program on net safety and digital literacy that teachers could adopt and also be available to all learners. This is not just related to wikis, it is broader.
6. Participation in future events will be very useful as we move forward, and in terms of organisation it may be fairly simple to host a RCC event ourselves (plan for 2011?)
7. It reinforced the direction that we are taking with this year’s project, and that it is of strategic importance in relation to the development of learning activities and support materials that we adopt an open approach to facilitate collaboration.

Edit: Update links in post

Opening Up Educational Resources: Proposal

Posted on March 4th, 2010 in Learning Resources,Planning & Plotting,Polytechnic by Kirsty

A Polytechnic-wide project submitted this week for Australian Flexible Learning Framework Elearning Innovations funding.

Learners will access, use, create and contribute to wiki based materials throughout their learning programs, with a focus on open educational resources.
This project is to embed the reuse, remix and creation of open educational resources (OERs), specifically those based on a wiki platform. This follows from the successful 2009 investigation that demonstrated the suitability of wiki platforms for our context. Many Polytechnic teachers have already heard about the successful wiki trials and are interested in pursuing this approach in their own areas. “The OER movement seeks to stimulate, facilitate and catalyze growth of the pool of learning resources on the Internet which circumvent barriers to access and lift restrictions on usage, thus improving education as a social good” (WikiEducator). This philosophy of education being open and accessible to all is in alignment with the mission and values of the Tasmanian Polytechnic.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Space-Case

Lots of arm waving and diagrams on whiteboards and on the back of bits of paper went into conceiving and planning this one.
Fingers crossed

Drilling down into project detail

Posted on February 27th, 2009 in Planning & Plotting by Kirsty Tags:

I’ve admired my previously posted list of 2009 projects and thought about how nice it looked. I’ve been carrying the original paper based version with me for reference. And then a blog post somewhere in the ether pointed out that 15% of 2009 is already gone. Yikes!

So here’s more detailed thinking on one of the projects.

End Point: Elearning Central is the definitive home for elearning in the PolytechnicElearning Central Screenshot

What does this mean?
• When Poly people want to find out something to do with elearning, they go to this site.
• It becomes the first place to look.
• Information is trusted, credible, sufficient and thorough.
Measures that relate
1. Depth and Breadth of coverage of our supported tools and approaches
2. Through increased site usage stats – eg page visits, downloads
3. Through breadth and volume of people using for information, blogging, commenting, as a wiki.

Major Action Area 1: Depth and Breadth of Coverage
1. Develop benchmark for coverage per topic area (by March 6th)
2. Evaluate the coverage (completeness, accuracy, relevance) of the current site (by March 6th with some focus)
3. Identify first- and second-tier products that need redevelopment/ review in our pages (by March 6th)
4. Schedule/ Delegate time for actioning as appropriate (by March 13th)
5. Review as allocated and monitor progress (6 weeks to April 24th)

Note: we have started work on this as we go about our work. A more systematic approach will get us there quicker.
Major Action Area 2: Increase site traffic for information access
1. Develop promotional material – eg flyer, include on our documents, team insyte page (by April 1st)
2. Monitor usage of pages, eg most visited, search terms, downloads of docs. (ongoing)

Note: We’ve talked about this many a time, but not followed through strategically with the documentation.
Major Action Area 3: Develop engagement with site other than simple information access
1. Twist arms of Encourage RD team into blogging on a regular basis. Build reasons for blogging.
2. Locate Elearning Innovation support community there as well.
3. Promote option to comment or participate
4. Develop forums in the field of elearning for general (authenticated) users and RDA CoPs etc.
5. Investigate other ways in which the site can develop

Note: This probably requires the deepest thought. More coffee required.

The Major Action Areas need to be tackled in that order as with the restructure work needs to be done to bring us up-to-date. And then general traffic needs to be built, leading to deeper engagement.

Proposed projects for 2009

Posted on February 20th, 2009 in Planning & Plotting,Polytechnic by Kirsty

This year it is exciting to think I have time for a more proactive, strategic approach to learning materials and elearning implementation. After having my head intensely in the space of initial set up of the Resource Development team, I’ve sat and asked myself, so what will I do? Prompted in part by my new colleague Roger Stack, and a recent post from Leigh Blackall amongst others, as well as a strong desire to make 2009 truly amazing.

Here’s what I’ve targeted:

  1. Case study on rapid development processes and tools (Print and elearning)
  2. Developing Elearning Central to become the definitive home of elearning information for the Polytechnic
  3. Establising Elluminate as a key tool used across the Polytechnic
  4. Collaborate on ePortfolio solutions for the Polytechnic
  5. Research into best practice for print resources
  6. Become a regular blogger (again) about my field and experiences
  7. Establish the Resource Development Team
  8. Develop an organisational approach to quality assurance for learning resources
2009 Projects and Focus Areas

2009 Focus Areas

These projects tap into various aspects of my role being:

  • Leadership – of my team, in my team and in my field
  • Connection – by role modelling shared and open knowledge practice and seeking mutual benefit
  • Innovation – pushing the boundaries and maintaining the passion, keeping an eye on the horizon
  • Embedding – making real the Polytechnic learning model through the tools and techniques at our disposal for the mainstream
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