Monday, 9 July 2007

Pathfinder Team meeting 2: sharing work-packages

We met on Friday over lunch with a good turn-out to discuss our 7 work-packages. We intended to get-to-grips with the technologies, approaches, time-scales and tasks, and then discuss the logistics of managing project capital and revenue resources. I think we came away confident that the project is taking shape.

Anyway, a synopsis of each work-package is appended herewith.

WP1: Academic staff development in use of Web 2.0 technologies

To investigate perceptions, and actual usage, of Web 2.0 technologies by new staff on the PGCert HE programme to enable new staff to consider the pedagogic implications and possibilities of using Web 2.0 technologies for teaching, learning and assessment. The aim is then to reinforce this within the faculties and monitor developments for the duration of the PGCert HE programme.

Deliverables: Web 2.0 resources for PGCert HE and curriculum delivery; Pathfinder blog and wiki; evaluation report.

WP2: Web 2.0: leaders and managers

In order to deliver the University’s new people-centred e-Learning Strategy, this work-package intends to engage leaders and managers with Web 2.0 technologies and approaches that their teams are using, or which might benefit their teams. This will be achieved though the HR leaders and managers training that is offered and will seek to help these staff innovate their practice.

Deliverables: implementation evaluation report; Pathfinder blog and wiki; process map.

WP3: Creating and using audio and video podcasts to enhance learning

The production of a guide for staff on producing and using podcasts in their module delivery, including an informed discussion of benefits and drawbacks, with examples of podcasts and their reception by students. The creation a user-group of advocates/users of this technology will be explored.

Deliverables: user guides; user group; library of podcasts; implementation evaluation; Pathfinder blog and wiki.

WP4: Web 2.0 and DMU Support Services

For academic staff to use Web 2.0 effectively it is crucial that the support departments also understand the use and appreciate Web 2.0, and furthermore, know how to maintain them. Support departments therefore have an important role to play but are generally reluctant to do so because they are not yet sufficiently capable, or moreover, simply not confident. In order to catalyse responsible adoption of Web 2.0, this work package will investigate, inform, and expose a variety of appropriate Web 2.0 technologies which can be easily harnessed and utilised by support staff.

Deliverables: Pathfinder blog and wiki; recipe-book/guide.

WP5: Retention and progression (learner support/support services)

An investigation of the extent of the gap (or perceived gap) in current provision of communication and information resources for students, focused upon on level- one students. Based on the outcomes of this investigation, we will pilot student peer-to-peer and student-staff networks. The aim is to empower students and to raise awareness and encourage the utilization of channels of communication and sources of information for students, which include Web 2.0 technologies.

Deliverables: Web 2.0 scenarios and an implementation evaluation report; Pathfinder blog and wiki; lessons-learned report.

WP6: Web 2.0 professional development

Traditionally professional development has been structured around face-to-face interventions and innovations. However, there is a range of social networking software that facilitates the sharing of content and processes, alongside interaction and discussion about approaches with subsequent adaptation. These can focus upon both formal and informal learning situations and involve multiple types of media. In evaluating these approaches this work-package will investigate:

· users’ perceptions of e-based professional development strategies and tasks to see the weaknesses and strengths of extant approaches; and

· innovations in delivery, in order to enhance retention and progression amongst users.

Deliverables: implementation evaluation report; Pathfinder blog and wiki; process map for embedding professional development; report on the impact of professional development workshops hosted in Second Life.

WP7: Dissemination and capability-building

This work-package will:

· work with the sector and the “We are D!” CAMEL community to develop shared professional development strategies and tasks, in order to evaluate the weaknesses and strengths of extant approaches; and

· map the use of dissemination strategies, in order to enhance the “stickiness” of specific solutions.

Deliverables: Pathfinder blog and wiki; recipe-book/guide.

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