Visiting Cloudworks November 16 2009
From [[http://cpsquare.org CPsquare]], the community of practice on communities of practice.
- Our field trip leader is Grainne Conole
- Community demographics: 1,300 members, mostly involved in higher education.
Cloudworks is an evolving, dynamic community for learning design. It is built on the premise that there is a network of social objects associated with learning design – tools, resources, approaches to design and people and the site is designed to facilitate connections between these objects. The site is made up of a range of ‘social objects’ concerned with shared educational practice; these include learning designs, but also tools and resources associated with the design process and creating learning activities, and profiles of individual users and communities. Cloudworks is designed to apply Web 2.0 principles to encourage sharing and reuse of designs, so that the site achieves critical mass and is self-sustaining through end-user engagement and contributions. The site includes simple user generated tagging, around three categories – pedagogy, tools and discipline. This approach, provide an interesting mixture of applying folksonomy, while maintaining some structure.
Cloudworks is being developed by the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University. It is part of the Open University Learning Design Initiative and is funded by both JISC and The Open University.
- Paper: (2008) Cloudworks: Social networking for learning design PDF
- Blog Post: (September 10, 2009) Cloudworks: Design Decisions
Viewing Cloudworks using the C4P model (some brief descriptions to get us started):
- Content - clouds, links, extra content (to improve clouds)
- Connections - follow people, follow cloudscapes initiated by other people, see what other people are doing
- Conversations - discussions anchored on clouds (topics, resources) initiated by others
- Context - notification of new contributions, attaching clouds to other cloudscapes
- Purpose - to support an evolving, dynamic community for learning design
- Why now?
For CPsquare: This is the second community visit in the quarterly field trip series. Cloudworks is an interesting example of a community that aims to address a very specific need -- to design and share educational practice.
For Cloudworks To date activities at Cloudworks include capturing discussions at at time-bounded events such as conferences and workshops. Flash Debates have also become popular. The site is proving useful as a mechanism for aggregating and discussing resources for a particular community of interest. However the broader vision of a site, where it acts as a conduit for sharing learning and teaching ideas and designs, where teachers upload ideas as a matter of course, and as a back channel drip feeding new innovations, has not yet being achieved and is a much more ambitious and difficult thing to realise. Barriers to this are social and cultural as well as technical, and it would be useful to explore some of these with CPSquare members. Also, we are beginning to explore how the site can be used to support other types of community, as well as looking at ways in which such community engagement can be initiated and sustained.
- What questions the community faces now?