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How can we represent the community better on this web site?

February 12th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

We are constantly thinking of ways to improve this web site. We know we still have some parts to finish – notably the publications. And we have been working on that for the last couple of weeks.

But the bit which has been bothering us is how to represent work in progress. We finally decided we would create two separate sections for publications and research. But we are not a traditional university type research organisation sitting for hours behind closed doors penning a new masterpiece. Most of our work involves close collaboration with others. And as webmeister Dirk pointed out, there is little opportunity for others to contribute to the site at the moment. Neither does the site sufficiently show off the work going on in the community.

So we are now working on a research zone for the site which will not only give access to our own work, but will highlight work by others. How will we do this? We are not quite sure. But it will feature feeds from Stephen Downes’ edublogger list, from Delicious, CiteULike, Slideshare and other social networking applications. We are looking at how we can use yahoo pipes to mash it all up.

And we are investigating how to migrate the site to WordPress MultiUser. With MU we can use the structured blogging forms developed for Freefolio to offer all those who have created an account on the site (with which you can do little at the moment) the opportunity to add content themselves. We are thinking about opening up a reviews section, recommended applications, an events section and more. OK – it is going to take a couple of days. But if you have any ideas on anything you would like to contribute to this web site please get in touch or better still just leave a comment. We especially would welcome ideas on how we can make the site more representative of the community at large.

Oh – one other thing. We manage the content through the categories. the list is getting horribly long. We should have probably split between categories for content management and used a keyword plug in to manage the kind of content. But it is a bit late for that. Does anyone know how we can manage the category list beeter? Can we split it in two? Are there any plug ins?

One Response to “How can we represent the community better on this web site?”

  1. Not sure if my comment will help. You might already have envisaged that. But what about creating a network we can join, and thus share useful links with each other while bookmarking them on to our one account.
    I was just bookmarking some links about open content and was thinking they might go well with one of your last posts about “Taccle”…
    Just an idea.

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    Digital Literacy

    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

    A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

    Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

    See here for more information

    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.

    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time

    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”

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