Making Connections – tools in use

April 29, 2008

Karen Kear with John Woodthorpe were looking at the ways that people were moving from more conventional forum approach towards newer tools (blogs, wikis and online journals). The approach was to adjust tasks from posting to allow wiki uploads as a route. A survey was the main route to getting data, with 111 respondents. While the work is definitely worthwhile to understand the learner experience to introducing tools such as these, I also felt that it illustrated the difficulty of trying to add new technologies alongside the existing routes.  In particular aspects with doubts about shared editing rights, usability of unfamiliar tools wiki less easy than firstclass), with blog usage much lower and again not as usable as the familiar firstclass. On the other hand those who use it are positive about the concept and interest in innovation.


In OpenLearn we have found the provision of tools highly motivating when we present OpenLearn, but the investment in time in the new tools has also meant that usage is much lower than overall registration, which in turn is much lower than use of OpenLearn without registration (which means that the user cannot use the extra tools). The cross over between open blogs and closed private journals was raised, with a main take away point being privacy and control– as a sometime blogger I feel this as well: are these my notes or a message to the world!


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