Atelier-D Project

The embedded video below was submitted for the OU 'Learning in an Open World' conference

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Karen Cropper
17 June 2010

The embedded video below was submitted for the OU 'Learning in an Open World' conference (22 -23 June 2010) by Georgina Holden.  Please add any comments or questions here.

This video is linked to another cloud and submission for the same conference 'What is a Design Atelier?'

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added by Karen Cropper


Martin Weller
8:29am 25 June 2010

Thanks for the vid - it gave a good, clear overview of the project. I have a couple of questions about the project itself and then one relating to the conference.

On the project, I guess one you get asked a lot is 'why use some bespoke software such as design studio instead of stuff out there such as Flickr?'

Your conclusions around SecondLife don't surprise me - it seems a niche interest tool (some people absolutely love it, but a lot just don't get it at all - me included). Your comment about trying Wave was interesting and I guess highlights the issue of always running to catch up in a project like this. There is always a new technology released, which may or may not be significant (so far Wave seems not, but who knows?). So I suppose what you are really doing is not getting people to use Technology X but to be confident to use whatever technology.

Lastly, from your view of getting people to engage with new technologies, what do you think we could do if we were running another online conference to get more involvement?

Thanks again,


Georgina Holden
1:10pm 1 July 2010


To answer your question albeit belatedly, there are two factors at play. It was clear in the development of the earlier OpenStudio interface that the university prefers interfaces that it has control over. However, that said, the use of a bespoke interface has enabled some things that would not be possible in Flickr, eg dedicated slots for completed activities and automatic allocation to tutor group cohorts.This is a bit of a swings and roundabouts question, for students with little or no familiarity with photo-sharing interfaces ODS offers a safe environment in which to get used to this way of communicating. On the other hand, as I understand it, there have been technical issues with ODS which mean that the student experience is not always as designed (e.g slow loading , problems with the audio commenting function on some machines), these are not properties of the interface itself but they do affect user perceptions. We are hoping to trial ODS with a conventional university and it will be interesting to see how it is received and used in a face to face setting.

As for how to get greater participation in an online conference, this is really tricky, I have been to several and I have observed the same issue at most of them. Maybe one way would be to allocate would be/potential participants some area of responsibility, eg if you want to upload a video presentation you have to commit to  comment on three others. A participants rating might accompany each person, like an amazon seller, so that there would be an incentive to be commenting and favouriting other people's work.

I think it would also have been helpful to register people as contributions were received and interest was expressed and follow up by email, relying on the Cloudworks instructions meant that there were no prompts (at least not that I can find). I attended an online conference run by Leicester and the email reminders were plentiful, including reminders that speakers were about to speak.. this really helped as it is so easy to get bogged down in other stuff when sitting at the computer.

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