Cloudworks Vision Statement
Cloudworks is a site for finding, sharing and discussing learning and teaching ideas, experiences and issues. The aims are to:
- enable people to find, share and discuss learning and teaching ideas
- connect people with similar educational interests through social networking
- provide inspiration on designing learning activities and developing resources
- showcase the work of individuals and communities who want to reach existing but also new audiences
- provide a place for different communities to discuss, collaborate and aggregate relevant materials, ideas and designs
- encourage sharing, especially among people who have not shared learning and teaching ideas and experiences before.
Unlike many existing educational repositories, the emphasis is on building a dynamic collection of ideas and experiences; via a variety of educational content (learning designs, case studies, resources and tools) plus active discussions about the use and effectiveness of this content in different contexts. The voice of users of the site, their experience, reviews and reflections on the content of the site is a central feature. We plan to do this in the following ways:
- Ensure a low barrier to entry for new contributions. We believe that one of the main barriers to contribution to other repositories is the level of detail and metadata required, cumbersome quality control processes and issues around ownership.
- Give the site a people-orientated focus. It is conversation and shared experiences that will draw people to contribute to the site and make it sustainable. Finding the right person to talk to is often as important as finding the right resource.
- Make all content contributed to the site publicly accessible.
- Target people most likely to contribute to a public site, as well as consume content from it. This will include those with support roles in institutions (such as learning technologists, instructional designers, educational developers), as well as learning and teaching innovators and 'e-learning champions'.
- Ensure that the site acts as a conduit; by aggregating content from related sites and through APIs, so that users can access the data on the site from elsewhere. This will ensure maximum uptake and repurposing of the content from the site and enable people to use it in innovative ways we may not have anticipated.
The target audience is practitioners in HE and FE, although the site may also be of interest to other formal and informal educational sectors. We accept that there will be a higher percentage of consumers than contributors, however over time we hope to increase the level of engagement with the site, encouraging a larger number of educators to share and discuss their ideas and practice.
Cloudworks is being developed by the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University. It is part of the Open University Learning Design Initiative (OULDI) project and is funded by both the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and The Open University.