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Promoting community engagement

Over the last two weeks we have been focusing on promoting community engagement on Cloudworks. Juliette has added a number of key functions - email alerts went live last week, and Cloudstreams for users, site and Cloudscapes are close to going live (although if you spot any bugs, please tell us!) We also think we have a solution to the problem of Twitter streams disappearing from Cloudscapes over time in TwapperKeeper an archiving site. Cloudscape creators can set this up themselves and create a link to the archive in the Cloudscape - we've added  reminder text to each Cloudscape page. We have also done some work on the search facility so that it can now recognise numbers. This will be especially useful for those collectively live-blogging at ALT-C next month. On that note, it will be interesting to see how well Cloudworks is able to work alongside and with ALT-C's Crowdvine, and how far the functionality of one complements the other.

From next week, Cloudworks will be hosting an open literature review discussion for Dr Tom Browne at Exeter University entitled 'The positioning of educational technologists in enhancing the student experience'. The discussion will be facilitated by Exeter until early September, but we are hoping that it will continue to be updated and reviewed over a longer period of time, providing a persistent and up to date resource for researchers in this area. We are  also interested to see how well Cloudworks promotes cross-boundary discussion, i.e. discussion which engages members of different Communities of Practice. Linda Gratton argues that this 'boundary spanning' is a key factor in innovative and buzzing professional environments and we certainly would like Cloudworks to be that!

'You always know when you are in a Hot Spot. You feel energised and vibrantly alive. Your brain is buzzing with ideas, and the people around you share your joy and excitement...the ideas and insights from others miraculously combine with your own in a process of synthesis from which spring novelty, new ideas and innovation" Lynda Gratton (2008, Hot Spots, p. 1)

Working with Exeter  has also been an excellent opportunity to discover what participants in online academic discussions really, really want, and this moves us closer to our targeted aim of providing an effective and engaging area for professional sharing and networking. For example, in response to a request from Exeter, Juliette is working on an area in their Cloudscape which will aggregate all literature references in the discussion and list these in a standardised format, providing a quick summary of the literature discussed. The discussion can be found here if you would like to follow it, and will formally start on Tuesday 2nd Sept if you would like to participate.

  Posted by Rebecca Galley on 26 August 2009

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