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Literature review cloudscape: User survey - Please feedback your experience of using Cloudworks

Survey on user views about cloudworks

Cloud created by:

Rebecca Galley
26 August 2009

Thank you!

The Cloudworks Team.

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Tom Browne
9:46pm 15 October 2009

I do hope that if you have engaged with this Cloudscape in any way that you have completed the survey using the link above.

The use of Cloudworks for this project has been my first meaningful use of the software and I have found it a very enjoyable experience.  I'd like to express my thanks to several colleagues at the OU particularly to Rebecca Galley, for putting up with my misunderstandings and interminable questions.   Also to Grainne Conole, who has been a very passionate advocate for Cloudworks and has visited Exeter on a number of occasions to promote the software.  Finally, to Juliette Culver who has worked behind the scenes to fix bugs and add at incredibly short notice extra facilities for this work.  I'm sure I've missed out some key people.

Which brings me to my question - are there any other tools, or any better means by which we could have conducted this work?   Just to start the ball rolling, one feature I would have liked is the ability to 'harvest' the references and links directly into some bibliographic software that is compatible with e.g. EndNote.  That's an unfair request because I know the CloudWorks developers are working on this.

But anything else?

It would also be interesting to hear from our OU colleagues regarding how this work was perceived from their perspective.

Over to to.


Rebecca Galley
9:11am 16 October 2009

For me the interesting thing has been how the discussion has developed over time, and the role you have played in pulling themes together and prompting further discussion. I haven't yet done any proper anaysis on the Cloudscape but I think we can see that how  the questions are asked in the beginning (ie tone, focus, formality/ informality) is really key in encouraging or discouraging initial engagement but becomes less important as the discussion develops, themes emerge and relationship roles are established.

We had planned to add links and references later in development but your project brought these forward. The impact that these functionalities have had on levels of engagement and what Grainne calls the 'intelligence' of the Clouds has been significant.

It has also been the first time that the site has been used for what we are now calling an 'open review' but several similar, if less formal, Clouds have emerged - casting a net for literature, research and understanding around a particular area of interest.

I really hope you find a way of adding at least a summary of the ALT mailing list discussion as I have not been able to access it - I would be interested to compare the discussions. I wonder how far the technology and the closed/ open formats inflenced the content of these parallel discussions.


Tom Browne
12:12pm 16 October 2009

Writing some sort of summary of the Alt mailing list is definitely in hand.  Given time constraints, I am focussing on writing up the main part of the Report to the HEA and so I have 'sub-contracted' this task to someone else who is very well known and week regarded.  Watch this space.

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