The web-site is now in readonly mode. Login and registration are disabled. (28 June 2019)

Use of cloudworks by Associate Lecturers

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
21 November 2009

I would be very keen to here views from Associate Lecturer's on cloudworks and how it might be used as a space for ALs to discuss learning and teaching issues and to share practice and experience.

  • What are your views of the site?
  • What ideas have you got for how it might be used?
  • The site is open and can be viewed by anyone - this has advantages (we have people looking at the site from 140 countries) but are there any issues with this, would it deter you from using the site?
  • Can you see this as a complementary 'open' space alongside existing closed OU-tutor forums?

Extra content

Embedded Content


Les Hereward
7:04pm 21 November 2009

I think Cloudworks could work very well.  My views are that Cloudworks has great potential, it is very simple to use at entry level.

In our CAU meeting with the Dean we discussed how to forge links with the research community at MK.  This to me seems a vital part of establishing ALs as scholars.  The Dean was not unhappy at this line of discussion but we were stumped as to how to put it into practice.

The advantage over the closed forums is that it has the potential to become a place where there can be communities sharing their research practice and that is copes with a diverse community...maybe a tool of choice if trying to join AL and MK based scholarship and more effective than private islands of closed forums.


Michelle A. Hoyle
7:13pm 21 November 2009 (Edited 7:18pm 21 November 2009)

I think it could be extremely useful to have an intranet-hosted Cloudworks for OU teaching staff that could be used by course teams, associate lecturers, staff tutors (maybe?, and central academics.  While I agree there are many uses for it to be seen worldwide, there are many things those people discuss that are purely OU-related and/or not really fit for external consumption.

It could be a great place for Course Teams to collect feedback and resources from ALs and staff tutors, for example.  Or associate lecturers might like to brainstorm some tutorial strategies for a specific course with snippets from the course content.  How about collaborating on developing marking guides, TMAs, or ECAs?  These are all, especially the last, examples where it might be better to have it on the intranet.  I know the permissions might not be as fine-grained for that as might be liked, but it would be a lot better than the whole world.

It's certainly friendlier to use than some other collaborative environments I've seen for teaching and learning strategy exploration.

Gráinne Conole
9:13am 22 November 2009

Hi Les I totally agree with your comment about the value of being open. We are already seeing in cloudworks that people are connecting across community boundaries in lots of unexpected ways. I also like your idea of linking ALs much more into the research work that the university undertakes, many ALs of course have done or are doing masters programmes and PhDs. Further the expertise ALs have 'in the field' as it were could be invaluable in a research context. So yes lets explore how cloudworks might be useful as a way of stating the conversation...


Gráinne Conole
9:17am 22 November 2009

Hi Michelle

We have delibrerately made cloudworks totally open, because we believe this is the only way to truly harness the potential of web 2.0 practices, We want to encourage cross-boundary conversations and although of course much that might be discussed by ALs and course teams would be OU-specific, much of it will also be generic and of interest to others. We already have closed spaces to discuss, such as the forums and of course you can always link to one of these in a cloud. You might like to look at the Landscape of Practice cloudscape which had linked to private spaces on a collective blog and wiki. So perhaps somesort of hyrbid like that might work....

Les Hereward
3:21pm 22 November 2009

Right so I shall try setting up a FELS cloud.  This is a bit new for me only been a consumer so far really, rather WEB 01 of me.  FELS AL reps would like a forum space so we will try an open one.  Then I need to think how to let the wider AL community know (and the MK FELS as well)  


Gráinne Conole
3:40pm 22 November 2009

Excellent! Good to have met you Les. When you set the cloud up I suggest you put in some suggestions as to how it might be used; i.e. as a space to discussion FELS AL-related issues and as a space to aggregate resources - by adding links etc. In fact thinking about it would it be an idea to set up a FELS AL cloudscape and then add clouds. That way you can have clouds on different issues... You might also want to point them to some of the help and advice as I did for the AL conference cloudscape - ie the cloudworks movie and the using cloudworks cloudscape. Hope this helps!!

Rebecca Galley
9:18am 25 January 2010

A Cloud has been set up to support this year's Learn about...Fair.


Contribute to the discussion

Please log in to post a comment. Register here if you haven't signed up yet.