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SocialLearn and Cloudworks: Developing your PhD Skills with online tools

Rebecca Ferguson, Workshops 6G and 7G

Cloud created by:

14 March 2010

Rebecca Ferguson

Wednesday 24 March, 1.45-2.45pm
Workshop 6G
Second floor library, Information Suite

Wednesday 24 March, 3.15-4.15pm
Workshop 7G
Second floor library, Information Suite

Cloudworks includes a set of resources that can be used to help you to develop your research skills. It also offers the possibility of discussing these skills online, and sharing useful links and references.

SocialLearn provides an additional set of tools that support your use of Cloudworks and other relevant websites.

Rebecca Ferguson is a Research Fellow in the Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University, working on the university’s SocialLearn project. Her main research interest is in how people learn together successfully online. This has included investigations of learners’ use of forums, blogs, wikis and virtual worlds, and of how these technologies can be used to complement face-to-face interaction. Her PhD, which she completed in IET, focused on the construction of shared knowledge through asynchronous dialogue. Her current focus is on how social learning tools can be used to help postgraduate students locate and make sense of the resources they need.

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Nancy Rowell
6:40pm 17 March 2010

Well, I shall be very interested to see if anyone bothers with using this.

How can you tell if anyone has added a comment to any discussion without visiting every page in turn? That is exceptionally time-consuming.

8:40am 18 March 2010 (Edited 9:29am 18 March 2010)

Hi Nancy, Click the green 'Follow' box at the top of any Cloud to receive email notifications when material is added.

Another option, if you don't want to receive emails, is to watch the Cloudscape. The column on the right shows the Cloudscapes which contain a Cloud. In the case of this one, it is 'PGRS Methods Conference 2010'. This shows you the cloudstream of all the related clouds, in one place. You can choose to view all activity or, for example, just the discussion or just the new references.

A third option is to use the RSS feed from the cloudstream to access the latest updates from your feed reader or toolbar.

Nancy Rowell
11:03am 18 March 2010

Thanks for this - I can now see that the top level tells you how many comments have been made and that's all I wanted to know. When there are none you can't tell.

I have absolutely no desire to receive emails (including the email that repeated what you have put here - how can I switch that off?) and I have no idea what an RSS feed or feed reader are, nor do I want to find out. It just seems like a way to be bombarded with a load of stuff, most of which is of no interest to me whatsoever.

I shall log in occasionally, when I fancy and have time to read, to see if anything's happening. But mostly I haven't got time for this kind of stuff.

Nancy Rowell
11:18am 18 March 2010

I have now discovered that anything I write here gets displayed on the cloudstream of cloudworks homepage. That is absolutely dreadful. I assumed that anything posted here was only accessible to those attending the methods conference and who logged in to this "cloud" or whatever it's called.

No way do I want what I say to be put elsewhere, so this is the last contribution I shall make.

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