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Workshop by Rebecca Galley & Nick Freear at the Staff & Educational Development Association (SEDA) annual conference, 17-18 November 2011. We talked about the open-source CloudEngine project, and it's relation to the JISC OULDI project.
Comments? http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/5100 Presentation license: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ This presentation will review the development of the open source CloudEngine software and provide an update on the prototype site Cloudworks CloudEngine: http://getcloudengine.org CloudEngine Demo: http://dev.getcloudengine.org CloudEngine blog: http://cloudengineblog.wordpress.com OULDI blog: http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/OULDI Project mailbox: email@example.com Who else? Juliette Culver – Lead/ original developer (on maternity leave) Gráinne Culver – OULDI project lead Rebecca Galley – Open University Learning Design Initiative (Project Officer) Richard Lovelock – Cloudworks/ CloudEngine developer
What and who is FLOSS? A useful aside for end-users… Don’t conflate free software with free beer (low-cost at point of download is a nice side-effect!) Helen Beatham’s keynote was very interesting, but IMHO was wrong to mention open-source and amateurs… For example, check out the list of affiliations for Moodle contributors – http://moodle.org/mod/cvsadmin/view.php?cid=1 Where Steve Jobs (RIP) was a poster-man for the digital revolution, and enriched by it, Dennis Ritchie (9 September 1941-12 October 2011) of AT&T/Bell Labs was an unsung hero – C is pervasive or influential in Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, mobile phones, networking, embedded systems… (with C++/ Objective C)…, See Time O’Reilly and others’ commentary – http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/10/dennis-ritchie-day.html
A formal 'mission' would be: Develop software to make creating social web sites easier Keep the essence of Cloudworks Keep it small and lightweight Make it flexible, extensible, usable, accessible. What CloudEngine is not: Not a 'Swiss army knife', eg. a general purpose Content Management System/ CMS. Not a desktop tool!
Technical Uses PHP 5 and MySQL Built on CodeIgniter MVC framework - lightweight, easy to learn Prefers Apache and mod_rewrite Clean URLs Uses jQuery, Tiny MCE editor, Mollom anti-spam oEmbed for embedding GNU Gettext for localization Configurable REST API, internationalization, moderation… Built with accessibility & standards in mind
Development of the site began with a clear statement of the problem we were trying to address and the outline of some broad principles 1. Low barrier to entry – imperfect is OK! 2. Folksonomies not taxonomies 3. Tool-agnostic 4. People-orientated 5. Open 6. Link with communities, rather than replace 7. Recognise role of learning technologists and other mediators 8. Encourage discussion of learning design problems 9. Recognise ownership issues 10. Release early, release often
(Slide by Rebecca.) DBR - An iterative cycle of rapid prototyping, user testing and adaptation Development of the site began with a clear statement of the problem we were trying to address, and a proposed solution which drew on ideas of mediation and activity theory for designing object oriented sociality (see Conole and Culver, 2009; Bouman et al, 2007; Engeström, 2005). We then began an iterative cycle of development and evaluation. Many of you will already be familiar with the prototype site – Cloudworks...( next slide)
and a proposed solution which drew on ideas of mediation and activity theory Jyri Engström http://www.zengestrom.com/blog/2005/04/why-some-social-network-services-work-and-others-dont-or-the-case-for-object-centered-sociality.html http://annlytical.com/phd/2011/6/23/engstrom-2005.html Cloudworks has been developed in order to support these social, collaborative and dialogic design processes - throughout development we have drawn considerably on the work of Engestrom, Dron and Anderson, and Bouman. Firstly, the site is essentially object-centred rather than ego-centred in nature. Engestrom focuses on the notion of social objects, saying that: The term 'social networking' makes little sense if we leave out the objects that mediate the ties between people. Think about the object as the reason why people affiliate with each specific other and not just anyone... And goes on to argue: “ The fallacy is to think that social networks are just made up of people. They're not; social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object.”
And for designing object oriented sociality (see Conole and Culver, 2009; Bouman et al, 2007;). We then began an iterative cycle of development and evaluation Core to this approach are a number of assumptions which come from Bouman et al. Firstly, that the system needs to accommodate both the evolution of practices and the inclusion of newcomers. Secondly, that individual identity is important so there needs to be a mechanism to enable the development of identities. Thirdly they argue that people are more inclined to use software systems that resemble their daily routines, language and practices than to adopt whole new concepts, interfaces and methods. And that metaphors and structures that mimic real life practices are likely to be more successful
Development of the Alpha Cloudworks prototype in Drupal February 2008 Launch of the Beta Cloudworks prototype in CodeIgniter July 2009 Release of CloudEngine free and open source software October 2010 A place for sharing and discussions learning and teaching ideas Application of the best of Web 2.0 practices Launched July 2009 Over 4000 registered users Over 95,000 unique visitors (on average over 1000 unique visitors a week) – as of mid-June 2011. Cloudworks is a social network specifically aimed at supporting sharing and dialogue between educators, technologists, strategists and policy makers. New pedagogies and innovative use of technologies seem to offer so much in terms of providing new, exciting educational experiences for learners. However taken as a whole, the majority of educational offerings are still based on fairly traditional approaches, with a primary focus on content and assessment of outcomes, delivered via traditional didactic approaches. Educational innovations in both pedagogical approaches and innovative use of technologies remain the remit of educational innovators or early adopters It is important not to underestimate the barriers which are not just technical, but also pedagogical and organisational in nature. As part of the OULDI project we have conducted many interviews with teachers working in HE and they tell us for example: [there is a] “problem of doing something new (for example, oral assessment). Innovation is encouraged in the university but systems are quite set in their ways.” They often mention a lack of time or lack of skills or that they receive not support or rewards for using technologies. There is an inherent tension between the pressures of excelling in research versus promoting innovative approaches to learning and teaching. Teachers lack the necessary new forms of digital literacies needed to make effective use of new technologies, and some have concerns as to whether or not these new technologies are indeed any better than existing approaches They tell us that what they want are case studies, other practitioners to talk to and discuss ideas with - and it is this need that Cloudworks hopes to address.
We argue that existing frameworks designed to examine and support activity in primarily closed online communities, whilst relevant, do not sufficiently enable us to describe and explain the activity patterns and behaviours we are seeing in this open space. We propose that the CIF can be used to observe and capture the development of productive open communities (i.e. to explore how far cohesive, productive groups can be said to be emerging or not) and also help focus future development of the platform, and provide guidelines for community support. Our interest is in supporting the process of development of weak ties between groups to the stronger more cohesive ties that can be seen to emerge from repeated and iterative collaborative activity that happens within, across and between more established communities. Our framework focuses on supporting 4 aspects: Firstly Participation – Encouragement and support for a core group of participants, who contribute regularly and in encourage the engagement and activity of others. Strategies to engage or ‘nudge’ participants to make repeated contributions. Ways of prompting people to contribute into the wider Cloudworks space and draw others back to the designs. Identification of the special roles participants can take on and understanding of the hierarchical structures which we can see are effective in promoting and supporting collaborative activity. Secondly Cohesion – Providing a space that fosters professional and friendly discussion which encourages new, and perhaps inexperienced, visitors to participate. A space where people show a willingness to listen and learn from others. Thirdly Identity – Support for communities in establishing a shared vocabulary and phraseology. A place where participants can start to feel a sense of belonging, or sense of ‘us’. And finally, Creative capability – Ensuring that visitors to the site understand the purpose of what they are doing. Are helped to develop the skills they need to participate in the space. Feel drawn to participate and get involved. A framework so that they feel able to share experiences from a variety of different contexts, contradict and challenge assumptions and establish and articulate links between concepts and ideas?
Screen-shot from blog-post by Richard Lovelock, http://cloudengineblog.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/search-usability-enhancements/ Search – before… BUG - some searches failed – eg. “Events” All results were listed – the screen-shot above has the annotation “Very large page to scroll through”! No indication of relevance/ score, how results were ordered etc. Usability testing showed that people didn’t concentrate on the top few results – influence of adverts/ Google sponsored links??
Search enhancements – after… Performance fixes – fixed the bug for searches like “events”, Usability enhancements – shorter lists, tabs, Uses SimplePager, http://www.geckonewmedia.com/blog/2009/8/20/simplepager---jquery-paging-plugin--updated Browser plug-in By Richard Lovelock (and Nick Freear) Screen-shot, http://cloudworks.ac.uk/search/result?q=JISC
Messaging Private, direct To multiple participants By Richard Lovelock
Roadmap – code development Roadmap – community/ sustainability Potential internal uses: Curriculum Business Model site Knowledge Network “replacement”
ROADMAP Search enhancements – Done. Messaging – Done. HTML5, forms – Started. More embeds – LAMS, Prezi, Google Spreadsheets, OU player (OU embed/ oEmbed). Improved project site. * Pluggable authentication? * Extensions, integrations, API, RDFa… You help decide! Ideas for integration - consume feeds, data etc. Eg. integrate with Moodle....?
(Slide by Rebecca) A rigorous programme of user testing and feedback, and usability and accessibility audits, have informed the development of support and guidance materials which happened in parallel with the technical development - and include videos, presentations and documents aimed at supporting activity and collaboration on the site. Most of this support and guidance is underpinned by research and has been empirically tested. We believe many of our findings are transferable to other open network platforms and the Cloudworks guidance and support has been designed so that it can be easily repurposed to support activity on any CloudEngine community.
CloudEngine: Creating networks for professional development and research Presentation Cloud: cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/5937 Dr Nick Freear (firstname.lastname@example.org) Rebecca Galley (email@example.com) The Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, UK. #sedaconf16
What who FLOSS? <ul><ul><li>Free / libre / open-source software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Free as in speech, not as in beer” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Help thy neighbour” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GNU General Public License; MIT License; BSD License… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly by professional developers, system administrators… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Day job or “spare time” or a mix, cf. Moodle, Redhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RIP Dennis Ritchie – developer of C, co-dev of UNIX </li></ul></ul>
What? <ul><li>CloudEngine is an easy way to create a social web site - using 'Clouds' and 'Cloudscapes' </li></ul><ul><li>Ideal for events & discussion </li></ul><ul><li>CloudEngine is lightweight, fast & fully-featured </li></ul><ul><li>It's free & open source software , licensed under the GPL! </li></ul><ul><li>CloudEngine powers Cloudworks </li></ul>
Who? <ul><li>Professor Grainne Conole Academic lead </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Juliette Culver Lead Cloudworks Developer </li></ul><ul><li>Rebecca Galley Evaluation, support and guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Nick Freear Lead CloudEngine Developer, API, Internationalization </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Lovelock Direct messaging, admin interface, configuration </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen Turvey (Yep Design) Graphic design, Cloudworks and Aurora themes) </li></ul><ul><li>Martha Vasiliadou Translation (Greek) funded by the EU via the EUPT3 project </li></ul>
Features <ul><ul><li>Clouds, Cloudscapes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct messaging - NEW </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Host & archive events - workshops etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search, tags, user profiles, Cloudstreams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Favourite & follow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed video, slides, Twitter ... (oEmbed) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds, API </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internationalized – currently English & Greek! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Admin: statistics, moderation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessible, extensible, themable </li></ul></ul>
Design methodology ‘ the fluid, empathetic, dynamic, environment-responsive, future-orientated and solution-focused nature of design’. Kelly et al. (2008, p.5) Design-based research approach (DBR)
<ul><li>Object centred rather than person-centred in nature </li></ul>juhansonin http://www.flickr.com/photos/juhansonin/2250554147/ “ The fallacy is to think that social networks are just made up of people. They're not; social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object.” (Engestrom, 2005) Theoretical frameworks
Theoretical frameworks <ul><li>Design framework based on sociality </li></ul>juhansonin http://www.flickr.com/photos/juhansonin/2250554147/ <ul><li>The system needs to accommodate both the evolution of practices and the inclusion of newcomers </li></ul><ul><li>Individual identity is important so the system needs to support this </li></ul><ul><li>People are more likely to use software that resemble their daily routines, language and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Bouman et al. (2007) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Launched July 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Over 4500 registered users </li></ul><ul><li>Over 95,000 unique visitors (1000+ unique visitors/ week) </li></ul><ul><li>Core of regular users; active discussions; events… </li></ul>Cloudworks...
15 min activity: Cloudquest <ul><li>Cloudquest Cloud: http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/5945 </li></ul>1. If you haven't already done so, create a Cloudworks account (you can view anything on the site, but to post comments or add anything you need an account) 2. You may wish to open your search in a new tab or page in your browser so that you can easily navigate back to this cloud 3. If you are new to Cloudworks you might like to take a look at our 'Using Cloudworks Cloudscape'. 4. Explore the site to find answers to the challenge questions Finally... Post answers to the questions on the activity Cloud Review and respond to the answers of others
<ul><li>Discourse-centred online ethnography </li></ul>Evaluation strategy <ul><li> “ a combination of systematic observation of online activities and interviews with online actors”. </li></ul><ul><li>(Androutsopoulos, 2008, p.1) </li></ul><ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews and surveys </li></ul>Galley et al. 2011
Recent developments <ul><li>More embeds: LAMS, Prezi, OU player ( Extends our use of oEmbed http://embed.open.ac.uk) </li></ul><ul><li>Search fixes/ usability enhance </li></ul><ul><li>HTML5 forms </li></ul><ul><li>Direct messaging </li></ul>
Search before… <ul><li>Search bug </li></ul><ul><li>Usability “Very large page to scroll…” </li></ul><ul><li>Score/ relevance? </li></ul>
Roadmap <ul><li>Embeds: CompendiumLD/ SVG… </li></ul><ul><li>Plugins: authentication, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrade to CodeIgniter 2 </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul><ul><li>Project site – CloudEngine powered! </li></ul><ul><li>More internal/ external uses </li></ul><ul><li>Community, sustainability </li></ul>
Get involved <ul><ul><li>CloudEngine is a free and open source project and we very much encourage and appreciate any contributions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute feedback, publicity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute documentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute code </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute translations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas for integration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get Cloud Engine… </li></ul></ul></ul>
Further reading... <ul><li> Alevizou, P., Galley, R. and Conole, G., (2011) Collectivity, performance and self-representation: Analysing Cloudworks as a public space for networked learning and reflection in Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning. Ed. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L., Hodgson, V. and McConnell, D. London: Springer </li></ul><ul><li>Conole, Grainne (2010). Facilitating new forms of discourse for learning and teaching: harnessing the power of Web 2.0 practices. Open Learning , 25(2), pp. 141–151. </li></ul><ul><li>Conole, G. and Culver, J. (2009), The design of Cloudworks: applying social networking practice to foster the exchange of learning and teaching ideas and designs, special issue of CAL09, Computers and Education , doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2009.09.013 </li></ul><ul><li>Galley, R., Conole, G. and Alevizou, P. (forthcoming) Community Indicators: A framework for observing and supporting community activity on Cloudworks Journal of Interactive Learning Environments </li></ul>
Presentation references <ul><li>Bouman, W., Hoogenboom, T., Jansen, R., Schoondorp, M., de Bruin, B. and Huizing, A. (2007), The Realm of Sociality: Notes on the Design of Social Software , PrimaVera Working Paper Series, Amsterdam: Universiteit Van Amsterdam, [accessed 7/8/08] http://choo.fis.utoronto.ca/fis/courses/lis2176/Readings/bouman.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Engeström, J. (2005). Why some social network services work and others don't - Or: the case for object-centered sociality . Zengestrom Blog, weblog posting, 13th April 2005. [accessed 19/11/09] http://www.zengestrom.com/blog/2005/04/why_some_social.html </li></ul><ul><li>Kelly, A. E., Baek, J. Y., Lesh, R. A., & Banna-Ritland, B. (2008). Enabling innovations in education and systematizing their impact. In A. E. Kelly, R. A. Lesh & J. Y. Baek (Eds.), Handbook of design research methods in education: innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning and teaching (pp. 3-18). New York and London: Routledge. </li></ul>
Thank you <ul><li>Go to http://getcloudengine.org </li></ul><ul><li>Take the Cloudworks virtual field trip http://youtu.be/N0HjlyU8OAU </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/5100 </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter @nfreear @Rebeccagalley </li></ul><ul><li>Email: firstname.lastname@example.org </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation is available for download from SlideShare via cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/5937 </li></ul>Useful links