• #OUConf10

    OU Conference – talks as separate files

    Karen Cropper and Paul Harris here in IET have done sterling work in chopping up all the Elluminate sessions from the OU Conference, so you can now access each talk separately. The start and finish of each one isn't very smooth since they are taken from the larger stream, but once you get started it works well. They are all available on the OU Podcast site. They seem to be separate files at the moment, so not embeddable, but we'll try and get around to that, but they are downloadable, so you can put them on your iPod (other devices are available) and listen whenever. Here is Jimmy Wales' talk…

  • #OUConf10,  conference,  openness,  Research

    OU conference – evaluation

    Following on from the previous two posts looking at the OU conference, this final one in the trilogy looks at some evaluation. I am particularly indebted to Karen Cropper, Rebecca Ferguson and Juliette Culver for doing much of the analysis for this post. Evaluation took four main forms: A questionnaire of attendees in surveymonkey Statistics from cloudworks Analysis of twitter users adopting the #OUConf10 hashtag Analysis of the elluminate sessions Questionnaire There were 102 responses to the questionnaire. Below are some charts representing salient issues:   Most attendees were central staff, but there was a significant audience that had no connection to the OU, and a mix across other categories.…

  • #OUConf10,  conference

    OU conference – areas for improvement

    In my last post I set out how we organised the conference, in this one I'll suggest (with input from Karen) some things we might do differently next time. Ensure that speakers have good mic and earphones and have practiced in Elluminate beforehand. Unless they are experienced with presenting online, it is probably a good idea to insist on practice session. If speakers are based in the same location then it might be better for them to be in the same or nearby room.  The same applies for any standby speaker ready to step in if there are problems with the advertised speaker. If speakers are in other locations, we…

  • #OUConf10,  conference

    How to organise an online conference

      Or rather, how we (which is Karen Cropper and I) organised the OU online conference this year. You might like to take this as a template to use if you're thinking of running a similar event, although obviously you may want to vary the technologies, structure, etc.  This is the first in a series of posts on the conference which will cover organisation, suggestions for improvement and evaluation. Technology We used two main technologies: Cloudworks and Elluminate The Cloudworks site acted as the main web site and the asynchronous discussion forum. We set it up as an ‘event’, which adds in a button ‘Mark as attending’, so we had…

  • #OUConf10,  conference

    Online conferences & the legitimacy deficit

    (Wordle of OU Conference – we asked participants to give us 3 words describing it)  In the second post following up on the OU online conference, I want to explore some issues around perceptions of online conferences. The feedback from the conference thus far has been almost entirely positive (I'll blog the questionnaire results later), but I have also picked up a couple of issues which I think are worth pulling out. It strikes me that in some ways online conferences are in a similar position to distance learning 40 years ago, or elearning 10 years ago. They have a legitimacy deficit to some, and thus have to work extra…

  • #OUConf10,  conference,  content

    Some thoughts on open conference contributions

    Over the next few posts I'll be commenting on aspects of the Open University conference which I've just finished running. You can view the playback of all sessions from here.  I'll cover reflections on the conference and what we did in separate posts. In this one I wanted to look at some of the contributions we got from people in Cloudworks. We had a fixed agenda of speakers (I thought multiple strands would be too confusing in Elluminate), but asked for multi-media contributions from anyone, highlighting their project. You can see all the contributions here.  To be honest I don't think we used these as well as we could have…

  • #OUConf10

    OU Conference – agenda (and backup)

    Tomorrow is the OU Conference, which we're running in Elluminate and Cloudworks. The final agenda is below, if you haven't seen it. We're seeing this as an experiment this year and so will be evaluating it. An open online conference plays into a few agendas at the moment: economical; green ICT & impact. After the conference I am going to outline what we've done so others can use it. Oh, and this post is also acting as a backup in case Cloudworks should fall over. Note that each session has a separate Elluminate URL (so we can record them and release as separate resources), and the limit for each session…

  • #OUConf10,  higher ed,  openness

    Open Conference video interviews

    I conducted a set of interviews for the OU Conference. They all focused around the same 4 questions: What are the benefits of technology for learning? What are the interesting areas around openness at the moment? Are there any interesting trends we should watch over the next few years? What do you think about the open, online approach of the conference? I interview our Vice Chancellor, Martin Bean, as well as Grainne Conole, Simon Buckingham-Shum and Andrew Law. They raise some great points, including the impact of social networks, dimensions of openness, moving beyond simple sharing of data, and changes in the nature of conferences. It was intriguing how the…

  • #OUConf10

    The documentally experience

    I finally got to meet Documentally (Christian Payne) today when he was on campus doing some interviews for the OU Platform, after having always missed each other in the past. In exchange for a coffee Robyn Slingsby roped me in for a quick interview. So here I am talking about the OU conference in Audioboo: Listen!

  • #OUConf10,  conference,  openness

    OU conference agenda – officially awesome

    As you may know I am organising the annual OU conference this year: Learning in an Open World. It is online only (in Elluminate and Cloudworks), and open to all to attend (not just OU people). It is based around four sessions over the 22nd-23rd June and the theme is exploring Openness in Education. Each session has three OU speakers talking about a specific project. There is then a moderated discussion session where people can go into one of three (or so) Elluminate rooms to discuss issues from the talks. Then everyone 'reconvenes' for an external speaker. I've just released the agenda, which may be subject to some change, but…