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Final Report The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Reference:

good practice & innovation

The Open ICT Tools 2011 February 10

Author(s):

Erik Bohemia, Chris Turnock, Ben Lovatt, Kerry Harman and Jed Woodhouse

Main Contact:

Erik Bohemia

Department:

School of Design, Northumbria University

Revision History Date

Version

Description

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Contents CONTENTS ................................................................................................................................... 2 LIST OF FIGURES ...................................................................................................................................... 3 LIST OF VIDEOS ....................................................................................................................................... 3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................................................ 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................. 4 BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................................. 6 AIMS & OBJECTIVES ..................................................................................................................... 8 IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE ABOVE AIMS THE FOLLOWING OBJECTIVES WERE IDENTIFIED: ............ 9 METHODOLOGY ........................................................................................................................... 9 THE OPEN ICT TOOLS PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS ......................................................................................... 11 IMPLEMENTATION ..................................................................................................................... 12 BACKGROUND TO IT INFRASTRUCTURE ...................................................................................................... 12 OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE....................................................................................................................... 13 OUTPUTS ................................................................................................................................... 14 ENCOUNTERED ISSUES WITH THE TOOLS .................................................................................................... 14 SUSTAINABILITY ......................................................................................................................... 25 OUTCOMES................................................................................................................................ 25 LESSONS LEARNED ..................................................................................................................... 29 OVERVIEWS .......................................................................................................................................... 30 CONCLUSIONS ........................................................................................................................... 37 IMPLICATIONS ........................................................................................................................... 37 RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................................................................. 38 REFERENCES .............................................................................................................................. 38 APPENDIXES .............................................................................................................................. 40 STUDENT SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRES ......................................................................................................... 42 DISSEMINATION SUMMARY ..................................................................................................................... 45

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

List of Figures Figure 1 International collaborative projects undertaken within the Global Studio ...................................... 6 Figure 2 ICT tools available at Northumbria University in 2009 ..................................................................... 7 Figure 3 A gap between how IT was able to be used (current reality) and how academics envisaged the IT might be used in supporting cross-institutional Learning and Teaching (vision) ................................................... 8 Figure 4 Action Research methodology .......................................................................................................... 9 Figure 5 Open ICT Tools internal and external trial participants .................................................................. 10 Figure 6 The members of the team are (from left to right): Neil Smith, Trevor Cornwell, Chris Turnock, Jed Woodhouse, Ben Lovatt, Laura Taylor, Kerry Harman, Erik Bohemia .................................................................. 11 Figure 7 Online project site with a comment from one of the industry partners (Plone) ............................ 16 Figure 8 Online project site with a comment from one of the academics (Plone) ....................................... 17 Figure 9 Example of difficulties with Plone................................................................................................... 18 Figure 10 Students’ degrees of comfort with using technology at the start of their courses ........................ 19 Figure 11 Example of Wiki page in its editing mode....................................................................................... 20 Figure 12 Example of Joomla use during the second iterative cycle .............................................................. 21 Figure 13 Three ICT tools were used to conduct reviews ............................................................................... 23 Figure 14 Online common interface for industry and university partners ..................................................... 25 Figure 15 ICT tools available at Northumbria University in 2010 ................................................................... 27 Figure 16 Student questionnaire used during the ‘On the Move 2’ project ................................................... 43 Figure 17 Student questionnaire used at the end of the ‘On the Move 2’ project ........................................ 43 Figure 18 Student questionnaire used at the completion of the ‘Entertainment on the Go’ project ............ 44 Figure 19 Student questionnaires used during the ‘Entertainment on the Go’ project ................................. 45

List of Videos Video 1 ‘Open ICT Boundaries’ presentation by Jed Woodhouse and Chris Turnock (2010) ........................ 8 Video 2 Example of multimedia a file describing one of the conceptual design ideas from ‘On the Move 2’ project 26 Video 3 Example of multimedia a file describing one of the conceptual design ideas from ‘Entertainment on the Go’ project................................................................................................................................................. 26 Video 4 Example of multimedia a file showing one of the final design ideas from ‘Entertainment on the Go’ project 26 Video 5 Nick Oakley, Future Design Strategist, Intel Corp. ......................................................................... 30 Video 6 Michael Salmond, Senior Lecturer, Interactive Multimedia Design ............................................... 30 Video 7 Thomas Greenough, Senior Lecturer, Interactive Multimedia Design ........................................... 31 Video 8 Neil Smith, Enterprise Fellow ......................................................................................................... 31 Video 9 David O’Leary, Senior Associate Lecturer ...................................................................................... 32 Video 10 James Ravenhall, Design for Industry Students ............................................................................. 32 Video 11 Anton Webb, Design for Industry Students.................................................................................... 33 Video 12 Joanne Cone, Design for Industry Students.................................................................................... 33 Video 13 Luke Wilson, Design for Industry Students .................................................................................... 34 Video 14 Prajay Parmar, Design for Industry Students ................................................................................. 34 Video 15 Archie Colvin, Design for Industry Students ................................................................................... 35 Video 16 Jed Woodhouse, Director IT Services Management ...................................................................... 35 Video 17 Ben Lovatt, Internet Solutions Developer, lTech, the Learning & Teaching Academy, .................. 36 Video 18 Chris Turnock, Head of LTech ......................................................................................................... 36

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Acknowledgements The ‘The Open ICT Tools’ trial project was funded by JISC under the ‘Facilitating Collaboration’ 1 stream of the Business and Community Engagement (BCE) programme 2 as part of the ‘Trialling Collaborative Online Tools for BCE’ project 3. JISC infoNet 4 led the delivery of outputs with support from other JISC Advance Services 5. The Open ICT Tools project team would like to thank the following for their hard work and contribution to this trial project as well as the wider BCE agenda: the JISC infoNet team for their support and encouragement, our international industry and university partners, students, academic staff at Northumbria University and Chris Hodges from LTech at Northumbria University for his input.

Executive Summary The Open ICT Tools project was one of eight projects funded by the JISC infoNet from across the country under its Trialling of Online Collaborative Tools for Business and Community Engagement programme. The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for BCE JISC-funded project investigated the use of collaborative online tools to support Business and Community Engagement (BCE) in a number of trials in colleges and universities within the UK (Kelly & Stewart, 2009). The Open ICT Tools project explored the use of open source Web 2.0 applications to facilitate collaboration between Northumbria and its international business and university partners. Using the Global Studio as a research site, the project examined the utility of various ICTs for enabling collaboration with community and industry partners. The Open ICT Tools project was a practice-led enquiry that was generated from experiences gained from projects previously undertaken in collaboration with external partners within the Global Studio at Northumbria University. The collaborations included high quality international universities and high profile commercial organisations such as Intel, Motorola, and Inverness Medical. Because of the confidentiality nature of the projects one of the requirements was to provide a restricted access to the online project sites. Therefore, one of the requirements was that the ICT tools enable information to be exchanged securely. In addition, the project aimed to trial Open Source Software and software which was free of cost. The use of this type of software was aimed to reduce the ongoing running costs associated with software licensing. In collusion of this report we provide a number of recommendations. We recommend that IT Services in HE and FE develop processes where the novel use of ICTs envisaged by academics (users) can be trialled in collaboration with IT Services and e-Learning support staff. This would complement the established pattern of incorporating ICT where either IT Services or e-Learning departments sanction specific ICTs to support learning and teaching within these institutions. We also recommend that students, academic staff and partners are supported in preparation on how the ICT tools might be used to support engagement with industry and community partners. 1

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/bce/stream2.aspx http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/bce.aspx http://collaborativetools4bce.jiscinvolve.org/ 4 http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk 5 http://www.jiscadvance.ac.uk 2 3

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

The report outlines the trial of the ICT tools and the technical solutions implemented at the Northumbria University in order to incorporate these within the existing IT infrastructure. The project findings have been widely disseminated, for example, at NetSkills 6 workshop, ‘Extending IT Support for External Engagement’ 7 aimed at IT service directors, managers and senior staff from UK HE and FE institutions, iPED 8, ISADR 9, JISC2010 10 and Going Global 4 11 conferences (for the full list see the section Dissemination Summary).

6

http://www.netskills.ac.uk/content/products/workshops/event/euston-jul09-bceawar-r1/ Bohemia, E., & Woodhouse, J. (2009, 16 July). The Open ICT Tools: Collaborative Tools to Support Business and Community Engagement. Presented at the Extending IT Support for External Engagement: Helping IT services provide support for engagement between institutions and their external partners, Euston House, London. 8 http://www.coventry.ac.uk/researchnet/d/801 9 http://www.iasdr2009.org/ 10 http://www.jisc.ac.uk/events/2010/04/jisc10.aspx 11 http://www.britishcouncil.org/goingglobal.htm 7

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Background Over the past four years the School of Design at Northumbria University 12 has been experimenting with an innovative curriculum design and delivery model named the ‘Global Studio’ (Bohemia et al., 2007). The Global Studio 13 is a cross-institutional research informed teaching and learning collaboration conducted between Northumbria University and international universities 14 and industry 15 partners based in the UK, Australia, USA, Netherlands and Korea (see Figure 1, below).

Figure 1

International collaborative projects undertaken within the Global Studio Source: Bohemia & Harman (2010)

The aims of the Global Studio are linked with current and future industry needs associated with contemporary changes in the development of products and services (e.g. Bohemia & Harman, 2008; Clough, 2002; Cox, 2005; Engardio & Einhorn, 2005; The Design Skills Advisory Panel, 2006) including the shift to the use of distributed teams in the product development process. These changes highlight the importance of equipping design students with skills for working in globally networked organisations particularly the development of skills in intercultural communication and collaboration (Bohemia & Harman, 2008; Del Vitto, 2008; Schadewitz, 2009). 12

http://www.northumbria.ac.uk http://theglobalstudio.eu/ 14 such as TU Delft, Hong-ik, RMIT University, Auburn University 15 such as Intel Corp., Motorola, Inverness Medical, and Great Southern Wood 13

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

An important aspect supporting projects undertaken within the Global Studio is the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools such as Wiki pages, Plone, and WordPress. These tools facilitate the exchange of information and multimedia data between the university and participating external organisations (Bohemia & Smith, 2008). Examples of multimedia files are included in the later parts of the report (see Video 2 on page 26, Video 3 on page 26 and Video 4 on page 26). Although, Northumbria University was named in 2007 as the most IT enabled organisation in the UK, the overriding focus by IT Services was on the security of the University IT infrastructure. This resulted in many of the ICT tools which could support inter-organisational communication and data exchange such as Instant Messenger, IP Telephony, Wiki pages, Blogs, Social Networking and, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) not being embedded and/or prevented from being used within the university IT infrastructure (see Figure 2). For example, as IP Telephony (Voice over IP), such as ooVoo 16 or Skype 17 could not be used to communicate between the university and its international partners it meant both university staff and students were limited when, and in what ways, they could communicate with their international project partners. These arrangements also limited university staff with experimenting and developing expertise on how to use diverse and constantly evolving ICT tools to support student learning experiences within a collaborative international environment.

Figure 2

ICT tools available at Northumbria University in 2009

As a result there was a gap between how academics envisaged using ICT tools and how IT services supported the use of these tools. This created a tension between the vision of academics working on the Global Studio and the experienced reality (see Figure 3).

16 17

www.oovoo.com www.skype.com

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

Figure 3

good practice & innovation

A gap between how IT was able to be used (current reality) and how academics envisaged the IT might be used in supporting cross-institutional Learning and Teaching (vision)

The presentation from the Northumbria 2009 Conference below provides a useful overview by Jed Woodhouse, IT Services Director, for the rationale to limit support for internet based ICTs that could have been otherwise used to facilitate engagement with business and community partners (see Video 1).

Video 1

‘Open ICT Boundaries’ presentation by Jed Woodhouse and Chris Turnock (2010) the video is available from http://vimeo.com/17219367

Aims & Objectives The aims and objectives that guided the Open ICT Tools project were generated by academics in collaboration with staff from LTech the university’s learning technology support team providing technical and pedagogical support for the use of technology in teaching, and IT Services. These were based on their previous experience while engaging with external collaborative partners to support novel way of learning & teaching delivery (Bohemia & Harman, 2010; Bohemia, Harman, & McDowell, 2009). The key aim of the project was to collaborate with IT Services to trial open source ICT tools that could be used to facilitate engagement with external business and community partners and could be incorporated into the university existing IT infrastructure. A secondary aim was to enhance understanding on the use of ICT tools to facilitate secured collaborative learning with external business and community partners in a global context.

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

In order to achieve the above aims the following objectives were identified: •

Collaborate with IT Services and LTech in order to trial various open source ICT tools that might be incorporated into the university existing IT infrastructure

To enable the use of a common platform to facilitate secure information exchange between the university and its external community and business partners.

The above objectives guided the implementation and delivery of the Open ICT project.

Methodology The Open ICT Tools project used an action research methodology (see Figure 4). The project included two major cycles to trial ICT tools to facilitate business and community engagement. The first iteration cycle was undertaken within a project titled ‘On the Move 2: Computing Now’. This project was conducted between Intel Corp. (Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California; USA) 18 and the School of Design at Northumbria University (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK). The second iteration cycle was undertaken within a project titled ‘Entertainment on the Go’. This second project was conducted between Motorola Design office located in Seoul, Korea, 19 Hong-ik University (Korea), Ohio State University (USA) and the School of Design at Northumbria University.

Figure 4

18 19

Action Research methodology

Based on: Hudson, Owen, & van Veen (2006, p.581)

a semiconductor chip maker a mobile devices manufacturer

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Altogether, these two projects included: 5 industry staff members, 179 undergraduate students, one postgraduate student, and 8 academic staff members. Both projects were internally supported by a cross-institutional team comprising staff from the LTech, 20 CETL, 21 and IT Services 22 (see Figure 5).

Figure 5

Open ICT Tools internal and external trial participants

20

LTech offer a single point of contact for a service to help staff in the use of technology to enhance the student learning experience at Northumbria University. The team provide a range of services that include support on using various technologies for both online activity, e.g. the eLearning Portal (the institutional VLE), PebblePad, and Turnitin, as well as classroom activity, e.g. Smartboards; TurningPoint (an audience response system); help in creating online content; staff training in using various computer programmes; maintenance and development of the eLearning Portal; exploring potential use of new technologies. Recently, the LTech become part of the Learning and Teaching Academy. http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/central/ar/academy/ 21 The CETL AfL has promoted a transformation in assessment, building on excellent practice in Education, Childhood Studies, History, English, Psychology and Engineering. Our approach to Assessment for Learning means that students benefit from assessment which does far more than simply test what they know. They take part in the kinds of activities that are: valuable long term, help them to develop, provide them with guidance and feedback and they will learn how to assess themselves as future professionals. Recently, the CETL: AfL was transformed into a Learning and Teaching Academy. http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/central/ar/academy/ 22 IT Services is responsible for the provision, maintenance and development of a wide range of computing facilities for the staff and students of Northumbria. http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/central/its/

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

The Open ICT Tools project team members

Figure 6

The members of the team are (from left to right): Neil Smith, Trevor Cornwell, Chris Turnock, Jed Woodhouse, Ben Lovatt, Laura Taylor, Kerry Harman, Erik Bohemia

LTech Chris Turnock is Head of LTech at Northumbria University with responsibility for enhancing the pedagogical use of technology within the university. He is currently leading the university's participation in the HEA Enhancement Academy initiative and manages several projects including ones to enhance assessment feedback, online assessment completion and marking. Chris is a member of a team involved in the JISC funded Global Studio project. Ben Lovatt works as a developer for the University’s Learning Technologies team (LTech). His current role involves the support of eLearning materials production and research into new and exciting eLearning opportunities. Ben provided the necessary IT support for this project. Laura Taylor is a Project Co-ordinator/Sys Admin within the LTech team at the University. She has a background in Project Management and Business Systems and has in previous roles delivered bespoke software training to technical and non-technical employees involved in the management and financial analysis of multi million pound engineering projects. Laura was engaged as a module tutor in Further Education and has been involved in both the design and delivery of distance learning diplomas. Examples include: Performance Management and Positive Impact Coaching Diplomas.

IT Services Jed Woodhouse is the IT Services Director for Northumbria University where he has overall responsibility for ICT. Specialising in IT he has worked in civil construction, stock broking, estate agency, hotels and brewing. At Northumbria he is keen to ensure that technology is used to bring real benefits to students and staff. Trevor Cornwell is the Assistant Director, IT Services. Main areas of responsibility include financial and departmental planning, oversight of particular areas of IT Services operations and 11 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

representation of Northumbria on the regional network Management Board (NorMAN). Prior to joining Northumbria 21 years ago he worked in oil exploration, water exploration and in IT consultancy.

CETL: AfL Kerry Harman – prior to taking up a research post at Middlesex University Kerry Harman was a Researcher at the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Northumbria University, United Kingdom. She has over twenty years combined practice-based, research and teaching experience in the overlapping fields of Training and Development, Workplace Learning and Organisation Studies. While working at the CETL Dr Harman conducted research on Assessment Cultures in Higher Education where she explored the interrelationships between language, disciplinary cultures, academic identities and assessment practices. She also coordinated a module on the MA Design programme at Northumbria University on Intercultural Communication.

School of Design Neil Smith has thirty years design experience as a practitioner, with twenty years teaching experience. He has spent his career developing design collaboration with commercial and academic partners. He has gained national recognition for knowledge transfer partnerships with industry and commerce. He has expertise in low-cost methods of manufacture and introduced these into a wide variety of manufacturers. His current research work is engaged in the process of bringing design thinking into organisations that have not traditionally been associated with design. Erik Bohemia is a Reader in Three Dimensional Design Studies at the School of Design, Northumbria University, UK. As a Researcher and an Educator in the field of design, he is interested in the skills and competencies of designers and the match between these and industry requirements. The results from his research in this area have been used to guide the development of curriculum in design so that future graduates may more effectively fulfil industry requirements. Dr Bohemia’s current research focus is on global product design development processes and its impact on the design profession. His research has been published in international journals and conferences.

Implementation Background to IT Infrastructure Like all UK Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) institutions, Northumbria University benefits from access to the JANET 23 backbone. This network provides a fast network connection. Within the institution there are several network connection options available, ranging from a wired connection (10-100MB) to a variety of wireless networks (some open some restricted access 801.11b/g). As the Universities network security policy does not permit peer-to-peer (P2P) software on the wired network; certain communications tools had to be transferred to wireless networks (e.g. Skype contains a P2P component). The University’s current VLE (called the eLearning Portal and based upon Blackboard programme) is restricted to Northumbria registered students and academic staff only, making it difficult to conduct collaboration ventures across institutional or even international borders. Institutional alternative 23

http://www.ja.net/company/the-janet-network

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

systems that could be used in place of eLearning Portal also require some degree of authentication; effectively putting them outside the scope of the project. A more open approach was required; one that could still be effectively secured to unauthorised access and could be accessed by user regardless of location or institution affiliation. To this end the University of Northumbria’s IT Services department provided the Open ICT Tool project with a test server (a virtual machine) which was used by the project team to host a variety of open source potential solutions during this project. This machine was partially isolated from the main University network located within the network’s DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). Routes through the University’s firewalls were built to allow common access to existing mail servers (for e-mail traffic) and Active Directory servers (to allow Northumbria students and staff access using their existing university usernames).

Open Source Software The project was designed to be replicable across other institutions with minimal cost. The project assumes that an existing IT infrastructure is in place that can provide the necessary hardware and network support. All software was to be open source (or at least free to use software) and as the software would be trialled over two iterations we deliberately limited the number of systems we would trial. For the purposes of this project we decided to try the following systems: •

Plone

MediaWiki

Joomla

WordPress

Skype

Each is available as a free download and has varying degrees of assistance available, mainly via online communities.

Plone http://plone.org An open-source CMS (content Management System) written in the Python programming language and runs on the Zope web server. It is based around a publishing model but this can be altered by the site administrator. The default installation includes a version of the ‘Kupu’ client side editor, which allows users to edit documents in a familiar environment. It is unusual as it is the only collaboration software we tried that did not use a WAMP (Windows/Apache/MySQL/PHP) configuration, instead providing the database, language and web server all in the same download.

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

MediaWiki http://www.mediawiki.org Open Source wiki software, largest installation being Wikipedia. A large amount of user support is available via online communities. Its use as the engine behind Wikipedia has led to it being one of the more stable platforms available for the project. It has a predictable release cycle with bug fixes released frequently. It can be extended, via modules, to add increased functionality.

Joomla http://www.joomla.org/ Very friendly open source CMS. Like Plone, it is based on a publishing module and is primarily geared towards website creation. However, it can be extended to include collaborative features.

WordPress http://wordpress.org/ Primarily known as a blogging tool, later versions have included many CMS related features. A large user community ensures support and there is a large variety of extensions and themes available for it. Of all the four systems chosen, WordPress was most likely to have been encountered previously by our students.

Skype http://www.skype.com Skype is VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) software that allows users to make voice and video calls over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free. In this trial project Skype was used to feed video between two remote sites. The ICT tools which have been trialled were evaluated from system issues and usability issues perspectives. For example, from the system perspective the tools have been evaluated whether they were compatible with the existing university IT infrastructure; software installation, archiving and recovery features and a level of online community support.

Outputs Encountered Issues with the Tools Each installation had its own quirks and difficulties, some stemming from system issues and some (perhaps more importantly) from usability issues. It is also important to note that some of the systems were run concurrently, this caused its own set of problems (particularly involving the Plone installation).

General problems encountered: E-mail connectivity – during the project the access control to the mail server was altered. Previously servers sitting in the .northumbria.ac.uk domain were allowed access to an SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) server called ‘Mars’. This access control was altered to only allow machines in a 14 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

white list access to the server. Mail was also forbidden to be sent to non-Northumbria accounts. Switching to the ‘Emir’ mail server and adding the collaboration server (tremontavenue) to the white list fixed all these issues. Account management – The initial MediaWiki accounts were created using an upload process we created. This seemed to work well but the same process did not transfer well to the Plone installation. Plone accounts were created manually, a rather time consuming process. For the WordPress installations we used a self registration process. Areas were pre created for the users to populate and the registered accounts were periodically checked to ensure no spam bots registered. File Uploads – At the time of the project the collaboration server did not have a functioning FTP server running. Without this system uploads were restricted to using HTML. HTML does not provide meaningful feedback for file transfers and led to frustrations amongst users when uploading large files. It is also not possible to upload multiple files using this method. However, WordPress installations incorporate a Flash up-loader that does provide meaningful feedback.

Plone Issues Plone is written in python – a language the IT support project staff had little experience with. Coding new extensions to the system was very unlikely. It also made it very difficult to debug downloaded extensions. Plone relies on the web server Zope to serve pages – unlike the other three systems Plone cannot run under Apache. Unfortunately we needed Apache to run the other systems, so both web servers had to be running concurrently. The technical solution is to appoint one of the web servers as a ‘Proxy’. This proxy collects requests from the internet and (based on a set of rules) determines whether to handle the request itself or to hand over control to the proxied server. The IT support would normally use Apache as the proxy (the web server that makes the initial decisions) however this led to some interesting problems within Plone. It seemed as if some aspects of the Plone website were being blocked by Apache, in particular JavaScript files. Temporary solution to get the Plone installation was to reverse the proxy and set Zope to be the front end web server. This worked for the initial stages of the project but as we brought more areas on line it increasingly became a bottle neck for the Apache served pages. In the end a considerable amount of time was spent investigating the Apache proxying and fixed the configuration to allow all Plone site traffic through. Some of the downloaded extensions for Plone either failed to install or caused the site to crash. In particular the Plone4Artists extensions which first attracted us to Plone. Development support was patchy at best and although the core Plone installation continued to be developed, this did not always apply to the module extensions. The IT support frequently found that extensions would only work with a very specific version of Plone and even if the project switched to using that version it would preclude using some later Plone features. Probably the major drawback for another institution wishing to duplicate the Plone installation is that it requires a technical member of staff to administer the system. Adding a new module or upgrading the software requires access to the server Plone is installed on and involves quite a completed process before the new module can even be activated. As it uses its own database and structure (built in Python) it is very difficult for anyone unfamiliar with the language to make corrections to the database layer. Operations such as changing user details (should the account be unavailable through the web interface) and correspondingly difficult. 15 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

All uploaded objects are held within the database (images, video, audio, etc). This meant that with even a small user base (40-50 users) the database file grew rapidly and became very cumbersome to manage. Backup policies for the machine were affected because the entire file had to be copied to ensure the system could be recovered. There is a maintenance programme available within the ZMI (Zope Management Interface) however, on the four occasions this was tried, it left the database and system in an incomplete and damaged state and Plone had to be rolled back to a previous backup. From user perspective we have decided to trial Plone as it provided a better user editing interface than the MediaWiki. It also enabled creation of online folders which facilitated organisation of uploaded online files and project sub-pages. This also meant that files with the same name could coexist if each file was uploaded in a different online folder (internally Plone assigned a different names for each of the file. However, this process was transparent to a user). A useful feature was ability to leave comments on individual project pages without needing to edit the actual pages. Students used this to post comments and reminders for their project group members. The industry partners and academic staff used this feature to comment on students work or to provide additional useful information (see Figure 7 and Figure 8).

Figure 7

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Online project site with a comment from one of the industry partners (Plone)

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

Figure 8

good practice & innovation

Online project site with a comment from one of the academics (Plone)

Industry partners have commented that they found Plone interface better than Wiki pages. They liked the versatility of how the files could be downloaded such as from folders. This was useful if the link was broken or the page would not display correctly. They also liked the facility which enabled them to leave comments on individual project pages. They and the academics used this facility during interim project reviews. They commented that although the pages seems to be better organised than when using Wiki pages they would have liked students to organise them in a way that the pages better contributed to the facilitating interim project reviews. In other words they 17 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

were suggesting that students should have been more selective in terms of what they included for the reviews. In many instances the amount of information included was too overwhelming. Although, students recognised the benefits of being able to share the content online most of them found the Plone ‘frustrating and at points a hindrance’ as it ‘limited the group as to what [they] could do’. They commented that the Plone editing interface was ‘difficult to learn and navigate around’ as it was ‘not user friendly and hard to use.’ Students also stated that ‘it [took] too long to upload multiple files’ and that they experienced difficulties with uploading larger files. The major problem we have experienced was during presentations when more than one person was trying to access the same file from different locations as accessing files from the project website became unacceptably slow and in some instances the project website stopped responding altogether (this issue is discussed by one of the industry partners in Video 5 on page 30). The only remedy to fix this was to restart the web browser. This happened a number of times during the final presentation and in some instances webcam was used to transmit the presentation via Skype (see Figure 9). This solution was not satisfactory as the resolution was not as good as it would have been if the multimedia file could have been access from the project site. Because of this problem the final project outputs which consisted of movies (some of these were up to 150MB in size) and PDF project files were uploaded onto Intel staff password protected external storage space. In addition, students complained that Plone’s editor stripped their HTML codes thus preventing them from implementing their specific elaborate project webpage designs. A number of the student groups overcame this issue using Javascript code snippets.

Figure 9

Example of difficulties with Plone

A student is pointing a webcam onto a projection screen so that industry partners can view the movie.

MediaWiki Issues Site structure proved to be a little confusing to some users. MediaWiki saves all pages in the database using their page title, consequently many pages and images were accidentally overwritten 18 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

by users when they used the same name for their pages (e.g. Design Concepts or Final Designs) or images files (my photo.jpg)– the best example being the ‘About Me’ page we expected each user to complete. As with Plone, file uploads were over HTML only. MediaWiki uses its own form of page editing language called ‘WikiText’. This allows quite complex mark up to be employed using a text only editor. However, it did seem to place a barrier between the user and the system. Initially students were prepared to learn the language; but on later runs they increasingly found it irritating. Essentially the online systems they were by then used to had completely eclipsed the usability of WikiText. Another issue was editing of long project pages which was difficult due to its ‘messiness’ (see Figure 11). Feedback from students who participated on the past projects which used MediaWiki pages indicated that they preferred not to use Wiki pages. Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World (Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience, 2009; Hutchings, 2008) reports that students are the least familiar and comfortable using wikis when compared to other technologies (see Figure 10). This was one of the key factors why we have decided to trial different Open Source online software.

Figure 10

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Students’ degrees of comfort with using technology at the start of their courses

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Source: Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience (2009, p. 21)

Figure 11

Example of Wiki page in its editing mode

Embedded HTML was filtered, trying to insert an <object> or <embed> tag would result in the required code being stripped out. This was addressed by writing plug-inâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to detect <wmv>, <mov> and <swf> tags and rendering them out with the correct HTML. Active Directory (AD) integration was difficult to achieve. We finally got the MediaWiki software to connect to the AD but by then the project had moved onto other content systems. The problem turned out to be half wiki and half Active Directory integration.

Joomla Issues During the second cycle of the project we had decided to trial Joomla and WordPress. Due to the success of WordPress, investigating Joomla became a low priority. The only real issue was the publishing model employed by the system. We found it difficult to configure into a usable model that fitted our requirements and allowed the students to easily configure their own pages. We originally intended to run groups with both WordPress and Joomla; we switched all groups to WordPress upon realising how much more flexible we could make WordPress by comparison. The Joomla was used as a portal to access all other online project WordPress pages as well as for common documents such as project schedule and news announcements (see Figure 12).

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

Figure 12

good practice & innovation

Example of Joomla use during the second iterative cycle

WordPress Issues The use of WordPress was initiated by one of the student groups during the On the Move 2 project which used Plone. This group run their online project site using externally hosted WordPress (with password protected access). This, as well as students dissatisfaction with Ploneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s editing interface 21 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

prompted the staff to investigate a trial use of WordPress in the subsequent international project. Thanks to the large installed user base for WordPress (Hodge, 2010), we have found remarkably few problems with this package, and those that we did encounter (Active Directory integration for staff members, file upload user feedback, etc) were solved relatively easily by visiting the WordPress site and installing one of the many user-generated plug-ins. File uploads were (again) over HTML only, however WordPress includes a Flash file up-loader that at least offers the user upload progress. The only outstanding issue is the lack of a user batch upload facility. This is hardly surprising considering WordPress’ origins as a blogging tool. To overcome this we switched the user registration to self enrolment (a process WordPress does very well) and monitored the accounts being created by spam bots. In regard to usability general feedback from students and industry partners was positive. Although some students would have liked to have more control over their project sites. For example, they would have liked to implement their own WordPress templates. This was not practical as they would have needed to have been issued with Administrator access rights.

Skype We have found Skype to be more user friendly than using videoconferencing such as Polycom. 24 For example, students could call their counterparts by using their own computers without a need to book equipment. Students commented that they liked ‘using Skype with share screen as it allowed them to ‘be in control’ of the presentation. They also liked the Skype as it ‘was nice to see who you were talking to’ and that ‘sometimes it was hard to communicate the [design] concepts, but through the use of Skype and gesturing a lot of clarification was resolved.’ However, Skype has a number of limitations when compared to a dedicated videoconferencing system. For example, Skype’s video and voice transition is a lesser quality than when using dedicated videoconferencing systems. In addition, as voice transmission over teleconference is of a better quality than Skype’s audio, whenever possible we have used teleconference systems to conduct virtual project meetings; with Skype delivering the video between the sites. An additional limitation with Skype is that it can only transmit a video signal only between two sites. Interestingly, student comments indicate that they found it difficult at first to take into consideration the different time zones and they missed meetings with their counterparts located in different parts of the world.

Other Tools In addition using the above tools we have used email, SMS, teleconference and videoconference to engage with our external partners. The teleconference was used during weekly review sessions in conjunction with Skype which was used to provide a video feed and the online project pages which were used to access the uploaded project files (see Figure 13). The reason for using the teleconference was that it provided a better audio and more reliable connection than online tools such as Skype. However, without the sponsorship from our external industry partners the cost of the teleconference calls via BT would have been unaffordable. 25

24 25

www.polycom.com We estimate that that if we had to cover the cost to cover the teleconference call we would needed a teleconference budget between

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Skype video feed in.

Webcam Skype. .video feed out. Backup speaker phone. Teleconference.

Project Website.

Backup mobile phone.

Figure 13

Three ICT tools were used to conduct reviews

One of the progress review sessions undertaken during the On the Move 2 project

The videoconference was not used as in the past we have experienced too many connection problems both with our university and industry partners. In addition, as staff had to be present during the videoconferencing sessions there was a limitation when students could initiate these sessions. Also if the videoconferencing equipment is centrally managed then it needs to be booked well in advance, which created a barrier to using the equipment. In addition to the tools mentioned above, students also have used other tools to communicate and share files. For example, they used ‘You Sent It’ to share files. The basic account is free of charge; however, the link to the file expires after 7 days thus the file becomes inaccessible after this time. This created a problem when files needed to be accessed later on during the project. Unavailability of the files also hampered archiving online project sites as the related content files were missing. The tools there were used during the project are summarised in the Table 1 below. Another tool that students used was ‘Dropbox’ online file storage service which is provided for free for up to 2GB

£1,000 and £2,000 to support the teleconference calls for a duration of one of the collaborative projects

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

storage. Compare to ‘You Sent It’ the advantage of Dropbox is that files were available unless they were deleted. However, in order to access the online files a person with the Dropbox account on which the files were stored needed to invite others to provide access to other to the online folders via their own Dropbox accounts. Students reported that this worked well amongst their group members. Limitation was that the rest of the class were not able to view these files as they were not invited. Table 1

Summary of tools used

Teleconferencing

Ease of use for users Reasonable

e-mail

Excellent

Videoconferencing (e.g. Polycom)

Poor

VoIP (e.g. Skype)

Excellent

Instant messaging

Good

WordPress

Excellent

Plone

Good

Wiki Pages

Poor

FTP

Excellent

You Sent It

Excellent

Interactive Whiteboard Technology SMS (Short Messages Service)

ICT Tools

24 of 46

Limitations

Cost to the Project

Voice only. Wired teleconferencing unit can be only used where ports were enabled by the university’s IT services. Enabling ports takes time to arrange. It also means that only rooms with enabled port can be used. Limitations with size of files that can be attached. This might prevent distribution of larger files. Circulated information only accessible to those to whom an email addressed to. Not every institution might have the equipment. If equipment is centrally managed then it needs to be booked well in advance. We experienced a number of problems with connection and at times were unable to make connections with our industry and university partners. Only two participants can use the video facility at any time Poor video resolution May have potential security issues.

The cost of the teleconference calls via BT unaffordable without sponsorship by external industry partners.

Not designed for blogging so needs to be creatively adopted for collaborative purposes. Strips custom made HTML codes. Becomes too slow (or even locks down) if more than one person trying to access same file. Poor editing interface.

N/A

Initial setup cost of the equipment might be prohibitive.

£150 for 10 webcams N/A – MS Commander licence purchased by the University N/A N/A N/A N/A

Have not tried it

Currently not allowed on University network for security reasons. Link expires after 7 days making files inaccessible after this time. SmartBoard bridge too expensive.

Excellent

Only short text can be forwarded.

N/A – personal cost

Basic account free of charge Unaffordable

www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk


Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Sustainability The engagement of IT Services through the project was one of the significant factors contributing to the sustainability of the outcomes achieved during this project (see Video 16 above). It was this engagement that led IT Services to enable new ICT such as Skype on the main University wireless networks; it has also led to the commissioning of a server specifically to support collaborative work with external partners. The next issue that IT Services and LTech are currently exploring is how they might scale up making the services available on the collaborative server across the university.

Outcomes The Open ICT Tools project investigated various open source Web 2.0 technologies that enabled cross-institutional student collaboration without compromising the technical infrastructure of participating organisations. These technologies provided a common interface and space for students (see Figure 14), academic staff and industry partners collaborating on specific design projects leading to the production of learner-authored content.

Figure 14

Online common interface for industry and university partners

A key aspect of the collaboration involved students working in distributed groups in a Web 2.0 environment sharing information and student produced multimedia files (see Video 1, Video 3 and Video 4). The shared secured online project websites gave students opportunities to learn from and with fellow students from their own and participating universities.

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

Video 2

good practice & innovation

Example of multimedia a file describing one of the conceptual design ideas from ‘On the Move 2’ project the video is available from http://vimeo.com/15371459

Video 3

Example of multimedia a file describing one of the conceptual design ideas from ‘Entertainment on the Go’ project the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-jJu9ijt4c

Video 4

Example of multimedia a file showing one of the final design ideas from ‘Entertainment on the Go’ project the video is available from http://vimeo.com/10015329

As mentioned in the previous section, a key achievement of this project was the involvement of IT Services to actively work with the academics and LTech staff to provide technical solutions to enable ICT tools on the university network which would support engagement with external collaborative 26 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

partners. The key aim was to trial open source ICT tools (or free of cost such as Skype) that could be used to facilitate engagement with external business and community partners and could be incorporated into the university existing IT infrastructure. A secondary aim was to enhance understanding on the use of ICT tools to facilitate secured collaborative learning with external business and community partners in a global context. Key outcome of this collaboration was the commissioning of a new collaborative server which was launched at the outset of this project. This server was used to trial various ICT tools as outlined earlier in the report (see Figure 15). IT Services have also enabled VOIP services (such as Skype) on its main wireless network. They also plan to enable these services on the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wired network.

Figure 15

ICT tools available at Northumbria University in 2010 See also Figure 2 on page 7

The project has also facilitated the development of closer links between LTech and the IT Services. This is having a positive impact as other ICT enabled services are being discussed to support future trials in the area of learning & teaching. Whilst unintended, an important outcome of the Open ICT project was a demonstration of academic initiated innovation which in collaboration with the key services across the university has affected how the ICT tools have been used across the institution. For example, Skype has been implemented on the main wireless network. This is enabling overseas students to use Skype to keep in touch with their families and friends. Schools within the university are starting to use the technology to keep in contact with staff working overseas. Schools are also starting to use the technology to interview prospective research students and staff based in different countries. IT â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Out of Hoursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; helpline staff are implementing an internal blog site on the University Collaborative server to facilitate knowledge transfer between its members. Furthermore, the Global Studio has been providing a platform for teaching staff to continue their professional development in the areas of e-Learning and practice-based teaching and learning. The Global Studio has already promoted the sharing of resources such as teaching strategies and techniques and collaboration in relation to curriculum development across the HE participating partner institutions. For example one academic from a partner university commented: 27 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

I have developed new approaches to teaching design projects, and an increased appreciation for the value of 'presentation' as a learning activity. The cross-school and cross-institutional collaboration has enabled the intersection of various pedagogical and disciplinary approaches. An academic based at Northumbria commented that: Working with other students at other Universities brought great benefits to the students at Northumbria. It exposed them to the knowledge and experiences of other design students, reinforcing their identity as “budding designers”, which can so easily be lost in a non design centred, studio based programme. The interaction stimulated the students and gave them great confidence, especially when they communicated aspects to other students and found that what they considered frailties and weaknesses in their own design skills and abilities were actually similar to those of other design students. As a result, the students demonstrated substantial motivation to succeed in this project and embed themselves in its activities in order to fully benefit from the experience. Another academic from an international partner university commented that: My students worked hard, complained a lot but in the end I am happy to see they made good progress. ... [The industry partner’s] input gave my students confidence and provided value to what they did. Evaluation results from the Global Studio conducted in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 suggest that the majority of students from participating universities perceived this innovative initiative facilitates their learning, especially in the intended areas of development of virtual teamwork and communication skills. The vast majority of students also felt that the Global Studio provided them with a positive learning experience in comparison to other modules as these comments from ‘On the Move 2’ and ‘Entertainment on the Go’ project indicate: •

I have never done a project like this, and I really enjoyed it. I would love to work on another project with a team globally. I have learned so much from this experience and I feel that I know what needs to be done to overcome the challenges of collaborating with a global team.

This is the first project I've done with students over a distance so it was a good learning experience.

It was a really great project in terms of cooperation with other culture students. We do not have that much opportunities to work with other culture people, however it was a good experience. In my opinion we have to face to the task becoming a global Korea sooner or later. And I reckon this experience would be very useful in the future to deal with a lot of situation. Most of all, it was really fun and enjoyable!! I loved it!

Actually it is my first time having a project across distance. It was a great experience.

Working with people around the world was very cool. Just seeing other kids in the same major and watching their design process.

Students liked that they were allowed to create their own group project pages. They also commented that this provided them with an opportunity to creatively share their work and project progress amongst the distributed and collocated group members. They appreciated flexible access 28 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

to information facilitated by the project websites. Many students commented on the usefulness of observing other students’ progress and work on online project pages. They have indicated that this has allowed them to compare their own work with the work of the other students, which has facilitated their reflective practice: •

I loved working on an international team. I learned a lot from these students who have different experiences and different backgrounds. Even though we did not work with the students from Korea, I still looked at all their stuff to get a fresh perspective. I enjoyed seeing everyone's concepts. I learned about the different ways to approach the video and different ways to approach the product.

I got to be both the client and the designer. By viewing other designs, I could improve my own based on their feedback and my own realisations as a client.

I really like how the website is set up. I love the blog for posting ideas on and the ability for anyone to comment on the idea. I also like how everyone has their own personal profile so that we can meet the group on a personal level as well. I enjoyed learning about a new culture.

I think that the best thing is I can do some client work and designer work either. It gave me a two chance. By doing client work, I can see some design work more critically. And by doing design work, I can progress my design concept better by get feedback from other university student.

In addition, students appreciated project site security as it enabled them ‘to upload things on the web without legal worries (public leaks etc)’. The secured online workspace hosted on the university server also provided students with a save learning environment. Further, the project stages have been scheduled so that they provide students with low stakes confidence building opportunities to practice various stages of the design process and embed these practices into their repertoire.

Lessons Learned From the technology perspective we have learnt that it is preferable to select the current market leaders in open source software (such as Wiki / WordPress). The reason is that popular software has a good level of support from the online community. Another important lesson we have learned from the project was the importance for IT Services to work with the academics and e-learning support staff (such as LTech) in order to trial academic (user) led development of how ICT might support teaching and learning. The project demonstrated the importance of having the IT Service director on board, which was paramount to the success to this project. The project contributed to enhancing the relationship between IT Services and LTech. This is important as it has led to increased collaboration between these two services. Another lesson we have learned is that although students engaged in the Open ICT Tools project had relatively good expertise in using Web 2.0 technologies, project findings suggest students lack broader digital literacy skills, particularly the organisation of information and files. This affects collaboration between distributed project team members, potentially limiting students’ learning opportunities. Whilst Web 2.0 technologies provide exciting new learning opportunities, particularly 29 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

the production of learner-authored content, there have been challenges for students in learning how to use these technologies to share and structure the content successfully.

Overviews Overviews from each of the project participants are provided below: … one [of the challenges] was the geographic distance, having to sync up and having to deal, like this year, with eleven teams of [88] students. From the US side you were getting up early in the morning and coming in, the students, a few hours before and upload all their work and you were having to download stuff very, very quickly and try and make an assessment of the feedback… And that was really hard actually. For whatever reason, you know, the server did not work terribly quickly and the three of us in different locations in California and Oregon and or at home, even working from home. The stuff would download at different rates and we'd all be able to sync and it would be quite challenging. Video 5

Nick Oakley, Future Design Strategist, Intel Corp.

the video is available fromhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6xfnrGmEb8

…we had this sort of triumvirate or tripod going on where you had, the way DFI work, way IMD work and then Intel as well, so that was definitely challenging, and then Intel as well, so that was definitely a challenge getting all those sort of three planets to align and actually produce worthwhile work because it's, you know, everyone's very used to their own way of doing things. So that was definitely a challenge. But I think all of those were definitely sorted, it worked, so I think those challenges were definitely met because you see that from the work that was produced, I think it was strong.

Video 6

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Michael Salmond, Senior Lecturer, Interactive Multimedia Design

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVZ0xZwalXo

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

… formative assessment all the way through, which is great actually, and I have to say, the formative feedback students got from industry, from [other academics], but the formative feedback was absolutely second to none because that's what, they thrive on that and they don't realise they're getting it but they thrive on it in their reflective piece at the end of the project.

Video 7

Thomas Greenough, Senior Lecturer, Interactive Multimedia Design

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBGH75rBhSo

…what we're doing has had much more of a ripple effect in the way that it's changed the way that we look out, it's actually supported new collaboration, which is, I think, long term will be very valuable in the School moving forward. …what we set out to do was really develop a new strategy and develop open access tools that we can repeat and use and engage people, without any additional costs.

Video 8

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Neil Smith, Enterprise Fellow

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUwEcYvuqIk

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

I would say that I fundamentally believe that working with real clients is a really beneficial experience for the students so I think doing live projects is one of the best things we can give them, one of the best experiences, so the opportunity to work with people like Intel, Motorola, is second to none and I think given that choice we're going to have to do it. I think that real world experience of having real deadlines and feedback from real manufacturers and real clients is fantastic for the students, so I think that's the key reason to do it, so I think all of that has been beneficial for all. Video 9

David O’Leary, Senior Associate Lecturer

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwr79CoEIJo

…the aim was to enable the students to collaborate effectively with people, both outside the discipline and across vast distances…

Well with the Intel project we started off using teleconferencing, which was great; however, when you're trying to receive feedback, you know, if I'm sitting opposite you and we're talking and I can read your body language or whatever it is and can get a much rounded impression of what you think, and we felt that with teleconferencing, because you couldn't see that other person, you know, there's also things like, you know, you don't know when to talk and you end up talking over each other and there's a delay etc. And so I think it was midway through the project that we negotiated to bring Skype into that. We had the teleconferencing still there because it was about the sound quality but we also had the video as well, which helped a lot. And it was fantastic for getting really detailed feedback, and feedback from the guys, the senior designers at Intel, it's really valuable to a student project. Video 10

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James Ravenhall, Design for Industry Students

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw4ZWvkMjMI

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

real time activity.

good practice & innovation

Within the Motorola project, we were able to upload files and the Korean students were able to download them and edit, add their changes, add to the documents, upload them again and then we've used reviews and comments to comment on this before we actually had the meetings. So instead of wasting ten minutes during the audio conference explaining and giving feedback, you've already got the feedback the night before or something, so you could save a bit of time and move on from there so it was less about waiting around. It was more of a

â&#x20AC;Śthe Global Studio has helped me in the fact of dealing with clients internationally, just something you don't always get the opportunity to do in a University situation. So when I come to a scenario where I need to speak with a client overseas or in another part of the UK, I've now learnt techniques in terms of communicating with them and sharing data and organising meetings etc. Video 11

Anton Webb, Design for Industry Students

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81kdsogZcDc

I think it really hit home how organised visually you have to be when you collaborate with people you're never going to see because you have to plan your time down to five minutes, and that five minutes needs to be really straightforward and not just a bullet pointed piece of text, because it's not engaging or interesting. â&#x20AC;Śit prepared me for sort of maybe virtual meetings with clients, because that's essentially what it was, and I know that happened when I was on placement this year, they were often teleconference client meetings, which I wasn't involved with, but having been involved with them in Northumbria I would have felt confident. I think I've learnt a lot using teleconferencing and having a site to upload work to. I think it's prepared us for the future. Video 12

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Joanne Cone, Design for Industry Students

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUU7SliyRGg

www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk


Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

…we used the range of communication tools, everything from Skype to email, and the tools we used were kind of dependent upon what information you wanted. For example, there was a point where I was using my University email to email Nick from Intel, and that was just a bit more of a way of doing things, and he would send me back sort of additional points that he thought we should address, so that was one example. But also, we used Skype chat with some of the Korean students, because that was all about, sort of, they needed to gain an understanding of our culture and that was a really quick and easy method for them if they had any questions, but for us to respond and answer their questions and kind of vice versa… …I've had an internship and that was, I did have to collaborate with sort of external people to the company who were not based in the UK or even Europe; they were overseas and so that kind of communication is really important, and I think having that understanding made things so much easier in how you get your ideas across and how you get people to, not only understand your ideas on the other side of the world, but also from a different culture quite often. Maybe that's kind of, I learnt that that was the challenge and I kind of took that into the workplace. That was really good. Video 13

Luke Wilson, Design for Industry Students

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W57XIk_ZCq4

I think the best thing [the Global Studio has] done is to help you learn how to do time management and negotiating with people and trying to communicate what I'm trying to say, more effectively so that other people can understand what I'm trying to get across.

Video 14

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Prajay Parmar, Design for Industry Students

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVuAlLWqSwA

www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk


Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

…the best features of the Plone were the ability to, and the WordPress too as they were similar, the ability that we could view all of the other projects as well, it was really helpful to see the different levels and where other projects were at and see how you were comparing and also the feedback. …the tools enabled collaboration by obviously allowing us to communicate, but, being able to discuss and design together so that we could see how they could see how they were doing and we could give them feedback and within the Skype meetings we could bounce ideas around and without these things we couldn't have worked together, we could have just emailed them our work but it wouldn't have given the same feel, and within Design, you can never really work on your own, and if you’re doing a project together, then you need to be able to see them and interact with them, and so using these tools really enabled that. Video 15

Archie Colvin, Design for Industry Students

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikLdmrC-QIM

…the project was sort of outside the normal envelope and traditionally, or typically what would’ve happened is if it is outside of the envelope then people would say we do not normally do that kind of thing so that answer is NO. That is not always an appropriate answer. So, I thought I need to find out more about this so I’ve got involved and went to one of the initial meetings, understood the problem and situation a lot better, and I have got involved with it.

Video 16

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Jed Woodhouse, Director IT Services Management

the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUlB6u08wFY

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

When we initially started putting in collaborative projects, the only way we could do it was getting our own server; we weren't, we had to make certain concessions to the institution, and I think that's starting to disappear now, and I think personally, in the next year or so, it's going to move back into the institution rather than being a separate server on its own, I think it's going to become service. … Open Source does allow us to play…

Video 17

Ben Lovatt, Internet Solutions Developer, lTech, the Learning & Teaching Academy, the video is available from http://vimeo.com/16769101

…we wanted to use the project to see what we can do with Open Source software within the university infrastructure… …our IT people are now very much more open to meeting the needs of academics to do some very interesting stuff…

Video 18

Chris Turnock, Head of LTech

Audio 1

Erik Bohemia, Reader

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the video is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR8d4dtOk9o or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFC8eUnihYk

the recording is available from http://theglobalstudio.eu/ict/audio/northumbria-universityerik-bohemia-soundbite.mp3 or http://bce.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2010/03/25/collaborativeonline-tools-for-bce/

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Conclusions The donation of a test bed server from IT services for the purposes of this work has been invaluable. Without a server essentially ‘owned’ by the project team, it would have been impossible to provide rapid installation and testing of new collaborative tools. The tools themselves proved to be a varied mix. The risk with open source platforms was always that support could end as the community moved on. For established systems (namely MediaWiki and WordPress) there was generally always a solution to problems we encountered (unless the problem was one of inappropriate tool use), this was not reflected in our use of lesser known systems. In Plone’s case the relatively small installed user base meant there was little or no incentive for developers to update or bug fix their plug-ins and extensions when they could be developing their work for systems with a larger install base. For future development it would be advisable to look at what the internet community is currently engaged in, rather than systems designed specifically for (in this case) collaborative ventures. Although WordPress may not have been the appropriate choice 3 years ago; community and user pressure for new features has expanded it into an (almost) fully functioning content management system. In addition to the technical solutions, the inclusion of a variety of technical support staff from the beginning has helped progress the project and overcome potential technological barriers (both resource and security) that can be found in such a large institution. Without the inclusion of the IT Services director we feel that several of the more contentious areas of the project (in particular the use of Skype) would have been impossible to implement.

Implications The success of the project indicates that HE and FE institutions should develop mechanisms to support academic (user) led initiatives trying to incorporate ICTs to support novel ways to engage learners and the wider community. The project also illustrates the importance of teaching staff engaging with IT Services and LTech from the early start of the project. For example, this led to commissioning specific collaborative virtual server within the Northumbria University which facilitated a fast turnaround of fixes during this trial project. This in turn enabled implementation of dedicated secured online project sites hosted by the university. Thus, the secured project sites have provided our business partners with a confidence in security of commercially sensitive project related material. Another implication of having access to online project sites available to only community members who were part of the collaborative project was provision of safe learning environment for students. Trial enabled implementation of Skype on the main university wireless network which seems to be safe to use, with no adverse impact on Northumbria or partners’ infrastructure reported. This implementation allows users to access their email, project websites and Skype at the same time using the same machine. In the past this would have been possible only with using three machine each access the different service (i.e. machine 1 = email, machine 2 = project website and machine 3 = Skype). 37 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Student surveys indicated that their perceived learning experience have been enhanced during the engagement with external partners. The transferability to other disciplines is evidenced by a number of academics for other schools that are currently in discussion with LTech staff to incorporate crossinstitutional business focused learning activity into their programmes.

Recommendations It is recommended that IT Services in HE and FE develop processes where the novel use of ICTs envisaged by academics (users) can be trialled in collaboration with IT Services and e-Learning support staff. This would complement the established pattern of incorporating ICT where either IT Services or e-Learning departments sanction specific ICTs to support learning and teaching within these institutions. We also recommend that students and academic staff are supported in preparation on how the ICT tools might be used to support them during the collaborative project with industry and community partners. We would like to highlight the importance of facilitating an early dialogue with the key players so that projects like these can internally supported and resourced. The proliferation of Web 2.0 technologies and their incorporation into the learning and teaching environment means that JISC might be more likely to support future projects exploring how staff and student can develop skills in digital literacy in order for them to be able to participate effectively in distributed project-based collaborative work within a Web 2.0 based learning environment.

References Bohemia, E., & Harman, K. (2008). Globalization and Product Design Education: The Global Studio. Design Management Journal, 3(2), 53-68. Bohemia, E., & Harman, K. (2010). Dissemination of innovative teaching and learning practice: Global Studio. In A. Venis (Ed.), Learning and Teaching Projects 2008-9 (pp. 15). Bristol, UK: ADMHEA. Bohemia, E., Harman, K., & McDowell, L. (2009). Intersections: The utility of an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Assessment for Learningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; discourse for Design educators. Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education, 8(3), 123-134. Bohemia, E., Lauche, K., Badke-Schaub, P., Langeveld, L., Thomson, I., Wilson, C., and Titley, W. (2007). Outcomes From a Distributed Design Studio. Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education: Shaping the Future?, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Bohemia, E., & Smith, N. (2008, 27 June). Constructing Constructs with Motorola: Global Studio. Paper presented at the 3rd Academic Practice Study Day/Conference, Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Clough, G. W., (the Committee Chair). (2002). The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century (pp. 118). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 38 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience. (2009). Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World (pp. 50). Cox, G. (2005). Cox Review of Creativity in Business: building on the UK’s strengths (pp. 48). London: HM Treasury. Del Vitto, C. (2008). Cross-Cultural “Soft Skills” and the Global Engineer: Corporate Best Practices and Trainer Methodologies. The Online Journal for Global Engineering Education, 3(1), 8. Engardio, P., & Einhorn, B. (2005, March 1). Outsourcing Innovation. BusinessWeek. Hodge, K. (2010). Hack-proof your Wordpress blog. PCPlus, 60-61. Hudson, B., Owen, D., & van Veen, K. (2006). Working on educational research methods with masters students in an international online learning community. British Journal of Educational Technology, 37(4), 577–603. Hutchings, C. (2008, 12 June). Great expectations of ICT: findings from second phase of research briefing paper Retrieved 20 June, 2009, from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/documents/greatexpectationsbp.aspx Kelly, J., & Stewart, A. (2009). The role of collaborative online tools in business and community engagement with course design/delivery. Paper presented at the Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009 - 26th Annual ascilite International Conference: Same places, different spaces. , Auckland, New Zealand. Schadewitz, N. (2009). Design Patterns for Cross-cultural Collaboration. International Journal of Design, 3(3), 37-53. The Design Skills Advisory Panel. (2006). Design a new design industry: Design Skills Consultation. London, UK: Creative & Cultural Skills and the Design Council. Turnock, C., Bohemia, E., Woodhouse, J., & Lovatt, B. (2010, Wednesday 19 May). Internationalising Education via Social Networking. Paper presented at the Social Networking in the Workplace: Meet and Greet, Text and Tweet, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Appendixes A booklet from the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;On the Move 2: Computing Nowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; collaborative project between Intel and School of Design at Northumbria University is available from Issuu, an online service that allows viewing of digitally uploaded material, such as portfolios, books, magazine issues, newspapers, and other print media. http://issuu.com/erik.bohemia/docs /2010intelonthemovebooklet A limited number of printed copies are available on request.

A report describing Global Studio is available from the national Higher Educational Academy subject centre for Arts, Design and Media website: http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/ projects/adm-heaprojects/learning-and-teachingprojects-2008-9/dissemination-ofinnovative-teaching-and-learningpractice-the-global-studio

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

A book titled ‘The Global Studio: Linking Research, Teaching and Learning’ is available from Amazon. The review of the book is available from the Higher Education Academy’s national subject centre for Arts, Design and Media: http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/news/ subject-centre-news/the-global-studiolinking-research-teaching-and-learning or http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/library /files/resource-reviews/aidan-rowe-theglobal-studio.pdf This book is aimed at design educators and is intended as a resource for those interested in exploring the potential of the Global Studio for the education of future designers. It is important to stress, however, that the editors are not suggesting all design courses should incorporate a global component, nor that all design courses should be conducted along the lines of a design studio. In fact, they seek to draw attention to a recognition of differences. The aim is to generate different ideas and approaches for ‘doing’ design education and ongoing discussion about what counts, and for whom, in relation to curriculum development in design. Another aim is to exemplify various ways of how research, teaching and learning can be linked. An important aspect of The Global Studio is that it provides a rich research site for exploring questions in relation to teaching and learning as well as doing product development in geographically distributed design teams.

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Student Survey Questionnaires

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Figure 16

Student questionnaire used during the ‘On the Move 2’ project

Figure 17

Student questionnaire used at the end of the ‘On the Move 2’ project

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

Figure 18

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good practice & innovation

Student questionnaire used at the completion of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Entertainment on the Goâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; project

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

Figure 19

good practice & innovation

Student questionnaires used during the ‘Entertainment on the Go’ project

Dissemination Summary Below is a list of dissemination outputs: Bohemia, E. (2010, 1-2 November). Web 2.0 and international collaborative learning. Paper presented at the 3rd EARLI S-ICT Conference Student Mobility and ICT 2010: World in Transition, The Hague, The Netherlands. Bohemia, E. (2010, 11 March ). Case 1: The Global Studio. Presented at the HEA Evidence-based Practice Seminar Series 2010: Educating the global citizen: how interactive technology can help, Newcastle upon Tyne. Bohemia, E. (2010). Complexities of teaching and learning collaborations with international partners: the Global Studio. In D. Durling & R. Bousbaci & L.-L. Chen & P. Gauthrier & S. RoworthStokes & E. Stolterman (Eds.), Design Research Society 2010: Design & Complexity. Montreal (Quebec), Canada: Université de Montréal. Bohemia, E. (2010, 23-25 June). Going global at home. Invited presentation at the CIPD: Building current and future capability of the profession, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK. Bohemia, E. (2010, 12 April). Using technology to build better relationships with employers. Presented at the JISC Conference 2010, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London. Bohemia, E., Greenough, T., Oakley, N., Smith, N., & Toes, H. (Eds.). (2010). On the Move 2: Mobile Computing Now. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Nortumbria University and Intel Corporation. 45 of 46

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Final Report Reference:

The Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for Business and Community Engagement

Project Title:

The Open ICT Tools

good practice & innovation

Bohemia, E., Harman, K., Turnock, C., Smith, N., Woodhouse, J., & Lovatt, B. (2010, 27 May). Open ICT Tools: Facilitating international Business and Community Enragement. Presented at the Programme support event: Employer responsive provision: Designing, delivering and supporting flexible learning opportunities, Lakeside Centre, Aston University, Birmingham. Bohemia, E., Smith, N., Turnock, C., & Duncan, T. (2010). Going Global with Global Partners. Presented at the Going Global 4, The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London. Turnock, C., Bohemia, E., Woodhouse, J., & Lovatt, B. (2010, Wednesday 19 May). Internationalising Education via Social Networking. Presented at the Social Networking in the Workplace: Meet and Greet, Text and Tweet, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Woodhouse, J., Lovatt, B., Turnock, C., & Bohemia, E. (2010). Open ICT Boundaries. Presented at Building on our Success - Northumbria Support Conference. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Northumbria University. Bohemia, E. (2009, 30 January). Using technology to get a global experience. Presented at the Building an international learning community, Northumbria University, CETL AfL, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Bohemia, E., & Harman, K. (2009, 10-11 September). Mapping elements of Assessment for Learning within a Global Design studio. Paper presented at the 11th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Creating a Better World, University of Brighton, UK. Bohemia, E., Smith, N., Harman, K., Duncan, T., Hwang, S.-G., & Turnock, C. (2009). Distributed Collaboration between Industry and University Partners in HE. In K. Lee & J. Kim & L.-L. Chen (Eds.), IASDR 2009: Design / Rigor & Relevance. COEX, Seoul, Korea: Korea Society of Design Science. Bohemia, E., Turnock, C., Woodhouse, J., Smith, N., & Lovatt, B. (2009). Open ICT Tools JISC infoNet project. Presented at the Northumbria Conference 2009, Holiday Inn at Seaton Burn, UK. Bohemia, E., & Woodhouse, J. (2009, 16 July). The Open ICT Tools: Collaborative Tools to Support Business and Community Engagement. Presented at the Extending IT Support for External Engagement: Helping IT services provide support for engagement between institutions and their external partners, Euston House, London. Turnock, C., Bohemia, E., Woodhouse, J., Smith, N., & Lovatt, B. (2009, 14-15 September). Opening ICT Boundaries. Paper presented at the iPED 2009, 4th International Inquiring Pedagogies Conference: Researching Beyond Boundaries', Academic Communities without Borders, Coventry, UK. In addition to the above dissemination outputs the project has been also featured within the University newsletters such as the Northumbria Learning & Teaching Support Newsletter (LATEST) and Insight.

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BCE Northumbria Final Report  

BCE Northumbria Final Report

BCE Northumbria Final Report  

BCE Northumbria Final Report

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