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Published by: AJCann on Jul 22, 2008
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PLE Project: Progress Report July 2008
Since the last report in April the main events have been Ethics Week 23-27 June 2008, andthe first Library Training day 17 June 2008. Our next focus is the development of the 12week SSM course beginning in September.
A list of project meetings can be seen below. Full details are documented on the projectblog at:http://pleproject.wordpress.com/ 
May 9, 2008: Blackboard & Security.
May 14 2008: Integrating Blackboard into the project.
May 23 2008: Library perspective.
June 6, 2008: Resources on Blackboard for Ethics Week.
June 20 2008: Final meet up before Ethics Week.
Medical Ethics & Law Week
As work on developing the resources for the Medical Ethics and Law Week progressed itbecame apparent that the course tutor required a level of authentication for 270 studentswhich was not viable on externally hosted software. After considering other options it wasdecided to use Blackboard and to include web 2 resources either on Blackboard or linksoutside.A Blackboard module dedicated to Ethics Week was set up. It combined traditionalBlackboard use with web 2. On it was:
Course reading material and videos.
Case study assignments & module handbook.
Web 2 communications technologies for the students to communicate with us:Twitter, Seesmic and a Meebo chatroom.
A Blog: students submitted their work here. The tutor wanted all students to seeeach others work and to comment on it.
Information resources:- law citation guides,- direct links to relevant databases,- aGoogle custom searchengine based on over 100 websites recommended by thecourse Tutor.- a simplePageflakes pageof direct links to recommended journals, RSS feeds fromPubMed and the Journal of Medical Ethics, and a video cast of how to set up an RSSfeed on PubMed.- A link toGoogle Documents.
Student feedback questionnaire.
During Ethics week Sarah Whittaker and Alan Cann demonstrated the resources to thestudents at the very beginning of the week. They are available for students to consult onlineand also at drop in sessions every day in the MSB coffee bar.
Summary of Outcomes from Ethics Week
Students were mostly positive about the resources, in particular the custom search engine(this is supported by statistics for the site). Blackboard statistics were not useful since theyare unreliable and do not collect data from the blog tool students used on this module for online submission and sharing of case studies. It is not easy to collect statistics on theexternal AJAX pages, except for the Google custom search engine which was created for this module and proved to be popular. Students did not use the Web 2 communicationchannels, however we feel that this is because of the constraints of a one week intensivecourse where students are focused on getting through a lot of material, and we aim todevelop this for the SSM. The questionnaire (run on Blackboard) responses indicated thatthe tools used on the module were generally popular (see Appendix).
Library Training Day 17 July 2008
A training morning was held open to any interested library staff (both librarians and libraryassistants) called ‘ Opportunity to learn more about Web 2.0’. A group of five librarians whoare already web 2 enthusiasts were on hand as ‘expert users’ to showcase a web 2technology (RSS feed readers, Facebook, Blogs & Twitter, Social Bookmarking, OnlineOffice Suites). The emphasis of the session was for people to have a go and discuss ideas.A wikiWeb 2 and UoL Libraries was created to facilitate this (we only realistically expected people to use this on the day).
There was somegeneral debate on issues surrounding libraries and web 2 technologies.Informal feedback on the session was very positive. Another session will be set up inNovember.Three outcomes are:
We are in the process of getting Thwirl installed on staff PCs to encourage use of Twitter as an instant and informal means of communication.
Creation of UoL Library Blog: http://uollibraryblog.wordpress.com/. The blog is intended as a place for library staff to debate ideas informally rather than as a publicfacing ‘corporate’ blog. Initially this is to be established by core of enthusiasts, then if successful open to all library staff (and perhaps the wider world). The aim is to keepit informal and current, to encourage participation. For now the blog is not public (itcannot be found by a search engine).
Interest in the project has been expressed by Museum Studies Digital Heritageprogramme. Dr Andrew Sawyer was aiming to attend the session but was unableat last minute, however since we have had a meeting to discuss how the librarycan integrate into their programme using web 2.
Plans For Next Period:
Work on how to make the Web 2.0 resources more integrated into the SSM and not just as an ‘add-on’.
Build on the success of the library training day to keep interest and momentum.
Development of the library website integrating Web 2.0 elements.
Meetings with Museum studies to discuss their Digital Heritage programme and howthe library can integrate using web 2.
Question 15: Any other comments, in particular the use of online resources on thismodule:
Online resources very straight forward and easy to use
Online resources were very helpful - much better this year uploading our work as opposed tothe posters from last year.
The online resources were good and easy to access.
Online resources were very useful

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