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SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report.

Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)


By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report

By Sarah Currier, Project Consultant

0. Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................... 3


0.1 Who are the Employability Co-ordinators’ Network? ............................................................. 3
0.2 What are the requirements of the ECN? ................................................................................. 4
0.3 Benchmarking the ECN............................................................................................................ 4
1. Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 5
2. Methods ........................................................................................................................................ 5
2.1 Development Group Kick-off Meeting .................................................................................... 5
2.2 ECN Introductory and Requirements Gathering Meetings ...................................................... 5
2.3 ECN Survey .............................................................................................................................. 6
2.4 SHEEN Steering Group and HEA Input ..................................................................................... 7
2.5 Meeting with Work-Based Voluntary Sector Project............................................................... 7
2.6 Project Review ........................................................................................................................ 7
3. Benchmarking the ECN re Resource Sharing and Web 2.0 ............................................................ 7
3.1 Who belongs to the ECN? ....................................................................................................... 8
3.1.1 Gender ............................................................................................................................. 8
3.1.2 Professional background of co-ordinators ....................................................................... 8
3.1.3 Where employability co-ordinators are based ................................................................. 8
3.1.4 Time available for employability work ............................................................................. 9
3.2 How does the ECN communicate and share resources currently? .......................................... 9
3.2.1 General communication: frequency and method ............................................................ 9
3.2.2 Finding and sharing resources within and outwith the ECN ........................................... 10
3.2.2.1 Discovering resources ............................................................................................. 10
3.2.2.2 Saving resources ...................................................................................................... 11
3.2.2.3 Sharing resources .................................................................................................... 11
3.3 ECN confidence in resource sharing ...................................................................................... 12
3.3.1 Confidence in accessing resources efficiently and effectively ........................................ 12
3.3.2 Confidence in disseminating resources efficiently and effectively to the rest of the ECN
................................................................................................................................................ 13
3.3.3 Confidence in finding resources a year from now .......................................................... 15
3.3.4 Confidence in disseminating resources to stakeholders outwith the ECN ..................... 15

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

3.4 Importance to the ECN of possible project aims ................................................................... 16


3.5 Benchmarking ECN experience with specific Web tools ....................................................... 19
3.5.1 Educational Web applications: VLEs, repositories, e-portfolios ..................................... 19
3.5.2 Web 2.0 tools and applications ...................................................................................... 19
Appendices ..................................................................................................................................... 21
Appendix 1: SHEEN Sharing Development Group Kick-off Meeting: Notes ................................. 21
Appendix 2: SHEEN Sharing Introductory Meeting with ECN Edinburgh Group: Notes .............. 22
Appendix 3: SHEEN Sharing Introductory Meeting with ECN Central Group: Notes ................... 23
Appendix 4: SHEEN Sharing Introductory Meeting with ECN Northern Group: Notes ................ 24
Appendix 5: SHEEN Sharing Introductory Meeting with ECN West of Scotland Group: Notes .... 25
Appendix 6: HEA Requirements: Eddie Gulc and Alastair Robertson .......................................... 26
Appendix 7: Work-Related Learning in the Voluntary Sector: Meeting with Fiona Boyle
(Employability Co-ordinator, Queen Margaret College): Notes .................................................. 26
Appendix 8: Survey Results ......................................................................................................... 29
Table A: Current communications within ECN ........................................................................ 29
Table B1: Finding and sharing resources within and outwith ECN .......................................... 29
Table B2: Finding and sharing resources within and outwith ECN .......................................... 30
Table C: ECN confidence in finding and disseminating resources ........................................... 31
Table D: ECN importance of project outcomes ....................................................................... 31
Table E: ECN experience with Web tools ................................................................................ 32
Appendix 9: Survey Form ................................................................................................................ 33

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

0. Executive Summary

0.1 Who are the Employability Co-ordinators’ Network?


Etienne Wenger, one of the key educators on communities of practice, notes that:

“Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a
shared domain of human endeavor: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of
expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity
in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers
helping each other cope.”1

Looked at as a community of practice, the ECN is:


 National (across Scotland), and geographically distributed, with some members,
particularly in the north of Scotland, less able to attend centrally based meetings;
 Mostly female (76% female / 24% male);
 A mix of part-time and full-time (59% full-time / 41% part-time);
 A mix of professional backgrounds;
 A mix of institutional situations, in terms of:
o the type of department they are based in (59% educational/staff development /
41% careers service), some being co-located in different departments;
o the emphasis required by their institution on employability work (including
working at a policy level; working on curriculum and course development; and
working directly with academics and students).
o university type, from red brick to the ancients, including the Open University
and the federated UHI Millennium Institute.
 Temporary: funding for their work will not continue beyond the next couple of years.

Some implications:
 There is significant time pressure on many ECN members;
 There are a range of professional and institutional cultures, priorities and
communication styles coming to bear on their ability to participate;
 There are institutional cultures with different approaches to and support for use of
technology (for instance, one institution blocks use of certain Web 2.0 tools on campus;
another doesn’t allow use of Flash);
 There is a sense that the work accomplished must somehow not be lost after the end of
the ECN’s funded tenure in this role.

So, although this is a small group of professionals, it cannot be assumed that they have access to the
same resources, have the same work priorities and pressures, or have similar jobs.

However, despite their differences, it is clear that the ECN has worked from the beginning as a
community of practice, engaging in a process of collective learning about their tasks as university
employees whose remit is to promote employability for the benefit of students in higher education
and their potential employers. Given the affordances Web 2.0 can offer to a distributed community

1
http://www.ewenger.com/theory/

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

like this, the SHEEN Sharing project could have much to offer in their continued work, learning and
professional development.

0.2 What are the requirements of the ECN?


The basic requirements that have emerged are as follows:
 Communication:
o Mutual support;
o Sharing experience, practice and learning.
 Resource sharing, comprising:
o Resource discovery, sharing, recommending and rating;
o Sharing experiences of use of resources;
o Targeted resource dissemination to all stakeholders.

During the initial meetings, however, it also became clear that learning new skills in utilising Web 2.0
technologies would be helpful in their roles supporting teachers and students with employability
issues, an impression supported strongly by the SHEEN Sharing Review. As noted in the recent
report of an independent Committee of Inquiry into the impact on higher education of students’
widespread use of Web 2.0 technologies (entitled ‘Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World’ 2):

“*...+ the dispositions developed through engagement with Web 2.0 technologies – to communicate,
participate, network, share etc – overlap with what are viewed both as significant 21st century
learning skills and 21st century employability skills.”

0.3 Benchmarking the ECN


ECN members communicate less frequently than they would like, largely due to time constraints and
issues of information overload, with all forms of communication tending to occur monthly or less.
The ability to communicate privately and in a targeted way is valued, as are opportunities to meet in
person, or to utilise tools which simulate the informality and support of face-to-face meetings.

ECN members use bookmarking as the primary method of saving resources they have found, which
points to social bookmarking as a possible way forward for SHEEN Sharing. They tend to rely on Web
searching to find resources again, and email to share resources with colleagues. However, a
considerable number of ECN members have low confidence in their own efficiency and effectiveness
with finding, sharing, disseminating and re-discovering resources; un-surprising given their desire for
the SHEEN Sharing project to help with this.

To date, ECN members have some experience in their personal lives with social networking tools,
but not much enthusiasm for them, and less experience with the main resource sharing and
dissemination tools required for SHEEN Sharing. However, they strongly support the major aims of
the project: sharing opinions, practice tips and ideas around resources with ECN colleagues and
other stakeholders, and improving their own efficiency and effectiveness in sharing resources.

2
See: Hughes, A. (2009) Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World: Report of an independent Committee of Inquiry
into the impact on higher education of students’ widespread use of Web 2.0 technologies. JISC. Available:
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/documents/heweb2.aspx

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

1. Introduction
The SHEEN Sharing Project aims to support the Employability Co-ordinators’ Network as a
community of practice, with a particular focus on utilizing online tools to communicate about, share
and recommend resources of relevance to their employability work. The project will also support
discovery and dissemination of relevant employability resources for stakeholders outwith the ECN,
e.g. academics, staff developers, student support departments, funding bodies, national services,
etc. Outputs and findings will benefit the wider education community, and the FE and HE funding
bodies across the UK, by contributing to sector knowledge and understanding of resource sharing
and community support using current Web technologies.

In preparing for the major work of the project, Workpackage 4: Trials of Web 2.0 Tools3, the project
consultant gathered ECN requirements and ascertained co-ordinators’ level of awareness and
experience with Web 2.0 tools in their work. This exercise, Workpackage 3: Requirements
Gathering, was carried out in the first three months of the project from January to March 2009, in
parallel with Workpackage 2: Web 2.0 Review; both fed into each other during this period. This
document represents the results of the requirements gathering workpackage; see also the
document SHEEN Sharing Review.

2. Methods
2.1 Development Group Kick-off Meeting
Shortly after the project started in January 2009, project consultant Sarah Currier and project
manager Cherie Woolmer facilitated a kick-off meeting for the SHEEN Sharing Development Group
at Strathclyde University’s Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement. The
Development Group is composed of ECN members who have made a commitment to supporting the
SHEEN Sharing project.

This meeting began the requirements gathering and benchmarking process, intended to establish
specific ECN needs and wishes in relation to resource sharing and dissemination, and where co-
ordinators were in terms of their understanding, confidence in and use of Web 2.0 tools and
applications.

The meeting made clear that the ECN is very diverse, and that there was likely to be a mixture of
interest and resistance shown regarding being asked to take part in new ways of working. One
outcome was the decision to hold a series of introductory meetings in geographically suitable
locations, and to carry out a survey of the ECN.

Notes recorded in Appendix 1: SHEEN Sharing Development Group Kick-off Meeting.

2.2 ECN Introductory and Requirements Gathering Meetings


From February to March 2009, four introductory meetings were held around Scotland, facilitated by
the project consultant. These meetings were designed to introduce as close to 100% of the ECN as
possible to the project, to give them an overview of Web 2.0, and to gather their requirements and
feedback. The selection of four geographical locations enabled the majority of co-ordinators (and
those responsible for employability at those institutions who had not employed individual co-

3
See SHEEN Sharing Project Plan: http://www.scribd.com/doc/15722654/SHEEN-Sharing-Project-Plan-v1p0

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

ordinators) to attend. A relaxed, informal group discussion atmosphere was promoted at each
meeting, with lunch, questions and discussion ongoing throughout the presentation, live
demonstrations of exemplar Web 2.0 tools, and informal notes taken.

As with the kick-off meeting, there was a mixture of enthusiasm and concern about the SHEEN
Sharing remit. People generally started off interested, and began showing their anxiety about three
quarters of the way into the introductory presentation, usually with comments such as “But how do
you find the time?” and “There isn’t enough time in the world!” and “I already have too much
information coming at me via email”. There were also concerns expressed about the boundary
between personal and professional communications and identity. At this point, the project
consultant, and, when she was present, the project manager, addressed specific concerns about
time and effort required versus the intended benefits of this way of working.

To some extent, there was a feeling that the ECN wanted the SHEEN funding to just create a
repository for them and do all the cataloguing and information management. The reasons for
choosing not to go down this route were revisited4, including the awareness amongst the ECN that
multiple employability sites already exist and that they were not keen to develop another static
website. Each meeting ended on a high about the possibilities of learning new skills and trying new
tools. This usually happened more readily when Cherie Woolmer, the project manager, was present.
As a peer, a member of the ECN herself, and someone just ahead of the rest on the Web 2.0 learning
curve, she was able to communicate her enthusiasm, the ease of learning the tools with a bit of
effort, and the positive benefits she could see from using them for her work.

These meetings finished with ECN members being encouraged to set up a newsfeed reader on the
web or in their email account, and to subscribe to the project blog feed as the basic minimum
commitment to learning something new and Web 2.0. A blog posting5 was created and tagged
HowTo to assist with this.

Meeting notes recorded in Appendices 2-5.

2.3 ECN Survey


A Web-based benchmarking survey was created, but due to time constraints on the co-ordinators,
paper copies were brought to the introductory meetings and time set aside to allow co-ordinators to
manually fill out the forms on the spot. This was more time-consuming for the project consultant
later, but ensured the maximum possible response, while minimising time pressure on the ECN, and
sparking further discussion in the meetings.

The survey examined five broad areas:

1. Gathering basic data about members of the ECN;


2. Establishing how the ECN currently communicates and shares resources;
3. Benchmarking current confidence levels of ECN members with resource discovery, sharing
and dissemination tasks;

4
Namely, the amount of resource required to fund, set up and staff a formal repository, coupled with the
potential for Web 2.0 tools to support integration with existing repositories and websites, and to encourage
the development of the ECN as a community of practice sharing with and learning from each other.
5
See: http://sheensharing.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/tips-tricks-getting-updates-easily-using-feeds/

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

4. Benchmarking which Web 2.0 tools ECN members were already familiar with;
5. Understanding the relative importance to the ECN of the project’s aims.

Analysis of survey outcomes in Section 3: Benchmarking the ECN re Resource Sharing and Web 2.0;
Results recorded in Appendix 8; Survey form in Appendix 9.

2.4 SHEEN Steering Group and HEA Input


Feedback on work so far was sought from the SHEEN Steering Group at the end of March 2009, and
the project consultant met with Eddie Gulc of the HEA in Edinburgh the same week to discuss mutual
affordances with the HEA. It was agreed that the project consultant and project manager would
meet with HEA staff with an interest in Web 2.0, in employability, and the EvidenceNet team 6, who
may be able to help with the SHEEN Sharing exit strategy and sustainability issues.

Notes recorded in Appendix 6: HEA Requirements: Eddie Gulc and Alastair Robertson.

2.5 Meeting with Work-Based Voluntary Sector Project


Finally, prior to the Trials Planning Workshop on April 6 th 2009, the project consultant met face-to-
face with one of the other SHEEN projects, the Voluntary Sector Work-Based Learning project, at
Queen Margaret University, to get a feel for how one stakeholder group utilising SHEEN Sharing
might have its requirements and planning supported by the project.

Notes recorded in Appendix 7: Work-Related Learning in the Voluntary Sector: Meeting with Fiona
Boyle (Employability Co-ordinator, Queen Margaret College).

2.6 Project Review


Literature, websites, blogs, conference presentations and other outputs of Web 2.0 initiatives of
relevance to SHEEN Sharing were reviewed and summarised in the SHEEN Sharing Review
document, along with the results of three interviews with experts.

3. Benchmarking the ECN re Resource Sharing and Web 2.0


After an informal “show-of-hands” survey with the SHEEN Sharing Development Group at the
project kick-off meeting in January 2009, it was decided to devise a more formal survey for all those
involved in employability work in the ECN.

Once it became clear that the ECN was already over-burdened with email requests to respond to,
the survey was created as an online form using Googledocs, but printed out and brought to all of the
ECN introductory meetings. Participants were asked to fill out the forms during the meeting, and
encouraged to raise any issues occurring to them out of the survey questions. This served to further
discussion within the meetings about the ECN’s comfort levels with, and experience of resource
sharing, communications and use of Web-based technologies within and outwith their employability
network. It also meant that 15 forms were completed, with a further two forms being completed via
email after the meetings, one by a meeting participant who had to leave early, and one by someone
who was unable to attend any of the SHEEN Sharing meetings to date.

A total of 17 surveys were returned. It is not clear at the time of writing exactly how many people
were potential respondents as the composition of the ECN has been in flux over the initial period of

6
This meeting eventually took place in York on 9 June 2009; see project blog for report.

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

the project, however, there appear to be approximately 20-21 ECN members working either as
employability co-ordinators or in equivalent roles in Scottish HEIs at any given time. The return rate
for the survey is therefore approximately 85%.

A small number of HEIs in Scotland do not choose to employ a specific Employability Co-ordinator
post, therefore the use of the term “Employability Co-ordinators” in the form was slightly mis-
leading for some respondents in some questions, however, this was easily ameliorated during survey
analysis; where it is an issue it is noted below.

The survey form and tables giving full details of responses to questions are given in the Appendices.

3.1 Who belongs to the ECN?


The breakdown is as follows:

3.1.1 Gender
Female: 13 (76%)
Male: 4 (24%)

3.1.2 Professional background of co-ordinators


There was no question for this point in the survey, although in retrospect it may have proven useful
for evaluation and further work on the project. It certainly emerged as a topic of interest in the
introductory meetings.

Some employability co-ordinators have a good deal of careers service experience; some have HE
policy and planning experience; some are academics; at least one has a library background prior to
staff development work; and some are experienced in educational and staff development in HE. A
variety of approaches to their work were evident, and there were two participants who were not
labelled “employability co-ordinators”; their institutions had chosen to embed the employability
agenda in different ways.

While it is beyond the scope of this project to investigate the effects of these differences too deeply,
it is clear that the ECN as a community of practice contains some distinct differences within a small
group. Discussion one-on-one with co-ordinators, and at the introductory meetings, has indicated
that these differences express themselves in different priorities and drivers; different working
cultures and practices; and different pressures brought bear on ECN members from within their own
departments and institutions.

3.1.3 Where employability co-ordinators are based


Respondents were asked to name their specific department, and also to select from a list which type
of department they work in. Some were in a department that covers more than one category, some
were co-located or had mixed responsibilities in their job (therefore the percentages given below do
not add up to 100%). Three universities have designated departments or units with names that
include the word “employability”. The breakdown is as follows:

 Educational Development Department: 7 (41%)


NB: includes some co-located individuals and mixed-responsibility departments

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

 Careers Service: 10 (59%)


NB: includes some co-located individuals and mixed-responsibility departments

 Student Services: 1 (6%)

 Mixed responsibility/location: 4 (24%)


NB: Mixes break down specifically as follows:
“careers ; placements (academics) ; information ; staff support - curriculum & WBL”
“Covers educational development / staff development and policy/external affairs”
“Educational development department AND Academic Quality & Planning
department” – i.e. co-located individual.
“Educational Development Department/Staff Development Department and
University Careers Service” – i.e. co-located individual (two departments).

 Departments specifically named as “employability”: 3 (18%)


NB: Broken down specifically as follows:
Employability Link at University of West of Scotland; Employability Consultancy at
Edinburgh Napier University (Careers Service); Employability & Enterprise, Student
Services at Edinburgh College of Art (Careers Service).

3.1.4 Time available for employability work


This survey question specifically asked “How much of your work time is officially devoted to
Employability Co-ordinator work?”; some respondents are not in posts titled “Employability Co-
ordinator”. However, the intent of the question was to see how many work full-time on
employability and how many don’t, in order to get a feel for time constraints on possible project
participants, so those respondents’ answers were considered to fulfil either full- or part-time
responses on that basis.

The survey also broke down part-time work into four sub-categories, the results of which are
recorded in Appendix 8: Survey Results.

Full-time: 10 (59%)
Part-time: 7 (41%)

3.2 How does the ECN communicate and share resources currently?
This section of the survey aimed to elicit an overview of the ECN’s current frequency of
communication, and how they currently discover, store, share and re-discover resources. As the
SHEEN Sharing Review made clear, understanding personal and group resource management
strategies is invaluable to deciding what new tools fit the group in question, and have the potential
to augment their work, thus increasing likelihood of take-up.

3.2.1 General communication: frequency and method


Respondents were asked how frequently they communicated with other employability co-ordinators
by email (one-to-one); email (emailing a number of people at once); email (via the ECN JISCmail list);
by phone; and face to face.

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

Overall, the majority of respondents communicated once a month or less with each other. The
following figures show how many respondents communicated via each method once a month or
less:

Email (one-to-one) = 53%

Email (several at once) = 89%

Email (JISCmail list) = 94%

Telephone = 89%

Face to face = 88%

This section of the survey indicates that currently most members of the ECN do not communicate
with each other particularly frequently, certainly not as a daily or weekly task. When they do, the
most popular method is one-to-one emails, followed by phoning one-on-one, and emailing between
small groups of co-ordinators. The least popular is the ECN JISCmail list, which is could cause
concern for a project wanting to encourage use of Web tools across the entire community.

However, when this is analysed in light of discussion at the introductory meetings, a fairly strong
requirement emerges for being able to tailor communications to specific individuals, and to keep
them within a “safe”, non-public communications space. Meeting participants mentioned on several
occasions the fact that, as a group, they had requested membership of the JISCmail list to be limited
to only those directly involved in employability work and one or two other trusted colleagues, and
that the archives be private.

Moreover, participants in the introductory meetings did not indicate a lack of willingness to
communicate with each other; many of them have found that serious time constraints don't allow
them to make contact as often as they might like. They are also aware of a constant flow of emails
through the JISCmail list making their own information management difficult, and thus don’t wish to
add to the onslaught for others. In addition, they appeared to be a fairly cohesive group, who knew
each other well and got along when together physically at meetings, and mentioned often that
opportunities for face-to-face meetings had been invaluable throughout their time in post. One
participant noted that they would like to find some kind of tool that would replicate the
spontaneous, supportive conversations that are often had in the lunch queue at conferences.

Other sections of the survey and meeting outcomes indicate a strong desire for communications
about resources and practice.

3.2.2 Finding and sharing resources within and outwith the ECN

3.2.2.1 Discovering resources


Participants at one of the introductory meetings mentioned that they had spent a large proportion
of their first months in post looking for resources, and that they would have appreciated a single
point of access. This would also be helpful when handing over to a replacement staff member.

Unsurprisingly, when looking for resources of use to their employability work, all the respondents
search the Web using Google (or other search engines; this question was not broken down further),

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

and trawl and/or search known websites such as the HEA Employability Tools page and university
departmental sites. One participant commented that "trawl" is an apt word as it can be difficult to
find resources on some websites.

3.2.2.2 Saving resources


A total of 76% of respondents bookmark resources they have found using their browser bookmarks
or favourites; 88% save files to their work computers where possible; and a further 24% also save
them to their home computer. While very similar numbers then look in these places when they wish
to find a resource again, a full 65% will also try searching Google again, suggesting a good deal of
reliance on Google’s search algorithms over and above their own filing systems.

Only two respondents use social bookmarking to date, however, the fact that a clear majority use
their own browser bookmarks suggests that they may be willing to experiment with the usefulness
of a Web-based bookmarking service that also allows them to share resources they have found with
colleagues with no, or minimal, extra effort. The added bonus of having them always available
whatever computer you are on was commented on favourably a number of times during the
introductory meetings. Given that social bookmarking may therefore prove an easy route into Web
2.0 for most participants, and given that they are easily useable via feeds as a way of disseminating
resources and comments on them via a number of routes, this is a clear indication of one way
forward for the tools trials part of the project.

A small number of respondents (four) save resources for future use by emailing them to themselves;
only one emails to the JISCmail list for this purpose. Emailing resources in to social bookmarking,
social networking and blogging services is now offered by many Web 2.0 applications, so it may be
worth giving training on this where requested.

About 71% search their own email archives when trying to find resources again, suggesting that they
pick up good resources by being notified of them by others, either personally or via email lists they
belong to. A smaller number (35% and 24% respectively) directly ask their colleagues individually or
using the JISCmail list or other community tools, when they want to know where to find a resource
they have previously seen.

It is also worth noting that two respondents stated that they print resources out to save them,
suggesting a minority for whom print is still the reliable (and in one case specifically, “readable”)
medium.

3.2.2.3 Sharing resources


In disseminating resources that respondents have either created themselves, or found, by far the
most popular method is to email individuals that they know would be interested (76% and 88%
respectively). As evidenced in the introductory meetings, this may be partly due to not wanting to
bombard everyone with things they may not be interested in, supporting the idea of targeting
resources for specific interest groups. It also again supports the idea of "safe" spaces for sharing.
However, 35% of respondents do email their own resources to the ECN list, and 53% do the same for
resources they have found. In addition, a smaller number of respondents post resources on public
websites, wikis and blogs, be they HEA-based, departmental, project, or personal. They don't search
these sites when trying to find again resources they have previously identified as useful. To date, no
respondents deposit to a formal repository.

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

3.3 ECN confidence in resource sharing


This section of the survey benchmarked respondents’ confidence in accessing and disseminating
resources efficiently and effectively, within and outwith the ECN community. This benchmarking will
enable evaluation of one measure of the project’s success (participants’ confidence in the areas of
focus), and give the project team an indication of how to pitch any support and training given.

3.3.1 Confidence in accessing resources efficiently and effectively


Respondents were asked to rate their confidence regarding:

(a) using their time well when looking for resources (efficiency), and
(b) searching for and finding appropriate resources (effectiveness).

Ratings were on a scale of 1-5 (“not very confident” to “extremely confident”). The results of this
part of the survey are illustrated below in Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1: Respondents’ confidence in accessing resources efficiently (Survey Question 18)

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

Table 2: Respondents’ confidence in accessing resources effectively (Survey Question 19)

In both cases, none of the respondents felt “extremely confident” (rating 5), with only about a
quarter of respondents rating themselves 4 on the scale. Respondents were slightly more confident
about their effectiveness in finding resources over their efficiency. This matched impressions gained
in discussions with the ECN: a wide spread of ability and confidence levels, with concerns over how
well they are able to use their time. This result supports focussing on solutions geared toward time-
saving in resource discovery.

3.3.2 Confidence in disseminating resources efficiently and effectively to the rest of the ECN
Respondents were asked to rate their confidence regarding:

(a) using their time well when disseminating for resources within the ECN (efficiency), and
(b) whether their ECN colleagues are gaining access to resources they’ve told them about
(effectiveness).

Ratings were on a scale of 1-5 (“not very confident” to “extremely confident”). The results of this
part of the survey are illustrated below in Tables 3 and 4.

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Table 3: Respondents’ confidence in disseminating resources efficiently within the ECN

(Survey Question 20)

Table 4: Respondents’ confidence in disseminating resources effectively to the ECN

(Survey Question 21)

Levels of confidence in disseminating resources to colleagues were lower than confidence in their
ability to find resources themselves. Only a couple of respondents (12%) felt confident enough to

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rate themselves 4 or 5 on each question. Their confidence was lowest (out of all four confidence
questions) around whether their ECN colleagues were able to gain access to resources they
disseminated.

These results are not surprising, given that they support the key aims of the project, which came
about due to self-reported ECN requirements for sharing resources within their community.

3.3.3 Confidence in finding resources a year from now


The full question here was: “How confident are you that a year from now, you'll be able to find
employability resources that you've seen or been told about recently?”

Ratings were on a scale of 1-5 (“not very confident” to “extremely confident”). The results of this
part of the survey are illustrated below in Table 5.

Table 5: Respondents’ confidence in finding resources a year from now (Survey Question 22)

Only three respondents (18%) felt confident enough to rate themselves 4 or 5, with about half rating
themselves 1 or 2. This result supports the project requirement to find sustainable solutions and a
good exit strategy, as well as a requirement to ensure project participants increase their skills and
confidence in utilising tools that allow future re-discovery of resources. Such skills include
appropriate tagging of resources when first identified, and searching skills for finding them later.

3.3.4 Confidence in disseminating resources to stakeholders outwith the ECN


This question was designed to elicit respondents’ confidence levels in their effectiveness in
disseminating employability resources to stakeholders outwith their immediate community.

Ratings were on a scale of 1-5 (“not very confident” to “extremely confident”). The results of this
part of the survey are illustrated below in Table 6.

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Table 6: Respondents’ confidence in finding resources a year from now (Survey Question 23)

Only one respondent (6%) gave themselves a 4; none gave themselves a 5; and 12 (71%) gave
themselves a 3. While there were fewer participants rating themselves at the lowest two confidence
ratings, it is clear from this response that there is room for improvement in most respondents’
minds. This supports the requirement for ensuring that dissemination routes appropriately targeted
to stakeholder groups are found and implemented by the project.

3.4 Importance to the ECN of possible project aims


Questions 24-27 were designed to elicit from the ECN the importance of several proposed project
aims, namely:

(a) seeing their ECN colleagues’ opinions about the quality of resources;
(b) seeing opinions about resources from colleagues outwith the ECN;
(c) knowing how their ECN colleagues had used resources in their work;
(d) improving their own efficiency and effectiveness with using resources.

Tables 7 to 10 below illustrate the results from these questions. Ratings were on a scale of 1-5 (“not
important” to “very important”).

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Table 7: Importance of seeing ECN colleagues’ opinions about quality of resources

(Survey Question 24)

Table 8: Importance of seeing other (non-ECN) colleagues’ opinions about quality of resources

(Survey Question 25)

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Table 9: Importance of knowing how colleagues have used resources in their work

(Survey Question 26)

Table 10: Importance of improving participants’ own efficiency and effectiveness with resources

(Survey Question 27)

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All results gave strong support for the project’s aims. Knowing how colleagues had used resources in
their own work was top rated as a priority, with 12 respondents (71%) giving this a 4 or 5 rating, with
nearly half (47%) saying it was “very important”. However, the other three questions all resulted in
ten participants (59%) giving a 4 or 5 rating, with only very few giving less than a 3 for any question.

3.5 Benchmarking ECN experience with specific Web tools


This question was designed to give the project an overview of which Web tools participants already
had experience with, with a particular focus on Web 2.0 and educational applications. Tools were
grouped into types, and all participants were given a presentation and handout explaining and
summarising these types of tools7. The options given included popular examples of the types.

Participants were also asked to say which tool types they had used in their employability work,
which in other work, and which outwith work. This was intended primarily to prompt them to think
about and remember tools and applications that they may have used in contexts that may not have
seemed relevant to them initially. This breakdown has not been analysed for this report, although
the resulting figures in Appendix 8: Survey Results (Table E) may be of wider interest.

3.5.1 Educational Web applications: VLEs, repositories, e-portfolios


Unsurprisingly VLEs (virtual learning environments) scored highest of all the options, with 14
respondents (82%) having experience with them. What is surprising is that three respondents (18%)
didn’t have any experience with VLEs. However, VLEs were included purely for their educational
use; they are not widely considered to be a Web 2.0 application, although VLE software packages are
increasingly including some Web 2.0 integration and functionality. The question was included
primarily to get an overview of general Web experience in an educational setting, and to remind
participants that they had successfully encountered and learned to use a Web application in the
past!

Similarly, formal repositories have not to date had a particularly Web 2.0 reputation, although, like
VLEs, most now include functionality that interacts with or provides Web 2.0 features like social
tagging, newsfeeds, social bookmarking and networking capabilities, etc. However, educational
repositories are still not widely used: four respondents (24%) recorded experience with them.

Web-based e-portfolios are more “Web 2.0” in the sense that they support “read/write” or user
content creation, and arguably are more closely related to project participants’ employability work
than VLEs or repositories, although they are less ubiquitous in higher education to date. Seven
respondents (41%) recorded experience with them.

3.5.2 Web 2.0 tools and applications


Respondents’ experience with applications offering Web 2.0 features was, again, unsurprising, and
in some cases encouraging, given that a community of practice works best when there are some
members with skills and confidence to pass on to other less experienced members.

Four of the most well-known Web 2.0 application types scored reasonably well with respondents,
with around half to two-thirds having had some experience with them. These were:

7
See PowerPoint slides: http://www.scribd.com/doc/11999781/SHEEN-Web20-Intro-Workshop-290109 and
handout on Web 2.0 tool types: http://www.scribd.com/doc/11999782/SHEEN-Web20-Intro-Presentation-
Handout-290109

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 Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo) = 11 (65%)


 Blogs and wikis = 9 each (53%)
 Filesharing sites for specific filetypes (e.g. Flickr, YouTube) = 8 (47%).

However, discussion in the introductory meetings, and notes added to the surveys, caution against
being too optimistic about the skills and experience suggested by these figures. Many participants
are familiar with these in a “read” way, not in a “write” way, i.e., they are familiar with looking at
resources on these types of sites, not with using the sites to share their own materials. In addition, a
number of participants in the introductory meetings indicated that, although they had briefly used
social networking sites, they weren’t enamoured of them, and often found them annoying or time
wasting.

Three other widely used Web 2.0 tool types, which are of particular interest to this project, were not
used by many participants:

 Newsfeeds = 5 (29%)
o Newsfeeds are the lynchpin of Web 2.0, enabling time saving in keeping up-to-date
with activities and resources on virtually every other possible tool type.
 Social bookmarking sites (e.g. Delicious) = 3 (18%)
o Social bookmarking is a key component for communities of practice sharing
resources over the Web, and indeed to individuals finding, saving and
recommending relevant resources.
 Group web spaces (e.g. Ning, Google Groups) = 6 (35%)
o Group web spaces offer the kind of private discussion and activity space requested
by ECN members since the ECN JISCmail list started.

This indicates a clear training and support need that should be addressed early in the project.

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Appendices
Appendix 1: SHEEN Sharing Development Group Kick-off Meeting: Notes
Friday 29th January 2009, 10.30am University of Strathclyde

Present: Cherie Woolmer (University of Strathclyde), Fiona Boyle (Queen Margaret University),
Karen McCluskey (University of Glasgow), Lesley Black (Glasgow School of Art), Sarah Currier (Sarah
Currier Consultancy), Laura Hodsdon (HEAcademy), Katie Urquhart (HEAcademy)

Apologies: Maureen McIntyre (Edinburgh College of Art), Pam Andrew (St Andrews University),
Karen Sleith (University of Dundee), Graham Nicholson (University of Dundee)

SC invited those in attendance to discuss the web tools they are currently familiar with and already
use. The main applications that members were familiar with include:

 Discussion
o E-mail discussion lists
o Web forums
 Instant messaging tools
o Skype
o MSN/Windows Messenger
 Web browser bookmarks (but no use noted of social bookmarking)
 VLEs
o Blackboard
o WebCT
 Social networking tools
o Facebook (noted mainly for personal relationships; use for emailing, status-
checking)
o QMunity (QMU internal Facebook-like tool)
o LinkedIn
 ePortfolio Tools
o PebblePad
o Mahara
 Web content creation tools
o Blogs (not sure whether they just read, read and comment, or post themselves)
o Wikis
 Virtual worlds
o Second Life (limited experience)

SC then gave a presentation on the benefits of Web 2.0 technology in collating and sharing
information, and supporting communities of practice. The presentation explained that Web 2.0
applications can help users be more effective in their work by providing an efficient way of
collaborating on, disseminating, discussing, recommending and sharing resources. See the SHEEN
project blog (under Project Documents).

SC then invited the group to think about what kinds of functionality and access would be required of
the new resource. It was agreed that a list of themes (e.g. PDP, e-portfolios etc) should be explored
by the wider network of coordinators. Areas which could be included into the resource included a
section on policy and another section for news, updates, presentations, discussion forum etc. It was

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felt that any categories used should reflect and arise from what practitioners were doing and were
not restrictive.

It was decided that a more in-depth discussion needed to be had around levels of security and, in
particular, what access should be given to who for retrieving/viewing the information held. This will
be taken forward through the pilots with the broader ECN.

Actions:

 SC to contact HEA (KU to find out best contact) to discuss HEA policy surrounding blog and
ownership of information.
 A survey to be conducted, supported by SC in small groups, to ascertain what web resources
people currently use and which will form the content of the new shared resource.
 SC to start a blog to raise awareness and disseminate information about the project. The
blog will also be an initial sandbox for project participants. See :
http://sheensharing.wordpress.com
 SC to distribute an email step-by-step guide to feeds and readers.
 SC and CW to think about the best way to collect and collate information from groups.
 Small groups to be formed to trial different Web 2.0 resources.

Appendix 2: SHEEN Sharing Introductory Meeting with ECN Edinburgh Group: Notes
Edinburgh University, hosted by Gavin McCabe, 10 March 2009.

Attended by: Gavin McCabe (Edinburgh University), Maureen McIntyre (Edinburgh College of Art),
David Surtees (Edinburgh Napier University), Ruth Donnelly (Edinburgh University (had to leave
early)), Martha Caddell (Open University), Fiona Boyle (Queen Margaret University).

Apologies received from Jessica Henderson (Heriot Watt University: Jessica attended the West of
Scotland Group Meeting on 27 March 2009), Jenny Westwood (Edinburgh Napier University: off ill).

Usual meeting format: Sarah introduced herself, the project, Web 2.0. Informal discussion arising
from this presentation.

Observations:

o Key requirements:
o Sharing together
o Not losing experience, knowledge, access to resources over time (including when
passing stuff to next person taking over job)
o Learning from each other
o Need to share intimately; need safe, developmental space.
o Discussion of other networks people are involved in where they are more likely to
share/discuss, and perhaps less likely to use the wider ECN community for discussion as a
result, e.g.:
o OU Scotland’s co-ordinator (Martha Caddell) has counterparts in OU GB with a good
network and knowledge sharing; access to OU OpenLearn repository as well;
o Edinburgh College of Art co-ordinator (and possibly one or two others in Scotland)
have local people to share with, with employability responsibilities;

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o Sarah asked re subject specialism, e.g. in art education- do co-ordinators share


across these institutions more: response was that there are barriers to this; not easy
to have links in Scotland, only one other art-specific co-ordinator in Scotland (at
GSA); co-ordinators at other institutions offering arts courses also have
responsibility across all subject areas.
o Need to be aware of different audiences: some will be technically oriented, some visual.
o Modelling approach could be done via Fiona Boyle’s Voluntary Sector project.
o Barriers: time- who has time to do all of this?; time to learn new things?; privacy / online
identities?
o Some discussion around generational issues, Boomers/Gen X/Gen Y as noted in recent
Enhancement Themes Conference Keynote: learning on this project could be useful in
reaching out to “digital natives” in Gen Y.

Reflections from Sarah:

o First meeting without Cherie present: her role as a peer adviser is missed- feel meetings
where she has been present to give her perspective and share her learning experiences to
date have been slightly better received.
o Some people really, really feel they have not time at all to engage.
o Usual arc: initial interest; resistance due to overwhelm (regardless of warnings at start);
need to meet specific challenges with good answers, reassurance re making lives easier,
easing workload, helping with requirements, etc.; some enthusiasm at the end.

Appendix 3: SHEEN Sharing Introductory Meeting with ECN Central Group: Notes
Dundee University, hosted by Karen Sleith, 11 March 2009.

Attended by: Karen Sleith (University of Dundee), Cherie Woolmer (University of Strathclyde), Pam
Andrew (St Andrews University), Graham Nicholson (Dundee University – had to leave early), Jon
Culley (Stirling University), Gopalakrishnan Premalatha (University of Abertay)

Usual meeting format: Sarah introduced herself, the project, Web 2.0. Informal discussion arising
from this presentation.

Observations:

 Graham noted that he is involved in a Web 2.0 project with AGCAS Scotland. He noted that
wikis are being used through Graduate Prospects and these are being shared with students
through an on-line, accredited module at Dundee.
 There was discussion about perceptions amongst students of different Web 2.0 applications,
noting idea of "low rent" neighbourhood mentality of certain Web 2.0 apps.
 Pam expressed interest in spaces that could support collaborative writing with the need for
these to have capacity to restrict access if required to defined user groups. Sarah mentioned
the potential of Google Groups and that there is interest in trialling these with the
volunteering project.

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 Cherie wondered if there might be interest in using these Google Groups to support
forthcoming Action Learning Sets. Might not be appropriate but we could discuss at the
meeting on 6 April.
 General feedback on the project blog was that it needs to be presented more clearly as it
develops. Sarah shared the CETIS site as an example that could be explored further.
 Strong interest from Pam in using the feeds function to input to existing careers service wikis
at St. Andrews.

Prema noted that she wants to be involved as she is interested in knowledge management issues.
Her working days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Appendix 4: SHEEN Sharing Introductory Meeting with ECN Northern Group: Notes
Aberdeen University, hosted by Joy Perkins, 23 March 2009.

Attended by: Joy Perkins, Aberdeen University; James Dunphy, Robert Gordon University; Apologies
received from David McCall, UHI Millennium Institute who was unable to attend at the last minute
(David will be attending the Trials Planning Meeting).

Usual meeting format: Sarah introduces herself, the project, Web 2.0. Informal discussion arising
from this presentation ensures.

Observations:

 Problems with communications by email (with reference to use or non-use, usefulness of


ECN JISCmail list: problems with getting right tone; misinterpretations. More informal group
areas and discussion might be welcome (especially closed groups for some circumstances).
 Problems with “filling up inbox” with emails: filtering onslaught of information and
communications. Discussed this as a generic problem in the world today: discussed how RSS
feeds can help with it but still to some extent people need to find their own way of
managing even RSS feeds, deciding what to subscribe to, to what level of granularity (e.g.
“Sports” page on BBC, or specific page for their own sports team), when to check, what to
read.
 Both participants had more experience of using Web 2.0 type tools in their work than many
other participants in project. Talked about using knowledge and building up practice,
sharing resources more widely than currently is the case: levels and layers of access
important, e.g.:
o Government
o SFC
o Practitioners.
 Strong requirement for a resource for later- sustainability after project ends, embedding.
 There is a need to share best practice with each other: this often happens in the lunch queue
or the breaks at a conference but there is a need for wider sharing than that.
 There was a lot of discussion about the different models of using employability funding
within different HEIs and how this might impact on engagement with the project. In James’
HEI there is no specific employability co-ordinator: the money is used for some of his time,
and to get academics directly involved in employability work. There may be one or two

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other institutions like this (Edinburgh Napier?). The key message from James was “Don’t
limit the project to named co-ordinators!”
 In terms of layered approach to access to tools and resources and dissemination: be
exclusive only where needed: most important thing is to be open, open, open as possible- let
teachers, students engage, external stakeholders too. Perhaps let them join specific interest
groups, contact their own resource providers.
 Joy talked about the funded project she is leading on PDP for International Taught Post-
Grads; there will be a consultant in post before the end of April. This person will be involved
in resource development to the beginning of the academic year. There will be some active
trialling of resources. Very topical to partners: SHEEN Sharing should get involved ASAP
(initial teleconf set up for 7 April 2009 between Sarah and Joy).

Reflections from Sarah:

o Had not fully grasped that some HEIs do not employ people termed “Employability Co-
ordinators” so some of the question in the survey form and in other communications are
incorrect and possibly mis-aimed.
o Two geographical meetings now without Cherie present: her role as a peer adviser is missed-
feel meetings where she has been present to give her perspective and share her learning
experiences to date have been slightly better received. However, this meeting was good-
both people had a good grasp of the technologies we were talking about.
o A lot of good and different perspectives from James re embedding employability by direct
work with and support of academics.
o Also good stuff from Joy re geographical isolation (don’t always have meetings in central
belt! Dundee is good compromise!) and also interest from her project perspective.

Appendix 5: SHEEN Sharing Introductory Meeting with ECN West of Scotland Group:
Notes
Strathclyde University, hosted by Cherie Woolmer, 27 March 2009.

Attended by: Cherie Woolmer (University of Strathclyde), Fiona Milne (University of the West of
Scotland), Sabine McKinnon (Glasgow Caledonian University), Jessica Henderson (Heriot Watt
University)

Apologies from Karen McCluskey (Glasgow University), Lesley Black (Glasgow School of Art), both of
whom attended the Development Group Kickoff Meeting on January 29 th.

Usual meeting format: Sarah introduced herself, the project, Web 2.0. Informal discussion arising
from this presentation.

Observations:

 Noted early in the conversation that they would like to involve academics (in trial phase?) as
they are key stakeholders.
 Jessica noted that her institution's (Heriot Watt) IT policy is extremely restrictive and she is
unable to access Delicious and many other social networking sites. Fiona added that she is
unable to download Flash at UWS. It was noted this is a key issue for the success of the

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project and that Sarah Currier could work with individuals and institutional IT depts to
explore access to relevant sites once the trial outline is agreed.
 Fiona noted that UWS has an internal MSN application called Yammer.
 Sabine expressed interest in sharing her Workbased Learning principles on the blog. It was
agreed that she would contact Sarah to register for the blog.
 Sarah showed the CETIS site as an example of how the information gathered through tags
etc can be presented in a webpage format.

Appendix 6: HEA Requirements: Eddie Gulc and Alastair Robertson


Sarah Currier met with Eddie Gulc at the JISC Conference 2009, in Edinburgh on 23 March. Further
discussion on HEA feedback ensued at the SHEEN Steering Group meeting on 27 March, and in
subsequent email discussion between Alastair, Cherie and Sarah.

In general, both Eddie and Alastair were keen to emphasise the support that HEA can offer SHEEN
Sharing via EvidenceNet, the Subject Centres and the Academy-wide technical team.

Main points include:

 HEA EvidenceNet8 (formerly the HEA e-Learning Research Observatory) is both a stakeholder
for of SHEEN Sharing, and a possible source of dissemination support in terms of
sustainability of resources collected and discussed, possibly as an exit strategy. Heather
Fotheringham was mentioned as the best point of contact, with Sarah Heaton also
mentioned.
 The HEA Subject Centres have developed expertise in the use of Web 2.0 as well as subject-
specific expertise in employability.
 Jean Downey and Mike Clarke are key to the HEA-wide technical team. Sarah has already
been in touch with Jean re the project and IPR issues.
 Eddie Gulc also mentioned Judy Smith (Senior Adviser for Widening Participation).

SHEEN Sharing will be contacting the folk mentioned in April to set up meetings (F2F or web-tele-
based) to discuss mutual affordances and support.

Appendix 7: Work-Related Learning in the Voluntary Sector: Meeting with Fiona Boyle
(Employability Co-ordinator, Queen Margaret College): Notes
Sarah Currier spent a morning on-site with Fiona Boyle on April 1st 2009, investigating mutual
affordances between SHEEN Sharing and the funded ECN project Fiona is leading: Work-Related
Learning in the Voluntary Sector. By this date it had become clear as a result of the SHEEN Sharing
Review and Requirements Gathering workpackages that the most useful way forward is likely to be
working with existing interest groups, tasks and projects within the ECN. Fiona is also an active
member of the SHEEN Sharing Development Group, and the project had recently started work in
earnest with the appointment of a consultant. It therefore seemed opportune to have a go at trying
out SHEEN Sharing support to see what emerged, as well as this being timely for the Voluntary
Sector project’s needs.

8
http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/learning/elt/en

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Fiona summarised the project’s aims and objectives for Sarah, explaining that is primarily a pilot
scheme for developing and supporting innovative placements for students in the voluntary sector.
This objective ties in with employability on a number of levels, including skills development, work
experience, and raising the profile of the voluntary sector as a career path in itself, which ties in with
the Scottish Government’s commitment “to the development of an enterprising Third Sector in
Scotland and will provide £93 million of funding up until 2011”9. With the last point in mind in
particular, there are voluntary sector organisations already on board with the project.

Other employability co-ordinators involved in the project are Sabine and Martha. The project hopes
to do some disseminating in about a year, but are keen to make placements happen in September
2009. Placements will include all types, e.g. assessed placements on courses which require these,
voluntary summer jobs, etc. There is some money available to support student expenses for unpaid
placements.

Based on discussions within SHEEN Sharing to date, Fiona was keen to stress the following two broad
requirements:

1. A closed group space for private discussion, resource sharing and development amongst
those involved in the project;
2. A more open dissemination space online where all could disseminate information about the
project to stakeholders (including HEA/SFC), and encourage resource sharing and discussion;
3. Possible use of resource sharing tools to facilitate the above two requirements, including as
a way for the project consultant to easily share resources he already has access to.

With the first two requirements in mind, Sarah gave Fiona editor access to the SHEEN Sharing blog,
and assisted her with setting up a Google Group 10 as a private space, and a WordPress blog11 as a
dissemination and open discussion/sharing point for the project. They also discussed how the
SHEEN Sharing blog might link into individual project group blogs and other resources. Sarah set up
a web page for Scottish Employability Projects on the SHEEN Sharing blog, with a link in the top
navigation bar. Some holding text was placed in the page, with the intention of project leaders or
participants fleshing it out later, and linking to their own project pages, blogs or other tools. Text as
follows (1st April 2009):

“This page is a holding space for links to the projects and groups that will be working with SHEEN
Sharing to support their dissemination, resource sharing and community development.

They will include:

Work-Related Learning in the Voluntary Sector Project


The PDP for International Post-Grad Taught Students Project
… and others, including informal interest groups within ECN.”

Sarah’s reflections on important learning from this experience:

9
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/15300
10
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/ecn-voluntary-project
11
http://ecnvoluntary.wordpress.com/

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 Let the participant do as much as possible manually;


 Don’t freak out when things appear to go wrong, just calmly step through investigating and
fixing them;
 Reassure them that they won’t break things, that they can do it;
 Help them set up something that meets their basic requirements quickly; show them the bits
of each tool that will do the stuff they want.

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Appendix 8: Survey Results

Table A: Current communications within ECN


Frequency → less than once a ca. once a month several times a ca. once a week more than once a
Communication↓ month month week
About how often do you communicate one-to-one
6 (35%) 3 (18%) 2 (12%) 1 (6%) 4 (24%)
with other Employability Co-ordinators by email?
About how often do you communicate one-to-one
11 (65%) 4 (24%) 0 1 (6%) 1 (6%)
with other Employability Co-ordinators by phone?
About how often do you communicate with the
entire Employability Co-ordinators' Network using 13 (76%) 3 (18%) 1 (6%) 0 0
the ECN JISCmail list?
About how often do you communicate with
11 (65%) 4 (24%) 0 0 2 (12%)
groups of Employability Co-ordinators by e-mail?
About how often do you meet with other
10 (59%) 5 (29%) 2 (12%) 0 0
Employability Co-ordinators face-to-face?

Table B1: Finding and sharing resources within and outwith ECN
Questions ↓
Where do you look for resources Trawl or search
to help you in your employability known website
University
work? (e.g. HEA
Web search, library (online, ECN JISCmail Repositories
Employability Other
e.g. Google phone query or list archive (e.g. Jorum)
page; University
in person)
departmental
sites)
17 (100%) 17 (100%) 6 (35%) 4 (24%) 3 (18%) 5* (29%)
When you create a resource in E-mail it to Put it up on, or Put it up on, or Put it up on Put it up on, or Deposit it in a
E-mail it to ECN
your employability work that you individuals that submit it to submit it to the personal blog, submit it to formal Other
JISCmail list
think might be useful for others, you personally your HEA Website wiki, website or some other repository (e.g.

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant
how do you disseminate it? know would be departmental other open Website Jorum)
interested Website Web space

6 (35%) 13 (76%) 4 (24%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 0 0 3** (18%)

When you find a resource in your E-mail it to Put it up on, or Put it up on


Put it up on, or Deposit it in a
employability work that you think individuals that submit it to Put it up on, or personal blog,
E-mail it to ECN submit it to formal
might be useful for others, how do you personally your submit it to the wiki, website or Other
JISCmail list some other repository (e.g.
you disseminate it? know would be departmental HEA Website other open
Website Jorum)
interested Website Web space

9 (53%) 15 (88%) 3 (18%) 0 1 (6%) 0 0 2*** (12%)

*Other methods of finding resources for employability work: “book resources, conference papers”; “students – wiki – case studies”
** Other places to disseminate resources you’ve created: “Presentation to SHEEN group”; “Project Website”; “Put up on Departmental Blog/Wiki”
*** Other places to disseminate resources you’ve found: “Project Website”; “Print and pass on internally if giving to Director”

Table B2: Finding and sharing resources within and outwith ECN

Questions ↓

When you find a Bookmark


Put it up on, Put it up on, Bookmark
resource in your Put it up on, Deposit it in Save file to link in a
E-mail link or E-mail link or or submit it or submit it Save file to link in your
employability work or submit it a formal your own Web-based
file to file to ECN to your to some your home browser Other
that is useful to to the HEA repository work bookmarking
yourself JISCmail list department other computer Favourites or
you, how do you Website (e.g. Jorum) computer service (e.g.
Website Website Bookmarks
make sure you can Delicious)
find it again?
4 (24%) 1 (6%) 0 0 0 0 15 (88%) 4 (24%) 13 (76%) 2 (12%) 2* (12%)

When you want to Your own Your online Web-based Ask ECN or
Your own Your work Your home
find a resource ECN JISCmail Web search browser bookmarks resource Ask a other
email computer computer Other
again that you list archives (e.g. Google) Bookmarks (e.g. where you colleague community,
archives files files
have previously or Favourites Delicious) previously e.g. using

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant
seen, where do you posted it JISCmail list
look? (e.g. blog, or other
Web page, community
repository, tools
etc.)

12 (71%) 12 (71%) 1 (6%) 3 (18%) 11 (65%) 13 (76%) 1 (6%) 0 6 (35%) 4 (24%) 0

* Other ways to save resource to find it later: “Print it out and keep hard copy of key documents – hate reading extended texts on screen”; “Print it out”

Table C: ECN confidence in finding and disseminating resources


Questions ↓ Scale → 1 5
(not very confident)
2 3 4 (extremely
confident)
How confident are you that you can access resources you need for
your employability work efficiently? 4 4 5 4 0
How confident are you that you can access resources you need for
your employability work effectively? 1 7 4 5 0
How confident are you that you can disseminate resources to your ECN
colleagues efficiently? 3 6 6 2 0
How confident are you that you can disseminate resources to your ECN
colleagues effectively? 2 9 4 1 1
How confident are you that a year from now, you'll be able to find
employability resources that you've seen or been told about recently? 1 7 5 2 2
How confident are you that you can disseminate resources to other
employability stakeholders effectively? 1 3 12 1 0

Table D: ECN importance of project outcomes


Questions ↓ Scale → 1 2 3 4 5
(not important) (very important)
How important is it to your employability work to see your ECN
colleagues' opinions about the quality of employability resources? 0 3 2 7 5
How important is it to your employability work to see other
colleagues' opinions about the quality of employability resources? 0 1 4 4 8

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant
How important is it to your employability work to find out how your
colleagues have used employability resources in their own work? 0 1 4 4 8
How important is it to your employability work to increase your own
efficiency and effectiveness in finding, storing and sharing 0 0 5 5 7
employability resources?

Table E: ECN experience with Web tools


What Web tools What Web tools What Web tools Total respondents
Web tools ↓ Questions → have you used in have you used in have you used used these tool
your employability other work? outwith work? types for any
work? purpose
News feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.) 2 (12%) 4 (24%) 3 (18%) 5 (29%)
Group web spaces (e.g. Ning, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups) 1 (6%) 3 (18%) 5 (29%) 6 (35%)
Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo) 0 5 (29%) 9 (53%) 11 (65%)
Professional networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn) 1 (6%) 4 (24%) 0 4 (24%)
Social bookmarking sites (e.g. Delicious) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 3 (18%) 3 (18%)
Social citation sites (e.g. Connotea, LibraryThing) 0 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%)
Filesharing sites for specific filetypes (e.g. Flickr for images, YouTube 8 (47%)
3 (18%) 4 (24%) 3 (18%)
for videos)
Filesharing sites for multiple filetypes (e.g. Scribd) 0 0 2 (12%) 2 (12%)
Formal repositories (e.g. Jorum, OU OpenLearn) 3 (18%) 2 (12%) 1 (6%) 4 (24%)
Blogs 1 (6%) 3 (18%) 5 (29%) 9 (53%)
Wikis 2 (12%) 6 (35%) 3 (18%) 9 (53%)
Collaborative document development (e.g. Googledocs) 2 (12%) 4 (24%) 2 (12%) 6 (35%)
Virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) 0 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%)
Web-based ePortfolios 5 (29%) 5 (29%) 1 (6%) 7 (41%)
Virtual Learning Environments 8 (47%) 8 (47%) 3 (18%) 14 (82%)
None of the above 4 (24%) 1 (6%) 5 (29%) 0
Other 0 1* (6%) 0 1 (6%)
* Other web-based tools used in non-employability work: “Sharepoint”

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

Appendix 9: Survey Form


The survey was printed out and filled in manually by 15 respondents at the SHEEN Sharing
introductory meetings. It was also made available to the remainder of the ECN via a Googledoc Web
form / email survey. Two more responses were received this way, totalling 17 surveys returned.

The survey is available to view here:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=cHN5dmVYVV9PanE3RUpraHFCV0VnWlE6MA..

Cut-and-pasted version of the Web form here:

SHEEN Sharing Participants' Survey 1: March 2009

This survey is to help establish requirements for the SHEEN Sharing project, and to benchmark
where the ECN members are in their experience with Web technologies for resource sharing. The
results will be kept anonymous, seen only by the Project Consultant and Project Manager. Any
analysis developed from this research will be anonymised when made available to the ECN, the
SHEEN Steering Group or made openly available on the Web. Please fill it out as best you can; if you
have any questions please email Project Consultant Sarah Currier at sarah.currier@gmail.com

* = Required

1. Name * Please fill in your full name

2. E-mail address * Please enter your work e-mail address

3. Institution * Please fill in the name of the institution you work for

4. Department * Please enter your department name

5. What type of department do you work in? * Please select from the list what type of
department you work in:

Educational development department


Staff development department
University careers service
Other:

6. How much of your work time is officially devoted to Employability Co-ordinator work? *
Please choose the option that most closely resembles your working situation, or, if none of
them do, fill in the "other" box

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

Full-time
Part-time only (half a week or more: don't work rest of week in paid employment)
Part-time only (less than half a week: don't work rest of week in paid employment)
Part-time (less than half a week: the rest of my week is spent doing other paid work)
Part-time (half a week or more: the rest of my week is spent doing other paid work)
Other:

7. Gender * Please select your gender from this list.

8. About how often do you communicate one-to-one with other Employability Co-ordinators
by email? *

More than once a week


Once a week
Several times a month
Once a month
Less than once a month

9. About how often do you communicate one-to-one with other Employability Co-ordinators
by phone? *

More than once a week


Once a week
Several times a month
Once a month
Less than once a month

10. About how often do you communicate with the entire Employability Co-ordinators'
Network using the ECN JISCmail list? *

More than once a week


Once a week
Several times a month
Once a month
Less than once a month

11. About how often do you communicate with groups of Employability Co-ordinators by e-
mail? *

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

More than once a week


Once a week
Several times a month
Once a month
Less than once a month

12. About how often do you meet with other Employability Co-ordinators face-to-face? *

More than once a week


Once a week
Several times a month
Once a month
Less than once a month

13. Where do you look for resources to help you in your employability work? * Select all that
apply:

Web search, e.g. Google


University library (online, phone query or in person)
Trawl or search known website (e.g. HEA Employability page; University departmental sites)
Repositories (e.g. Jorum)
ECN JISCmail list archive
Other:

14. When you create a resource in your employability work that you think might be useful for
others, how do you disseminate it? * Select all that apply:

E-mail it to ECN JISCmail list


E-mail it to individuals that you personally know would be interested
Put it up on personal blog, wiki, website or other open Web space
Put it up on, or submit it to your departmental Website
Put it up on, or submit it to the HEA Website
Put it up on, or submit it to some other Website
Deposit it in a formal repository (e.g. Jorum)
Other:

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

15. When you find a resource in your employability work that you think might be useful for
others, how do you disseminate it? * Select all that apply:

E-mail it to ECN JISCmail list


E-mail it to individuals that you personally know would be interested
Put it up on personal blog, wiki, website or other open Web space
Put it up on, or submit it to your departmental Website
Put it up on, or submit it to the HEA Website
Put it up on, or submit it to some other Website
Deposit it in a formal repository (e.g. Jorum)
Other:

16. When you find a resource in your employability work that is useful to you, how do you
make sure you can find it again? * Select all that apply:

E-mail link or file to yourself


E-mail link or file to ECN JISCmail list
Put it up on, or submit it to your departmental Website
Put it up on, or submit it to the HEA Website
Put it up on, or submit it to some other Website
Deposit it in a formal repository (e.g. Jorum)
Save file to your own work computer
Save file to your home computer
Bookmark link in your browser Favorites or Bookmakrs
Bookmark link in a Web-based bookmarking service (e.g. Delicious)
Other:

17. When you want to find a resource again that you have previously seen, where do you
look? * Select all that apply:

Your own email archives


Your work computer files
Your home computer files
ECN JISCmail list archives
Web search (e.g. Google)
Your own browser Bookmarks or Favorites

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

Your online bookmarks (e.g. Delicious)


Go straight to some Web-based resource where you previously posted it (e.g. blog, Web
page, repository, etc.)
Ask a colleague
Ask ECN or other community, e.g. using JISCmail list or other community tools
Other:

18. How confident are you that you can access resources you need for your employability
work efficiently? * That is, how confident are you that you are using your time well when
looking for resources?

1 2 3 4 5

Not very confident Extremely confident

19. How confident are you that you can access resources you need for your employability
work effectively? * That is, are you confident at searching for and finding the right
resources?

1 2 3 4 5

Not very confident Extremely confident

20. How confident are you that you can disseminate resources to your ECN colleagues
efficiently? * That is, how confident are you that you are using your time well when
disseminating resources?

1 2 3 4 5

Not very confident Extremely confident

21. How confident are you that you can disseminate resources to your ECN colleagues
effectively? * That is, how confident are you that your colleagues are gaining access to
resources you've told them about?

1 2 3 4 5

Not very confident Extremely confident

22. How confident are you that a year from now, you'll be able to find employability resources
that you've seen or been told about recently? *

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

1 2 3 4 5

Not very confident Extremely confident

23. How confident are you that you can disseminate resources to other employability
stakeholders effectively? *

1 2 3 4 5

Not very confident Extremely confident

24. How important is it to your employability work to see your ECN colleagues' opinions about
the quality of employability resources? *

1 2 3 4 5

Not important Very important

25. How important is it to your employability work to see other colleagues' opinions about the
quality of employability resources? *

1 2 3 4 5

Not important Very important

26. How important is it to your employability work to find out how your colleagues have used
employability resources in their own work? *

1 2 3 4 5

Not important Very important

27. How important is it to your employability work to increase your own efficiency and
effectiveness in finding, storing and sharing employability resources? *

1 2 3 4 5

Not important Very important

28. What Web tools have you used to support you in your employability work? *

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

News feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.)


Group web spaces (e.g. Ning, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups)
Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo)
Professional networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn)
Social bookmarking sites (e.g. Delicious)
Social citation sites (e.g. Connotea, LibraryThing)
Filesharing sites for specific filetypes (e.g. Flickr for images, YouTube for videos)
Filesharing sites for multiple filetypes (e.g. Scribd)
Formal repositories (e.g. Jorum, OU OpenLearn)
Blogs
Wikis
Collaborative document development (e.g. Googledocs)
Virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life)
Web-based ePortfolios
Virtual Learning Environments
None of the above
Other:

29. What Web tools have you used in other work situations? *

News feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.)


Group web spaces (e.g. Ning, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups)
Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo)
Professional networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn)
Social bookmarking sites (e.g. Delicious)
Social citation sites (e.g. Connotea, LibraryThing)
Filesharing sites for specific filetypes (e.g. Flickr for images, YouTube for videos)
Filesharing sites for multiple filetypes (e.g. Scribd)
Formal repositories (e.g. Jorum, OU OpenLearn)
Blogs
Wikis
Collaborative document development (e.g. Googledocs)
Virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life)
Web-based ePortfolios

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© Higher Education Academy 2009
SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report. Final Public Draft (17 June 2009)
By Sarah Currier, SHEEN Sharing Project Consultant

Virtual Learning Environments


None of the above
Other:

30. What Web tools have you used outwith work? *

News feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.)


Group web spaces (e.g. Ning, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups)
Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo)
Professional networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn)
Social bookmarking sites (e.g. Delicious)
Social citation sites (e.g. Connotea, LibraryThing)
Filesharing sites for specific filetypes (e.g. Flickr for images, YouTube for videos)
Filesharing sites for multiple filetypes (e.g. Scribd)
Formal repositories (e.g. Jorum, OU OpenLearn)
Blogs
Wikis
Collaborative document development (e.g. Googledocs)
Virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life)
Web-based ePortfolios
Virtual Learning Environments
None of the above
Other:

31. Please add any additional comments here for the SHEEN Sharing Project requirements:

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© Higher Education Academy 2009