Web 2.0 for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
Type of work: Report
Categories:e-Learning and Instructional Technology | Education | Social Media & Social Software | Usage & Uptake
* A discussion of Web 2.0 together with a compilation of the more commonly used systems for education
* Progress at 4 universities that have taken a strategic approach and implemented Web 2.0 services in different ways at the institutional level
* A discussion of Web 2.0 content and its creation and use, together with an identification of issues affecting content creation and use
* Ways in which Web 2.0 is being used in learning, teaching and assessment, and important issues associated with pedagogy and assessment
* Ways in which Web 2.0 impacts institutional policy and strategy
Web 2.0 will have profound implications for learners and teachers in formal, informal, work-based and lifelong education. Web 2.0 will affect how universities go about the business of education, from learning, teaching and assessment, through contact with school communities, widening participation, interfacing with industry, and maintaining contact with alumni.
However, it would be a mistake to consider Web 2.0 as the sole driver of these changes; instead Web 2.0 is just one part of the HE ecosystem. Other drivers include, for example, pressures to greater efficiency, changes in student population, and ongoing emphasis on better learning and teaching methods.
Nonetheless, Web 2.0 is, in our view, a technology with profound potentiality for inducing change in the HE sector. In this, the possible realms of learning to be opened up by the catalytic effects of Web 2.0 technologies are attractive, allowing greater student independence and autonomy, greater collaboration, and increased pedagogic efficiency.
This study has focussed on the content sharing aspects of Web 2.0, but these are not purely limited to data, be that data textual, sound, or video. Content sharing via Web 2.0 mechanisms is also the enabler of social software, which as much as pure data content sharing has the potential to change the face of education.
Web 2.0 systems are increasingly being used in UK HE, both on an individual course module level, and at an institutional level. The introduction of Web 2.0 systems into HE is not without problems, as there are ramifications in the areas of the choice of types of systems for institutional use; external or institutional hosting; integration with institutional systems; accessibility; visibility and privacy; data ownership, IPR and copyright for material created and modified by university members and external contributors; control over content; longevity of data; preservation; information literacy; staff and student training; and appropriate teaching and assessment methods.
These topics demand institutional responses at the policy and strategy level. While we have seen, and recorded different approaches and responses to some of these topics by different universities, as far as we are aware only one university has reached the stage of recording Web 2.0 related policy and strategy.
We make various recommendations to JISC of actions to guide and help the UK HE community in its ongoing exploration, adoption and adaptation of Web 2.0 systems. Most importantly, because the use of Web 2.0 in learning and teaching is still a developing field, we recommend that institutions take a light touch approach in the use of regulations that might constrain experimentation with the technologies and allied pedagogies.