Jisc digitisation programmes Projects 2006-2009 Users Web2.0

Is academia ready for Web 2.0?

preraphaelitebig_jpg.jpgAs part of its development, the Pre-Raphaelite Resource digitisation project recently commissioned an audience research study to consult users about whether the inclusion of Web 2.0 features on a resource of this type would be useful or important to the education community. The report indicated that:

there is some readiness among the education community for Web 2.0 technologies but only in the context of academia as a status-conscious, competitive environment. Whilst there are clear benefits to be achieved from providing teachers and students with the opportunity to share ideas in the context of stimulus artefacts, many hold reservations about ‘giving away’ their intellectual property.”

Some interesting points to note:

Social networking features are perceived by both HE students and lecturers as primarily for pleasure rather than for work, although for younger students, the boundaries between work and life are increasingly blurred
Content is still king: to be a truly useful research tool, students and lecturers need to know that a resource has been created for them and has scholarly merit, and reliable and relevant content
Wikipedia was singled out by both FE and HE interviewees as being particularly unreliable, and yet highly popular;
• The features most associated with a Web 2.0 approach (rate, comment, upload, blog and send to friend) were commonly described with reference to social networking or e-commerce sites and were largely considered non-academic and therefore inappropriate for the Pre-Raphaelite online resource.

The study was carried out by Illumina Digital.

Read the Pre-Raphaelite Resource project: Audience Research Report;
Appendix 1; Appendix 2; Appendix 3; Appendix 4; Appendix 5

3 replies on “Is academia ready for Web 2.0?”

Hi all

Similar results that may be of interest.

I recently performed an online semi-structured online questionnaire survey of 3000 medical students and 3000 qualified medical practitioners (consultants, general practitioners and doctors in training) on the British Medical Association’s membership database. All groups had high familiarity, but low use, of podcasts. Ownership of digital media players was higher among medical students. There was high familiarity, but low use, of other Web 2.0 technologies except for high use of instant messaging and social networking by medical students. All groups stated that they were interested in using Web 2.0 technologies for education but there was lack of knowledge and skills in how to use these new technologies. The free text comments

J Sandars, S Schroter Postgrad Med J. 2007 83 759-62 18057175 (P,S,E,B,D) Web 2.0 technologies for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education: an online survey.

I think we seriously need to consider developing a training package on “digital literacy” – how to inform and develop the skills to use (and teach) with Web 2.0 technologies. This package should be part of IT induction for students and staff.

Value comments

Best wishes


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