Case Study: Dr Emma-Jane Berridge senior lecturer in the Educational Development Unit in the School of Health Sciences.
Dr Berridge has been leading on the introduction of TEL into the new nursing curriculum. In this case study she discusses her choice of methods for communication and collaboration.
I had real high hopes for My City. At the beginning there were lots of communities set up and thought that this would settle down and a select few would flourish and survive. However very few of them have in actual fact flourished.Its turned into a bit of a graveyard for documents. Part of the reason I don’t visit the space is because I don’t think the interface is particularly user-friendly. I don’t find it very intuitive. The main problem with My City is that the initial flourish of activity overwhelmed people and put them off and also because it isn’t a comfortable tool too use.
For those reasons we chose to use Moodle as a method of communication for the new curriculum design. Partly as a way to showcase some of the things we can do with Moodle such as discussion forums and Wiki’s, so it could become a model space. It also lends itself to organising information thematically whereas My City only allows for files to be grouped. I also find it quite difficult to search for past activity within My City. However the Moodle space hasn’t been utilised well and is that about Moodle, or the content or the fact that the people we are trying to communicate with are too busy and have too many pressures? At present the traffic is showing that the people who are coming to the space are coming and contributing. There is a worry that the people who feel they can’t contribute aren’t coming at all and yet those are the people who may benefit most from the space.
Part of the reason I embraced My City was a hope that this would reduce the flow of documents via email. But I think this needs to be championed by people to never send attachments and only ever put them within the relevant community. The reason people aren’t visiting these communities is because there is no purpose. I think that to revert to using central storage like the N drive makes it difficult for people to access from home. However Moodle and My City are much more versatile especially for remote access. As people’s working patterns change and we move to open plan offices we need to find more digital communication methods as people maybe more likely to work from home.
We need to effect some cultural change around how we utilise email. The flow can be overwhelming and the time spent clearing out in boxes and filing could be better used. Maybe we need a day zero from which everyone was then encouraged to put all documents into My City or Moodle. But fundamentally people need to be engaged with the information for these things to work.
Dr Berridge’s Moodle space for TEL can be viewed here; Use the code tel2012