Thursday, 18 March 2010

Tagginganna update

Mark, Alex and I had a meeting on Tuesday to try and revive our somewhat beligured tagginanna project. So far things have been a bit stalled, largely because of problems convincing Personnel that we do actually have the funding and the approval to recruit a part-time research assistant. Anyway, it finally looks as if we might be nearly there with the RA so hopefully things will start zipping along soon, which means we need to have a bit more of a plan...

On the upside the limited trials we've attempted have worked quite well (apart from trying to use Diigo with Firefox portable on a USB stick - which just kept freezing - and I'm still not sure why). has proved a little tricky to set up (and is interfered with by a Blackboard frame) but from the perspective of the students who have been using it it's been brilliant. Mark has, however, noticed a tailing off of contributions, which in many ways is no surprise, but we are trying to think of what the causes of decreased contribution are and what we should do about it. Some of the causes might be:

  • novelty wearing off
  • technical problems
  • loss of momentum as the module progresses
  • lack of participation of some leading to lack of participation of others (discussion needs a critical mass)
In terms of what we should do about these issues, other than ironing out the technical problems, some well-thought through e-tivities should help, as should having a research assistant on the case to give the project the time it deserves. When the RA does start then figuring out how the technology can help facilitate the pedagogical aims of the project will be a key task, as will a thorough evaluation of the available tools.

We will make this project work!


  1. There's always a tailing off of contributions with these extended assessment. Same thing is happening right now with our Friendfeed project. The answer is to have some sort of staging posts, possibly tied to physical events, which draw people's attention back to the project at intervals.

  2. Staging posts. Good point - thank you

  3. Err, meant staging points. You know what I meant...

  4. I made the staging points comment in the meeting, by the way Stu (that was when you were looking away, thoughtful) ;) - but I digress (it), good write-up Stu!

    The crux is to work out the affordances for the students - why should they bother? But I think we've got some good indications that they value at least some aspects even with the limited early tests.

  5. I was listening to you - honest! Glad to see you got the word 'affordances' in again ;)

  6. I hadn't noticed that. I wasn't being sarcastic. Remember I'm only being sarcastic if I use •

  7. Don't break in a Bb frame, just linkout from a button in the sidebar.