SHEEN Sharing

A Project of the Scottish Employability Co-ordinators' Network

Coordinating employability resources on the web: We made it!

Launch of SHEEN Sharing project: Using web 2.0 applications to co-ordinate employability resources on the web. (NB: This article will always appear at the top of this page! Scroll down for more recent updates.)

www.netvibes.com/employability

Sarah and I have been coordinating SHEEN Sharing on behalf of the Scottish Higher Education Employability Network (SHEEN) for the last year. We’ve been working with all Employability Coordinators (ECs) across Scotland to develop a means of co-ordinating employability-related resources on the web using web 2.0 technologies.

The project developed out of a need identified by all the ECs to a) use web 2.0 applications to support greater virtual networking and to build a community of practice and b) to provide a place for colleagues “to go to” where we could recommend a range of resources we have found useful in our own development work. The project had no technology budget so everything we have achieved has been through using free tools on the web.

All the hard work put in by Sarah and the Coordinators  culminated in a really successful launch event on Wednesday (3 February). Sarah has described in her earlier blog post what we covered on the day. It was great to see the fruits of our (collective) labour and to receive feedback that we had not only produced something of immediate use but also provided an opportunity which can be built upon as the sector continues to develop the employability agenda.

We developed a public-facing set of web pages using a free tool called Netvibes. Under each topic tab, viewers can find on the left a series of live feeds which pull in comment and opinion on the related topic from all over the web and on the right a series of resources that the Employability Coordinators have recommended through our professional community. We used the social bookmarking tool diigo to help coordinate this information. You will also see on the welcome page a series of short introductory videos on how to navigate the pages as well as introductory text on each tab. The link is www.netvibes.com/employability

We’re in the process of writing up a final report but I’d like to share  some of the comments that other EC members made on the day about their experience of the project:

“I have been inspired by others’ stories. It has demystified web 2.0 for me”

“It has shifted my mental attitude of the web. I used to see it only as something I could take from whereas now I actually contribute to it”

“I am able to discover new resources….and this is what I hoped for out of the project”

“I’m taking in bits of this project to other parts of my work in the university”

“I was initially disappointed about not having a “one stop shop” but now I know how this works I’m finding so much more than I ordinarily would”

“Seeing that others have bookmarked the same resource as you is validating”

“Using Diigo has changed my view of information management”

I’d add to my colleagues comments by saying that it is only through looking back on what we’ve achieved that I realise just how much I’ve learned over the last year through the project. I wasn’t just project managing; I was a participating member of the community of practice working through my own learning curve as we went along. Now I can’t really imagine not using diigo to help me manage all of my bookmarks and I’d never thought I’d be helping structure the netvibes pages (learning a little bit of the jargon about widgets and pipes as I went along!).  And I know other colleagues involved in the more detailed planning and development phases of the project feel the same way. It has been mentioned more than once that we’ve managed to enhance our own employability through the professional development that has taken place for each of us!

This is not the end of developments though. The ECs continue to contribute to the recommended resources sections on the netvibes pages and we hope that things will grow as we move into the next funding phase which will be addressed through the Scottish Funding Council’s new action plan for employability –  Learning to Work 2.

February 10, 2010 Posted by | SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, SHEEN Sharing Project | , , , | 2 Comments

SHEEN Sharing Launch: Employability Resources for Higher Education in Scotland

We did it. We launched the Web resource created by the Employability Coordinators’ Network over the last hectic, busy, exciting, challenging, fun year of SHEEN Sharing. The Web resource called Employability Resources for Higher Education in Scotland.

We returned to The Teacher Building, venue of our successful SHEEN Sharing dissemination event in September last year. That is a great venue for stuff like this: they have good tech, and on-the-spot support, and great staff, and delicious catering, and a nice building (it’s all about whisky, not education 😉 ).

The day started with a keynote address from Prof. Brent MacGregor, Chair of the SHEEN Steering Group. Cherie Woolmer, SHEEN Sharing’s redoubtable project manager, gave some background from the ECN’s point of view. Then it was over to me for the entire rest of the morning session.

You’ll see my slides at the bottom of this post (which includes links to the relevant resources, including the videos I’ve created to help you use our Netvibes-based site). Gavin McCabe of Edinburgh University got to see himself on the screen as I used the evaluation interview I did with him and Jessica Henderson from Heriot-Watt again. He did get to give his story in full after lunch this time though! I also used audio clips of Fiona Boyle of Queen Margaret University and Gopalakrishnan Premalatha (Prema) from the University of Abertay to present even more voices from the ECN. This was their project, their vision and it is important to hear their voices.

Having shown people the new site, we made some laptops available at lunchtime for people to have a play around with it themselves. The feedback we got was great: people said it looked clean and interesting and was easy to navigate (once they’d seen the short introductory videos). And people reported already finding new resources and ideas, just in that short time.

After lunch, we had a panel presentation from five people from the ECN: Cherie Woolmer (Strathclyde University); Gavin McCabe & Ruth Donnelly (University of Edinburgh); David McCall (UHI Millennium Institute); Jonathan Culley (Stirling University). Each of them presented for about 10 minutes on their learning journey through SHEEN Sharing, and the impact the project has made on their work and their professional development. We finished with questions and discussion about the future: people were keen to disseminate the resource and the learnings from SHEEN Sharing into as many communities as possible.

There was a general vibe that, not only had we created a good place to find quality employability resources, but we’d also found out a lot about harnessing and developing a small community of practice, to ensure their quick growth and dissemination of their work to a wider audience. And we’d done it all on a shoestring, using only free Web-based tools. In fact, there was some suggestions that flying so low under the radar of top management and university policies was what enabled us to do such a good job in such a short time. No worrying about IPR and metadata schemas, even long-term technical sustainability or anything.

So, here are my slides (or here on SlideShare): you’ll see in here how to use our new Web resource, and also how we got here. I’m hoping to convince Cherie Woolmer to do a brief post as well, with her take on the day and what we’ve achieved.

View this document on Scribd

February 9, 2010 Posted by | SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, SHEEN Sharing Project | , , , , | 4 Comments

Top hats & trainers: traditional repositories vs. Web 2.0 resource sharing? SHEEN Sharing at EdShare Workshop

Well, I should have blogged on this last year. But our beloved SHEEN Sharing is drawing to its official close, and I’m tidying up some loose ends. I want everything to be available on this blog for future reference.

So, last year, the JISC-funded EdShare project, based at Southampton University, put on a workshop designated “Traditional educational repositories vs. Web 2.0 sharing” and invited some people from relevant projects. Are formal repositories for sharing teaching and learning materials a thing of the past, now that we have so many fabulous Web 2.0 tools to use for resource sharing?

Now, I have a good relationship (I hope!) with some EdShare folks, primarily Debra Morris, who was organising the workshop. I was just drooling over the agenda for the workshop and wondering how I could swing an invitation to present on SHEEN Sharing, when Debra emailed me and invited me to present … on metadata! Well, I am a metadata-phile in my other professional life, but I told her all about what I really wanted to share at this workshop: what I, a repositories “expert”, or at least, very-experienced-person, had discovered about resource sharing while working on SHEEN Sharing. Debra and the other EdShare people were kind enough to say yes when I said “No, I don’t want to present on that, I want to present on this…”.

The slides I presented at this workshop are below. You can also find them on SlideShare, if you prefer, here.

I was simultaneously presenting to fellow formal repositories experts, and to a group that I thought was trying to say that Web 2.0 is taking over the role of repositories. So I was nervous. Also, it was the first time I had presented on our work on SHEEN Sharing outwith the employability / HEA / Scottish HE context; in fact, right in the heart of a more long-standing professional community of mine.

But it went great! The other presentations, and the workshop discussions were fascinating and juicy. Everyone had a keen interest in discussing and exploring, and they seemed pleased and fascinated with SHEEN Sharing’s findings. And my key messages were well received (and repeated in other presentations): that repositories and informal Web 2.0 sharing are complementary and serve different but overlapping use cases; and that repositories developers and managers must be mindful of supporting integration with Web 2.0 tools, for the sake of supporting the kind of informal, transient, and non-techie educational communities they serve.

Debra Morris wrote an excellent summary of the day here. You can just see the back of my head in one of the photos. Thanks again Debra and EdShare for this opportunity to allow SHEEN Sharing to contribute to the educational repositories community!

Here are the SHEEN Sharing slides from the day:

View this document on Scribd

February 9, 2010 Posted by | SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Sharing Project | , , , , | Leave a comment

SHEEN Sharing Evaluation Event, 16th September 2009

The SHEEN Sharing project is having an end-of-project event in Glasgow on Wednesday September 16th, at The Teacher Building.  The Teacher Building is in St Enoch Square in Glasgow, which means it’s about a 10 minute walk from Queen Street Station (map here).  The venue also offers car parking at £5 a day at the nearby Thistle Carpark: please contact them directly for information: 0141 5661871.

The following documents may be of interest to participants, for reading prior to the meeting, or to keep on hand during the meeting:

SHEEN Sharing Benchmarking and Requirements Report

SHEEN Sharing Review

SHEEN Sharing Web 2.0 Tools Handout

All public project documents are available on the Scribd SHEEN Sharing Project Documents Group Page.

This event will include a morning of looking at what the project has discovered and achieved so far, including presentations from employability co-ordinators on their personal experiences, and a video of two co-ordinators discussing how SHEEN Sharing has impacted on their work and professional development.  We’ve invited interested stakeholders to the morning session (and lunch) to catch up on where we are, and to give their input.

Over lunch, Heather Fotheringham of the HEA’s EvidenceNet service will offer an informal presentation on that work for those that are interested.

In the afternoon, the Employability Coordinators’ Network will workshop detailed plans for their future use of the tools introduced and trialled during the project.

In preparation for this evaluation event, we will be running a survey to follow up on the initial survey carried out at the start.  This will include opportunities for ECN members to reflect on and evaluate their use of the tools and resources introduced by SHEEN Sharing to date, even if they can’t make the September event.  Everyone who completes a survey will go into a draw for one of two Amazon vouchers.

Please bookmark this page as further details of the event’s agenda, timings and so on will be posted here.

*** Update, 10 September 2009 ***

Final Agenda

10:30 – 11:00 Registration and refreshments

11:00 – 11:45 Overview of the SHEEN Sharing project to date

11:00 – 11:10 Cherie Woolmer (Strathclyde University): Welcome & housekeeping; Why SHEEN Sharing?;  SHEEN Sharing and the ECN.

11:10 – 11:35 Sarah Currier (Project Consultant): SHEEN Sharing, January to September 2009:

– The SHEEN Sharing Review and Benchmarking Reports: What we discovered about the ECN as a Community of Practice; What are the ECN requirements and how Web 2.0 might support them

– The SHEEN Sharing tools: Blog and Twitter account for dissemination; Scribd group for sharing project documents; regular drop-in FlashMeeting webinars for support and discussion; and an informal community “repository” bringing together Diigo and Netvibes.

11:35 – 11:45 Questions and discussion.

11:45 – 12:45 SHEEN Sharing and the ECN:

– Fiona Boyle from Queen Margaret University will talk about SHEEN Sharing’s support of the SHEEN Placements project in utilising a blog and Twitter account;

– Cherie Woolmer of Strathclyde University will talk about how SHEEN Sharing impacted on her work as a member of the ECN community, as and individual, and internally within her institution;

– Gavin McCabe at Edinburgh University and Jessica Henderson at Heriot Watt University discussing, on video, a broad range of issues around the impact and potential of SHEEN Sharing;

– Sarah Currier, Project Consultant, will show examples from other ECN members, and give examples of their feedback.

12:45 – 13:00 Where to from here?  A brief look at the results of the end-of-project survey, with discussion.

13:00 – 13:45 Lunch for all.  Heather Fotheringham from the Higher Education Academy will be available to show folk the EvidenceNet repository.

13:45 onwards: ECN members only: evaluation and planning

13:45 – 14:25 Breakout Session 1

– Two breakout groups will look at, respectively, ways forward for Tools and for the ECN Community.

14:25 – 14:35 Grab a tea/coffee/biscuit.

14:35 – 15:15 Breakout Session 2 (as above; groups switch topics).

15:15 – 15:30 Closing session: report back from breakout groups; set priorities and assign tasks for the future.

NB: We have the venue booked for the whole day, so if any participants want to arrange to use the space to meet with colleagues before or after the event starts (between 09:30 and 17:00) please contact Cherie Woolmer or Sarah Currier and let us know.

August 12, 2009 Posted by | SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Project Events & Meetings | , , , | 4 Comments

SHEEN Sharing Examples: A Diigo List Published Straight to WordPress

*** NB: This post is an example of using Diigo to publish a Diigo List of bookmarks to any Web tool or Website.. what you see below is exactly how it appears after selecting Publish > WordPress in Diigo ***

*** This Diigo List contains the four Netvibes and Pageflakes project sites I used to show the SHEEN Sharing Development Group what kinds of things can be done with Netvibes.  They are still worth a look for that reason.  Thanks to the colleagues on Twitter who responded so swiftly and sent these  ***

SHEEN Sharing examples

Shared via AddThis

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Bookmarking, Resource sharing sites, SHEEN Project Dissemination | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Examples of NetVibes for project dissemination

We’ve all realised fairly quickly that a blog like this, while a good tool for project dissemination and a great way to get started as a sandbox and exemplar of using Web2.0, is not a good place for the complexity of knowledge-sharing requirements at SHEEN Sharing.  We need a space that can pull in resources in a well-organised and structured way, make them available to different interest groups, and allow “push” out again to other interested sites and services (e.g. HEA EvidenceNet).  That space needs to be fairly easy to maintain and self-sustaining, and it needs to be able to interoperate with all the other Web2.0 tools folk in the employability arena might be using.

We looked at Elgg, which allows you to create a website/portal type space pulling in a lot of different Web2.0 feeds, blogs, Twitterstreams, etc.  But Elgg requires a local server, and some technical expertise, neither of which are within the project scope.  Nonetheless, to see an example, look at this JISC-funded communities of practice project Elgg site: Emerge.

We’ve also looked at Netvibes and Pageflakes.  We have some great exemplars of NetVibes being used in the way that the ECN would like to use a space like this.  It can be organised into tabs by subject/interest area, or any other criteria, and it can very simply be composed of feeds and lists and bookmarks and Twitter feeds from all over the Web.  But don’t try to imagine it.  Here are some really good examples:

Connected Practice: Researching Social Services in the Network Society

This is the NetVibes page of Neil Ballantyne at IRISS in Glasgow; even though he has set it up to reflect his own interests, it really looks like a project site, and it is easy to see how the sort of structure he has given it could be used in SHEEN Sharing.  Note- all the “blocks” under all the tabs are dynamically composed of feeds from other sites: blogs, journals, etc.  Also, it looks pretty.  Neil is a one-man project!

Innovation in Public Services

This is a really pretty one; it looks like it’s had some professional design input.  It’s a neat example of the use of a NetVibes site to support a community of practice and provide a one-stop-shop both for the CoP to visit, and for it to push out things it is interested in (e.g. via blogs).  Worth a good hunt around: it should be fairly clear where things have been locally created and where they have been pulled in via feeds.  Really good use of feeds based on searches of blogs and Delicious tags too, so you’re pulling in stuff from all over the Web on a daily basis, not just the stuff you already know about.

The Rhizome Project

This Eduserv-funded project on digital identities’ NetVibes page is not so pretty, but nice and clean nonetheless (I like it anyway).  Just a good contrast to the above: a project using this tool to create something that will live on beyond the project’s end.

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Group Spaces Online, SHEEN Project Dissemination, Web2.0 Tools, Tips and Tricks | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment