by Derek Law
Derek will review the recent history of libraries and the challenges now facing them. He will discuss changes in the external environment, in user behaviour and requirements and explores whether libraries will continue to be needed and the knock-on effect this will have for institutional Web sites. He will also consider whether libraries still have - or can find - a unique selling point which adds value to the academic process and gives a personal view of what that might be.
by Dan Jackson
We are all striving to enhance and enrich the user experience and interfaces of our websites and applications, whether it be by using AJAX to enhance responsiveness, pulling in content from third-party services or feeds, or developing custom widgets.
WAI-ARIA, a new standard from W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative, addresses these challenges by defining "a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities".
by Helen Sargan
Over and over people hope to find the holy grail of a CMS that does just what they want and solves all their problems. If only life was that straightforward... Taking a step back, reducing this length of the requirements list and accepting that life is full of compromises - all of these are a good start, but in the end and CMS will bring about difficult changes and a host of their own problems.
Hopefully thought about this will result in some kind of 10-step self-help plan for damage limitation and identifying what really ought to matter for you.
This workshop will embrace a problem based learning approach to enable the attendees to discuss if they think QR (Quick Response) Codes are a fad, and if they decide they are not, what they add value to the mobile user? It is assumed a number of people in the workshop will have access to the internet. Therefore, by the end of the workshop we will have collectively authored a Google document which addresses the title of the workshop. By the end of the session we may not have reached the definitive answer, however, we will have made significant steps in our own understanding.
A QR (Quick Response) Code is a two dimensional barcode. Which when scanned using a mobile phone enables you to complete a task. The most common tasks include accessing a web resource, sending a pre-written SMS or accessing more text information. The unique selling point is they enable the mobile learner to effectively and efficiently connect to a electronic resource or activity from a physical object.
This workshop is divided into the following parts.
Firstly agreeing on the questions we need to answer to feed into our understanding and enable us to answer the overarching question set by the workshop. For instance we'll need to know:
What is a QR code?
How do you create a QR code?
How do you access a QR code on your phone?
How are they being used in teaching and learning, and in other sectors?
How have institutions implemented their QR Code service?
Do people have the technology to use them now?
The second part will be in small groups developing answers to the questions raised. The methodology will be Web research, and idea sharing. The facilitator will assist by drawing on his knowledge and experience to ensure answers can be readily sourced.
The third part is feedback and discussion within the wider group. After which the smaller groups will enter their thoughts into the Google document.
At the end of the workshop the Google document will be exported and disseminated through the University of Bath's QR Code Project Blog for the wider community to access.
by Claire Gibbons and Russell Allen
The final (?) chapter in the adventure that is 'The University of Bradford CMS project'. After last year's Aberdeen Adventure which left our plucky band of projecteers hovering with ink-laden quill over a contract to TerminalFour...what happened next? How have we gone about implementation? How have we changed as we move from implementation to adoption? Where does a 'green-field' Web team start? Is change management still important? And most importantly, have we learnt anything that can be usefully shared with a wider audience? Claire and Russell hope to enliven the narrative for possibly the final time and reveal whether the heroes are rewarded, the baddies punished and seek to discover whether we can all live happily ever after...
During the last few years, UKOLN has been involved in a fair few metadata developments, most recently the SWAP (Scholarly Works Application Profile). Via recent work on the IEMSR (Information Environment Metadata Schema Registry) we have also found ourselves peripherally involved in external metadata engineering and development work. As a result, we came to the conclusion that communication between end-users, application developers and metadata development agencies - often committees - is sadly limited.
We looked around for various ways to resolve this problem, and found - and developed - a number of methods and applications for hands-on exploration of metadata structures. Some require only a piece of paper. Some make use of software interfaces for fast prototyping of novel metadata structures.
This workshop will offer a whirlwind tour of several of these methods and the applications that exist to support this activity.
Participants are encouraged to contribute their own examples of resources to catalogue - practical examples taken from the needs of academic users are fine, but equally, those who are inclined to use the session to develop a means of describing their lolcat collection are encouraged to do so!
In this potentially rather dangerous workshop, we'll show you some of the tricks and tools that your users - and the geek public at large - can use to scrape content and data from your websites and make use of it as they will. The moral? Make it easy for them... then at least they take away valid information and give you a chance to track where it's being used.
Demos will include - RSS 101, Yahoo Pipes 101, Screenscraping 101
Blogging is everywhere. Over the last decade the Weblog or online journal has become arguably the single most powerful paradigm of web communication - from Barack Obama's blog to Stephen Fry's tweets. In academic institutions, we may find blogs serving up the musings of academics and support staff, information feeds for departments and courses, gobbetts of student life for prospective students. Whether you just consider it a useful way to communicate, or an essential tool of connectivist and constructivist education, blogging (and the social networking that generally goes with it) is part of the fabric of 21st Century university life.
So, does this stuff have any lasting value? Should we be doing anything to ensure that these streams of information, creativity and interaction survive the next CMS upgrade, annual student account purge, server crash or Credit Crunch?
If so, what? Even within an institute, or at a personal level, preserving blogs can seem an incredibly difficult and complex task if you think about it long enough ( see, for example, the recent briefing paper by Digital Preservation Europe); and while you are thinking about it, valuable information may be being lost.
In this workshop I'll discuss some of the issues around blog preservation, many identified during the course of the JISC-PoWR project, and others which I hope you will bring to the table. We will compare and evaluate currently available solutions (e.g. the Internet Archive, BlogBackupOnline) and consider what actions, if any, you can take yourselves to protect and preserve valuable institutional or personal information held in blogs (and maybe even tweets) and give it the best chance of being accessible to future generations.
by Brian Kelly
The are well-documented techniques, known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which can be used in order to ensure that Web resources can be easily found in search engines such as Google. But how can the Social Web be used in order to help users to find your services or resources?
This session will explore a number of ways in which Social Web can be used by organisations seeking to maximise access to their services. The session will discuss the potential of various technologies such as blogs, micro-blogs (such as Twitter) and wikis, as well as popular social sharing services (e.g. YouTube, Slideshare and Flickr) and social networking services such as Facebook.
The session will describe a number of ways in which the effectiveness of such services can be monitored. The ethical aspects of use of social services to support organisational aims will also be explored.
by Peter Walker
The University of Bristol has a CMS, a Staff/Student Portal, VLEs and other corporate systems. It can be expected these meet at least 80% of University needs. However, this still allows plenty of scope for 'wheel reinvention', 'off-piste' web site development, content development being undertaken inefficiently, confusion over what help and services are available and who delivers them, and frustration at how to get local departmental initiatives advanced within a set timescale.
In the first third of this workshop session Pete will outline the systems and structures in place at Bristol, the challenges and issues being faced and plans to address these. The remainder of the session will call on attendees to outline the experiences and lessons from their institutions. The workshop aim is to share common practices and ideas and look for solutions that can be shared. It is possible that attendees may wish to establish some form of working group that can commit to continue working jointly after IWMW 2009 and report back at IWMW 2010.
What is a ‘Modern IT Working Environment’? What does it mean for the individual and the organisation? In a world that’s changing much faster than Universities, what should we be considering to help prioritise resources and effort in realising the Modern IT Working Environment? A conceptual framework has been developed and successfully employed to help frame discussion of these issues amongst University staff.
The challenge presented was how to communicate the notion of a 'Modern IT Working Environment' in a simple and consistent way to all areas and levels of an organisation (the University), in such a way that it represents current and future strategic drivers and at the same time show the practical everyday needs of the individual. A conceptual framework was developed and successfully employed in a variety of organisations to facilitate communication and discussion on these issues. It places in context the evolving nature of internal and external services and how they impact on 'chore' and 'core' work tasks of the individual. It also provides a simple illustration of the factors that senior managers need to consider when planning and prioritising institutional resource, for example with regard to technology procurement/development versus training/education, in order to meet the service requirements of individual staff and students.
Cardiff University has embarked on a major programme of change spearheaded by a significant investment in technology. Technology is viewed as a fundamental enabler for business change, but its value and role with respect to other University services has tended to be less well appreciated. Many staff and students throughout the institution had acquired a false impression of the programme as being technology driven, rather than strategically driven in response to business requirements. So the framework was developed to address this confusion and promote discussion around the existing and future challenges staff and students were facing, and also portray the vision and the strategic alignment of the programme at an organisational level.
The framework and associated presentation has been found to be relevant and useful to many different types of audiences internal to the University as well as to external business organisations it has been presented to. From a senior manager's point-of-view it helps clarify the range of influences impacting on strategy as well as the action plans that need to be developed. Individual staff and students gain a better appreciation of what constitutes their working environment and consequently the nature of their requirement for internal and external services.
by Paul Boag
Gone are the days when our websites were primarily brochureware. Increasingly users expect a level of rich interaction previous reserved for the desktop. From course finders to contact address books, our websites are increasingly dominated by web applications.
However, best practice for these applications are still emerging. How do you wireframe an application with tools primarily designed for page based sites? How do you enhance your applications with AJAX without compromising accessibility? How do you test a web application?
What is more, as users expectations increase our budgets are being squeezed. How can you build a rich user experience with a limited budget?
Paul explores ways to take your distinctly web 1.0. applications to the next level within the constraints of accessibility, budget and tools.
Do you know where you are? The JISC-funded Erewhon Project has been looking at the use of geolocation-aware Web services.
Increasingly we see institutions using geographic metadata to provide and enhance a range of services and applications both on the 'traditional' web and the growing mobile web. This workshop will share our findings with the wider higher education community and test some of the project hypotheses.
The session will cover topics such as:
How to (and how not to!) gather and store geographic metadata
Discussion of institutional barriers to data-gathering and service provision
A wide range of use cases for geodata
Real life applications and mashups - from maps to mobiles
How mobile devices are raising the game for geolocation
Developing ontologies for modelling the physical and political structure of a university
by Andy Powell
This session will give attendees a chance to discuss the findings of the current "Investigation into the management of website content in Higher Education Institutions" study, funded by Eduserv and being undertaken by SIRC. The session will validate the outcomes of the study and consider future areas of activity (policy, practice, standards and/or technology) that might arise in response to the issues raised.
Attendees will have a better understanding of what goes on in the Higher Education web management world.
by Russell Allen and Jeremy Speller
During 2008/09 UCL has been engaged in a proof-of-concept project to demonstrate portal functionality. The scope of the project was to:
develop a portal framework in uPortal
integrate limited functionality from key applications
integrate single sign-on to those applications
demonstrate the concept to a wide range of users
At the start of the project we accepted that the outcome could range from progress to a full project to implement an enterprise portal, to deciding that we didn't want one at all. The result was neither of these and surprised us. While users were enthusiastic about the functionality, we were skeptical about the technical solution and realised that the cost of implementing such a solution properly was beyond our means.
This outcome prompted us to think again and the concept of the anti-portal was born. By our definition this anti-portal provides the functionality users require, but is developed using existing and lightweight techniques used in a flexible manner.
The workshop is intended to be participatory both before and during the session. Participation is encouraged from those who have successful portals, those who are considering them and those who never would. The success of this session relies on your input, your stories - Jeremy and Russell have as many questions for participants as they have answers!
Is the end-user interface for searching and accessing the institutional repository a red herring? Should we be looking at making the IR vanish as far as the end user is concerned? Google is increasingly the tool of choice for discovering content, and many repository folk are putting a lot of effort into making the IR search-engine friendly. Should we be running with this and building repositories that push content through other applications but are invisible themselves?
"Demand for the mobile web exists not because it complements existing means of access, but rather because it replaces them." [Opera's chief executive, Oct. 2008].
The last 12 months have reported an explosion in mobile Internet use. Technologies such as smart-phones, iPhone apps, SMS/MMS, Bluetooth and mobile phone Web browsers are in daily use. Has this raised the expectations of our stakeholders? Is the education sector being left behind? Should we be worried?
This session will evaluate current mobile Internet trends both in education and the larger Worldwide Web. We will discuss the demands and priorities of our various internal and external audiences, and delve into the threats and opportunities of expanding a mobile Internet strategy for your institution. From a technical perspective, we will also look at good practice for coding for mobile devices, (for example micro-sites), and tactics for delivering mobile services. What is possible? What is practical? What is cool? And when do you give up trying to accommodate all devices?
Mobile phones should NOT be switched off. Participants are encouraged to bring along a mobile device to use in this interactive session.
by Barry Cornelius
The iTunes Store is Apple's online digital media store from where music and films can be downloaded. iTunes U is an area within the Store where an educational institution can manage a site showcasing its collection of audio and visual material. Unlike the music and films, this material can be downloaded free of charge. You need the iTunes software to listen/watch any recording provided in the iTunes Store. This is available on Windows/Macs but not on Linux. If you are providing material in iTunes U, it is important to provide an alternative way of accessing this material for those people that do not have iTunes.
Until 2008, the iTunes U institutions were all in the USA: then in June 2008, iTunes U was expanded to include institutions in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In the UK, the institutions were the Open University and UCL. Later, in October 2008, both Cambridge and Oxford Universities joined in. More recently, Warwick University has set up a site, and some other UK Universities a re currently preparing for iTunes U.
This workshop will look at why you should have an iTunes U site, what you need to do to be successful in iTunes U and how you can provide an alternative for those without iTunes. It will also review some of the work being done on podcasting by the JISC-funded Steeple project. There will also be time to discuss:
the role of iTunes U: lectures, outreach, marketing
copyright, licensing and release forms
the metadata that should be provided
quality issues, top-and-tailing recordings
equipment for making recordings
acceptable media formats
by Paul Boag
Facebook is SO last year! All the cool kids are hanging out on Twitter these days. Twitter is not just another social networking tool. On the surface it appears very simple, but in reality it is an extremely powerful and adaptable communication tool. It can be used in a variety of ways. However, it can be abused just as easily. In this session we look at the potential and problems of Twitter. We discuss techniques for utilising it within your institution and examine some of the tools that can help you master its power.
At the end of the session attendees should have a clearer idea of how Twitter can be used to not only reach perspective students but also as an internal communication tool. The attendees will also be introduced to a variety of Twitter monitoring tools, the emerging etiquette around its usage and ways twitter can be integrated into a broader Web strategy.
Participants in this workshop will learn both the conceptual and practical levels of cloud computing technologies and position themselves to help their campuses evaluate the appropriateness of these solutions to their operations. Hands-on activities and in-depth discussion will focus on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.
Participants will interact with AWS tools in a production environment, including starting up virtual servers, storing data in the cloud, and accessing a content delivery network.
Participants will have opportunities to share ideas, learn about best practices and ways to evaluate cloud computing as a solution, and explore use cases relevant to their local campus needs. They will also gain access to information on current vendors, products, and delivery models for these remote computing resources.
by Andrew Male
In the current economic crisis, pressure is increasing on organisations to rapidly deliver a return on investment. Agile frameworks make this possible by putting the emphasis on working products and responding to change.
What are Agile development and Scrum? How can the HE Web community use these frameworks to deliver value to our organisations? What questions do they raise for us and our relationships with other staff?
The Web won't last because it isn't really anything! Is it 'stuff that can happen in a browser'? Well that covers almost anything since browser plugins and helpers sprout daily! It is just a bunch of tools for sharing information amongst a much wider set of tools (with new ones almost daily). It only takes a new cool tool to appear that doesn't use http and its all downhill from then on. Its really about INFORMATION (broadly described) and the role of IWMW is to get it flowing by going with the flow of how people interact with information and each other - sounds a bit like the finale in Aberdeen:-)
by David Newman
The European Parliament was worried that fewer people are voting in European and national elections. So they funded an e-participation programme to see how to engage more citizens with legislatures. They were particularly concerned that fewer young people are voting and joining political parties.
But young people are not apolitical. They wear armbands, join boycotts, turn out in millions to cancel debt or protest wars: it is just traditional politics and traditional consultations that put them off. So the challenge is to see how to adapt government to the ways young people communicate, rather than bore them with the old ways of influencing policy in citizenship lessons.
Since many young people spend a lot of time on the Internet and mobile 'phones, not just reading, but creating words, music, pictures and videos, why not let them discuss policy issues there? Then all we need is a mechanism for collecting their creative ideas, recommendations, organise them by issue, and present them to policy-makers.
With the stress of managing multiple systems and users, web managers don't often have the chance to encourage innovation within their teams. David will be talking about the importance of innovation within a web team and how innovation can be embedded back into a team environment while still managing an enterprise level of support for ongoing systems. Specifically, David will be talking about his experience of managing innovation projects using his own flavour of "Agile Prototyping in Academia".
Chris Gutteridge will share a bunch of useful techniques his team has evolved for managing multiple servers and hundreds of Web sites for the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. These techniques have significantly improved the standard of service provided, without creating lots of extra grunt work. Some of these techniques may be directly useful, others may just give you ideas for similar low cost ways to improve your operation with minimal extra day-to-day work for your staff. If there is time, the audience will be encouraged to share their own techniques and ideas.
Lots of cool little tricks...
by Matthew Wood and Michael Smethurst
Michael and Matthew will talk about how the BBC make their Web sites: Designing and building sane, scalable, coherent and accessible data driven dynamic web applications the one web, domain driven, RESTful, open, linked data way!
28th–30th July 2009