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OLnet progress

OLnet design workshop by openpad, on Flickr

OLnet has five key areas of operation:

  1. Management
  2. Fellowships
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Research
  5. Dissemination

The operation of OLnet as a two-site project is based on a loose coupling of operations with a shared set of motivations and targets.  The fellowship and infrastructure elements are based at the OU while research projects, dissemination and management take place across the partnership.  Communications between partners are facilitated by shared participation in events and the use of conferencing between project managers and other staff.  At the OU, a steering group has been established linked to internal support for research & scholarship. (Image: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by openpad)

End of year 2 progress (February 2011)

Across these five areas OLnet has focussed on:

  • consolidation of projects as coherent strands of activity
  • visiting fellowships including two rounds of open recruitment
  • producing a viable set of tools for collective intelligence and applying them to the analysis of previous projects (linked to separately funded analysis of the Hewlett Grantee reports)
  • completion of primary research in learning design and participatory learning
  • dissemination of academic outputs through publications and conferences

The dissemination approach for OLnet is based on presence in events, academic publication through conferences and papers, development of online presence, and specific dissemination events.  Using targeted events, where OLnet offers a high level of presence, sponsors particular activities or uses Cloudworks and team blogging to increase persistence continues to be a successful strategy.  Publications figures are very good with over 69 peer-reviewed publications or presentations that have been registered in The Open University's Open Research Online database at the end of February 2011.

The project has changed the way in which we consider the overall web presence of OLnet to include activity on the Cloudworks and Cohere sites as part of a move away from building a separate OLnet community.  During the final year of the project we are moving further towards use of as a dissemination site.