I was horrified when I saw yesterday how long it was since I made a posting on this blog! I can only blame it on having been so busy with the SLENZ project that I haven’t had time to write about it. John Waugh has been blogging about SLENZ though and many other related things too 🙂
It has been an exciting time for the project. We had a number of excellent proposals for pilot projects to be supported by SLENZ and great difficulty in choosing the two that we would work with. We were very tempted to go with three pilots but our Project Steering Group, very wisely I am sure, encouraged us finally to go with only two! At least that way we know that we can fund them! The pilots will be announced tomorrow and I am looking forward to working on them……after all the talk and the preparation, it will be soooo good to finally be building something real!
The literature review is almost complete and is with two external reviewers – we await there feedback with great interest. It was a real challenge to try to bring together useful literature especially when there is so little as yet published in ‘academically recognised’ publications. We made the decision that we had to include many non-traditional courses of information, such as blogs, mailing list postings and personal communications. Even though they are not peer-reviewed as such, they include so many useful thoughts and guides to good practice, that to ignore them would have rendered the literature review fairly worthless in terms of informing the project. It was particularly noticeable that much of the published research, although only a year or so old, was already out of date in terms of the where the technology is currently at. It became clear, to me at least, that the lag between the conduct of research and its publication (often a problem in IT generally) is a major issue when attempting to gather valid data on a very rapidly evolving technology. I wonder if there is a way of creating a ‘peer-review’ equivalent for blogs! It may be exactly what we need.
Speaking of believable blogs and bloggers, I am always impressed by Steven Warburton’s Liquid Learning blog and try to check it out as frequently as I can. His current posting, while both amusing and highly pertinent (I immediately recognised the herding cats situation he described!) gives some very useful ideas on how to ensure a successful tour of SL. Compuslory reading if you are thinking of doing the same!