Saturday, August 19, 2006

Web Publishing on Campus: Blogs and Wikis

We've had many successful training dates and personal appointments since our pilot project in October 2006 (see below). The opening training session for adults has evolved further since the school took a bold step to offer a 'Faculty Block' every Wednesday morning of the school calendar from 720-810am. Personal Learning Communities and departments now have time to have regularly scheduled meeting times. In this Wednesday am slot and on some Faculty in-service days we've offered many classes and individualized support sessions on technology related topics.

Students as Mentors:
Folks attending training sessions see a high percentage of students who are there to help answer individual questions. The model has proven to be highly successful as it steers away from general classes and leans toward individualized support and collaboration between students and adults. Students becoming technical support advisors to faculty is not a new concept. Students not only help people in the room with individualized questions but are encouraged to pursue followup appointments. The success of the program keeps growing and a pilot project, unofficially called the 'Student Help Desk' is underway.

Founding Initiative: October 2006
Many Faculty members were interested in publishing web pages for student use but conventional web page methods were cumbersome. Home access required special software and opened up security issues in providing remote access in the exisitng school infrastructure. The success of the BBA announcements blog, Music Department wiki and research into other publishing around the country pointed toward using blogs and wikis for Faculty to post web pages for coursework and sports at BBA.

Two students signed on to investigate blog and wiki publishing opportunities further. The students worked with Mr Provost and Mr Morrison to create a wiki that would provide adults at BBA with training information and answers to frequently asked questions.

In a nutshell: Moving websites off campus to the cloud increased reliability, made them easily editable, ease of use and offered far more integrated services... at no cost.

On October 18, 2006 students led an introduction at a Faculty in-service, followed by a training session in the Lab. 36 adults attended the session and each adult had a student mentor. A large number of blogs and wikis were created and are now in use across the BBA campus.

BBA Research Lab Summary: Faculty Presentation available in the Project Archive.
Presentation and blog post prepared by: Samantha Wilson ('07) and Troy Johnson ('07), Marcin Magnezewski (International Student, 2006).