The Pattern Language Network

Taming web2.0 in Higher Education

HCI Disciplinary Commons patterns workshop – September 1st 2008

Posted by Janet Finlay on July 18, 2008

Throughout the academic year 2007-08, a group of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Educators have been engaging in an HCI Disciplinary Commons, meeting on a monthly basis to discuss their teaching practice, undertake peer observation and engage in peer review. Each participant aimed to produce a portfolio representing their HCI teaching during this period. These portfolios form a body of knowledge about HCI teaching in the UK that may be of use to other practitioners.

Planet is joining with the Disciplinary Commons project to run a workshop at the HCI2008 conference in Liverpool in September. This workshop has three aims:
• To inform the wider community about the process, activity and outcomes of the Commons;
• To give participants a taste of how the Commons operated;
• To consider how we might progress to develop meaningful representations for HCI Educators to share practice, using the patterns approach.

The workshop will be in two parts. In the morning, the facilitators of and the participants in the Commons will give a series of presentations on the priniciples, process and experience of the Commons approach to sharing practice. In the afternoon, workshop participants will take part in activities focused on sharing and representing practice. These activities will be anchored in case studies of HCI teaching practice, submitted prior to the workshop.

The workshop will be of interest to anyone teaching HCI who wishes to share practice with others and anyone interested in methods for sharing practice in general. For more information on the workshop and how to participate please see the HCI Disciplinary Commons Workshop on Planet Wiki.

This workshop will bring together practitioners from the same discipline, rather than those with an interest in the same technologies. It will be interesting to see whether the patterns captured will be more generally applicable and to consider how closely they relate to those captured in the Web 2.0 for learning focused workshops. The workshop will also allow us to evaluate the Planet methodology in another context, with an established user group. It promises to be an exciting session.

Both Planet and the HCI Disciplinary Commons projects are feeding into a major new three year project, funded under the National Teaching Fellowship Project scheme: To see ourselves as others see us: sharing and representing disciplinary classroom practice (we’re working on a snappier name!). Led by Sally Fincher, of the University of Kent, and involving Planet members Janet Finlay and Isobel Falconer, this project will explore teaching practice in detail, including developing Disciplinary Commons activities across different disciplines; evaluating different representations of practice (including patterns); and examining in depth how and why practitioners change their practice.

Sharing practice figured large in the JISC Innovation Forum earlier this week – it was recognised by several speakers that we need to learn to do this better or we will waste both effort and resource. Planet and its new partner project, are helping to address this issue.

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