The Pattern Language Network

Taming web2.0 in Higher Education

Archive for March, 2009

The Story of the Planet Platform

Posted by yishaym on March 31, 2009

True to the dogfood principle, we now have a case study on the development of the Planet platform. An amazing tale on international mystery and intrigue. Well, maybe not – but if you’re working in a UK HE institure and thinking of launching an ambitious web2.0 project, you might find our experience informative.

Or, if you have been involved in a similar project, we would be curious to know: does this resonate with your experiece?

Its all there (in brief): the original plan, what went smoothly, what went wrong, and where we are at the end of the day. Enjoy!

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everything you wanted to know about pattern methodologies but didn’t know who to ask

Posted by yishaym on March 23, 2009

Planet is hosting a symposium at CAL’09 tomorrow. If you’re in Brighton, drop in and join the discussion. Our plan is to break away from the usual talking heads format, and devote most of the time for conversation. We’ve set up a web-space for the symposium at:

http://purl.org/planet/Groups.CAL09/

Where you can find drafts of all the slideshows and a few position papers. We’ve also posted some questions for the panel discussion, and you can add some of yours – either as comments on that page or as tweets tagged #cal09ptns.

We’ve managed to bring together some of the top innovators in design pattern approaches to education and e-learning across Europe, so we look forward to be surprised and having our preconceptions challenged.

Now I should turn my attention back to the speaaker.

Posted in conferences, pattern languages, related projects | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Kolfschoten and Lukosch: Cognitive learning efficiency & design patterns

Posted by yishaym on March 13, 2009

(cross-posted from http://designedforlearning.wordpress.com)

The 1st full paper for our symposium at CAL is now available for download (pdf).

When it comes to design patterns, there seem to be two types of people: born-again evangelists who would sell their mum to convince you that patterns are the cure to all your ails, and normal, decent folk who just don’t understand what all the fuss is about. In a recent conversation with Helen Sharp, I drew an analogy to Aubergines (“No! Patterns are nothing like aubergines – aubergines are yuck!”).

Gwen and Stephan are perhaps the trailblazers of a third type: they decided to apply a bit of scientific scrutiny to the claims of pattern evangelists. Using the theory of cognitive load, they ran a serious of experiments, observing the effect of design patterns on novice and expert designers. Results? “… This leads us to the tentative conclusion that the use of design patterns does not only affect the efficiency of the design effort, it also constitutes learning efficiency of novices to gain design skills and it enhances the quality of their design.

Gwendolyn Kolfschoten and Stephan Lukosch: Cognitive learning efficiency through the use of design patterns

Teaching Processes and systems in organizations become increasingly complex and dynamic. This requires managers of expert teams to quickly gain knowledge and insight outside their prime area of expertise. To transfer expert knowledge and to reuse design solutions design patterns can be used as building blocks for the development of systems and processes. The use of design patterns can increase the efficiency of design & implementation of solutions and in some cases it can enable automated implementation of design. This allows the expert to re-use components to accommodate new requirements in a more flexible way. However, the advantage of design patterns might go beyond re-use, design efficiency and flexibility. This paper argues that in addition to the benefits described above, there is a specific added value for the use of design patterns by novices to acquire design skills and domain knowledge. We propose that design patterns, due to their conceptual design, offer information in a way that enables the creation of better linkages between knowledge elements and improve the accessibility of the information in the memory. For this hypothesis we will analyze the literature on cognitive load and cognitive learning processes, and add to this three case study experiences in which novices and experts were offered design patterns to develop and implement systems and processes.

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Next Generation Technologies in Practice 09 – Loughborough

Posted by Janet Finlay on March 11, 2009

Several of the team have just spent two days in Loughborough at the Next Generation Technologies in Practice JISC conference – excellent event with much food for thought on sharing practice and communities of relevance to Planet. This morning Jim, John and I, together with Wendy Luker, Director of the Persona project, led a session entitled Social Technologies for Sharing Practice, where we looked at Planet and Persona, together with Streamline, and the ways in which they had made use of social technologies to support sharing. It was a pretty full session and seemed to be well received (I particularly liked this tweet, in response to me saying the twitter stream was quiet during the session: “it’s too interesting to tweet :)”!)

For those who missed it our slides are on authorstream (slideshare not playing ball at present for me):


Vodpod videos no longer available.


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Useful Sharing

Posted by Janet Finlay on March 4, 2009

Here is a presentation by Sally Fincher of the University of Kent on Useful Sharing which she gave recently at Glasgow. I think she captures very well many of the issues that arise with sharing practice effectively. (Skip through the section in the middle where they are doing the exercise – although it is in itself a very interesting exercise and one I have made use of in Planet workshops, having used it with Sally in the HCI Disciplinary Commons).

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