The Pattern Language Network

Taming web2.0 in Higher Education


PLaNet (Pattern Language Network) is a multi-institutional project funded under the JISC Users and Innovation Programme.

Teachers in higher education are starting to explore the use of new web technologies, known as Web 2.0 technologies, in their assessment, learning and teaching practice. These technologies are characterised by community participation and user created content and include blogs, wikis, podcasting, social networks and virtual worlds. As these are used in an educational context it is important that experiences of what is successful (and less successful) can be shared effectively between practitioners, so that good practice can be transferred from one place to another. Transfer of practice of this sort is difficult however as each context is different and what works in one place may not work in the same way elsewhere. We therefore need a way to represent our teaching practices to make it clear what it was about the practice that was critical to its success and to make explicit not just what was done but why. The PLaNet project will use a framework known as a “pattern language” to do this. A pattern language consists of a number of patterns each of which describes a successful example of practice, presented in terms of problem-solution pairs, and grounded in a specific context. The patterns all have the same form but are written in natural language making them easy to use and understand.

The project will develop a system to support a community of HE practitioners, who are using Web 2.0 in assessment, learning and teaching, to capture and share their examples of good practice as patterns. This system will include a collaborative software tool, clear processes for capturing and using patterns and a growing pattern language which provides reusable knowledge about how to use Web 2.0 technology in learning, drawn from examples of success.

The pattern language, software and methodologies will be developed iteratively through engagement with the HE community of practitioners who are using Web 2.0 technologies in learning. It is this extensive community engagement in all aspects of the pattern language development, together with the integrated support tools and processes, which particularly distinguishes this project from other pedagogical patterns projects.

PLaNet will make it easier for HE teachers to learn from each others’ practices.

4 Responses to “About”

  1. Hi

    I stumbled across a poster of your work in Second Life and was immediately interested.

    I teach software engineering patterns to BSc and MSc students and have had a long standing interest in the use of patterns to improve teaching – in particular I was involved with the Pedagogical Patterns Project (

    It would be great to know more about what you are doing

    Jane Chandler
    School of Computing
    University of Portsmouth

  2. Huda said

    I am a Phd Student, studying the HCI Patterns efficiacy in education.
    is it possiple to know more about your project.

    Huda Al-Shuaily, PhD
    Department of Computing Science
    University of Glasgow
    Glasgow G128QQ
    Scotland, UK
    e-mail: huda at dcs dot gla dot ac dot uk

  3. huda said

    currently I am studying the proplems with avaliable pattern collections in term of using them in teaching HCI related courses. There are three dimensions of the proplem : the patterns scalability(not field dependency), heterogeneity( different pattern format),complexity(student level of design knowldge and skill.therefore, I am proposing a pattern collecction that is suitable to be used by students.

  4. Mike Sheller said

    I came upon the website “The Pattern Language Network” while doing some of my occasionally far-afield pattern investigatory work. Let me explain: My sole occupation (I would say “work” except it is more like “play” and “metaphysical development” for me)is stock market speculation. By stockmarket I mean virtually all the bourses of the world. By speculation I mean use of the mind – thinking – to find and diagnose a particular pattern that I have found over the years that a share price chart will develop prior to a significant and profitable upmove in value.

    Finding your site leads me to enquire as to whether what I am involved in is missing the point of your own approach, or whether my activity falls within the “pattern” of your own studies. I ask inasmuch as it seems to me that perhaps there is a study here that might benefit your own direction, and might even be developed into an income producing arrangement for your group.

    Thanks for hearing my thought out!

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