The Pattern Language Network

Taming web2.0 in Higher Education

Posts Tagged ‘pattern language’

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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Organising structures

Posted by Janet Finlay on September 17, 2008

One of our aims in the Planet project is to explore possible organising structures for our learning patterns – the “language” bit of what we are talking about. This is probably the most elusive element of the pattern approach – there are many individual patterns and there are pattern collections, but genuine pattern languages are few and far between. Organising structures are not trivial!

So what are we looking for? We want a structure that captures the relationship between our patterns. It should allow us to find the pattern we need for a particular context but also the patterns that are nearby. It should help us to use the patterns to create new solutions. It should also illuminate the “gaps” where we might need a pattern but where we don’t yet have one. Indexes are not enough.

A starting point for consideration of an organising structure for teaching practice has come from discussions with Sally Fincher who is leading the Share project, with which Planet members are collaborating. This organising structure is based around decision points – when, where and at what level we make decisions about our teaching practice. Sally has produced the following initial suggestion for such an organising structure and given us permission to post it here as a starting point for further debate and discussion:

The promising thing for me about this structure is that it does potentially provide our three basic requirements. If we mapped patterns onto the structure you could immediately see the patterns that were relevant to your current decision point as well as those closely related. You could work through the decision process using the relevant patterns at any point. And it would be immediately obvious where patterns were missing.

Our next step is to try to populate and refine the structure using both our own seed patterns and the collections that are publicly available. Thanks to Sally Fincher for allowing us to explore her structure in this way.

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