Assembling the heterogeneous elements for (digital) learning

CQU's first Web 2.0 course site?

Thanks to a bit of “synergy” it looks like CQU might be getting its first Web 2.0 course site. I’m currently defining a Web 2.0 course site as a recognisable course website that just happens to be implemented, to a significant extent, making use of “Web 2.0” services.

The label is a contradiction in terms. Web 2.0 is not about client/server, a single site that hosts all the material. It’s about a bunch of services being mixed together in an ad hoc way by the participants (and that’s not a definition I plan reusing too often). I’m reasonably sure that folk like Stephen Downes would have some very valid qualms about the concept.

I think there’s value in the idea as a stage in development. A small step along the road to Web 2.0 goodness that is familiar enough to academic staff to overcome the fear of all the Web 2.0 novelty. I’ve argued briefly about this before.

It fits with my attachment to Roger’s diffusion of innovation theories. A Web 2.0 course site is a method to show the Web 2.0 “stuff” in a form that is

  • compatible with existing practice;
    There is still a course site like most already have.
  • provides relative advantage;
    The web 2.0 technologies are easier to use and provide some more useful features than a traditional LMS.
  • at the cost of little complexity;
  • while be something that is observable (because a Web 2.0 course site would essentially be open)

What we’ll be doing

By July 9 the site should be up. It will be for the course EDED11448, Creative Futuring being taught by Bernie Walker-Gibbs. The work is also part of CQU Learning & Teaching grant Bernie received this year to look at this sort of stuff.

The rough initial plan is for the course site to have the following sections

  • Resources
    A list of resources the staff and students find relevant to the course and which they tag using and which will be displayed on this page. This will include a course podcast pointing to various interesting podcast episodes already out on the net – again using and at the moment this approach using Feedburner
  • Weblog and Portfolio
    Each student will maintain a journal and a portfolio using RedBubble.
  • Learning Space
    The course material will be hosted here on WetPaint (a Wiki). WetPaint supports OpenID which allows us to learn some lessons in that area.
  • Announcements
    Most likely implemented as a blog using Blogger or similar.

There may also be a course barometer – which isn’t (yet) very Web 2.0.

What will it achieve

At the least we will learn some lessons about what is involved, what works and what doesn’t. It help inform us around what I (and some others) think is the next step in “course sites”.


Helping create innovative, good quality learning and teaching


Creating a podcast that students/staff can contribute to


  1. Great initiative and thanks for using RedBubble as part of the course site. We’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions from students or teachers, since we’re always trying to improve the site.

  2. G’day Xavier,

    It’s us who should be thanking who for providing such a system/service.

    As for improving the site, my initial question would be have you given any thought to OpenID?

    One of the potential problems which has already been raised about this practice is the one around account management. The students in this course are probably going to have to have accounts on at least RedBubble, WetPaint, and As well as their existing CQU accounts.

    Not a really big overhead, especially for an initial experiment with fairly small numbers and only using a subset of external services. However, if we were talking about doing this for large number of courses, with large numbers and a largish number of different services I could see that students could start complaining about having all these accounts.

    OpenID might provide a solution to this problem. It might also cause its own problems. That’s part of the learning process for this trial.

    Any insights or experience welcome.


  3. Thanks for the suggestion David. Yes, we’ve talked about OpenID. While it’s not a major priority right now, I will chat to the team about their current thinking on it.

    Anything from a group or collaboration perspective that would be useful?

  4. David, I’m glad to hear about the course.
    I would appreciate your feedback. I have revieved a lot of emails and traffic from a post last week on EW2.0 so expanded how I and JackBe views the landscape.
    “I expanded a portion of this new picture to incorporate the two facets of Web 2.0 (The social collaborative paradigm shift & the Web 2.0 technology enablers that make this possible), how these once implemented correctly make up the Enterprise Web 2.0 infrastructure, and lastly how with the addition of a Enterprise collaborative paradigm shift, all make up Enterprise 2.0.â€? Cheers

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