Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Community Hubs" at Penn State

I just heard Cole Camplese from Penn State discuss PSU's use of Community Hubs to support new major learning technology initiatives. Peers support peers, and he said that the help desk is reporting a drop in support calls.

One example is a community hub for their course management system, Angel. The Angel Community Hub has lots of faculty and staff participation, Cole mentioned.

I'm wondering what platform supports these community hubs.

3 comments:

Cole Camplese said...

I hope you enjoyed the presentation! It is always a little difficult talking to an empty room knowing there are others on the other side of the wire. To answer your question, all of our Community Hubs are powered by Drupal. It is an outstanding open source tool that seems perfectly suited for this kind of activity.

Any other questions don't hesitate emailing me personally! Thanks for taking part in the session today.

jeff said...

Thanks for the comment Cole. I am very intrigued about using a community hub (I'm thinking something like a familiar social network) to foster community around our course management system. The big goal is to decrease the load on our help desk as usage of the CMS continues to surge.

Another goal is to connect instructors with each other through their common characteristics such as teaching assignments, disciplines, topics, or research interests (as noted in their profile).

I'm interested in learning more about how faculty have taken to such a support/community system.

Thanks for the offer to contact you offline. I might take you up on that.

Gilfus Education Group said...

Our team at the Gilfus Education Group just released this white paper to provide critical insights to practitioners while clarifying "Social Learning" as a concept.

Social Learning Buzz Masks Deeper Dimensions Mitigating the confusion surrounding “Social Learning” (Download Here)

It is our hope that by leveraging socially based technologies the education industry can shape a new educational technology paradigm that realizes the promises of true “Social Learning”.

By understanding its applications we can create a unique opportunity to improve student engagement, student retention, academic success and overall educational outcomes.

– Stephen Gilfus, Gilfus Education Group (Founder Blackboard Inc. left the organization in 2007)