Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The syllabus in your hands

One of the objectives of the Internet Safety project was to trial innovative technologies and one of the ways we planned to do this was to allow ordinary teachers and lecturers to change the contents of the course using a wiki.

The original version of the unit [PDF] was created in the traditional way i.e. SQA officer (me) appoints a lead developer (Ted) who writes a draft unit and then consults on its contents, finally creating an initial version of the unit. Inevitably, some people like it and some don't.

The idea of putting the current unit on a wiki and encouraging practitioners to contribute to it effectively gives control of the unit's contents to ordinary teachers and lecturers. Well, that's the theory. I am aware that good ideas like this often don't work due to several reasons - time constraints on busy teachers being the most common. But it will be interesting to see if this small experiment works. If it does, maybe SQA would develop all of their qualifications this way?

The wiki is here - and since it's based on Mediawiki it can be changed in the same way as Wikipedia. Although anyone can change the contents of the unit, I would ask you to create an account and log into the wiki so that your individual contribution can be tracked.

6 comments:

Ewan said...

I think this is a really positive step and look forward to having a look through. I think at the moment there is still a cultural leap to be made for many educationalists before they will edit a wiki of a qualification. That's one we have to work on before all of this becomes second nature. We continue the trudge! ;-)

Bobby said...

I'm not sure that it's cultural Ewan - more likely time and training. In my experience there is a willingness among teachers to use collaborative/digital technologies but lack of time and training often makes this difficult or impossible for them.

Ewan said...

"Edit this page"... I don't think it's a training issue or, if it is, then there's a heck of a lot to worry about in the most basic skills of our teachers.

Cultural, yes, because it's normal for some of us to expect to edit a webpage while it's unexpected for others.

David Noble said...

Hi Bobby

I tried to get on to the wiki during a P&C period, but had trouble creating an account. Any ideas?

Bobby said...

David - Sorry about this problem. It has now been resolved (it was resolved within 24 hours actually so I hope you accessed it OK).

David Noble said...

I've added to a couple of parts of the document, and made a point in the discussion area.