IWMW 2011 blog » Workshops http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011 Supporting UKOLN's IWMW 2011 event Fri, 20 Apr 2012 08:43:04 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.4 A5: Your Top Ten Legal Issues To Be Thinking About Now http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/07/26/a5-your-top-ten-legal-issues-to-be-thinking-about-now/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/07/26/a5-your-top-ten-legal-issues-to-be-thinking-about-now/#comments Tue, 26 Jul 2011 17:37:12 +0000 m.guy http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=497 Continue reading ]]> In parallel session A5: Your Top Ten Legal Issues To Be Thinking About Now the facilitator Jason Miles-Campbell applauded us for turning up to his session on a hot, Tuesday afternoon and started off by giving us a brief over view of the JISC Legal role.

We then used the voting pads to decide on which legal issue we wanted to hear about first. The order was as follows:

1. Cookies

European Union e-privacy directive has been amended to state that explicit consent must be given before cookies can be used. No detail in implementation has been given and nothing to be enforced for 12 months (May of 2012). This means 12 months for Web manager to work out how to do this i.e. so that users actually see that they are accepting cookies.

The possible options are to change your site to be compliant (you can only get out of it if cookie is necessary for strict function of Web site). You could have an entry page that says that people have agree to cookies or you could take some steps in preparation but wait to implement and see what happens. Alternately could not do anything, lobby the government and hope that it is sorted out by next year. Note that Google Analytics code counts as a cookie. JISC Legal plan to come up with some guidance in this area.

Some institutions are already dealing with this by relying on a privacy statement. To sum up this is a problem that wasn’t there that someone has tried to solve!

2. Legalities of the Cloud

A number of legal issues the come up, primarily data protection and that data cannot move outside the European Union unless certain criteria have been met. Safe harbour is the US way of getting round this – Google and Microsoft have signed up to it, Amazon have suggested that they will have an EU base. Google said they would use a base in Ireland, but their agreement is still not ready. What students have in their email is not related to data protection, but staff email is and is held on behalf of the university.

JISC Legal already have briefing papers on this area.

3. Your Institution’s Risk Appetite

Jason explained that this is a grey area and we have to live with it. However it is worth knowing that being how much risk you take depends on what your aims are and being very risk adverse hampers your mission. Your institution risk appetite needs to be explicit and supported (when things go wrong), possibly in the form of a risk policy. The EDINA social media guidelines are suggested as a useful resource.

Jason gave the analogy of medicine where surgeons are allowed to do pioneering surgical procedures in order to ‘move on’ in medicine, risk is mitigated, but there are still risks.

4. The Digital Economy Act

We’ve all heard of the DEA – legislation that specifies that copyright infringement by a user can result in a termination of the infringers’ Internet connection. The suggestion is that if there are 3 copyright infringements then the JANET connection will be cut off – this is totally unworkable. There needs to be some balance here with regard to copyright and monitoring infringement. Web managers don’t necessarily need to take action but you do need to educate your users and encourage appropriate respect for copyright.

5. Mobile Learning

No law has changed but the technology is constantly moving on. Lots of new technologies such as geolocation, tracking data, augmented reality have recently hit the mainstream – quite often technologies move on without considering all the issues. Often there are papers and policies in this area, for example there is a new paper coming out on data encryption. Our role (could be) to ensure that the pursuit of technology doesn’t overtake consideration of relevant issues

6. Proper Data sharing

As a sector we are pretty good in this area. You can already sign up to the privacy promise pledge made by the information commissioner, but there has been suggestions that we could share more, for example by annonymisation. However there are cases when data sharing can affect lives so we need to bear this in mind.

There were a couple of areas that we didn’t have time for:

  • Protection of Freedoms Bill
  • Using Licences Well
  • The Equality Act 2010
  • Your Champions and Support

This slide is also available on Slideshare.

It turns out that the Information Commissioner is based in Wilmslow, Jason’s suggestion was that you base yourself as far away from there as possible!!

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A7: Listen, Repeat, Learn http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/07/21/a7-listen-repeat-learn/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/07/21/a7-listen-repeat-learn/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2011 08:00:43 +0000 nicolaosborne http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=389 Continue reading ]]> My name is Nicola Osborne and I am the Social Media Officer for EDINA where I advise colleagues working on our various projects and services in how to make the best use of social media – both to connect with our users and stakeholders and in our own interfaces and developments.

Next Tuesday (26th July from 3.30 to 5pm) myself and my colleague Paul Milne will be running the parallel session:

A7: Listen, Repeat, Learn: How to use Social Media Conversations and Activities to Measure and Demonstrate Impact and Improve Engagement

We will be exploring various ways and tools to measure and engage in social media in this session with some hands on activities to help us all think about what will work in our own contexts. I was able to virtually attend the very useful Metrics and Social Web Services workshop last week and that gave me some really interesting areas to think about including in my own session. However I thought it would be really helpful – even at this late stage – to see if you have any views on the topic that you would like to see reflected in this session.

I would also love to know what questions, problems or ideas you might be keen to raise around social media measurement – whether or not you are planning to attend the session. What would you like to see covered in this session? Do you have particularly positive or negative experiences in monitoring and measuring social media that you would like to share and reflect upon?

I would love to hear your thoughts and, where possible, feed them into next week’s session. Please comment below, share on Twitter (to the #iwmw11 hashtag or via @suchprettyeyes) or, if you’d prefer to respond more privately then email me: nicola.osborne@ed.ac.uk.

I very much look forward to meeting many of you next week!

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B7: Maximising Institutional Webmaster Impact http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/07/19/b7-maximising-institutional-webmaster-impact/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/07/19/b7-maximising-institutional-webmaster-impact/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2011 19:04:46 +0000 guest http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=376 Continue reading ]]> This may be a bit late in the day considering how long Marieke has been asking us all to say something about our upcoming IWMW2011 sessions, but I’m afraid the allocated time for a particular “job” always gets lumped toward any actual event associated with it and it’s only this week I’ve got back on wavelength with the abstract I supplied months ago for this particular parallel session.

So here’s what I’m trying to do (Wednesday 11:00-12:30) in B7: Maximising Institutional Webmaster Impact. Not that much by me actually, but together a lot! I’m hoping to facilitate a collaborative authoring, by all of those attending, of a document by the end of the workshop. That document will be the result of an hour or so’s intense deliberation on how institutional webmasters can be more effective at their work. It will form a series of recommendations, grouped under relevant sub headings, which we’ll also confirm during the session.

I’ll be trying to use Google Docs with nominated group collaborators so that we have the result immediately.

I’m keen to use my own (possibly old fashioned and outdated) definition of a “webmaster’”, although this also will fall under scrutiny and possible amendment by the audience! However in the early 90s when the web was in its infancy, webmasters were the exceptional people who took on both a technical and business head, along with the challenge of wide scale education and coordination, who were the harbingers of radical change and the stalwarts who stood by visions that others took a long (often very long) time to understand! I would ask Why should that definition be different today?

We’ll start by discussing and reaching common ground on the roles and responsibilities of a “webmaster” and possibly obligations of a “good” webmaster that may never make it into a job description. We’ll then look at areas where a webmaster needs to be or could be effective, and for each area, under primary direction by a separate audience group, we’ll compile proposed recommendations for optimising effectiveness, maximising the positive impact on the institution.

I will of course be interjecting with some of the thinking I’ve been doing. I’ll be referring to recent Netskills workshops where we have taken participants on an excursion through many aspects of maximising online resource effectiveness (MORE).

I’ll also be tossing in ideas from Stephen Covey, Edward de Bono, 37 Signals, and Malcolm Gladwell along the way, just to keep the stewing pot well mixed with high level clear thinking approaches.

So if you’re coming, then start getting your thoughts together on what you think a *real* webmaster should and could be and we’ll commence a (hopefully) very productive sparking session on Wednesday 27 July! And you’ll all get a credit as a co-author of the document we’ll publish at the end :-) .

The slides I’ll be using to coax the discussion are now on Slideshare with the other IWMW2011 slides.


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Sharing Resources From Parallel Sessions http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/07/12/sharing-resources-from-parallel-sessions/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/07/12/sharing-resources-from-parallel-sessions/#comments Tue, 12 Jul 2011 09:00:51 +0000 briankelly http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=116 Continue reading ]]> Background

Since the Institutional Web Management Workshop series was launched back in 1997 we have always ensured that the slides used by the plenary speakers were made publicly available – so you can still see the slides from IWMW 1997 and even see the profiles of the 90 participants  who attended that launch event which was included in the opening presentation on 16 July 1997.

The Popularity of Slides Used at IWMW Events

In the past we haven’t sought to make the slides available from the many parallel sessions which have been held over the 14 years the event has been held, primarily because of the time it would take in getting hold of any processing the slides.  However it is now possibly for the speakers themselves to upload their slides and make them available in a shared area.

We became aware of the potential interest in providing access to slides from the parallel sessions when we recently analysed the numbers of views of the slides hosted on Slideshare.  In addition to the popularity of the slides used by plenary speakers we also discovered that a number of slides used in parallel session were also very popular including Mind Mapping for Effective Content Management at IWMW 2008 by Gareth Saunders, St Andrews; Know Me Knowing YouTube at IWMW 2007 by Adrian Stevenson, then based at the University of Manchester; Create a better seach engine than Google at IWMW 2009 by Michael Nolan, Edge Hill University and WordPress: Beyond Blogging at IWMW 2010 by Joss Winn, University of Lincoln. These slides have been viewed by 18,617, 10,146, 3,054 and 1,691 times respectively. When you consider that the parallel sessions normally attract between 10 and 30 people, we can see that these resources do appear to be having a significant impact beyond their initial audience.

Lanyrd as a Hosting Service

According to TechCrunch the Lanyrd service was launched in August 2010. It was therefore not available for use at IWMW 2010 which was held in July 2010. However we quickly recognised the potential for this service for which it was suggested that it “could potentially be the Wikipedia of web conferences“. After IWMW 2010 was over we provided details of the plenary sessions on the IWMW 2010 Lanyrd page and also embedded the slides and accompanying videos on the service.

This year we would like to build on our initial approaches with the IWMW 2011 Lanyrd site. However rather than attempting to process all of the resources used at the event ourselves (which is not a scalable solution) we will invite the workshop facilitators to provide links to their slides rom the Lanyrd pages we have created (which can be embedded in the pages from slides hosted on Slideshare), possibly after the event has been held.

We feel that this will help to ensure that the ideas presented in the workshop sessions are made available to a much wider audience and can help to raise the visbility and profile of the facilitators.

Note that the event organisers (myself and Marieke) will also be facilitating two workshop sessions ourselves. In order to illustrate how the Lanyrd page can be used we have created entries for our sessions on The Web Management Community: Beyond IWMW and JISCMail Lists and The Economical Way to Amplify Your Event. We will add the links to the slides we will be using either after the event – or possibly before if we feel it may be useful for remote participants to access the slides whilst the workshop is being held.

What You Can Do

In order to facilitate sharing of your slides and make the slides easy to find we invite you to go to the http://www.slideshare.net/event/iwmw2011 Slideshare event group and join this group. When you upload your slides to Slideshare you should click on the More tab above the slide and select the IWMW 2011 group. Your slideshow should then be included with other presentations used at the IWMW 2011 event.

In addition if you visit the IWMW 2011 Lanyrd group you can add yourself at a speaker if you are not already listed – if you are a Twitter user you can use your Twitter ID but if not just give your name as a text string. You can then visit the page for your session and simply add then add any additional resources relevant to your session.

Note that you may, of course, not wish to upload your slides until after the event (we appreciate that the slides may be updated at the last minute or that you may not want participants to be able to view the slides in advance.

An example of the Lanyrd page for the “Engagement, Impact, Value: Measuring and Maximising Impact” session at IWMW 2010 is shown below.

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/27/ch-ch-ch-ch-changes/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/27/ch-ch-ch-ch-changes/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2011 14:07:01 +0000 m.guy http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=162 Continue reading ]]> There have been a few changes to sessions originally advertised.

Piero Tintori can no longer attend this year’s evebt so his sessions A4: Website personalisation for more effective student recruitment and engagement and B3: Building a low cost mobile Web presence will no longer run.

In their place will be the following sessions:

  • A4: The Web Management Community: Beyond IWMW and JISCMail Lists facilitated by Brian Kelly, UKOLN  – This session will provide participants with an opportunity to reevaluate the various communications and collaboration channels which can help to support those working in the sector and to identify emerging patterns of usage and best practices.
  • B3: The Economical way to Amplify Your Event facilitated by Brian Kelly and Marieke Guy  – The session will encourage interaction and attendees will be invited to share experiences and tips on amplifying events. It is also hoped that the session will be live streamed and delegates will be able to experiment with some of the possible tools.

The parallel session A2: Working against the silo: the practical things we learnt about multi-surfacing will still be facilitated by Stephen Pope but with Jon Reay from Aqueduct as his co-facilitator, rather than Mike Ellis.

The parallel session A3: Enhancing your institutional web site with interactive mapping is likely to be facilitated by Addy Pope from GoGeo rather than Anne Robertson.

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Goin’ Mobile http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/23/goin-mobile/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/23/goin-mobile/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2011 18:57:28 +0000 m.guy http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=145 Continue reading ]]> Can you remember when mobiles were all about making phone calls? These days mobiles can do it all…

Consideration for the mobile Web is becoming an increasingly important area for HE and FE institutions and we’d be fools to ignore it at this year’s IWMW.

At previous IWMW events the topic has been introduced (e.g. 2009′s The Mobile Web: keep up if you can! facilitated by Sharon Steeples, University of Essex and 2010′s Mobile Apps vs Mobile Web originally written by Anthony Doherty but presented by Mike Nolan, Edge Hill University and Mark Power, CETIS) and institutions have showcased their applications and approaches (e.g. 2010′s plenary on Mobile Web and Campus Assistant given by Damian Steer from ILRT, University of Bristol and Stylesheets for mobile/smartphones facilitated by Helen Sargan, University of Cambridge.)

It now seems that institutions are after much more specific advice.

Mark Power’s recent briefing paper Mobile Web Apps is a good example of the useful guidance now needed.

With the growth and constant shift in the mobile space institutions could be forgiven for feeling a little lost as to how to best tackle the issue of delivering content and/or services that are optimised for mobile devices. Apple, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone…app ecosystems seemingly everywhere you turn and each requiring different development approaches; SDKs, programming languages, approval processes and terms & conditions. I think it’s fair to say that for institutions, looking to deliver to mobile devices while being as inclusive as possible, this area is something of a minefield.

Brian Kelly has written a recent blog post on Institutional Strategies for the Mobile Web which highlights a survey on Institutional Use of the Mobile Web being carried out by UKOLN and CETIS, the JISC-funded Innovation Support Centres.

This year IWMW offers two parallel workshops that will aid institutional web managers in making the right choices for their university.

In Accessibility, Inclusiveness and the Mobile Web Richard Prowse and Sharon Steeples will look at issues around open and proprietary standards in the mobile arena. They will make suggestions about sensible approaches that will ensure that Web managers do not get hit in the browser battles.

In Augmented Reality on Smart Phones Ben Butchart from Edina, based at the University of Edinburgh, will share many of the lessons learnt when writing his AR report for the JISC Observatory. Ben explains that thanks to advances in smartphone technology, augmented reality has escaped from the lab and is able to reach a wide audience for the first time. A new class of AR “browsers” and tools for authoring and hosting content makes it possible for almost anyone to create augmented reality learning experiences. As an emerging technology, the industry lacks standards and the landscape is constantly changing. His session will help developers and content publishers navigate this confusing landscape and experiment with AR for the first time.

In Ben’s session delegates will compare the set of AR browsers targeting smartphones and look at tools for helping content providers to publish their material. We’ll also discuss the limitations and potential pitfalls associated with this nascent medium. Both technical and social issues with current smartphone AR offerings could lead to disillusionment once the initial “wow” factor fades. Delegates will look at the user experience patterns and the issues for social interaction they can cause. As well as Ben talking, there will be discussions and some practical demonstrations are planned.

Alongside the mobile Web sessions there are likely to be even more ways you can learn about what your mobile can do for you. Look out for some games and surveys that will show you that it’s more than just a hand warmer!

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B5: Open data; a little goes a long Way http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/21/b5-open-data-a-little-goes-a-long-way/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/21/b5-open-data-a-little-goes-a-long-way/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2011 08:38:02 +0000 guest http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=105 Continue reading ]]> This year’s parallel is a follow up to the one I (Chris Gutteridge) gave last year entitled Looking at Linked Data.

In March 2011, the University of Southampton launched the data.southampton.ac.uk service with some core datasets from the university.

So has it been a success?

Recently I got asked what the success criteria for the Open Data project was. This is very difficult to define but for me it will be when the open-data-service is so much part of business-as-usual that people on longer want an enthusiastic hacker running it! I’m looking forward to talking about the good ‘ole days when open data was a new frontier and nobody even had an ontology for coffee types or bus timetables yet.

The Open Data is starting to get put to use to:

  • People are using the bus times pages (I need to make the interface better, I know!)
  • Our upcoming campus mobile phone app will use some of the location data
  • I’ve been asked how the service could aid with student induction– eg. help people find what’s available, and where it is.

The other thing ticking along is getting live hookups to databases. Right now it’s all done with one-off dumps, we want to be showing the living data. The dump-and-email approach is fine for getting started but now it’s time to do the far less glamorous job of making the back-end more automated. I’m still working on getting energy use data per building, and I’ve a lead on recycling data!

If you want to find out more about some of the techniques used including dealing with the owners of the data then come along to my session. I’ll then show some of the resulting services.

I blog at http://blogs.ecs.soton.ac.uk/webteam/ and http://blogs.ecs.soton.ac.uk/data/

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Putting the Usefulness back into Social Networking http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/17/putting-the-usefulness-back-into-social-networking/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/17/putting-the-usefulness-back-into-social-networking/#comments Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:38:43 +0000 m.guy http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=71 Continue reading ]]> The term Web 2.0 almost seems dated.

We have been using social networking services for many years now; as individuals and on behalf of our institutions. But are we doing it right? Are we truly making the most out of the services we use or are they just a distraction with little tangible benefit.

Some of this year’s sessions attempt to answer these questions.


Martin Hamilton, Head of Internet Services at Loughborough University, will be looking at how Embedding Web 2.0 in our institutions. Martin will walk the audience through key lessons derived from his experience leading the Google Apps implementation at Loughborough University and the Google Apps for Education UK User Group, and subsequently co-authoring an institutional Web 2.0 good practice guide.

Parallel Workshops

A session with a very long title that is worth taking a look at is Listen, Repeat, Learn: How to use Social Media Conversations and Activities to Measure and Demonstrate Impact and Improve Engagement facilitated by Nicola Osborne and Paul Milne from Edina. The focus of this hands-on session will be on how to understand, select and make best use of social media to demonstrate the impact of your organisation, project or service. During the workshop the facilitators will allow delegates to explore various tools for tracking, understanding and taking part in the social media conversations about your website, project or service. They will look at techniques for using established tools (e.g. Google Analytics, RSS feeds and alerts), in-site metrics tools (Facebook Insights, YouTube Insights, Flickr Statistics, etc.), aggregation and presentation tools (Storify, Lanyrd, etc.) and statistics and data that can be used via APIs for various social media tools.

Ever wanted to add an interactive map to your institutional web site of your campus allowing students the ability to zoom in and out and pan around the map? Or maybe you’d like to provide simple measurement tools to measure the distance from one campus building to the next? In the parallel session on Enhancing your institutional web site with interactive mapping Addy Pope from GoGeo will help you do so at very little cost. This session will show you how to integrate the open source mapping software ‘OpenLayers’ into your web site and how to pull into that EDINA’s new Digimap OpenStream – a free web mapping service for members of higher educational institutions based upon Ordnance Survey’s OpenData products.

Looking more at social networking and less at Web 2.0 the Web cooperative session will consider how the central ‘web team’ can provide leadership by educating, training, and enabling colleagues at all levels across the organisation. The session will consider how the digital presence of the institution best managed and led and whether it can be improved through management reporting, policies and frameworks, internal processes, procurement, staff training and communication, cooperative working and peer support.

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A6: Birds of a Feather: The Others http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/16/a6-birds-of-a-feather-the-others/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/16/a6-birds-of-a-feather-the-others/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2011 08:30:03 +0000 jukesie http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=84 Continue reading ]]> Over the years I’ve been to a few IWMWs (five or six I think) – as a delegate, a speaker, a committee member and even a sponsor. I know the organisers pretty well and I’ve always encouraged my team members to attend (in fact I’m sending someone along again this year). All that said I’ve never really felt like I belong. The simple fact is that I don’t work for an ‘institution’ and while I’ve worked in and around the web in higher education and research for a decade or more my audience and priorities have always been different that that of a Uni web team.

I’m not alone in this though. Over the years at IWMW I have met up with people from other Research Councils, JISC (well that was usually me!), HEFCE, Becta, HE Academy as well as museums and charities. There has always been something at IWMW that was transferable and the sense of it being a community led event always made it stand out from the commercial conferences (that at some point always start to feels like a sales presentation.)

This year though I thought I’d claim a spot in the schedule for the ‘outsiders’. For those of us who aren’t concerned with student recruitment, course details or international students. Instead we have the spectre of ‘convergence’ hanging over us, COI guidelines (that become mandatory seemingly at random), incomprehensible procurement rules and ever increasing expectations that digital is the ‘silver bullet’ (especially when savings are demanded).

I’m not sure what will happen on the day – given it is only 90 minutes (and I have no idea if anyone will even sign-up) I thought I’d keep the agenda fluid. What I can promise is though that I won’t be inflicting my own views or ‘death by Powerpoint’ on anyone. It will be a discussion led by the group (assuming it isn’t just me!) which I’ll do my best to facilitate.

I’m reading up on some facilitation techniques that should make things a bit more interesting – hopefully without being to cringe-making – and I can promise Sharpies, post-its and wine gums will be involved.

It would be good to have a couple of topics to focus on in advance so if anyone has any ideas then please let me know – either in the comments here or I’m @jukesie on Twitter.

Anyway hope to see one or two of you there – if you are not at my session I’m sure I’ll see a few of you in the bar!

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Numbers Matter! http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/15/numbers-matter/ http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/2011/06/15/numbers-matter/#comments Wed, 15 Jun 2011 08:23:41 +0000 m.guy http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2011/?p=67 Continue reading ]]> It’s been an interesting year for Higher Education. Last year we were very much in the dark regarding where we stood financially. This year things are a lot clearer. The comprehensive spending review outlined cuts of 40% in teaching budgets and the Browne report announced that there should be no limit on fees charged by universities. The end result is that two-thirds of Universities want to charge the £9,000 maximum fees for some or all their courses.

So what does this mean to Web departments?

Well, it means that numbers matter. Higher Education Institutions have  become even more competitive than they were previously: numbers of people through the doors, the percentage of people passing courses and similar statistics have always been important but at a time of cuts there is a even greater need to gather and use evidence of the value of the services we provide.

Plenary Talks

This year’s opening plenary on Tuesday 26th July entitled OK, we know what you do, so how much is it worth? will be given by Ranjit Sidhu from Software into Decisions.

A University dashboard

Last year Ranjit’s plenary on ‘So what do you do exactly?’ In challenging times justifying the roles of the web teams struck a chord with many delegates. Ranjit applied business models to University Web sites to demonstrate the true value of the Web.


This year he will look at combined data and analysis work that he is carrying out with universities which will present monetary values for the delivery information, recruiting students online etc. Ranjit will also be demonstrating the dashboards he helps institutions create, through combining online and offline data.

Following on from Ranjit is a talk by Amber Thomas on Marketing and Other Dirty Words. Amber is a Programme Manager in the JISC Digital Infrastructure Team. She will look at how the resources your institution releases can have maximum impact. How can they be effectively presented to aid in marketing and recruitment, and to increase engagement with the world outside the university. The talk will also consider usage tracking and strategy, with ideas for how we can present our intellectual assets online to get maximum effect.

There are further important metrics which will be described in Tom Franklin’s session on Using activity data to support your users. Tom will consider how usage data (accesses a web page, navigation and form details, searches) can be used to provide better to support your users in a variety of ways. The talk, based on work currently being undertaken in the JISC Activity Data programme, will discuss some of the issues that need to be addressed if you want to undertake this type of work, including intellectual property rights (IPR) and privacy, and it will outline some approaches that are currently being undertaken and the perceived benefits.

Parallel Workshops

In his session Maximising Institutional Webmaster Impact George Munroe, who has recently worked with Netskills, will explore how institutional web managers can be most effective at their work by considering a number of areas that influence a webmaster’s effectiveness, including users, process, technology, skills and metrics.

In their efforts to save money many institutions will want to outsource more. In the session Developing Using Third Parties – is the tail wagging the dog? Keith Doyle from Navopia User Experience will look at what it’s like to work with third parties and the issues we need to be clear about. He will also share his valuable experiences of dealing with third parties.

Another way to save money can be by looking at free tools that can carry out tasks. In The Economical way to Amplify Your Event Marieke Guy and Brian Kelly will consider what you need to do to successfully amplify an event (ideas include effective use of slides, images, twitter, blogs etc. videoing and streaming content etc.); the free and not-so-free tools that are out there for you to use (e.g. Ustream, Bambuser, Lanyrd, Elluminate, Panopto, Big Blue Button etc.) and the equipment it would be useful to have (e.g. camera, phone etc.). They will also look at what issues you will need to bear in mind (e.g. copyright, quality etc.) by offering tips and inviting delegates to share experiences.

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