PROWE was funded under the
JISC Digital Repositories Programme (03/05).
The project's partners were the Open University (Library and IET) and the University of Leicester, Beyond Distance Research Alliance.
The project’s main aim was to investigate the extent to which informal repositories within Wiki and Blogs could meet the professional development needs of part-time tutors for sharing and storing resources in the context of their own professional development needs.
The project developed a central research question:
"In what ways could wiki and wiki-type environments be useful and useable as
personal and informal repositories to support professional development
within part-time tutor communities of practice?"
• Identify the most sustainable technology solution(s) to support the establishment and the development of proactive communities of practice for the partners’ distance education tutors.
• Undertake user needs analysis and research to develop feasible metadata models to underpin the development of electronic collaborative working environments for the part-time tutor community which are both cost effective and non resource intensive.
• Evaluate existing collaborative communication tools leading to the development of guidelines for web based accessible communications tools to support proactive online collaboration for communities of practice.
• Evaluate the use of informal and personal repositories by staff across both institutions using data capture methods to record the use and explanations of the users for comparative purposes and deeper analysis of use in practice.
• Ensure the interoperability of collaborative communications tools used with other systems resources, making full use of RSS feeds and other options to provide additional 'continuous professional development' updates to PROWE sites.
• Deliver case studies of the application of communications tools in practice in teaching and learning based on experiences in the two partner institutions.
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