Mark L. Taylor, RoundRiver Institute LLC  
Personal Repositories Online Wiki Environment  


The PROWE Project ran from 1st June 2005 to 31st July 2007. This website exists as a historical record of the PROWE Project's research. The site and the links within it are no longer being up-dated and so you may find broken links.


Core Project Documents

Project outputs

Core Project Documents

WBS Code

Date Activity Deliverable
0.1 2005-03 Write the Project Proposal Project Proposal
1.3 2005-08 Write and obtain approval for the Project Plan Project Plan
1.4 2005-08 Write and obtain approval for the Consortium Agreement Consortium Agreement
1.7.2 2006-01 Interim progress report to the JISC (including financial statement) Interim report
1.7.3 2006-07 Interim progress report to the JISC (including financial statement) Interim report
1.7.4 2007-01 Interim progress report to the JISC (including financial statement) Interim report
1.7.5 2007-07 Final report to the JISC Final report (Local)/Final Report (JORUM)
1.7.6 2007-08 Completion report to the JISC Completion report

Project outputs
Two demonstrator communities of practice based on open source wiki and blog tools (Elgg/PMwiki at the OUand Zwiki sited within Plone at the UoL). The demonstrators are not publicly available, but will be shown to enquirers on request. 

• The PROWE Ecology (taking its baseline from Nardi and O'Day, 1999, and incorporating the idea of "actant" from Actor Network Theory) is contained within the report "PROWE and "how to do it" - putting theory into practice" (Anne Hewling). We have developed a 3-d representation of the PROWE Ecology, the PROWE visualisation v1.0. This model presents the high-level elements and the drivers and keystone behaviours for each of them; it also illustrates the interaction points between the high-level elements. We would like comments on the behaviours that result from the interactions.

• A Repository Management Toolkit for sharing good practice in implementing informal networks and repositories: "PROWE and "how to do it" - putting theory into practice" (Anne Hewling).
This will be of use to other institutions interested in creating their own PROWE type environments for facilitating CPD. The toolkit includes a set of '"How To"/Questions to Ask' guides which provide an integrated ecological approach to guiding development of wiki and blog based systems to support part-time tutors professional development needs. The six guides were inspired by the intersection/interaction points between the highest level of system elements (users, content, software, institution) within the PROWE Ecology.

How-To/Questions to Ask Guides

1. Barriers and enablers to system uptake or use
2. The Institutional Perspective
3. The Knowledge Perspective
4. The Users’ Perspective: Part One – relations with the institution
5. The Users’ Perspective: Part Two – technology issues
6. The Users’ Perspective: Part Three – content and collaboration

Please contact if you would like us to post a hard copy set of guides to you. We are investigating packaging the toolkit in wiki format as an ongoing developing public resource to which anyone can contribute; this would be made accessible by link from this website.

PROWE - Understanding the OU user perspective (Anne Hewling)

Perspectives on the nature of communities and their needs -
conceptualising and researching potential wiki use at UoL
(Roger Dence and Richard Mobbs)

• A Metadata Application Profile for CPD for use within personal and informal repositories. This is based on the FOAF profile and is contained within the PROWE Metadata report.

• Two PROWE metadata reports. The first is from a Metadata Specialist perspective (Lara Whitelaw), the second has been abridged (by Anne Hewling) for a more generalist audience.

• An Evaluation Report including a critical examination of the potential of the demonstrators.

• An Accessibility Report. An evaluation of the accessibility of the two demonstrator systems was carried out during August 2007 by the Open University's Institute of Educational Technology on behalf of the PROWE Project. This part of the evaluation concentrated on demonstrating any issues for accessing, searching and uploading to the two systems that may impede use by disabled users, specifically those with mobility problems reliant on alternative input devices and those with visual impairment. In addition to the accessibility report, some of the observations were recorded to video in the Institute of Educational Technology's Data Capture Suite. These excerpts show how some of the assistive technologies failed to work with certain blog/wiki features.

• Two Case Studies:

Case Study 1:  Part time tutors and staff development resource co-creation and comparison (Open University).

Case Study 2: Using a wiki to support day-to-day activity within a research-orientated teaching department (University of Leicester).

Page owner: URL:

The Open University
Leicester University