Raising Awareness

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UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.

University 2.0: the Extended University Conference

Embedding and Sustaining University 2.0


Brian Kelly gave a keynote plenary talk on "Embedding and Sustaining University 2.0" at the University 2.0: the Extended University course.

The course was held on 6-8th September 2010 at UIMP (Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo) in Santander, Spain. The talks at the conference were streamed on UIMP-TV.

The talk took place from 09:30-11.30 on 8th September 2010.

Note that the Twitter hashtag for the conference is #uimpuni20


The approaches behind the concept of "University 2.0" are now becoming more widely accepted. We are now seeing initial uses by the early adopters of Web 2.0 and Social Web services being adopted by mainstream users.

However the doubts and concerns which were initially raised by sceptics have not disappeared - there are legitimate concerns regarding the sustainability of Social Web services, the risks of changes to terms and conditions provided by commercial providers of services, the dangers of lock-in and possible difficulties in migrating content, services and communities to other environments as well as a variety of legal risks. Such concerns are becoming even more relevant in the context of the global economic crisis and the possibilities that services used to support University 2.0 may not be economically viable.

In this talk Brian Kelly, a national Web adviser to the UK's higher education community will describe approaches to ensuring the long-term sustainability of institutional use of the Social Web services, technologies and approaches which underpins University 2.0.

Biographical Details

Image of Brian Kelly Brian Kelly is UK Web Focus at UKOLN, a post funded by the JISC to advise the UK's higher and further education communities on best practices in use of the Web. Brian is an experienced speaker on a variety of topics related to use of Web 2.0 and the Social Web. Brian is also a pro-active use of various Social Web services to support his professional activities. He has published over 700 posts on his UK Web Focus blog since its launch in 2006 and also contributes to a number of other blogs. He was also an early adopter of Twitter which complements his mainstream blogging activities.

Brian has also published a variety of peer-reviewed papers including recent papers on "Empowering Users and Institutions: A Risks and Opportunities Framework for Exploiting the Social Web" and "Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends". He has presented at various international conferences and has given invited keynote talks at conferences held in Sweden, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia.

Brian works at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management, which is based at the University of Bath in the UK.


How would you describe yourself professionally?

My job title is "UK Web Focus". I've been in this post since I started at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management based at the University of Bath in November 1996. UKOLN is funded by the JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee) as an Innovation Support Centre, which helps to ensure that the UK's Higher and Further Education sector is well-positioned to exploit the potential of innovative technologies. My particular area of interest is the Web and, in particular, the Social Web. I also have strong interests in Web standards and Web accessibility.

My work involves a lot of dissemination work. For many years this involved giving presentations and running sessions at conferences, workshops and seminars. In November 2006, however, I launched the UK Web Focus WordPress blog and this, over 750 posts later, now provides an important dissemination and engagement channel to support my work.

I also established UKOLN's Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) series for members of institutional Web management teams in 1997 and this has been held annually ever since. In recent years the event has been 'amplified', with access to the talks available to a remote audience through use of streaming video and engagement in discussions being possible using the Twitter back channel. This provides an example of how I like to exploit the potential of Web 2.0 in many of my activities.

What should be the vision of the University 2.0?

The "2.0" meme which Web 2.0 has introduced to higher education provides an opportunity to (re)-discover the importance of openness and transparency. The notion of "always beta" is particularly relevant to teaching and learning and research, as this emphasis the notion of a journey rather than a destination. And the notion of the "Web as a platform" highlights the regional, national and global nature of education and research, in which benefits can be gained by working beyond the constraints and limitations of the host institution, whilst gaining benefits for members of the local institution.

What is the main contribution of your Keynote?

Over the past few years we have seen the early adopters and the early mainstream users demonstrating the benefits of use of the Social Web to support institutional activities. But the concerns raised by sceptics haven't disappeared: there is a need to address concerns such as sustainability, interoperability and legal risks. There is also a need to understand the limits of the Social Web and ensure that users who cannot or have legitimate reasons to choose not to make use of Social Web services are not unfairly discriminated against. My presentation will build on these ideas which have been presented at a number of international conferences over the past couple of years.

Which are the keys for assuring quality, good governance and sustainability of Social Web Services?

Rather than being able to be able to have a complete guarantee of the reliability and quality of Social Web services there is a need to adopt a risk assessment approach to use of such services and to have policies and procedures in place if services fail to provide acceptable levels of service. We should also be aware of the diverse requirements that we have in higher education - we may, for example, be looking to provide quality experiences rather than quality content.

In order to ensure that we can ensure that we have appropriate quality levels and ensure that good governance is provided which reflects today's challenges associated with the economic difficulties which public sector organisations are facing there is a need for openness in discussions on the approaches taken to IT governance and a willingness to share experiences across the educational sector.

Can a University 2.0 Adoption Strategy execute without a consistent IT Governance Model?

There is a danger that we will seek to develop an adoption strategy too soon, before we fully understand the benefits which can be provided by University 2.0, before we have evidence of the benefits and before we understand the risks, the implications of such risks and ways in which such risks can be minimised or addressed. We need to ensure that an IT Governance model provides sufficient flexibility to be able to accommodate the diversity of requirements to be found in higher education. We also need to ensure that policies are flexible rather than constraining.


Embedding and Sustaining University 2.0
[MS PowerPoint 97/2000 format] - [HTML format]

Note that the presentation is also available on Slideshare and embedded below.

In addition the slides are available on Authorstream.

Also note that a video of the talk is available.


Accompanying Resources

For a list of related resources please see the social bookmarking Web site using the tag 'uimpuni20'.