We have just posted the first blog for our new project. Funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation it will run for the next year in the Centre for Educational Technology at the University of Cape Town. The OpeningScholarship
project, with myself as the Strategic Project Director and Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams as Research Manager, will explore the transformative potential of information and communication technologies in the context of the University of Cape Town, selected for this project as one of South Africa’s leading research universities.
Through a series of case studies at UCT, the project will explore the ways in which new and interactive information and communication technologies are impacting on communication patterns between researchers, lecturers and students and between the university and the community. The project aims to identify ways in which
these new technologies can expand research and learning in the institution beyond the narrow walls of the curriculum to engage the university community with important cross-cutting issues and the convergence of traditional disciplines.
Some of the research questions that we will be asking are:
- How can an institution such as UCT best build collaboration for scholarly communications across the institution?
- What could an ICT system such as that at UCT offer in terms of new and opened up communications in teaching, learning and research?
- How can the ICT systems that are in place help deliver much greater intellectual capacity, allowing the university (and by extension, the country) to rely on its own intellectual capital rather than on imported content?
- What lessons can be learned from those departments making effective use of ICTs and new approaches to research dissemination?
- How can existing projects – both departmental initiatives and donor-funded projects – be coordinated to achieve an effective and collaborative institution-wide scholarly communication system?
- What policies and practices would need to be encouraged if the university is to achieve the maximum impact for its scholarly communications for research, teaching and learning, and outreach?
The intervention will aim to explore the potential of the full range of formal and informal communication strategies available to UCT in the 21st century, from formal scholarly publications to repositories, blogs, wikis, mobile technology, podcasts and video streaming.
We look forward to lively discussion in this blog, in wikis, meetings, workshops and seminars, about the changing dynamics being brought about at UCT through the use of ICTs for communications between researchers, between lecturers and students, and between the university and the communities it serves. It is going to be a lively year!