Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Week IV: Land Survey

I seem to be picking up momentum and this week I was delighted to find out that learning resources specialist Debbie Costelo of NSCC Library Services can provide secondary literature research support - and boy has that paid off already! It's like having a personal research assistant, and the quality of references she has sent along already is exceptional. Some of this will be finding its way on the site shortly, it's just up to me to catch up on the reading. For anyone considering this kind of research (that begins with a broad literature review) I'd highly recommend you connect with a Library at the outset. I could have made a lot of progress if I had made this connection in week one and these folks are eager and eminently qualified to add this support. In any event, I have started to develop a bit of a framework for the eP landscape, although obviously lots of work to do yet.

Whistle stops: Had a bit of a head-to-head with our formal research folks this week, who wanted me to put my interview processes and release forms through the Research Ethics Board stating that any research done on humans needs to be vetted by the REB. Luckily I was able to connect with Sue Drapeau (NSCC Manager for Institutional Research), who advised me that if the research output is predominantly for the college and is an extension of program or delivery development, then it should be considered institutional research and not subject to REB review - whew, I really thought I'd be coming off the rails this time!

Our Second Life Special Interest Group has confirmed we will be able to buy an island in SL and we have started to develop user stories - I have suggested we consider what an ePortfolio might look like in a virtual environment.

Reflections: I have been blessed to have made the company of a very generous group of colleagues in the college and beyond who demonstrate great intelligence, verisimilitude, and diplomacy in supporting my work. One of my favorites in our Google group suggested I consider Twitter, and I appreciate the advice. Twain, wasn't it, who said "If I'd have had more time, I would have written less"? I'll try to bring bigger value in smaller posts for the future - thanks! Next week, I'll have some early considerations/ recommendations from the research and the first of the interviews will be posted - exciting progress!