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17 FEBRUARY 2014

University of Mary Washington's project: A Domain of One's Own

"A Domain of One's Own is a project at the University of Mary Washington managed by the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. Starting in fall 2013, the project allows UMW students, faculty, and staff to register their own domain name and associate it with a space on a UMW–managed Web server. In that Web space, users will have the opportunity and flexibility to design and create spaces of almost unlimited possibilities. Within the system, they may install LAMP–compatible Web applications, set up subdomains and email addresses, and install databases. In addition, users may choose to 'map' their domain (or a subdomain) to other services, such as a UMW Blogs, Google Sites, or Tumblr."

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 SEPTEMBER 2013

Rank Irrelevance : How Academia Lost Its Way

"It is impossible to abandon rankings outright, since the impulse to grade things seems hard–wired into human nature. Rankings also serve an important bureaucratic purpose. University administrators crave simple metrics of performance, which help guide decisions on where to invest scarce resources. They steer students and their parents toward some institutions and away from others. Finally, they help government and philanthropists make decisions about where to award lucrative grants and donations. In other words, rankings save work, eliminating the time–consuming tasks of reading of book manuscripts or carefully learning about the substance of academic fields.

The ease of using them explains, in part, why university rankings are such big business. Today, there is a veritable cottage industry for them. They run the gamut from the simple U.S. News & World Report to the NRC approach. University rankings have also gone global: foreign scholars, new private companies such as Quacquarelli Symonds, and long–standing publications such as The Times Higher Education Supplement have all entered the rankings market to tell professors where they sit in the global intellectual pecking order. ...

stakeholders within and outside academia should take all rankings with a grain of salt. Even the most sophisticated ones have flaws and biases, and capture only indirectly and poorly important things such as creative thinking and exciting teaching. Rankings of all kinds should be downgraded in university decision–making. Of course, this means that university faculty and administrators will have to put in the hard work of familiarizing themselves with the substance of the academic fields they oversee. But doing so will ultimately produce better scholarship that also speaks to audiences outside university walls."

(Peter Campbell and Michael C. Desch, 16 September 2013, Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.)

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TAGS

academia • academic fields • bureaucratic purpose • contribution to societycultural impactdemonstrable valuediverse metrics • grant money • lecturersnarrow measuresnew measurement frontier • pecking order • performance metricsperformativitypublic value • Quacquarelli Symonds • ranking • rankings • rankings market • significancestakeholdersTimes Higher Education Supplement • university academics • university administrators • university decision-making • university faculty • university rankings

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
31 DECEMBER 2012

Privileging the collective: the tradition of the atelier method in art and design education

"Art and design education has broadly settled on two categories of pedagogical frameworks, both evolutions from historical precedents. The first of these categories is driven by the spirit of the 'design collective', and comprises the art school studio or atelier model. This was established by the private Florentine art schools of the renaissance from around the 15th Century (King, 2003), always with a focus on making as well as learning from the group – from both peers and Masters. Later, this model of learning through practice carried over to the art schools of England: in his 1858 inaugural address for the Cambridge School of Art, John Ruskin (Ruskin, 1858) spoke about the relative futility of formal teaching per se and instead the pressing need for students to learn by repeated and applied making. For applied craft and design, this studio approach was the method under the influential Bauhaus School (1919–1933) in Germany (Droste, 2005). The second category derives from the teaching of industrial arts and is typically driven by the far greater student volume processing needs of the institution. This category comprises the 'hot desking' or increasingly the 'no–desking' model, with large taught classes in lecture format, and occasional group tutorials. Such a model is often the norm for universities' academic courses. The model spread to the creative courses that were more typically offered by polytechnics in the UK. The first polytechnic dates back to the early nineteenth century (Fox, 1832–1854), although most were established in the 1960's with a remit of applied education in industry and science for work. In many countries, the term 'technical college' is the same as a polytechnic – in both the UK and Australia, many of these colleges converted into universities in the last 30 years."

(Ashley Hall and Tom Barker, 2010)

Hall, A. and T. Barker (2010). "Design collectives in education: evaluating the atelier format and the use of teaching narrative for collective cultural and creative learning, and the subsequent impact on professional practice". In Alternative Practices in Design: Past Present and Future. H. Edquist and L. Vaughan. Melbourne, Victoria, RMIT University: Design Research Institute.

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TAGS

2010academic coursesapplied craft and designapprenticeshipart and design educationart schools • artists studio • atelier methodatelier modelbaseroomBauhaus School • Cambridge School of Art • craft and designcraft skills • creative courses • creativity skillsdesign and makingdesign collectivedesign educationdesign studio educationdistance learningEuropean RenaissanceFlorence • Florentine art schools • formal teaching • group tutorials • Guild system • hot desking • industrial artsindustrial design • industrial practices • John Makepeace • John Ruskinlearning model • learning through making • learning through practicelecture formatlecturers • no-desking • Oxfordshire • Parnham • pedagogical modelpolytechnicremote learning • Rycote Wood • self-learning • studiostudio approachstudio practice • taught classes • technical collegetutorialsUKvocational trainingWilliam Morris • working environment • workspace

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 APRIL 2012

Intute: The New Best of the Web

Launched July 2006, discontinued July 2011.

"Intute, as the new best of the Web service, has been created in response to users' needs and the changing Internet information environment. It is a free national service enabling lecturers, researchers and students to discover and access quality Internet resources. Intute exists to advance education and research by promoting the most intelligent use of the Internet.

Intute works through evaluation and collaboration. It has massive potential to deliver a service on a national level which responds to those fundamental principles of librarians and information professionals, namely trust, quality, and ease of use and user empowerment in the ever–changing and complex world of education.

Intute is hosted by MIMAS at The University of Manchester, and is a collaboration among a whole host of partners and contributors. At the heart of the organisation is a consortium of seven universities, bringing together a wealth of expertise and knowledge. Intute is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)."

(Caroline Williams, 2006)

Williams, C. (2006). "Intute: The New Best of the Web." Ariadne July 2006(48).

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TAGS

20062011AHRC • Ariadne (academic journal) • Arts and Humanities Research Council • changing context • changing Internet information environment • complex world • consortium • continuing relevance • deliver a service • discontinued • discover and access • ease of use • Economic and Social Research Councileducationeducation and researchESRCEuropean Union • evaluation and collaboration • ever-changing • free national service • Higher Education Funding Councilinformation environmentinformation services • information services in education • intelligent use • Internet • Internet resources • IntuteIntute (service) • Intute service • JISCJoint Information Systems Committee • knowledge and expertise • lecturers • librarians and information professionals • MIMAS • MLA • Museums Libraries and Archives Council • national level • quality • quality Internet resources • RDNrepositoryresearchersresourceResource Discovery Networkresourcesservicestudentstrust • UKOLN • University of BathUniversity of Manchester • user empowerment • web service

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 MARCH 2011

ListAssist: peer-reviewed reading list service for Emerald subscribers

"Emerald will soon be offering a unique peer–reviewed reading list service to all subscribers – Emerald Reading ListAssist, which will help users to make the very most of their subscription. This service will raise awareness of Emerald's cross–disciplinary content, coherently combining new research with more seminal papers, in a format which breaks down a subject by sessions, making it easily applicable to under–graduate or post–graduate courses or modules.

Created for students and lecturers by students and lecturers, Emerald Reading ListAssist aims to improve and support faculty workflow. The service also provides students with a high–quality research tool, helping to build information literacy and research skills. The rigorous academic construction of Reading ListAssist assures a high level of quality for the user; each list is peer–reviewed by subject experts as well as in–house reviewers to make sure it meets the highest quality standards."

(Emerald Group Publishing Limited)

[Note that this is a subscription–only service.]

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TAGS

academic construction • breakdownconceptualisationcoursescross-disciplinary • Emerald Group Publishing • Emerald Reading ListAssist • enquiryinformation literacyintegrationlecturers • ListAssist • modules • new research • pedagogypeer-reviewedpostgraduatereading listresearchresearch practiceresearch skillsresearch toolreviewrigourseminalservicestudent • subject experts • subject specialistsundergraduate

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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