Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


Wiki Workshop January 2012

I am participating in a wiki workshop at the University of Canberra on Monday, 23 January.

It is a part of a week of activities for research students planned by Joelle Vandermensbrugghe.

Whilst preparing for the workshop I noticed an interesting announcement from Michael Gove in the United Kingdom:

Advances in technology should also make us think about the broader school curriculum in a new way. In an open-source world, why should we accept that a curriculum is a single, static document? A statement of priorities frozen in time; a blunt instrument landing with a thunk on teachers’ desks and updated only centrally and only infrequently? … The essential requirements of the National Curriculum need to be specified in law, but perhaps we could use technology creatively to help us develop that content. And beyond the new, slimmed down National Curriculum, we need to consider how we can take a wiki, collaborative approach to developing new curriculum materials; using technological platforms to their full advantage in creating something far more sophisticated than anything previously available. (My emphasis)

I am profoundly interested in collaborative learning and have been using wikis for some time. My use of wikis was accelerated by some work I did with Leigh Blackall at the University of Canberra in 2011. One aspect of this work was for a unit titled Business, Politics and Sport, the second was connected to a history of the Paralympic Movement in Australia.

I have created a Wikiversity page for the workshop.

I will look at some other wiki opportunities too including PBWorks, Google Sites and Wikispaces. I will alert the group to this comparison of wiki opportunities.

I am hopeful that Laura Hale will work with me in this workshop. I am keen for Laura to share her experience and I would like her to say something about her Mind the Gap writing.


I was delighted to discover that Jenni Parker is involved in a wiki workshop this week.

This is her blog post. She writes:

I started the Open Content Licensing for Educators online course on WikiEducator today. It is a free open course that runs for 5 days. I am already familiar with the concepts of open learning and open educational resources as I have been an advocate of open resources for the past few years and a WikiEducator user since 2007. I license most of my work under creative commons licenses and I encourage my students to “give back to the community” by publishing their work under a creative commons license. We obtain much of the information and photos for our own creations from the work others openly publish on the web and I believe we should return the favour in kind by adding our own work to the open web.

Photo Credit

Wiki Wiki

Open Space Principles


HOPAU Update: 11 November

This week Tony Naar produced an update for his colleagues at the the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) on the The History of the Paralympics in Australia project  in Wikiversity.

He noted that “one element of the project is the use of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia products to ‘crowd source’ articles about the Paralympic Movement in Australia” which can then feed into the history of the Movement being written by Murray Phillips.

Tony reports that this has involved the creation of a project The History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia in Wikiversity. The Wikiversity site is a living record of the project which can be updated by anyone at any time. You can sign up to join the discussion or can ask to receive regular updates. There is a project blog too (coordinated by Leigh Blackall). The idea is to create a record of the project and its development which can be used by anyone to develop their own project.

Tony adds:

  • Since we started this part of the project – about three months ago – project contributors have created more than 350 new Wikipedia articles relating to the Paralympic movement in Australia.
  • This includes an article about every Australian Paralympic medallist.
  • Most of these articles are known as “stubs”. That is, they are very brief articles that need to be expanded.
  • The article about Tim Matthews is an example of a stub about an Australian Paralympic athlete.
  • Expanding the stubs is one of the next steps in the project. This is already happening, and the article about Elizabeth Edmondson is an example of an expanded, more comprehensive article.
  • Expanding articles is a lot of work, as information in articles must be verifiable and references to sources are expected.
  • Photographs also help, and another aspect of the project is to scan and upload images under a Creative Commons licence which can be used in articles and in the history project more generally.
  •  These include images to which the APC has the rights, but which have no other commercial value to the APC.
  • These are uploaded into Wikimedia Commons – a media sharing database. So far, we have uploaded 94 images, mostly from the 1996 Paralympic Games. We are currently scanning images from the 1992 Games and more from 1996 and these will be uploaded in coming weeks.

In addition, Tony writes:

“Within the Wiki community, we are promoting the project by seeking recognition for the articles that are being created. One way of doing this is to create an interesting “hook” about an article and apply to have the hook included on the home page of Wikipedia in the “Did you know…” (DYK) section. This is a sought after achievement within the Wikipedia community and we have been successful with 10 DYKs  so far. The latest is a DYK about 1996 basketball gold medallist and 2004 Gliders coach Gerry Hewson.

Laura Hale – a member of the University of Canberra team which works with us on this project – has written a very interesting account of the Paralympic DYKs, including the page view stats for each article.

The athlete profile pages on the APC’s website have always been the most popular pages. Articles about athletes on Wikipedia have the potential to increase this exposure significantly.

Laura is working to have one of our articles accepted as a featured article on the Wikipedia main page. That is a high achievement within the Wikipedia community and requires a comprehensive article, fully referenced and supported by good images, about a notable person or event.

We are currently considering ways to increase the number of experienced Wikipedians who are working on Paralympic articles. One suggestion would also incorporate a Wikipedian creating articles about Australian medallists during the London Games.

To help create the Wikipedia articles, we are working to build a pool of editors with an interest in Paralympic sport. To that end, we have held training days recently in Perth and Brisbane and we now have well over a dozen people, either from the Paralympic community, or from the Wikipedia community, who are editing and contributing to articles. These include Paralympians such as Elizabeth Edmondson and Peter Marsh, friends and partners of Paralympians and people who have just somehow gotten involved.

In the near future, we are looking to do something a bit unique for Wikipedia – to add embedded video and audio into Paralympic articles and also to record the subjects of articles reading the article about themself. Sources of audio and video will include the National Library’s Paralympic oral history project and interviews conducted by Shaun Giles with the oral history interview subjects, as well as other video footage to which the APC has the rights.”

Photo Credits

Elizabeth Edmondson

Louise Sauvage

Peter Martin


BPS2011: Open Computer Exam

We held an Open Computer Exam at the University of Canberra today for the Business, Politics and Sport 2011 unit.

We emailed the exam paper below to the group at 11.30 am and I posted it here as an extra reference resource.

(Note that Question 7 is not a question! I am grateful to Stephen Downes for drawing this to my attention.)

The instructions were:

Welcome to this Open Computer Exam.

You will find TEN questions in this document and you have 40 minutes to answer them. Insert your answer after each question.

The focus of this exam is your ability to discover and share information. You have the Web available to you to answer these questions and you have on-line communication tools to support you. Use hyperlinks to indicate any sources you use. You might consider acknowledging any colleagues who have worked with you. Transparent collaboration is welcomed.

Exam guidelines can be found at,_politics_and_sport/Assignmemts

We hope you enjoy the experience!

  1. Your boss wants to learn about Stephen Hodge’s work. Your brief is to say who Stephen Hodge is and how your boss could contact him.  (You met Stephen in August
  2. You are preparing for an interview and have been told in advance that one of the questions you will be asked is about the ‘commodification’ of Australian sport.  Make four bullet points to help prepare for the question.  (A friend suggests you look at Wikipedia and check out this Google Scholar search if you have time.)
  3. In the same interview you will be asked about the articulation of sport and politics. Make four bullet points about your response (having checked out slides 10,11 and 12 in this presentation and contemplated an example from the Olympics in this presentation if you have time.)
  4. A friend calls you to ask you to compose a tweet (for Twitter). You have a maximum of 140 characters (including spaces between words) to promote orienteering in Australia (your friend knows you were at this talk). Your friend’s best shot at a tweet in 130 characters is: You do not know you are lost until you find yourself. Take up the orienteering challenge today, discover the real you #wayfinding.
  5. A colleague who is researching service-oriented businesses in Canberra has heard that you attended Alannah Magee’s talk in BPS2011. Can you provide your colleague with some information about the Sportsman’s Warehouse?
  6. Your old school hears that you have been following BPS2011 and wonders if you could give a talk about the role of sport in uniting communities. You say ‘yes’ and then think about what you will say! You decide to draft a short abstract (whatever you can write in 2 minutes) to help you clarify your thoughts. You include at least one hyperlink to add depth to the points you will make.
  7. An employer has heard about e-portfolios and wants to check with you about your on-line presence. You decide to tell the employer about Wikiversity and your page on it.
  8. Tony Naar came to talk with us in BPS2011. Who is he? What is his job? (A friend wondered if this link might help.)
  9. A friend has asked you to help with a sport photograph to illustrate an assignment.  Now that you are an expert in Creative Commons licensing you recommend a photograph from The Commons and you paste it here.
  10. You are at home for Christmas and your favourite aunty asks you ‘How did that exam go where you had to answer 10 questions in 40 minutes?’ Your answer (minus the expletives) …

Students emailed their answers at the end of the exam. I thought it was a wonderfully intense and exciting 40 minutes.

95 students in the room coped really well with the slow wifi and submitted their answers in a very timely manner. We had some computer issues but came through relatively unscathed.

Leigh and I think this was a remarkable group of students and the exam a great way to end the unit. Leigh has posted about his experience of the course on his blog.

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BPS2011: Towards the End

We are into the last two weeks of the Business, Politics and Sport (BPS2011) unit at the University of Canberra.

Leigh Blackall and I have been co-teaching this unit and have met 95 remarkable students on the course.

Essays are due in this week and these have been developed over the course with students using Wikiversity as their platform.

I am using this post to catch up with the last month of activity.

Tony Naar presented a fascinating account of the Australian Paralympic Movement a month ago. There is a post about Tony’s talk on the BPS2011 blog. His talk ended with this remarkable video of the 1960 Paralympians which embodied for me everything that is special about sport as a playful cultural form. It was one of those Field of Dreams moments for me.

A week later I presented some information about how sport might unite or divide communities. My Slidecast is here.

Last week we listened to Alannah Magee’s story of her journey into the sports business. Her exhortation for agile business practice based upon profound ethical values and service was a perfect synthesis of some of the key issues in BPS2011 around the commodification and politicisation of sport.

Alannah used some examples from her work at and with Sportsmans Warehouse. Information about the company and work with community can be found on the SW website developed by Osky Interactive.

This week in the unit I aim to provide an overview of the unit and end with a practice for our open book exam next week. This is the Slidecast I will use for the presentation:


Photo Credit

Swimming Exams at Newcastle Ocean Baths 1953

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Business, Politics and Sport 01

This semester I have the opportunity to co-teach with Leigh Blackall on a University of Canberra unit, Business, Politics and Sport.

It is our first opportunity to co-teach and learn together with a student group at the University.

The unit is designed to:

  • Introduce students to the varying aspects of corporate involvement in sport in its national and international forms.
  • Determine the relationship between corporate groups and sports organisations.
  • Examine the potential for growth within a corporate approach to sport.

The unit aims to familiarise students with the nature and purpose of political processes at various levels of physical activity, from recreational to high performance sport, and from local to international sport.

The course outline is here.

Leigh’s work on this unit has been inspirational … He has created a blog that includes the unit schedule and a Journal. There is a Facebook page and a Wikiversity page.

The unit has a Moodle page too.

We meet as a group for the first time on Thursday, 18 August.  In addition to presentations Leigh and I will make we have some outstanding guests too.

We have guests from cycling, canoeing and orienteering that will help us explore key themes of the unit. All three guests give us a great metaphor for a learning journey together.

I am hopeful that the unit creates marvellous opportunities for serendipitous learning that help us with the unit’s learning outcomes:

  1. Explain the major catalysts responsible for the commodification of Australian sport.
  2. Communicate the similarities and differences between the commercialisation of Australian sport and international sport.
  3. Be aware of a variety of ways in which sport and politics intersect and
  4. Be equipped to contribute to public debates about the politics of sport in modern societies.

… as well as three generic skills embedded in this unit: communication; information literacy; and problem solving.

Leigh and I are hopeful that by sharing our resources in advance of our weekly meetings we will be able to use our ‘lecture’ time as a time to share and explore ideas about the articulation of business, politics and sport in local, national and international contexts.

I am hopeful that photographs will have a role to play in our unit. In discussing this photograph I am hopeful that students in the group will be able to share photographs that say something about their stories.

This might include reflecting on Claudia Michell’s (2011) discussion of Doing Visual Research.




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Open Educational Resources: The Writing on the Wall

I admire immensely Stephen Downes’ work.

Each weekday and Saturday morning here in Australia starts for me with a read of OLDaily over coffee.

Each day I find something that takes me on a journey of the imagination and to new connections.

Today I have been reading Stephen’s post on Open Educational Resources.

Stephen defines Open Educational Resources (OERs) thus:

Open educational resources are materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone.

Stephen’s post elaborates how he came to define OERs. I noted in particular:

  • “it avoids needless redundancies. Specifically, it avoids phrases like “digital or non-digital’ which, on examination, mean the same as “everything”. It also avoids formulations like “OERs are resources that…” because this has the form “resources are resources”, which is not helpful.”
  • “What makes material used for learning an OER is not the license it carries with it, but rather, whether it allows anyone to access, use, modify and share the material.”
  • “the purpose of a functional definition – one based on the ability of a person to access, use, modify and share the resource – is that it enables a simple empirical test. Instead of metaphysical discussions about the nature of an object, we simply ask, “Can a person access the object, can a person use the object, etc.?”, and on being shown that they can, conclude that the resource is open.”
  • “The purpose of the word ‘freely’ in the definition is intended to stipulate that the resource may be access without conditions.”

With Stephen’s guidance and Leigh Blackall‘s help I have been keen to explore open sharing in my work at the University of Canberra. Recently, the #HOPAU project with the Australian Paralympic Committee  has given me opportunities to explore openness in a very practical way.

Stephen’s post today has helped me clarify the essential characteristics of this project. This is a writing on the wall time (about aspiration and country)!

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Mobility and Engagement

On my way home the other day I listened to a Radio National Artworks program.

The discussion was about the show en route  a the creation of a group One Step At A Time Like This.

The ideas discussed took me back to my days at Dartington College of Arts in the late 1980s and early 90s when I had access to some remarkable performance artists and installations. I remember one student examination piece in particular. It involved a journey of discovery around the Dartington Hall Gardens.

I was delighted to discover that Leigh Blackall had heard the program too and I enjoyed his blog post Situated art, situated learning. I noted in particular Leigh’s use of a William Hanks quote:

… learning is a way of being in the social world, not a way of coming to know about it. Learners, like observers more generally, are engaged both in the contexts of their learning and in the broader social world within which these contexts are produced. Without this engagement, there is no learning, and where the proper engagement is sustained, learning will occur.

As I was reflecting on these thoughts I happened to hear a great interview on another Radio National program, Bush Telegraph. Centrelink on the Road is a great example of a mobile service to the community. I was fascinated by Kath Sacks and Debra Inskip’s discussion of their work.

I found the juxtaposition of en route and Centrelink semi-trailers delightful and was charmed by the passion that drove both groups.

Photo Credit

Dartington Hall 05