VALA2008 Session 14 Tairi

VALA Peer Reviewed PaperFairy tales and Elggs: social networking with student rovers in learning commons

VALA 2008 CONCURRENT SESSION 14: Social Networking
Thursday 7 February 2008 14:00 – 14:30
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Kim Tairi

Information Services Manager, Prahran, Swinburne University

Rob McCormack

Lecturer, Language and Learning, Victoria University

Peodair Leihy

Research Fellow, Postcompulsory Education Centre, Victoria University

Peter Ring

Campus Librarian, City Flinders, Victoria University

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The Learning (or Information) Commons concept has transformed and extended library services in universities worldwide and most university libraries have adopted aspects of the concept. At Victoria University (VU) the Commons has co-located related student services. Student Rovers are a key feature of the service offered. To build an online community of practice for the Rovers, VU experimented with open source social networking software. A central lesson is that, while web-based social networking is essential, the usability and reliability of any particular software is less important than the way in which such tools are used by participants. This paper will outline preliminary results of VU’s evaluation of the pilot and dispel some of the myths and fairy tales around using social networking software in an educational context.