Digital Learning Network: Creating and Evaluating online resources a round up

On Tuesday I had my Digital Learning Network committee hat on for the creating and evaluating online resources event. It was a really interesting day, it is so nice to still feel so connected to museum digital learning even though I don’t work in it directly anymore. It’s great to hear what other people are doing and what they think. At this event it was really nice to sit back and watch not only the presentations but also to observe the audience and what they thought of it all.

First up was Rhiannon Looseley (museum of london elearning officer – brackets web) discussing what to consider when Project managing an online resources project.  It was good to hear Rhiannon speak, she reiterated points that I tried so hard to achieve whilst project managing at Geevor. Then Martin Bazley  spoke about Getting it right from the start by creating the right resources for your audience. Martin discussed the iterative research and planning process and have the constant reminder – who is it for, what is it offering the audience and how will they use it? This was followed by Clare Horrie,  from The National Archives. Clare told us about The National Archives education website redevelopment which incorporated user evaluation, and found a lot out about how there site worked. Particularly that their Labelling of content wasn’t accurate and some resources were very hard to find. Then we has a quick Databurst – Identifying and making the best use of consultants and service providers – creating a beneficial partnership: Richard Gray, from Footmark Media. Richard told us about Richards recipe for reciprocally rich results (a definite tongue twister, to read, write and say!) – Plan carefully; What skills do you have in house; What time do you have? What is missing? Whats your budget?  Bring in expertise early; Use different experts for different phases if appropriate and buy champagne! Something we would have to agree with over at UCLDH. We like a bottle of champers or ten for our party’s. Then it was the turn of Andrew Lewis,  from the V&A  speaking about Quilt of Quilts user generated content resource – from initial concept to final feature.  I had forgot just how good Quilts is.  And thats why conferences are great, you might not be learning anything new but you get reminded about some awesome stuff. Which is very exciting and provides a renewed zeal for cool ideas.  We looked at Patchwork pattern maker and the quilt of quilts. What was nice to see is the stats behind it also taken the social activity in to account.  Social activity on site ~50% of uploads have been commented upon, and ~90% have been rated by other quilters using the feature! Thats quite high!  Finally we had Yang-May Ooi and Ingrid Beazley discussing Dulwich on view. Which is a really good blog and it was really nice to hear how they got it going and turned it into an award wining site.

This was followed up by the Crit room, and it was really interesting to watch some live usability observations, particularly seeing that I was observing and not leading anything! So instead of furiously scribbling notes and watching very carefully where people clicked and why, it was great to sit back and watch it unfold.

All in all a very good day.

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