Massidea.org had a kick-start to the spring by having a network meeting at Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Leppävaara on the 28th of March 2011. The meeting was scheduled to start at 10 o’clock but Laurea Leppävaara’s Massidea.org team started their endeavour a bit earlier in order to organise the meeting premises to welcome the guests.
Guests from HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences (RAMK), Kymeenlaakso University of Applied Sciences (KyAMK), Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences (COAMK) and Unversity of Lapland started arriving a little bit before 10 o’clock. They were welcomed with coffee, light snacks and a folder containing the meeting essential documents. The actual event was opened with a welcoming speech by Massidea.org Project Manager Sari Jääskeläinen who is also a senior lecturer at Laurea UAS.
Hellos and Howareyous
After the welcome speech, each guest gave a short presentation of their latest Massidea.org related activities. Laurea’s Massidea.org Team shared their experiences of implementing the service by presenting a summary of a course which had applied Massidea.org more extensively. Based on this example, Laurea’s Team has created a template and guidelines for describing case examples and encouraged everyone to start documenting their experiences with the service. Laurea’s team also introduced its newest members to rest of the network. In addition, the virtual interns from a Danish University were mentioned. Laurea’s team finished the presentation by listing the theses currently being written about Massidea.org.
After Laurea’s team was finished, 3 members of Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) Massidea.org team took the floor and presented the progress they’ve made since the last network meeting. In addition to being active in content production, they mentioned that they have been presenting Massidea.org in more than 10 events most notable of them being: TAMK Day and International Water Day. TAMK has also implemented Massidea.org into their thesis process as an alternative tool for publishing thesis abstracts and research plans. In addition, TAMK has created groups for publishing internship and project reports. Many students have already started publishing content to the above mentioned groups.
After TAMK, a representative from RAMK took the stage. They have implemented Massidea.org to e.g. R&D courses. RAMK students organised “Innovation in the Barents” on the 29th of March. A representative from Laurea’s team also attended the seminar and gave an introductory presentation on Massidea.org to RAMK students and took part in the seminar workshops. The results of these workshops are published in Massidea.org.
RAMK was followed by COAMK, University of Lapland and Häme University of Applied Sciences. The representative from COAMK told the audience that their organisation has been raising Massidea.org awareness among their students. Both HAMK and KyAMK are have planned to implement Massidea.org to some of their courses and University of Lapland is planning their 1st pilot.
Once the presentations were over, the attendees took a break and prepared for the up-coming workshops by having lunch together at Laurea’s student run restaurant Flow. After lunch, the event continued with Learning Cafe – workshops. As the event organisers, Laurea’s team had the responsibility of acting as chairpersons in each workshop. The attendees were divided into three groups to work on the three different before-hand agreed topics. These topics were: Massidea.org Functions, Massidea.org and Theses, and Massidea.org Implementation. In order to give everyone an opportunity to express their opinion and thoughts on each topic, the attendees moved from one workshop to another every 20 minutes. The organisers also encouraged everyone to continue the discussion after the network event on Massidea.org, where a group for the Massidea.org Network and campaigns for each workshop had been created prior to the actual event.
Workshop: : Massidea.org Functions
The purpose of this workshop was to discuss different Massidea.org functions such as groups and campaigns and how they could be used in different settings. In addition it was proposed that the attendees would discuss the features that they would like to see implemented to the service.
The participants were especially eager to express their thoughts on how to develop existing features, and to suggest entirely new functions. Developing the search function, the rating system and the group function further was seen as an important step. Especially the rating system was discussed more extensively. It was felt that readers should be allowed to rate e.g. the quality and the feasibility of the content by giving for example a certain amount of stars against these criteria. In addition, categorising the content more comprehensively was brought up in the workshop. The attendees felt that Massidea.org should have bespoke subcategories such as IT, Business, Globalisation etc. for ideas, challenges and visions or alternatively the content producers should be advised on tagging their content more comprehensively.
There were also a number of suggestions how to make Massidea.org more attractive for users. Most notable of these suggestions were: Post of the Month, Sticky Post, Starting Post, Guest Writers and Gifting. Post of the Month was seen as an efficient way to motivate regular Massidea.org users to produce more professional, good quality content. The post of the Month would be handpicked by e.g. dedicated moderators and featured on the home page for the next 30 days. It was also suggested that the writer would receive a gift for reaching the post of the month status. This gift could be for example: forwarding the article to a person working on the related field of business. Featuring other good articles in the form of a Sticky Post was also suggested. Sticky Post would be featured on the home page for a couple of days in order to attract attention to good writers. Starting Post was another suggested function, the purpose of which would be to introduce new users to the Massidea.org community. One participant suggested inviting people from the working life to write a series of articles about different topics in their area of specialisation.
In addition, the possibility for submitting video entries to Massidea.org was also suggested. Video would serve as another medium for users to share their insights with others.
Workshop: Massidea.org Implementation
The objective of this particular workshop was to share experiences and good practices of implementing the service to study courses. Additionally, it was suggested that the participants would discuss different methods and tool that would support new users in the implementation process. The participants were given the results of the workshop organised in the last network meeting to help them see what has already been discussed.
It was agreed that good practices could be found by gathering user examples from students and teachers as well as understanding and taking their feedback into account. Organisational, national and international teacher co-operation was seen as another important aspect of implementing the service. This would allow courses to be not only multinational but also multidisciplinary. It was suggested that workshops for designing Massidea.org applying courses could be organised among teachers in order to make the implementation more efficient. The participants felt that unified instructions for implementing the course should be created. These instructions could be supported by case examples of various types of implementation. This combination would then highlight the benefits of Massidea.org in a more concrete way.
Workshop: Massidea.org and Theses
The purpose of this workshop was to take the ideas presented in the last network meeting a step further. Handouts of the last network meeting’s results were give to each participant.
The content of this workshop can be divided into four different topics: experiences, challenges, needed tools and value. The participants who already have used Massidea.org in their theses process gave examples of how and where it has been implemented. They told that currently some volunteers have already submitted their abstracts and research plans to Massidea.org. Other participants felt that this is a good way to show new students what type of theses have already been written and also how a proper abstract and research plan are written. In addition the participants saw that it would be beneficial if research ideas would be communicated in Massidea.org, so students without a topic could find one. These research ideas could be acquired for example from different companies.
This workshop included an extensive discussion on different tool needed for using Massidea.org in theses process. It was suggested that unified reporting standard should be created for all the publications related to thesis. This standard would be then used by all the organisations. It was also felt that these standard should be supported by guidelines for quality writing and criteria for indicating references used in the thesis.
It was seen that the most notable benefit of Massidea.org to the thesis process comes from the versatile mass i.e. international, organisational boundaries breaking user base which allows students to define their research problem further by collaborating with others.
The participants also discussed the challenges related to the implementation extensively. Issues regarding confidentiality, copyrights and anonymity were brought up and discussed. The lack of an example of a more extensive use of Massidea.org in thesis process was also seen as problematic.
We hope you all enjoy the upcoming spring!
Please, don’t hesitate to contribute to the workshop campaigns even if you were not present at the actual event.
Laurea Leppävaara’s Massidea.org Team