An initial approach to the integration of Web 2.0 technologies in the research environment

Nandy Millan (Centre for Learning and Academic Development (CLAD), University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Adrian Bromage (Centre for Learning and Academic Development (CLAD), University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 20 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The paper comprises an extended discussion of the possibilities that Web 2.0 applications offer to doctoral researchers, and where such applications fit in the early twenty‐first century in the research environment. It explores the main issues associated with their use by doctoral researchers, and how these factors have influenced the design of a series of four information and communication technologies (ICT) development courses.

Design/methodology/approach

Over 29 Web 2.0 applications were reviewed and grouped into 13 subject categories in terms of how they might support the activities of doctoral researchers. The resulting categories were then themed into four different groups to facilitate the delivery in order to address where and how Web 2.0 applications can enhance doctoral researchers' activities.

Findings

Four groups of applications emerged: social networking, online project collaboration, online virtual desks and reusable multi‐media. The four groups were developed into four courses that together comprise a new ICT skills development module intended for doctoral researchers.

Social implications

In terms of portability, the 13 categories of web‐based applications identified could, when taken together, comprise the infrastructure for a complete research environment that can be accessed anywhere in the world on an internet‐connected PC or laptop. The aim of the module is to enhance the research experience of doctoral researchers by raising awareness of the potential and possibilities associated with using Web 2.0 applications in the research environment.

Originality/value

The paper offers both ICT developers and doctoral researchers insights into the possibilities and problems of using Web 2.0 applications in the process of academic research.

Keywords

Citation

Millan, N. and Bromage, A. (2011), "An initial approach to the integration of Web 2.0 technologies in the research environment", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 148-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/17415651111165384

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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