Social Bookmarking … In Courseware?

I was spending some time with one of my colleagues here today, Bill Rose, discussing social bookmarking. He hadn’t heard of the concept and we were just discussing the basics … I showed him how works and he got excited … we kept talking and we started to wonder if we could really put it into place for our Online IST courses. If we could add an open source social bookmarking tool (know any good ones?) as service within our Edison Services toolset and let students click a simple “remember this” link on any page of a course and bookmark it. From there, they could do the simple tagging that goes along with this stuff — that makes sense to them. That could lead to all sorts of good things — shared resources, note-taking capabilities, and so much more.

After doing some quick google work I did find one open source tool, based on the Rubric framework. I can’t figure out how to get it running, but when Millet gets back from the Gathering of the Vibes festival his non-profit, is assisting with this will be sitting on his plate. Does anyone out there have any ideas on how we could make this work? And any good ideas for lessons built around a semester long tagging exercise? One thing I was thinking at the minimum was having all my students this fall get an account and tag resources with the course number (110) and do weekly peer reviews of each other’s links. Just some thoughts I didn’t want to misplace. Any other ideas or pointers for me?

Update: I got an open source tool, scuttle running. Take a look, create, an account, and drop a few bookmarks (with tags) in so I can see how this will play out. Jump over. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “Social Bookmarking … In Courseware?

  1. A few ideas:

    – Could extend the course tagging to include topic and lesson when a tighter association is callled for. Desirable? Or just the opposite of what you want?

    – As students take our courses and complete topics and lessons, they could build a knowledge base that ties to key concepts or trends, but the tagging would also start to link content across the whole IST portfolio. If something strikes your fancy at the 110 level, you could venture further into it while beginning to see how this is built upon in later courses and in the real world.

    – A follow-on idea to that last idea–as we do our regular course revision cycles in OIST, students could have already found and interrelated a great resource base prior to our revision. We then don’t need to search the whole field-we take the best for the latest version of the course.

    – Problem assignment-specific knowledge bases. So, there is an ever-evolving Smart Car base, for instance. Intelligent highways as a tag, mobile commerce as a tag, etc.

    – Lab-specific knowledge bases? Competency tag families?

    – New type of discussion activity–direct them to a tag “family” that already exists (perhaps initially established by us or from prior semesters) and pose a series of evaluative questions. Perhaps they look at a related set of five links. Questions could be like “Rate how well the knowledge set defines an information system. Is it comprehensive enough? Should it be tagged differently? Why do you suppose site #1 is linked to so much more than the others?”. Gets at metacognitive skills while digging in deeper to course content.

    – “Built-in” OIST content/structure/instruction tool for students. Students identify our best, most effective content and resources…starts to identify “must see” OIST content.

  2. The idea of incorporating social bookmarking into learning is very interesting. Our goal at, is to make our application the best for knowledge management and learning (as opposed to just – social bookmarking).

    Why are you looking for an “open source” solution? What specific features do you need that an online web service does not provide?

    We are constantly working on improving our service and make it more suitable for a learning environment.

    In regards to specific tagging exercises there are a couple of ideas:

    1) For writing papers, students could use a social bookmarking service to tag all of the online resources they found to assist them in their research

    2) Social bookmarking could also work great for group projects where each student has to do research about a specific topic and then the knowledge gets shared across the team or class room.

    Again, I am just brainstorming here. Hope some of my ideas are helpful.


  3. Great ideas! I got a tool called scuttle installed over at one of my other domains — too many dbs here to do it … at any rate, it has promise. Jump over a take a look, create an account and give it a try. I’d like to get a few people to drop some bookmarks in the system so I can see how it will all play out. I smell a research project here. Take a look …

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