University of New Brunswick (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 22-31
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
A project is underway at the University of New Brunswick that employs Web 2.0 technologies to build an online knowledge base and a virtual learning community in the area of industrial forest operations management. The capabilities originally envisaged for the site included intuitive collaborative authoring tools, multi-format knowledge presentation (XHTML, print-on-demand and e-book), and user/teacher-configurable learning and networking spaces that promote the engagement and collaboration of researcher/professors, students and practitioners. More than thirty international academics and experts are currently cooperating on the initial design and development of the knowledge base, although the effort to identify an acceptable collaborative authoring solution is ongoing.

All components of the project utilize open source software and architectures. The Drupal content management system is used to build the web presence and primary user interface, knowledge contributions are reviewed and managed in the Open Journal System, and learning objects are gathered and shared in a Dspace repository. In the future, the intent is to fully integrate the repository using the Fedora repository development system, and to improve the collaborative authoring and review tools available to contributors and editors.

While the need for the knowledge base has given the project its initial impetus, the long term goal of the project is to effect the formation and evolution of a learning community of teachers, researchers, practitioners and students that facilitates the creation and dissemination of knowledge in a niche area of specialization, but one which has significant social, environmental and economic sustainability implications for many areas of the world.
e textbook, virtual learning communities, web 2, 0 technologies.