Growing Large-scale Collaborative Organisms: Implementing an Open Source Collaborative Network in a Multi-disciplinary Creative Arts Institution

Mr Mark Elliott
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This paper represents an analysis of the implementation of an online collaborative network for the purposes of expanding social networking and collaborative opportunities across a multi-disciplinary arts institution, the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. Carried out as practice-led doctoral research, this project combines theories of collaboration, undergraduate teaching, a particular collaborative ethic and organic modelling in order to creatively explore large-scale collaborative possibilities, as well as to transcend imposed institutional funding and technological constraints. Moving beyond traditional top-down teacher/student roles, the use of open source, (TWiki) wiki software has engendered an approach of simultaneous production and design, providing the ability to respond in real-time to student/user input. This naturally emergent dynamic has fuelled the evolutionary development of the course and its associated site, unfolding both horizons beyond the designer’s imagination.

URL: (active as of late June '05)

Keywords: Collaboration, Large-scale Collaboration, Internet Collaboration, Technology in Education, TWiki, Open Source Software
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Growing Large-scale Collaborative Organisms

Mr Mark Elliott

PhD Candidate, Centre for Ideas, Victorian College of the Arts

Mark Elliott is currently completing a PhD at the Centre for Ideas, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia, researching and developing large-scale collaborative systems and methods. As part of his PhD, he has recently designed, created and implemented an online collaborative network designed to facilitate and augment the collaborative opportunities of the 200 + students enrolled the Centre’s third year course, Collaborative Contract. Mark is also one of the project creators, a coordinator and site designer for the Australian Bill of Rights Initiative in partnership with the Center for Ideas and the Castan Center for Human Rights Law. He has acted as a moderator in UNESCO’s global art education program, Young Digital Creators, and also teaches a number of tertiary and secondary school subjects in institutions around Melbourne.

Ref: T06P0051