Academia 2.0 and beyond ?
How Social Software changes research and education in academia

Workshop at ECSC2009 in Vienna, Austria –
(Workshop date 8.9.2009)

Michael Koch, Bundeswehr University Munich,,
Isa Jahnke, Technische Universität Dortmund

The Web 2.0 and Social Software is often attributed with a high potential for addressing todays challenges in knowledge management and distributed collaboration. This development has already reached industry. Using the term Enterprise 2.0, different possibilities to use Social Software in enterprises are researched. But also in academia, cooperation to generate new knowledge, and to add it to the scientific discourse may radically change under open Web 2.0 conditions. In addition, teaching and learning scenarios might be moved towards technology enhanced lifelong learning communities.

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the application of Social Software in academia (research as well as teaching and learning) – and how these new kinds of software might change the whole setting – make new ways of doing research or teaching and learning possible or at least easier to do.

Further information:


New buzzwords have become part of our daily lexicon: Web 2.0, Social Software and Social Web are often used as synonyms. These concepts focus on new or existing software systems, which are influenced by human communication and collaboration (Jahnke & Koch 2009). Thus, Web 2.0 is heavily reliant on social interaction, and so, social web-based
applications generate and require a human-centered design approach. Furthermore, this kind of new media influences the people. A new generation of the “digital natives” are arriving (Prensky, 2001).

The number of users of Web 2.0 applications in private settings (e.g., leisure) is very high. However, in organizations and enterprises Web 2.0 concepts or such combined applications are still at an early stage (Koch & Richter 2008). The same is true for universities. Franklin & van Harmelen (2007) show some examples of institutional practices. A potential of Web 2.0 for academia show also Rollet et al. (2007). To conclude, there are some Web 2.0 tools in universities, in particular wikis and blogs (e.g., Hookway, 2008) but the usage of these tools and other Web 2.0 scenarios for supporting teaching, learning or research is not yet fully developed. So, the question how the Web 2.0 can support community-based learning (e.g. Barr & Tagg, 1995) or research processes in academia is not yet satisfactorily answered.

Research questions

The main research question of the workshop is: Are there any innovative research and/or teaching designs or arrangements (e.g., Alexander, 2006; Downes, 2005) using social software and what can we learn from these scenarios? Some derived research questions which we will discuss in our workshop:

a) What Web 2.0 applications exist in universities, in research or in learning? Do Web 2.0 applications in academia make a difference to existing Internet applications like email, content management systems or newsgroups?

b) Do you have success stories or success criteria of Web 2.0 usage in academic fields? What changes are observable or essential when introducing Web 2.0 concepts in teaching (e.g. new design/balance of teaching and learning) or research settings?

c) How can we introduce Web 2.0 applications in the academic world, and support the change management process? How can we successfully distribute the concepts into a university?


Our aim is to collect proposals for academic practice with Web 2.0, to specify research questions dealing with Web 2.0 in academia (e.g., new forms of interactions, changing research practice, new learning scenarios, organizational change by using new media) or to discuss new research methods (e.g., e-ethnography) and their challenges in this topic. In our workshop, we want to share practical experience or research results about using Web 2.0 in teaching and research, for example, e-learning goes Web 2.0, scientific communities goes Web 2.0, research publications goes Web 2.0 or university goes Web 2.0. Therefore, we strongly invite researchers and practitioners who have ideas or experience of using Web 2.0 applications in academia.

Participation Requirements

Workshop participants are requested to submit a position paper covering practice with Web 2.0 in academia, research focus or research questions, proposals for academic practice with Web 2.0, proposals for new research methods with regard to Web 2.0 in academia or specific case studies (if applicable) and findings to date. Using practical examples the participants should demonstrate how the concepts and developments behind the Web 2.0 and Social Software movement are used in academia, what Web 2.0 characteristics could make a good basis for academia.

Deadline for Position papers: June 20, 2009

There is no size limit or formatting requirement for position papers.
Please send Position Papers as PDF or Document files to the two organizers:
Position papers will be presented and discussed during the workshop.

Related workshops

The workshop is related to the 8th International conference on the design of cooperative systems (COOP08) in May 2008 where we held a workshop about “Does Web 2.0 make a difference?”. Some results (e.g. about using wikis and blogs) can be found at the Special Issue on the International Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC) which will be published in Summer 2009 by Jahnke & Kommers with the title “Web 2.0 goes Academia: Innovative Scenarios for Socio-technical Communities”. The special issue includes eight papers which discuss Web 2.0 in teaching, learning and research practices.


Alexander, B. (2006): Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning? EDUCAUSE Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 32-44.

Barr, R.B. & Tagg, J. (1995): From Teaching to Learning. A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education. Change Magazine, 27 (6), 1995, pp. 13-25.

Downes, S. (2005): E-learning 2.0. eLearn Magazine. 16 Oct. 2005. Retrieved May 11, 2009 from

Franklin, T. & van Harmelen, M. (2007): Web 2.0 for Content for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Bristol: JISC. Retrieved May 11, 2009 from

Hookway, N. (2008): Entering the blogosphere – some strategies for using blogs in social research In Qualitative Research, 2008, Bd. 8, Heft 1, pp. 91 ? 114.

Jahnke, I. & Koch, M. (2009) Web 2.0 goes Academia: Does Web 2.0 make a difference? Int. Journal of Web based Communities. To be in print.

Koch, M. & Richter, A. (2008): Enterprise 2.0. Oldenbourg Verlag, 2008.

Prensky, M. (2001): Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon: NCB University Press, Vol. 9, No. 5.

Rollett, H.; Lux, M.; Strohmaier, M.; Dosinger, G.; & Tochtermann, K. (2007): The Web 2.0 way of learning with technologies. International Journal of Learning Technology. Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 87-107.

CFP Workshop Academia 2.0 auf ECSCW2009
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