Monday, February 18, 2013

Effectiveness with the use of Web2.0 to enhance the web ranking of the University of Kelaniya

Background of Research : 
The Web is growing very rapidly and important part of our lives. Web 2.0 has changed the rules of Internet and has produced a new marketplace based on sharing, coined in 2004 . Web 2.0 encompasses the social in nature such as the social networks, blogs, wikis, tagging and photo and video sharing sites. There are more ranking systems based on the different criteria and geographical area. The six services introduced here, but offer surprisingly similar results. The approach taken here will be Webometrics, which covers large group of Universities and research centers from all over the world. The Shanghai Jiaotong University published their famous Academic Ranking of World Universities and it was decided to use a similar system for the Webometrics data (Aguillo, 2009) . The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities (WRWU) is ranking system for the world's universities. The aim of the Ranking is to improve the presence of the academic and research institutions on the Web and to promote the open access publication of scientific results. It has been published, twice a year, January and July. University of Kelaniya(UoK) appeared within Top 100 on the South Asian region in 2009. It disappeared on the Top 100 list in 2010 and ranked 97 in July 2011 and ranked 98 in January 2012. WRWU is based on Visibility, Size, Rich Files and Scholar. Most composite indicator is Visibility and it takes 50 percent into account and impact of these web publications according to the number of external inlinks they received (Cybermetrics, 2012). Measuring and classifying the links from Web2.0 can be insightful. We can take advantage of the features that new web2.0 tools have in order to create learning experience and enhance webranking. Ideas and concepts on the Web are connected to one another through hyperlinks. Using these links, users can dig deeper to find information that stretches their ability to reason and analyse. They can interact with information online and connect instantly to relevant content that is also engaging and malleable (Solomon & Schrum, 2007). They can collaborate on projects, consult experts, and share their data with the world. Most of all, they can build on others learning by reading other posted work as a starting point for their own research and link back to it. Blogs enable users to easily create and publish text and media resources to the internet. Social news sites enable users to direct publication blog posts and any news. Web syndication is used to publish frequently updated works made available to multiple other sites. All those Web2.0 tools will enhance University webrank.

Literature review :
This paper intends to study and explore the application of Web 2.0 technologies in the context of University web sites. Sir Tim Berners-Lee found shared information space and similarity this story of the technology with the ideas of Tim O'Reilly, who has attempted to adoption of the technologies, can be used to make predictions about technology markets (Anderson, 2007). The former web appear as very much “Web 1.0,” and then found read write web as Web 2.0 (Alexander, 2006). Web 2.0 encompasses a wide range of applications and tools ranging from blogs to social networking sites to wikis (N.S. Harinarayana & Vasantha, 2010) . By utilising electronic media and Web 2.0 tools such as Wiki’s, blogs, tagging and social book-marking, new and ingenious methods of social interaction across geographic borders and industry silos are being created (Fu, 2007). The affordances of Web 2.0 seem to harmonise well with modern thinking about educational practice. It invites users to develop confidence in new modes of inquiry and new forms of literacy. Web 2.0 users must acquire the skills that are necessary to navigate and interrogate this new knowledge space. They must also welcome new opportunities for publication on the internet and the audience attention that this entails (Crook, 2008). University web sites are changing in their content and structure, with the introduction of free and open source Content Management Systems(CMS) in recent years. Also University home page integrate with most widely used Social network services like Facebook , Twitter , YouTube , Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and Blogs. According to Webometrics, University of Colombo, Peradeniya, Moratuwa and Sri Jayewardenepura has integrated Web 2.0 technologies in their home page. South Asia ranks are 8, 23, 50 and 61 respectively. It is a surprising finding that University of Kelaniya rank at 98 and yet to integrate Web 2.0 in their web site. In an earlier survey of the Web 2.0 features in university library web sites has been reported by Harinarayana et al. (2010). Harinarayana surveyed top 100 universities from the ranked list of the Times Higher Education web site. It was found that only 57 of the top 100 libraries have used at least one of the Web 2.0 features (N.S. Harinarayana & Vasantha, 2010). Some earlier studies have discussed the Link analysis using social network tools (Ortega & Aguillo, 2008). The study identifies the social network analysis techniques and measures used to know the network relationships, structure and topology and the position of different nodes. They think that the introduction of these techniques in webometric analyses is an important way to develop this discipline. Björneborn (2006) conducted a study on ‘Mini small worlds’ of shortest link paths crossing domain boundaries in an academic Web space. The findings in the present study suggest that the rich diversity of inlinks and outlinks to and from computer-science Web sites and personal link lists may be utilized for such computer-aided navigation along small-world shortcuts, which also may be exploited as transit points for more exhaustive Web coverage by search engine crawlers. As academic Web spaces increasingly include extensive scholarly self-presentations and link creations, science studies may employ small-world approaches including social network analytic concepts for automatic tracking of central gatekeepers and interdisciplinary boundary crossings in academic Web spaces (Björneborn, 2006).

Purposes : 
The web was born for scholarly communication purposes, academic freedom allows a large number of independent web editors and today it is cheaper to publish on the web than in traditional journals (Aguillo, 2009). This research aims to critically examine the academics use of web 2.0 technology such as wikis, blogs and collaborative social networking portals with the aim of proposing future developments and improvement of University web rank. The embedding of technology into the assessment task is purposeful, aiming to address a recognised need for lecturers to motivate and gain the necessary academic knowledge, technical competence and, importantly, confidence to implement productive technology-based tasks in their classrooms and engage them actively in their learning experience (Brown, 2009). Web2.0 tools can have a profound effect on learning. Most graduate students already have a long experience using SNS. In order to attract faculty users, it seems inevitable that SNS-based service should provide a tailored service to them (Park, 2010). The main purpose of this research is to explore the Web2.0 factors that contribute towards web ranking within Top 10 list in South Asia region.

Objectives and Scope :
There is potential value in exploring professional learning with Web 2.0 technologies. Clearly , Web 2.0 applications are here to stay and can be of great use in the higher education (Boulos et al, 2006). The framework offers an exploratory instrument to examine how professional learning for academics could be supported with Web 2.0 technologies in ways that might have significant benefits to University web rank. In this research, researcher will explore how users interact with Web2.0 technologies in their regular day to day activities. In particular, researcher will focus on how users build their relationships with others and they could lead others to follow their links. Implementation of electronic social networking as a knowledge management tool, were identified. Reasons for the implementation of Social Networking 2.0 showed that social networking platforms increase productivity, workflow efficiency, staff motivation and up to date contact information linked to user maintained profiles (Zyl, 2009).

Methodology : 
Researcher will conduct the study within the University of Kelaniya, one of best national university in Sri Lanka located in Western Provence. The student capacity approximately 12,000. Researcher will schedule semi-structured interviews and open-ended interviews conducted with undergraduates, graduates, and faculty members at all faculties including Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce & Finance and Medicine, as needed to clarify and provide insight into specific conversations. Also it will be focused to create an online survey which can be easily done by Web2.0 tools to collecting data. Online surveys are probably the most widely used technique for collecting data. Researcher will typically observe and analyse University web site traffic using Alexa and Webometrics .


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