Making a Reputation…

I’m involved in a project at the moment – The Bio-Observatory Project (previously known as the Bio Diversity Obveratory) – which is funded by the National Lottery to create a system for developing understanding of species through collecting and comparing data. The system is focusing on social aspects rather than being ‘learning’ orientated, although enivatebly people will want more as they progress and understand more about what they are studying. It’s part of the bicentennial anniversary of Darwins birth next year and we have the Natural History Museam involved as well as others.

The system provides models for reputation management, i.e. as you progress and become more expert then that expertise is reflected back and increases your status and ability to judge data submitted by others. I find it interesting because we’re thinking about both a top down and bottom up approach, the top down because to begin with you need to have some ‘experts’ assigned to judge the authenticity of materials, and later we expect people to ‘bubble’ up as experts once they get higher ratings from others in the system. It will be interesting to see how we manage things where groups give each other credit. We’ll have systems based on baysian keys to judge the accuracy of finds based on knowledge of the species and area so we can use that to also check if people are correctly indentifying things and if experts are correctly assessing the accuracy of others. It’s all very experimental and quite exciting, outside my area of expertise  (if I have one! – my reputation wouldn’t be very high :^) )

The application of a “good” system to measure peoples reputation and assess their ability in a particular field that is outside a rigourous assessment model is interesting to me and may have many applications not least of which is in models of open learning, fieldwork and research conducted outside a classroom environment.


About willwoods
I'm Head of Learning and Teaching Technologies in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University.

One Response to Making a Reputation…

  1. Pingback: Biodiversity Observatory - social networking for natural history « Doug Clow’s Imaginatively-Titled Blog

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