Monday, 16 November 2009

ARMMS and CAIS online

One of the benefits of writing this blog has been that it has made us think about the online services we use and what information should be where. Most of the things we do online are aggregated via this blog, but we thought it might be useful to post a summary.

The traditional aspects of our roles within Archive, Records Management and Museum Services (ARMMS) are explained via our pages on the University Website. Here you can find information on our services and collections. Similarly, the first port of call for information on the Masters degrees in Archives and Records Management by distance learning offered by the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS) should be the CAIS web pages. In particular, you can find information on all the courses that make up our degrees (and that can be taken individually for Continuing Professional Development) here.

Our courses are delivered via a browser using the Univeristy's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). All the courses are fully supported by CAIS' tutors during the semester and each tutor is a practising subject expert and a Honory member of the academic staff of the University of Dundee. Using the VLE means that we can offer a richer and more interactive learning experience than is possible with traditional workbook-based distance learning courses.

We're keen to make sure that anyone interested in our work, collections or courses can access information or connect with us in as many ways as possible, but we want to make sure that the services we use provide something worthwhile rather than just using the technology 'because it's there'. We have two twitter accounts set up to provide regular updates on what we're doing, where we are and to highlight upcoming events or interesting items from our collections. The account for Museum Services can be found here and the account for CAIS is available here. Matthew has also begun to upload images of some of the highhlights form the Museum collections to Flickr to give anyone who can't get to Dundee a chance to see some of the items. Similarly, the Archive Catalogue, as well as containing the catalogue information needed to understand and access our archival holdings, contains digital images of some of the items from the collections.

The CAIS community currently consists of a network of c.200 students, thrity or so tutors and all our alumni and professional mentors. The CAIS Facebook group was set up to provide a way for all those connected with CAIS to maintain friendships and links with each other in an informal environment, should they want to.

We're continuiung with our experiment in crowd-sourcing to develop a link library for recordkeepers on delicious. Thanks to all those who have contributed so far. To anyone who wants to suggest new links for the library, there's information on how to do so in this post and new contributions would be welcome.

Fiannly, we'll continue to post here and we hope that everyone who drops in from time to time finds what we post interesting. As usual, we'd love to hear comments on any of the above as we continue to develop our online services.

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