What is the project about?

Bebop is developing BuddyPress as an institutional academic profile management tool which collects and displays a person?s Open Educational Resources.

The project has two parts: 1) We are developing BuddyPress to consume OERs using third-party feeds and APIs into academics? profiles and, 2) investigating the possibility of BuddyPress becoming an application which produces data for re-publishing on other institutional websites and to third-party web services.

The main outcome of this work will be a plugin or set of plugins that can be used with BuddyPress to extend an individual?s profile to re-present resources that are held on disparate websites such as YouTube, Slideshare, Jorum, etc. The plugins will be open source and made available via the official WordPress.org plugin repository.

Finally, working with the CUNY Commons In A Box project, we will extend our user testing to that related project and seek advice from their staff, who are core contributors to BuddyPress. It is our intention that the work of this project, complements the overall CUNY project.

Who is working on the project?

Joss Winn, Centre for Educational Research and Development

David Raines, Online Services Team, Business Solutions.

Dale McKeown, Online Services Team, Business Solutions

David Whitehead, Online Services Team, Business Solutions

Why are we undertaking the project?

In our work on the JISC-funded ChemistryFM OER project, we investigated the affordances of WordPress as a platform for the hosting and dissemination of OERs, and we see the Bebop project as building on that work, extending WordPress as an OER platform to work around academic identity and open resources.

Through the use of BuddyPress to manage an academic?s personal profile, we anticipate that overall engagement with the social web will increase across institutions that adopt this approach, offering opportunities to develop the digital literacy of staff, who are otherwise reluctant to use such technology. By engaging with BuddyPress to manage their own profile, we feel there are opportunities then to engage academic staff with the affordances of WordPress as a tool to publish their work and, in turn, promote the use of open technologies and openness in general.

We are also seeking support for this project so as to further develop technical staff skills and thereby enhance our capacity to innovate with WordPress. Our work on OAuth and API-based development provides us with significant experience relevant to the use and integration of third-party web services.

What will the project achieve?

We will deliver the following project outputs. Documentation will be CC-BY licensed. Code will be GPL licensed.

  • Documented Use Case of BuddyPress in an educational environment, including Lessons Learned and a technical implementation plan.
  • Documented development of the BuddyPress plugin(s) to integrate third-party APIs into a BuddyPress profile.
  • A BuddyPress theme which is compatible with the above plugin(s).
  • Documentation on the implementation of OAuth at the University of Lincoln.
  • Technical design documentation for the aggregation of staff profile data at Lincoln, which demonstrates our use of MongoDB for data warehousing of people data from disparate systems.

When is the project taking place?

March ? October 2012

What is the project cost?

Total project cost: ?38306.28. Funding received: ?24899.08

Where can I find more information?

Project website