Bebop

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

ChemistryFM

What was the project about?

The ChemistryFM project was funded under the HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources Programme. The project released all educational resources used in Year 1 "Introductory Chemistry for Forensic Science" (total of 30 credits). The course is designed to cover all the major areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic and physical).

The 12 month project was led by the Centre for Educational Research and Development, working with colleagues from the Department of Forensic and Biomedical Sciences, Lincoln School of Journalism, Lincoln Business School and Siren FM.

Why did we undertake the project?

The university recognises the potential that free and unfettered access to educational resources offers to the local and wider community and welcomed the opportunity to examine how technology and an emerging legal framework can promote creativity and the sustainability of the open educational resources we produce. Our interest in OER is set within a broader framework of debates about pedagogic innovation and the role and nature of universities in the 21st century.

What did the project achieve?

In 2008, through internal, competitive bidding, the Centre for Educational Research and Development funded the production of high quality, student-produced videos, which help explain difficult concepts using a mixture of animation and live action. Due to interest from other institutions, the videos are now available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence. The ChemistryFM project extended this approach to all resources for this course. In addition, we worked with Siren FM, a campus-based community radio station, employing their recording and broadcasting expertise to develop additional multimedia resources with students and apply current online broadcasting methods to the creation and delivery of these materials. All resources have been made available through our JISC-funded Institutional Repository, third-party Web 2.0 services and via a dedicated website. By employing both students and a campus-based enterprise, we tried to demonstrate a sustainable and innovative approach to the development and dissemination of OERs.

When did the project take place?

April 2009 - May 2010.

What did the project cost?

  • Total project cost: £48,183.92
  • Funding received: £17,920.60

Where can I find more information?

CLOCK

What is this project about?

The CLOCK (Cambridge-Lincoln Open Catalogue Knowledgebase) project will investigate ways of driving innovation in libraries' interactions with Open Bibliographic Data.

Why are we undertaking the project?

CLOCK is a continuation of and elaboration upon the work of two recent JISC Discovery projects -- Jerome at the University of Lincoln and COMET at the University of Cambridge -- via a programme of development work shared between the two institutions, and with library consultant Owen Stephens. JISC were impressed enough with the work of both projects, and sufficiently interested in the potential for collaboration, that they encouraged our joint bid for follow-up funding.

What will the project achieve?

CLOCK will exploit, through real-world applications, the significant amount of data released openly by Cambridge University Library; apply the Jerome database architecture, iterative development methodology, and API framework to a bibliographic dataset an order of magnitude greater than the University of Lincoln's; and build and enable a new set of tools and demonstrator services which will enable the future development of public Open Bibliographic Data web applications of practical utility to libraries and end-users.

When is the project taking place?

February - July 2012

What does the project cost?

  • Total project cost: £66,329.20
  • Funding received: £49,876.89

Where can I find more information?

DevXS

What was DevXS?

DevXS was a BarCamp / Hackathon style conference that recognised the progressive ideas and talent that students can bring to the development of higher education services. At the core of DevXS was a two-day developer marathon, where students were encouraged to team up and build cool things that contribute to university life. It was about students sharing their ideas, mashing up data and building prototypes that improve, challenge and positively disrupt the research, teaching and learning landscapes of further and higher education. Prizes were awarded to the best ideas, prototypes and collaborations. DevXS built on the success of the JISC funded Developer Community Supporting Innovation (DevCSI) project and events that it runs, such as the annual Dev8D conference.

Who organised DevXS?

DevXS was organised jointly by the University of Lincoln's Student as Producer project and the JISC-funded DevCSI project, run by UKOLN at the University of Bath. It began as an idea of Nick Jackson and Alex Bilbie, two former students at the University of Lincoln.

Who attended?

DevXS was open to undergraduate and post-graduate students across the UK and beyond. It was a conference principally aimed at student web developers, computer science geeks and journalism/media students who are increasingly expected to engage with data on the web.  People didn't have to have programming skills to attend, but needed to be enthusiastic about working with developers by sharing ideas, pulling together data from various sources and working collaboratively to solve one or more of a number of challenges which were announced before the start of DevXS.

When and where was DevXS?

Friday November 11th, 2011, 4pm ? Sunday 13th November, 4pm. University of Lincoln.

What was DevXS for?

There is a real opportunity to engage with the energy of those working in 'social technology' to develop new ideas and resources. Individual institutions could run events and become engaged with communities of developers. The Edgeless University 2009.

The objectives of DevXS were similar to Dev8D, Rewired State and other BarCamp / Hackathon type conferences. DevXS was a continuous 30hr 'hack day', 'a pressure cooker for innovation' an intensified period of Research and Development that months of traditional work could not replicate. It was intended to provide space, support, incentives and stimulation to students who want to be more than just consumers of university services and build cool tools that make further and higher educational institutions better, learn something in the process and meet other like-minded students across the UK.

DevXS was a response to what The Edgeless University report called a "time of maximum uncertainty and time for creative possibility between the ending of the way things have been and the beginning of the way they will be." At a time when the higher education sector is is undergoing significant change and students are increasingly expected to assume the role of consumer, Student as Producer encourages students to challenge this role through the idea of 'excess' where students, through a critical engagement with their social world, are anticipated to become more than just student-consumers during their course of research and study. DevXS was a disruptive learning experience, a pedagogical intervention for students who want to do cool stuff with the web that challenges the traditional institutions of learning.

Embedding OER Practice in Institutions

What is this project about?

Higher education is engaging with the wider online culture of open content and seeking to promote the sharing of Open Educational Resources (OER) both by individuals and as a whole institutional approach. Raising awareness of the location and management of OER will be key to embedding the philosophy and practice of OER practice across the University of Lincoln in this HEA/JISC funded project (?50,000) which also involves participation in a HEA Change Academy Programme. The six teams involved in this project will be addressing the advantages of OER and how using and repurposing OER can support different aspects of the student experience.

Why are we undertaking the project?

Integral to all six projects will be attention to appropriate digital literacies for staff and students and the promotion of inclusive practice with digital content. Teams will be working alongside the Change Academy to develop ways in which adoption of OER can be promoted strategically and sustainably at an institutional level.

What will the project achieve?

Team One

This team will explore and develop the use of OER to support transition into Higher Education through the provision of resources prior to arrival at University. These will stay available during induction and extend into the first year to help students adapt to the requirements of academic study. The aim is to develop greater understanding of the learning development needs of new students, the range of existing OERs and the tools currently available to produce them, and to repurpose or develop OERs to meet the specific needs across a range of disciplines. Resources will be designed to be customisable, for embedding within a disciplinary context as a whole institution approach.

Team Two

Reflection and critical thinking are key to the higher education experience but can pose challenges for new students unaccustomed to examining their own their own learning experiences. The team contains members from a number of different Health and Social Care awards who will be pooling their expertise to investigate how OER can support the processes of critical reflective practice at an early stage in the student learning experience.

Team Three

Staff within the School of Social Sciences (Politics, International Relations, Criminology, Social Policy and Social Science) are not particularly aware of OER?s and as a result they are seldom used within the School to impact on student learning. The Criminology in the Professions module has developed a number of resources including a DVD production, podcasts and other useful materials, that might be of value to other courses internally and externally to the university, so it would be useful to investigate how these could be turned into effective OER?s and how these could then best be disseminated through open source environments. Apart from this, all students have to produce materials relating to their own future ?career? development after graduation, as well as producing teaching materials for a seminar that they lead in small groups related to one of a number of practitioner talks. It is thought that some of these materials might have the potential to be developed into useful OER?s.

Team Four

This project will look at how open educational resources can support students, practice educators, mentors and university educators on professional programmes in health and social care. The open educational resources will need to address guidance on what is required to build an e-portfolio, reflective writing for professional development and learning in practice, the use of knowledge and evidence in professional practice and critical, analytical writing and ways to draw on and learn from service user?s evaluations of individual practice. Working alongside experts from the HEA Change Academy, the project will look for ways to embed the use of open educational resources to support e-portfolio building and sharing across the university.

Team Five

PGCE students have the unique position of being both staff and students and thus have the potential for a dual perspective on embedding OER into their practice. This project will address the differences between virtual face to face teaching and learning and investigate how OER can support staff to establish interaction with online content, manage online collaboration and moderate online discussions. The team will explore the use of OER alongside participation in the Change Academy programme where they will seek ways to promote the use of OER as a whole institution strategy. Surfacing and supporting the appropriate digital literacies for both staff and students will be integral to this project as will raising awareness of inclusive practise with digital resources for teaching and learning.

Team Six

Project Six aims to support the other five Lincoln OER teams by developing and distributing useful resources on discovering and adapting open resources for local use and on incorporating open licenses. In addition the team will consider what institutional, national and international repositories will be suitable for resources produced by the project and provide guidance on appropriate granularity and metadata when submitting to those repositories. Finally the project will advise resource authors on using the most effective ways of using existing institutional resources to link their content to their staff profile, or to create a new profile, using appropriate and already available tools.

When is the project taking place?

1 November 2011 ? 31 October 2012

What does the project cost?

?50,000 funding received (total project cost ?86,474.80)

Where can I find more information?

Project website

FastQ

What is this project about?

FAST.Q (Feedback and Answer System Technology for Questions) is a project sponsored by CERD (Centre for Educational Research and Development) and LNCD as part of the Student as Producer Initiative. FAST.Q will investigate the use of live feedback technology within the lecture room environment and its impact on teaching and learning. Students will be able to use smart devices (phone, laptops, tablets, etc) to ask questions and provide general feedback during the lecture. This will allow the lecturer to have direct ?real-time? access to these questions and thereby providing an immediate response to the student.

The Principal Investigator on this project is Dr. John C. Murray who works in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln. The project funds two undergraduate students to work on the development of the FAST.Q system in conjunction with the Principal Investigator.

Why are we undertaking the project?

Within the lecture environment, a common situation experienced by lectures takes the form of a lecturer asking ?Does everyone understand that??, this is usually met my some feeble head nodding and a few students confirming. However, experience tells us that it is not the case that most of the class has fully understood, and in fact many questions are burning away. Indeed this can be attributed to one main factor; the students think all their peers around them have understood, and so do not wish to ask for clarification themselves. Therefore, allowing for students to ask questions via an online ?anonymous? system enables this fear of asking questions aloud to be completely removed and thus allows for clarification, and further questions to be sought by the student.

What will the project achieve?

This project will develop an online Q&A system whereby students can ask questions and receive answers in a real-time format. It is hoped that by allowing students the anonymity, from their peers, to feely ask questions this can both improve engagement and attainment in lectures. The FAST.Q tool will be tested and rolled out over the second semester of the 2011/12 academic year, initially within the School of Computer Science.

It is hoped that the following questions can be answered by the project:

  • Will the use of FAST.Q increase student engagement?

- If students are unable to follow the lecture content due to not fully understanding the material and being worried to put their hand up, will the anonymity of FAST.Q allow them to feel more confident asking questions, and ultimately improve their engagement?

  • Can the use of FAST.Q help to increase student attainment?

- If a student?s engagement in lectures drops, due to missing a point on a slide or not quite comprehending a topic, then it could be difficult for them to fully catch up on the materials of the lecture. This could easily cause a snowball effect and the student could potentially drop behind on a module of study. With the use of FAST.Q, allowing students to ask questions and remain engaged, what affect would this have on their attainment within the respective module?

When is the project taking place?

January 2012 ? May 2012

What is the project cost?

Total project cost: ?3,000. Funding received from LNCD.

Where can I find more information?

Project blog.

GaPS

What is the project about?

The Game Preservation System (GaPS) project will investigate and prototype technologies to support digital conservation of computer games, virtual worlds, and their component artefacts. Unlike existing archiving systems, the emphasis is placed on accessibility, indexing, and the use of meta-data to enhance the way in which users experience and interact with stored materials. We are interested in more than just an archive: we wish to initiate a technological framework within which users can interact directly with games and related artefacts, and quickly locate bodies of work, whilst archivers can effectively present and showcase their work.

Who is working on the project?

Dr Patrick Dickinson

Dr Grzegorz Cielniak

Mr Olivier Szymanezyk (Research Student)

Students: TBC

Why are we undertaking the project?

The School of Computer Science hosts students studying games development, and our immediate interest is to enable these students to conserve and present their work in a way which is not only accessible, but which actively helps them to build an indexed online portfolio. However, the technology has much wider potential applicability to the conservation and archiving of digital artefacts.

The conservation of games raises interesting long-term questions about how and why digital artefacts are conserved, and how we define our experience of virtual worlds. These questions have recently fallen under the attention of academics and practitioners alike, and this project forms a basis for a longer term study of this topic.

What will the project achieve?

The project will produce a prototype digital object conservation system which we will use for evaluation, and as an active test-bed for further technological work and user studies. The initial part of the project will focus on requirements of users (both those archiving work, and those accessing work), based partly on an analysis of systems such as ePrints, Pouet, The National Media Museum, and Totem. This will conclude with identification and prototyping of a technological infrastructure to facilitate conservation of specific object types (e.g. executable files) which enable seamless interactivity and usability. Implementation in a prototype form will be deployed on a standalone server hosted by SoCS.

When is the project taking place?

Summer 2012

What is the project cost?

Total project cost: £1,000. Funding received from LNCD.

Jerome

What was this project about?

Jerome is a project to explore new ways of exposing, searching and using Library information to create a better way of using Library services. This new Library portal is a test-bed for our ideas, using cutting-edge technology to enhance your experience.

Saint Jerome lived in the 4th and 5th centuries. He is the patron saint of archeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, libraries, school children, students and translators. This project is named after him. The Principal Investigator was Paul Stainthorp, Electronic Resources Librarian, working with Alex Bilbie and Nick Jackson from the ICT Online Services Team.

Why did we undertake the project?

One of the key aims of Jerome was to unify, standardise and homogenise our different resource collections into a single searchable index following standard patterns. The Library catalogue is currently harvested by iterating through our internal reference numbers and screen-scraping the results from our catalogue system?s online information portal. These results are then placed into the database ready to be indexed on their titles, authors, publishers and more.

Our available journals are listed using proprietary software. Jerome takes an export of this data and collects it into its central database, performing on-the-fly calculations of access start and end dates.

The University of Lincoln offers an institutional repository which contains thousands of items released for open access. Jerome harvests metadata on these items using the OAI-PMH standard and includes them in the unified index, providing full-text searching of titles, authors and abstracts from a single point.

We currently make use of data from OpenLibrary (licensed under CC0) to help boost the depth and accuracy of our own catalogue. OpenLibrary also provides our book cover images. Jerome makes its homogenised resources index available using a variety of licences, predominantly CC0. Individual resource pages show the licence which the metadata is licensed under, not the work itself.

What did the project achieve?

  1. A public-facing search portal service available at: http://jerome.library.lincoln.ac.uk/
    • Featuring searchbrowse, and bibliographic record views.
    • Search is provided by Sphinx.
    • A ?mixing desk? allows user control over advanced search parameters.
    • Each record is augmented by data from OpenLibrary (licenced under CC0) to help boost the depth and accuracy of our own catalogue. Where possible, OpenLibrary also provides our book cover images.
    • Bibliographic work pages sport COinS metadata and links to previews from Google Books.
    • Item data is harvested from the Library Management System.
    • Social tools allow sharing of works on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  2. Openly licensed bibliographic data, available at http://data.lincoln.ac.uk/documentation.html#bib, and including:
  3. Attractive, documented, supported APIs for all data, with a timeline of data refresh cycles. The APIs will provide data in the following formats:
    1. RDF/XML
    2. JSON
    3. RIS
    4. The potential for MARC
  4. Source code for Jerome will be made Open and publicly available on GitHub.
  5. While the user interface, technical infrastructure, analytics and machine learning/personalisation aspects of Jerome have been discussed fairly heavily on the project blog, you?ll have to wait a little while for formal case studies.
  6. Contributions to community events. We presented/discussed Jerome at:

When did the project take place?

February 2011 to July 2011

What did the project cost?

Total project cost: £45,732. Funding received: £36,585.

Where can I find more information?

Project website

Jerome discovery tool

Bibliographic data

JISCPress

What was the project about?

The JISCPress project developed a prototype publishing platform for the JISC funding call and dissemination process. It demonstrated how WordPress Multi-User (WPMU) can be used as an effective document authoring, publishing, discussion and syndication platform for JISC?s funding calls and final project reports.

Work was undertaken by Joss Winn, Centre for Educational Research and Development, Alex Bilbie, ICT Online Services team, Tony Hirst, Open University, and Eddie Tejeda.

Why did we undertake the project?

We hoped to provide a means by which JISC project investigators can more effectively discover, and hence build on, related JISC projects. We think that the cumulative effect of publishing this way could lead to an improved platform for the discovery and dissemination of grant-related information and project outputs. In general, the project sought to promote openness and collaboration from the point of funding call announcements onwards.

What did the project achieve?

The JISCPress platform is inspired and informed by WriteToReply, a service developed by the principle project staff (Joss Winn and Tony Hirst) in Spring 2009 which re-published consultation documents for public comment and allowed anyone to re-publish a document for comment by their target community. The project exploited well understood and popular open source technologies to implement an alternative infrastructure that enables new processes of funding-related content creation, improves communication around funding calls and enables web-centric methods of dissemination and content re-use. The platform is extensible and could therefore be the object of further future development by the HE developer community through the creation of plugins that provide desired functionality in the future.

One of the main outputs from the JISCPress project was the development of digress.it, a plugin for WordPress, which allows readers to comment on documents at the paragraph level. digress.it has since been used by thousands of people and a number of organisations such as the New York Public Library, universities around the world and as the basis for the Regulation Room, a joint project between Cornell University and the Whitehouse.

We continue to contribute to the development of digress.it, which is open source software available to download for free. Most recently, Alex Bilbie has improved the accessibility of digress.it through the use of better semantic markup. digress.it is available to use on the University of Lincoln WordPress platform.

When did the project take place?

June 2009 to December 2009. May 2010 to July 2010 (Benefits and Realisation funding).

What did the project cost?

Total project cost: £32,466.20. Funding received: £25,972.96 + £10,000 Benefits and Realisation funding.

Where can I find more information?

The project website

The JISCPress platform

digress.it

LabTV

What is the project about?

The aim of the project is to combine the skills of Contemporary Lens Media (CLM) students with those of students from the School of Life Science (SLS) to produce high quality instructional/tutorial videos for practical lab skills.

Who is working on the project?

Michael Shaw (SLS) Adam Verity (CLM)

Students: Steve Peake (SLS), Jordan Stebbings (CLM), Hannah Wilson (CLM)

Why are we undertaking the project?

This project is in response to two pressures that SLS is currently facing. Firstly student numbers within SLS are massively increasing, meaning that class sizes are increasing. We are now equipped to teach lab classes of up to 100 students at once with full audio/visual support. The videos produced in this project will become valuable teaching resources to demonstrate practical skills to large classes.
The second follows feedback from recent focus groups with SLS students that although overall more lab time would be ideal, it was particularly familiarity with lab equipment that was most desired. Therefore being able to view videos in advance of classes in their own time would benefit students hopefully making them more comfortable with lab equipment as well as more technically competent.
While SLS have been producing videos internally, it seems logical to capitalise on the filming/editing skills of CLM students to make this process easier, at the same time providing the students with valuable experience in delivering a professional service.

What will the project achieve?

The intended outcomes of this project include:

  • A set of high quality short tuitional videos covering some basic lab skills.
  • Videos tagged with the University of Lincoln logo to be uploaded to YouTube under an appropriate Creative Commons License.
  • Raw footage and project data files to be archived to make producing more videos considerably easier.
  • Valuable experience for all students involved in improving both technical skill and communication skills.

When is the project taking place?

Summer 2012

What is the project cost?

Total project cost: ?1,000.

Linking You

What is this project about?

The Linking You project was a short study for JISC, of our use of web identifiers such as, http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/research or http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studyatlincoln/index.htm.

The work was undertaken by Alex Bilbie and Nick Jackson in the ICT Online Services team and Joss Winn in the Centre for Educational Research and Development.

Why did we undertake the project?

Like most other HEIs, Lincoln?s web presence has grown ?organically? over the years, utilising a range of authoring and content management technologies to satisfy long-term business requirements while meeting the short-term demands of staff and students. We recognise the value of our .ac.uk domain as an integral part of our ?Learning Landscape? and, building on recent innovations in our Online Services Team, re-evaluated the overall underlying architecture of our websites with a range of stakeholders and are engaging with others in the sector around the structure, persistence and use of the open data we publish on the web.

Some preliminary work has already been undertaken in this area and we wanted to use this project to consolidate what we have learned as well as inform our own work through a series of wider consultations and engagement with the JISC community.

What did the project achieve?

We considered web identifiers in the context of our institutional Learning Landscapes project. We undertook an audit of our lincoln.ac.uk web domain as well as those of 39 other HEIs across the UK. We developed a data model of best practice and made recommendations to JISC and the university sector on the use of web identifiers. All of our work was developed into a toolkit for use by the HEI sector.

When did the project take place?

February 2011 to May 2011.

What did the project cost?

Total project cost: £23,642. Funding received: £14,185.

Where can I find more information?

Project blog

Linking You toolkit

LIROLEM

What was this project about?

The LIROLEM project laid the groundwork for the establishment of an institutional repository that supports a wide variety of non-textual materials, e.g. video artworks, performances, architectural documentation and models, without excluding more conventional text based materials, to establish best practice in capturing and describing the requisite information, and to establish the parameters of the repository, with particular regard to physical size, access and scaling for bandwidth.

Why did we undertake the project?

The University of Lincoln wanted to develop a repository in which research outputs, exemplars of student outputs in non-text disciplines, and teaching materials, including copyright cleared digitised texts would be stored.

What did the project achieve?

The LIROLEM project received JISC funding to develop a service model, including a service definition, a model of content organisation, conduct a needs assessment survey of the University, and established a detailed project implementation plan and service and technical models for post funding development. In particular, the University sought to develop a model for the many non-text based outputs of its research, including, but not limited to architectural models, records of animal behaviour, and drama performances.

When did the project take place?

April 2007 to March 2008

What did the project cost?

Total project cost: £80,455.40. Funding received: £29,036.40.

Where can I find more information?

Project wiki

Project website

ON Course

What is this project about?

ON Course complements our existing Academic Programme Management System (APMS) project, which aims to improve course data flows within the institution. The ON Course project has a specific focus on the provision and use of external, public course data and in this respect is located within the context of our larger Open Data project, http://data.lincoln.ac.uk.

Why are we undertaking the project?

For several years the University has been considering implementing a computerised system to manage academic programme (curriculum) information that allows automated version control and archiving of definitive programme information.  We acknowledge that it is essential to have a single source of information for programmes and modules to enable the same information to be available across the University, for Faculties and Professional Service Departments, and for the production of information such as consistent marketing material, academic transcripts, programme and module specifications, and diploma supplements.  An electronic system will also become increasingly needed for requirements such as the HEAR for graduating students, KIS and other public information obligations, including FOI requests.

Consequently, the University has been running a project to implement a new ?Academic Programme Management System? (APMS) and has recently accepted a EU Tender by Worktribe (Nottingham) to deliver this system by August 2012. The requirements for that project are very much focused on the need to ?improve course data flows within the institution? and also requires that the provision of an XCRI-CAP 1.2 feed is also supported. ON Course extends its parent project by building applications using public data managed by the APMS.

What will the project achieve?

The ON Course project has two primary objectives:

  1. To support and disseminate the relevant outcomes of the current acquisition and development of a central, authoritative, Academic Programme Management System (APMS).
  2. To provide a public XCRI-CAP 1.2 feed for all credit-bearing courses at all levels across the institution and develop appropriate ?course data? web services and applications of tangible benefit to the institution and the sector.

When is the project taking place?

February 2012-January 2013.

What is the project cost?

Total project cost: ?107,667.45 (Funding received from JISC: ?79,673.17).

Where can I find more information?

Project blog

Optimal Foraging

What is the project about?

In the fields of animal behaviour and animal ecology students are often taught about classic studies. However, standard lecturing techniques tend not to convey the true excitement, innovations and practicalities that underpin the research. By way of example Alex Kacelnik tested the notion that animals forage optimally by training nesting starlings to forage from a feeder that was located at varying distances from the nest. To replicate such a study within the confines of both the academic year and the timetable would be virtually impossible, with costs far exceeding the benefits. Thus, this project sets out address this by capturing video footage of real birds foraging for nest material at various distances from the nest. By making this footage available on-line, students will be able to collect real data that will enable them to test the underlying concept that animals forage optimally (or not).

Who is working on the project?

Dr Paul Eady

Dr Charles Deeming

Mr Chris du Feu (Treswell Wood Bird Study Group)

Student: Mr Mark Edwards

Why are we undertaking this project?

The main aims are to:

bring to life one of the classic studies in Behavioural Ecology
allow large cohorts of students to engage in the collection and analysis of data that relate to a classic study
deepen students understanding of the difficulties and vagaries of collecting field data
appreciate the difficulties of hypothesis testing when using ecological data

What will the project achieve?

An online video resource of birds collecting nest material from a dispenser. Students will be able to collect real data from this footage (i.e. time spent at the dispenser) and use these data to test functional hypotheses about behaviour.

A better educational experience for the students allowing them to explore in more detail one of the classic studies in animal behaviour.

Training and experience for the named student field worker.

A more efficient yet more realistic learning resource ? in the life sciences we are facing larger and larger class sizes, making realistic practical exercises ever more difficult to deliver. An online resource such as this will offer students a flexible learning opportunity that in the long run (i.e. after the initial investment) will ease pressure on resources whilst enhancing the quality of the experience.

Possibly a research output ? to my knowledge, no-one has ever looked to see if animals forage for nest material according to optimality theory.

Engagement with the concept of ?citizen science? by working on this project with a member of the public.

When is the project taking place?

Spring 2012

What is the project cost?

?960

RoboJam

What is the project about?
The aim of this project is to design, conduct and evaluate a robotic team competition ? RoboJam.  A direct inspiration for the project idea follows a successful organisation of a video game competition, GameJam, organised by the Computing Society members where the student teams from different UK institutions participated in a two day non-stop coding event. The proposed activity will be organised in a similar fashion and initially will be targeted at computing students from different institutions in UK. The project will involve development of appropriate activity tasks that will be the core of the competition. The competition is intended to involve one day of learning the basics of robot design and programming and another day for the actual competition. Therefore two sets of tasks for each day will have to be designed.

Who is working on the project?
Dr Grzegorz Cielniak
Students: Peter Anderson

Why are we undertaking the project?
One of the goals of the project is to improve student engagement and to enrich student experience and therefore an important part of the project will involve design of appropriate methodology for evaluation of the event with respect to these issues. The results of this evaluation will be disseminated internally but also to a wider research community by a joint publication that will be submitted to one of the educational workshops. RoboJam is intended to be a regular activity that will be followed up in future. It is also envisaged that the designed tasks will be adopted for future use in outreach activities in high schools, open days, etc.

What will the project achieve?
The intended outcomes of this project include:

  • a set of training and competition task description documents for use during the RoboJam event;
  • a software framework that can be directly used for the proposed tasks;
  • a hardware set-up and building of a competition arena that could be also used/improved for future competitions;
  • publicity materials in form of leaflets, posters, invitations, etc.;
  • a set of results that will form a base for a publication in one of the educational workshops.

When is the project taking place?
Summer 2012

What is the project cost?
Total project cost: ?1,000.

Robots@OD

What is the project about?

This project starts up a new initiative that will actively involve undergraduate students in the presentation of Lincoln university to open day visitors. Students shall produce demonstrations of mobile robots as a means to foster engagement with technology and nurture interest in research. These days, robots are indeed a popular topic and have a proven potential as attractions (not only recently underpinned by the overwhelming success of the ?Robotville? exhibition in the London Science Museum). This new project sets out to get undergraduate students mainly studying computing programmes to develop a robotic demonstrator based on research platforms available at the Centre for Vision and Robotics Research and present such a platform to the visiting public. With this project, the foundation shall be laid for such an initiative and the required basic technologies and information materials shall be produced. Its outcomes will enable future students to work with and enhance robot technology and present it to others.

Who is working on the project?

Dr Marc Hanheide

Dr Grzegorz Cielniak

Dr Nicola Bellotto

Students: To be recruited.

Why are we undertaking the project?

This project serves two key objectives:

First, it gives students an opportunity to learn and present state-of-the-art robot technology to their fellows and to enhance their presentation skills; and second, the university will benefit from this initiative through the visible commitment, passion, and engagement of the student presenting technology which is expected to have a positive impact on recruiting.

The Robots@OD project is at the heart of the ?student as producer? initiative. The project will endow participating students with the required skills and knowledge to (i) produce a robotic demonstrator from existing building blocks and (ii) to present their product in an inspiring and engaging way.

What will the project achieve?

The project intends to develop the foundations for a long-term initiative. The intended outcomes of this project include:

  • a small-scale robotics software toolkit suitable for demonstrations based on the existing technology (e.g. the Robotic Operating System);
  • a prototype robot demonstrator featuring a mobile robot suitable for presentation to the public by the students;
  • publicity materials in form of leaflets and YouTube videos; and
  • an on-line infrastructure consisting of a Wiki system and software repository to aid sustainability of the initiative.

When is the project taking place?

Summer 2012

What is the project cost?

Total project cost: ?1,000. Funding received from LNCD.

Total Recal

What was the project about?

The Total Recal project developed ?My Calendar?, a new space-time service for university staff and students. Work was undertaken by Alex Bilbie and Nick Jackson in the ICT Online Services team and Joss Winn in the Centre for Educational Research and Development.

Why did we undertake the project?

The work undertaken by the Total Recal project will improve the student experience by providing end-users with a cutting-edge, centrally supported calendaring service driven by existing aggregate services at the University of Lincoln. The plugins, full documentation and further libraries and code examples for the service will be offered to the JISC community for use by their own institutions.

What did the project achieve?

Building on Student as Producer, a university-wide initiative to improve collaborative, undergraduate research, this student-driven project discussed, documented and developed API plugins for a number of common corporate applications in the HE sector. The plugins expose space-time data in an open, standardised format that can then be queried and aggregated by a student-centred calendaring service: My Calendar.

When did the project take place?

August 2010 to February 2011.

What did the project cost?

Total project cost: £35,345.30. Funding received: £28,274.24.

Where can I find more information?

Project website

My Calendar website