• Learning Analytics - Machine Learning for a Predictive Analytics dashboard Open or Close
    • Arts
    • Mathematics, Computing and Technology
    • Science
    • Social Sciences
    • Technology Readiness Level 4
    • Velocity - Very Fast
    Learning Analytics - Machine Learning for a Predictive Analytics dashboard

    We are living in a world of data which we add to ourselves with every click and swipe on someone else's website. When we look at data on wind and water movement we can see weather maps that help us understand where the sunny spots are going to be, but what about a map of 'learning movements'. Can you take the data I create as I read papers, write assignments, contribute to discussions (and other typical things that an Open University student does) to help them 'find those sunny spots'? Actually... yes.

    In this slide presentation OU Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Belinda Tynan and OU Professor of Learning Informatics, Simon Buckingham Shum set out some features of the new world of Open Learning Analytics which could help a University to leverage student data for student success. The idea is that every member of the University shares a responsibility for students success - so each member of the institution needs to know what they can do, right now, to help.

    Engaged?

    SCI SOC SSTs for Science and Social Science are first up for S104 and DD101. A number of others have expressed interest in joining the study which we aim to extend into 2014-15. Indeed, we are working on an interactive dashboard which will offer a self service LIVE view of student success and failure trajectories. Help Nigel now, help Sue tomorrow!

    See a demo version of this dashboard on the link below. To see the live dashboard you need to talk to us!

    Find out more about Learning Analytics - Machine Learning for a Predictive Analytics dashboard

    Please contact Zdenek Zdrahal for more information about this project.

  • Next generation webcasting Open or Close
    • Library
    • Science
    • Social Sciences
    • Technology Readiness Level 6
    • Velocity - Very Fast
    Next generation webcasting

    Why not switch on the camera and talk to ALL of your students at once to foreground your excellent OU team? Use a live event to motivate your students to submit that critial first TMA, or tell them about the opportunities that lie beyond the final exam in progressing to other modules in the qualification pathway? Could you imagine a plug-and-play system that lets you 'just switch on live' and talk to the whole course without (significant) external support? Could you plug in a range of live social widgets to bring the scale interactions to life? Could you imagine this at HD quality, but designed to be simple and easy (so lowish tech)? Could you imagine some fixed cameras at fixed locations (eg in your laboratory or field setting that we just 'bring in' as required? Would there be a simple 'manual of doing live events at scale for supporting open learning, that showed how to do cool alternatives to lectures?

    Underpinning research:

    This work builds upon a long track record of research into Webcasting in KMi, which has included the longstanding deployment of the Stadiuim: http://stadium.open.ac.uk/berrill and numerous research papers and research projects. This latest concept is being connected with the FORGE project: http://ict-forge.eu/

    Engaged?

    SCI With S288 we are working on a Labcast concept using interactive live scale webcasting to laboratory courses; SOC with Social Science: we are looking at Large scale conference event system deployment for the summer of 2014, up to perhaps 40k; LIB and with the Library we are looking at a game-style live events at scale.

    Please contact Peter Scott for more information about this project.

  • Social network Analysis Dashboard Open or Close
    • Communications
    • Strategy
    • Technology Readiness Level 6
    • Velocity - Very Fast

    In thinking about emotion in social spaces as they pertain to OU success, how could we capture and listen to our students' feedback in real-time? What are the issues OU students are concerned about? How can we measure their engagement with their courses and fellow students? Which courses are receiving particularly high negative or positive sentiment in comparison to others?

    We developed a set of technologies for analysing social media communities, and have already used them to monitor engagement and sentiment for users and organizations in a variety of social platforms. Figuring out how these things could be deployed to help OU students and staff is in scope...

    Underpinning research:

    This work comes from the large EU project ROBUST http://robust-project.eu/ which explored a range of social data and sentiment mining perspectives.

    Engaged?

    COM With OU Communications, we integrated these services into a web application, specifically designed to answer the questions above for the OU, and to help faculties and tutors to monitor their courses and assess their students' satisfaction in real time. STR With the Strategy Office we are exploring turning this application prototype into a potential support system for the OU.

    Find out more about Social network Analysis Dashboard

    Please contact Harith Alani for more information about this project.

  • Agile meetings Open or Close
    • Mathematics, Computing and Technology
    • Technology Readiness Level 7
    • Velocity - Fast
    Agile meetings

    KMi already provides a prototype service which is OPEN to all OU Users (students and staff) at http://oufm.open.ac.uk. The system is most extensively used for working meetings where the scale (around 40 simulataneous users), or the simplicity of the event design is important. FM events are very light and effective - event participants are not allowed to waste time! Indeed this was the topic of one of the REF impact case studies submitted to the B11 Computing Panel for REF2014.

    But the design, which has been in use for around a decade now is built on a simple Adobe Flash model that needs updating for a more mobile world. And a whole bunch of new ideas (eg. around groups and analytics) are in scope for a 'refresh'. The FM design is that 'simpler is better', so we ensure that the footprint of the app is kept to a minimum, requiring zero training and support; and with very simple self-service management.

    Engaged?

    MCT In Engineering, the Team Engineering course already makes extensive use of peer-support and student groupwork FM sessions; so new features will support extending their uses.

    Please contact Peter Scott for more information about this project.

  • DiscOU - Linked Data for Discovering the Open University Open or Close
    • Communications
    • Library
    • Open Media Unit
    • Technology Readiness Level 7
    • Velocity - Fast
    DiscOU - Linked Data for Discovering the Open University

    Browse, search or query? The original web was conceived as a set of fixed documents linked together by the document author - so a user needed to browse between the links to find something useful hidden in one of those pages. This idea made search a critical feature of our use of the web to quickly reveal documents that other users found had helped them. But in today's web, many documents are created from data at the time that you make a query, just for you. Now, when you shop online or read the news, the product and news pages come from databases, which create the document dynamically from whatever the data says.

    Semantic Web researchers are now offering to make your query very powerful: if we can link those 'data sources' together, and add a layer of intelligence about the concepts in that data we could imagine a whole new range of dynamic web services for you. In response to this promise, smart organizations are now making their databases available as 'linked data' - now open to any service or app that might interconnect it in any useful way. The Open University was the first University to open its linked data service http://data.open.ac.uk and we are showing the way with a range of new apps and services for learning.

    Check out this one: DiscOU helps you discover Open University resources. How about connecting to learning from your couch, using TV linked data - can we help you find something to add to your learning life, as you watch the BBC, for instance? Sure thing: http://discou.info

    Engaged?

    OMU The Open Media Unit now use the deployed demonstrator to 'make sense' of Open University free products and COM the Communications team use the DISCOU services to search and make sense of OU courses relative to other public outputs.

    Find out more about DiscOU - Linked Data for Discovering the Open University

    Please contact Mathieu d'Aquin for more information about this project.

  • Interactive Books get social Open or Close
    • Mathematics, Computing and Technology
    • Technology Readiness Level 4
    • Velocity - Fast

    The Open University has a range of work related to 'rethinking the book' with three interconnected threads. First, we have work on models of production - which is focused on the processes which create excellent knowledge resources, book-like things amongst them. The second, flows from this and is focused on providing tools that will 'open out the book' and create new engagement experiences for the reader - see the Video Concept book illustrated here which does a 'Video Tour' of the Galapagos. Finally, the third thread aims to stretch the book concept yet more and to create a small set of challenging conceptual resources to help us think more clearly about the future of this medium.

    This latter programme of work is the 'interactive concept book'. In this Disruptive Innovation pipe demonstrator we are interested in showing how some of these interactive elements could be actively social. Why not share comments on an illustration that you are reading with your tutor group; why not read along together?

    Here is a fun concept video to stimulate some ideas:

    Engaged?

    MCT With computing we are planning an Interactive book published and disseminated including with internet simulator components; and with Science: We are musing on an Interactive Lab book demonstrator... seeking a champion for that...

    Find out more about Interactive Books get social

    Please contact Kevin Quick for more information about this project.

  • Internet of Things Living Lab Open or Close
    • Technology Readiness Level 4
    • Velocity - Fast

    Have you heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and want to learn hands-on what it is about? Do you want to explore or better understand how the IoT could contribute your domain? Would you like to create an IoT prototype but lack technical skills? Are you an IoT enthusiast and need ICT infrastructure and support? Are you looking for other enthusiasts to develop your latest idea?

    If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, read on...

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is an extension to the current Internet that enables connections and communication among physical objects and devices. In the last years, the Internet of Things has witnessed an outstanding evolution in terms of hardware, e.g., Arduino, communication technologies, RFID, and even higher-level user friendly development environments. Although these technologies are expected to revolutionise the world, the exploration, development, and deployment of IoT applications currently presents a considerably steep learning curve even for ICT experts. It is often necessary to understand novel communication technologies, create reasonably scaled deployments in the real-world, and even cutting-edge Big Data technologies to process the data generated. KMi’s IoT Living Lab is a long running project whose goal is to provide a living lab for those interested in better understanding IoT technologies and the impact it may have on society. The living lab will be a platform where researchers and developers alike will be able to learn, prototype, collaborate and co-create novel IoT solutions.

    Underpinning research:

    The IoT Living Lab, which will initially be launched with seed funding from COMPOSE (http://www.compose-project.eu), will include a set of devices and sensors for testing and prototyping, deployed sensors and services providing data ready to be exploited, a core data processing infrastructure allowing developers to create their applications directly, and a high-level user interface to help develop applications. Thus, whether you are interested in low-level device development or integration, in distributed communication infrastructures, in data processing, or simply in using sensors and devices for your latest project, the living lab should be of interest to you.

    Engaged?

    Nobody... Want in? There are already a range of ideas currently being explored in the context of the living lab ranging from indoors navigation, to crowd-sensing. These and many others will be gradually developed, tested, and released. You are most welcome to join any ongoing efforts or pursue your own one, so come and join!

    Find out more about Internet of Things Living Lab

    Please contact Carlos Pedrinaci for more information about this project.

  • OU 24/7 tv Open or Close
    • OU Student Association
    • Technology Readiness Level 5
    • Velocity - Fast

    Why not broadcast Open University Televison / Radio as a 24/7 live channel compete with chatter about OU products and events. We can stack up cool movies of OU production; we could segway in the behind the scenes looks... we could programme days for each faculty... whoa?! Sounds like a lot of work... but much of the work is pretty easy technically... and the costs do not seem that bad; esp if we could bring in those rushes of significant value that we do not otherwise use; and if we could use the channel to promote the LIVE things we are doing on other things anyway...

    Underpinning research:

    Lots of OU history here... Remeber BBC2 late night, anyone? Why do that again?

    Engaged?

    Nobody... Want in?

    OUSA Radio might just be our way in folks... ?

    Please contact Peter Scott for more information about this project.

  • Pathways to employability Open or Close
    • Technology Readiness Level 2
    • Velocity - Fast

    Career management, training and employability are critical challenges across all sectors of industry. At the same time, there have never been a better time to think rationally about one's employability. Beyond the OU's own linked data, information is available out there from both open government platforms and social networks that, with the set of techniques for data engineering, analytics and recommendation that are developed in KMi, can help students and prospective students establish their own study path, fitting their employment goals, the demand in the current market, and their personal interest.

    Imagine an app where a prospective students can import their LinkedIn profile and explore the set of courses offered by the OU, MOOCs and OERs, specifically recommended to them to fit their objectives, while also showing ways in which they could change or enhance their career through them, all backed by data analytics.

    At a higher level, building such a data ecosystem that connects qualifications, skills and jobs, will not only help learners in getting the most of what the OU and other sources of open education have to offer, it will also make us more effective in building and delivering these courses to the right audience.

    Engaged?

    May 2014 we have agreed a short pilot exercise with Student Services and Open University Worldwide. In the first instance we will look at LinkedIN APIs; connecting data from Wellbeing data sources; and OU student sources to scope this idea ready for a pilot in FY14/15.

    Please contact Mathieu d'Aquin for more information about this project.

  • Augmented Reality learning Open or Close
    • Communications
    • Science
    • Technology Readiness Level 4
    • Velocity - Slow
    Augmented Reality learning

    The third generation of commercial augmented reality (AR) applications and devices is being heralded and – as with all novel technology – it is not clear whether it will become mainstream or only cater niche markets. The deciding factor whether this third wave of AR-software is mature enough for a mass market will be whether better use cases can be developed.

    KMi is pioneering novel applications for professional learning and training, targeting especially the development of ‘kinaesthetic intelligence’, i.e., the mobilisation of tactile and physical abilities associated with bodily interaction in the real world, to create and perform.

    Coming from the 'Blue Collar Learning' in a Factory of the Future context, KMi develops within the TELLME project a tool kit and demonstrators of Augmented Reality technologies that show, how an OU course might deploy Google Glass type situated interaction.

    Engaged?

    Science and Comms have scoped app prototypes.

    Find out more about Augmented Reality learning

    Please contact Fridolin Wild for more information about this project.

  • Evidence Hub Open or Close
    • Education and Language Studies
    • Health and Social Care
    • Technology Readiness Level 7
    • Velocity - Slow
    Evidence Hub

    An Evidence Hub is a 'collective intelligence' tool, designed to help a community pool important problems, share their insights, identify where evidence-based claims can be made, and debate the evidence. A Hub uses different visualizations and geographical maps to show participants how the collective picture is developing. Analytics reports show the different kinds of contributions that members make. Evidence Hubs can be used by professional communities of practice, by students to engage in authentic, collaborative knowledge-building assignments, and by researchers who want to track their impact, and engage in knowledge-building with peers, practitioners and policymakers.

    Underpinning research:

    The Evidence Hub is based on argument visualization research with a long history in KMi, led by Simon Buckingham Shum, and now Anna De Liddo. More widely, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) researchers have studied "knowledge-building tools" for decades, using graphical representations of group knowledge as representations to provoke reflection and constructive discourse.

    The Evidence Hub has been funded and piloted by several OU groups. In addition to those listed below, the OU in Scotland (Work & Learning Hub), KMi (Energy Awareness Hub), University of Bristol (Systems Learning & Leadership Hub), EU FP7 BIG Project (Big Data Hub), and the Institute of Health Visiting (HV Community of Practice Hub). Joint with Institute of Educational Technology, the Hewlett Foundation funded the first hub, for research into Open Educational Resources [http://ci.olnet.org]. IET have since adapted the concept and reimplemented the tool, to create their OER Impact Map [http://oerresearchhub.org/evidence/oer-impact/].

    All of these are listed on the main homepage: http://evidence-hub.net. Key publications establishing the rationale for an Evidence Hub are below:

    De Liddo A. and Buckingham Shum S. (2013). The Evidence Hub: Harnessing the Collective Intelligence of Communities to Build Evidence-Based Knowledge. Large Scale Ideation and Deliberation Workshop, 6th International Conference on Communities & Technologies. Munich, Germany, 29 June-2 July. Open Access Eprint: http://oro.open.ac.uk/38002

    De Liddo A., Buckingham Shum S., McAndrew P. and Farrow R. (2012). The Open Education Evidence Hub: A Collective Intelligence Tool for Evidence Based Policy. Cambridge 2012: Joint OER12 and OpenCourseWare Consortium Global 2012 Conference. Cambridge. http://oro.open.ac.uk/33253

    De Liddo A., Sándor Á. and Buckingham Shum S. (2012). Contested Collective Intelligence: Rationale, Technologies, and a Human-Machine Annotation Study. Computer Supported Cooperative Work 21: 417-448. Open Access Eprint: http://oro.open.ac.uk/31052

    Engaged?

    Evidence Hubs help answer questions such as the following:

    Who in my region is working on this problem?

    Are there any partnerships between projects in these two areas, on this theme?

    What are the key challenges we’re facing?

    Who has potential solutions to these, and what’s the evidence that they work?

    What evidence-based claims can we make with confidence?

    What are the most controversial issues?

    Find out more about Evidence Hub

    Please contact Anna De Liddo for more information about this project.

To find out more about opportunities to engage contact: Alan Fletcher