DEVELOP Project Lunch Summary

Last Friday, the Project Team gave a summary of the DEVELOP Project’s aims and the work done so far at a SeLCs’ (School e-Learning Co-ordinators) lunch event. About twenty people attended, five of them pilot leads from the project who were kind enough to get involved in the discussion that developed around the demonstration.

Maria began by giving an introduction to the project, then Karsten and I gave a demonstration of the video widget. Unfortunately, this was somewhat scuppered by the fact that the videos on the server would not play during the lunch (we ended up having to put this down to the server as the widget itself seemed to work properly).

Karsten then demonstrated the tagging and recommender widget functionality that we have developed so far. We got some interesting questions and feedback on this, mostly regarding the recommender feature whereby students are able to recommend links related to tags set up by the lecturer/tutor. Some suggestions we got were as simple as having the student’s name show under each link as opposed to their username (which is what we have currently). Another of these simpler suggestions was that students be given the opportunity to leave a comment or description for any link they happen to post.

One of the more complicated questions that arose was whether the tool should suggest existing tags for use by the lecturer so that the course doesn’t end up with an array of similar but slightly different tag. Karsten said this was actually an issue that had been discussed within the Project previously and that it had been decided for simplicity’s sake (please correct me if I am wrong, Karsten) that we would forego “predictive tagging” (as I have been calling it) or “ontologies” (as he termed it). Another suggestion came from Law that we should enable cross-course tagging, another question that has arisen previously.

Click this picture to see the video

I then showed the work I had been doing with the portfolio widget in Blackboard. I have included a video in this post (below) which roughly displays what I demonstrated.

[Currently working to get the video up here — seem to be some issues with WordPress that IT Services need to resolve.] [UPDATE: Rather than wait for the embedding issues to be resolved, I’ve decided to upload the video to our streaming server and link to it from here; please click on the screenshot here to see the video. 30-JUNE-2011]

We went on to discuss the work that will follow this, namely the feedback and export widgets which we are to produce soon. Louise Hague who was present at the meeting referred back to the conversation I had with her back in September — but I had a separate catch-up meeting with her just yesterday so I will post my account and thoughts on this in a separate post shortly.

About Guy

I am currently Enhancement Officer (for Education Technologies) at the University of Reading. I am also studying for a Masters in Research at the University's School of Systems Engineering.
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