Throughout the year JISC CETIS produces a number of reports and publications for the UK Higher and Further Education sectors. A selection of our recent publications can be found here. Resources in specific themes areas can be found on the topic pages.
CETIS Briefing Paper
Link: Activity Data and Paradata (pdf)
Link: Activity Data and Paradata (MS Word .docx)
This briefing introduces a range of approaches and specifications for recording and exchanging data generated by the interactions of users with resources.
Such data is a form of Activity Data, which can be defined as “the record of any user action that can be logged on a computer”. Meaning can be derived from Activity Data by querying it to reveal patterns and context, this is often referred to as Analytics. Activity Data can be shared as an Activity Stream, a list of recent activities performed by an individual. Initiatives such as OpenSocial, ActivityStreams and TinCan API have produced specifications and APIs to share Activity Data across platforms and applications.
While Activity Streams record the actions of individual users and their interactions with multiple resources and services, other specifications have been developed to record the actions of multiple users on individual resources. This data about how and in what context resources are used is often referred to as Paradata. A specification for recording and exchanging paradata has been developed by the Learning Registry, an open source content-distribution network for storing and sharing information about learning resources.
Continue reading Activity Data and Paradata
CETIS Analytics Series
ISSN 2051-9214 Vol 2, No 2.
Link: CETIS Analytics Series Vol 2, No 2. Acting on Assessment Analytics (pdf)
Link: CETIS Analytics Series Vol 2, No 2. Acting on Assessment Analytics (MS Word docx)
Over the past five years, as part of its overall developments in teaching and learning, The University of Huddersfield has been active in developing new approaches to assessment and feedback methodologies. This has included the implementation of related technologies such as e-submission and marking tools.
In this case study Dr Cath Ellis shares with us how her interest in learning analytics began and how she and colleagues are making practical use of assessment data both for student feedback and overall course design processes.
Continue reading CETIS Analytics Series: Case Study, Acting on Assessment Analytics
Link: Writing in Book Sprints (OER13 Conference Paper) (PDF)
Link: Writing in Book Sprints (OER13 Conference Paper) (MS Word .doc)
Outlines a novel approach taken by Jisc and Cetis to synthesise and disseminate the technical outputs and findings of three years of HEFCE funded UKOER Programmes. Rather than employing a consultant to produce a final synthesis report, the authors decided to undertake the task themselves by participating in a three-day book sprint facilitated by Adam Hyde of BookSprints.net. Over the course of the three days the authors wrote and edited a complete draft of a 21,000 word book titled “Technology for Open Educational Resources: Into the Wild – Reflections of three years of the UKOER programmes”.
Continue reading Writing in Book Sprints
The Learning Registry: social networking for open educational resources? (OER13 Conference paper) (PDF)
The Learning Registry: social networking for open educational resources? (OER13 Conference paper) (MS Word .doc)
This paper reflects on Cetis’ involvement with the Learning Registry and Jisc’s Learning Registry Node Experiment at Mimas (The JLeRN Experiment), and their application to UKOER initiatives. Initially funded by the US Departments of Education and Defense, the Learning Registry (LR) is an open source network for storing and distributing metadata and curriculum, activity and social usage data about learning resources across diverse educational systems.
Continue reading The Learning Registry: social networking for open educational resources?
Link: New Approaches to Describing and Discovering Open Educational Resources (OER13 Conference paper)(PDF)
Link: New Approaches to Describing and Discovering Open Educational Resources (OER13 Conference paper) (MS Word .doc)
This paper reports and reflects on the innovative technical approaches adopted by UKOER projects to resource description, search engine optimisation and resource discovery. The HEFCE UKOER programmes ran for three years from 2009 to 2012 and funded a large number and variety of projects focused on releasing open educational resources (OERs) and embedding open practice. The Cetis Innovation Support Centre was tasked by JISC with providing strategic advice, technical support and direction throughout the programme. One constant across the diverse UKOER projects was their desire to ensure the resources they released could be discovered by people who might benefit from them; if no one can find an OER no one will use it. This paper will focus on three specific approaches with potential to achieve this aim: search engine optimisation, embedding metadata in the form of schema.org microdata, and sharing “paradata” information about how resources are used.
Continue reading New approaches to describing and discovering open educational resources
CETIS Analytics Series
ISSN 2051-9214 Vol 2, No 1.
Link: CETIS Analytics Series Vol 2, No 1. Case Study, Engaging with Analytics
Link: CETIS Analytics Series Vol 2, No 1. Case Study, Engaging with Analytics (MS Word .docx)
Jean Mutton, Student Experience Project Manager, University of Derby, shares with us some approaches she has been spearheading in terms of using data and analytics to help improve the student experience. Through their participation in Jisc development programmes, Jean and her team (including paid student interns) have taken a service design approach that focuses on the needs of end user first.
This case study explores the wider issues around using data to inform decision making, and the strategies the University of Derby are developing to improve their student enhancement processes by addressing key questions such as:
- What is actually happening to students, how can we find out?
- What are the touch points with between students and the institution?
- What are the institutional “digital footprints” of our students?
- What really matters to our students?
Continue reading CETIS Analytics Series: Case Study, Engaging with Analytics
CETIS White Paper
Link: MOOCs and Open Education: Implications for Higher Education (pdf)
Link: MOOCs and Open Education: Implications for Higher Education (MS Word docx)
This report sets out to help decision makers in higher education institutions gain a better understanding of the phenomenon of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and trends towards greater openness in higher education and to think about the implications for their institutions. The phenomena of MOOCs are described, placing them in the wider context of open education, online learning and the changes that are currently taking place in higher education at a time of globalisation of education and constrained budgets. The report is written from a UK higher education perspective, but is largely informed by the developments in MOOCs from the USA and Canada. A literature review was undertaken focussing on the extensive reporting of MOOCs through blogs, press releases as well as openly available reports. This identified current debates about new course provision, the impact of changes in funding and the implications for greater openness in higher education. The theory of disruptive innovation is used to help form the questions of policy and strategy that higher education institutions need to address.
Continue reading MOOCs and Open Education: Implications for Higher Education
CETIS Analytics Series
ISSN 2051-9214 Vol 1, No 11.
Link: CETIS Analytics Series Vol 1, No 11. Analytics Tools and Infrastructure (pdf)
Link: CETIS Analytics Series Vol 1, No 11. Analytics Tools and Infrastructure (MS Word .docx)
Analytics is notable in that it is a headline grabbing trend in many domains, but has also been around for a long time under various other labels. One consequence of that longevity is that there is a bewildering array of tools available that can support an analytics process in some way.
An exhaustive overview of all such tools is near impossible, and probably out of date the moment it’s finished. What is possible, however, is to provide a map of the major categories of tools, and highlight some landmark tools that are available now.
Because of the diverse history and practice of analytics, many different categorisations are possible, but we choose to group them by tradition, or established approach. One reason is that such an approach makes tools more easily comparable, because they have been developed to meet the needs and expectations of their communities over time. The other reason is that it tallies closely with other papers in the CETIS Analytics Series of which this briefing is a part.
Continue reading CETIS Analytics Series: Infrastructure and Tools for Analytics
Reflections on three years of the UK OER Programmes.
Between 2009 and 2012 the Higher Education Funding Council funded a series of programmes to encourage higher education institutions in the UK to release existing educational content as Open Educational Resources. The HEFCE funded UK OER Programme was run and managed by the JISC and the Higher Education Academy. The JISC CETIS “OER Technology Support Project” provided support for technical innovation across this programme. This book synthesises and reflects on the approaches taken and lessons learnt across the Programme and by the Support Project.
This book is not intended as a beginners guide or a technical manual, instead it is an expert synthesis of the key technical issues arising from a national publicly-funded programme. It is intended for people working with technology to support the creation, management, dissemination and tracking of open educational resources, and particularly those who design digital infrastructure and services at institutional and national level.
Published by University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB
ISBN: 978-0-907311-35-5 (print on demand: book (£3.36) printed by Lulu; or free pdf to print yourself)
ISBN: 978-0-907311-36-2 (ebook, Kindle: free download; or from Amazon (77p))
ISBN: 978-0-907311-37-9 (ebook, ePub: free download)
ISBN: 978-0-907311-38-6 (ebook, pdf: free download)
(All prices are the minimum for the distribution channel)
Licence and source
Into the wild – Technology for open educational resources by Amber Thomas, Lorna M. Campbell, Phil Barker and Martin Hawksey (Eds) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) to remix (to adapt the work) and to make commercial use of the work under the proviso that you attribute the origin of the work (if possible please include the title, the names of the editors / authors and a link to this page).
To help you re-use this work editable formats are available. We originally wrote the book using the BookType, an online collaborative authoring and publishing platform. Booktype will allow you to clone our source, contact Phil Barker if you would like to do so. There is also a Word .docx file that we used for the final published versions.
Errors and bugs?
There are some minor bugs in some versions: bullet points don’t display well on the kindle version, reference links are erratic on the ePub version (more for some readers than others), the images on the print pdf have white lines on them. We hope none of these are serious problems for you. If you do find a serious problem please contact Phil Barker.
CETIS Analytics Series
ISSN 2051-9214 Vol 1, No 10.
CETIS Analytics Series Vol 1, No 10. Analytics for Teaching Practice (pdf)
CETIS Analytics Series Vol 1, No 10. Analytics for Teaching Practice (MS Word .docx)
Many strong claims have been made for Learning Analytics and the potential which it has to transform the education system, which deserve to be treated with caution, particularly as they regard teaching practice.
The introduction of these techniques cannot be understood in isolation from the methods of educational management as they have grown up over the past two centuries. These methods are conditioned by the fact that educational managers are limited in their capability to monitor and act upon the range of states which are taken up by teachers and learners in their learning activities. Strategies for simplification have been developed which classify the range of knowledge as a number of subjects, reduce the subjects to courses, and assign students to cohorts which carry out the same activities. Teachers, meanwhile, deal as best they can with the full variety of learners’ needs in their practice. Over the years, an accommodation has developed between regulatory authorities, management and teaching professionals: educational managers indicate the goals which teachers and learners should work towards, provide a framework for them to act within, and ensure that the results of their activity meet some minimum standards. The rest is left up to the professional skills of teachers and the ethical integrity of both teachers and learners.
This accommodation has been eroded by the efforts of successive governments to increase their control over the education received by both school and higher education students. Learning Analytics radically reduces the effort involved in gathering information on the way in which lecturers deliver the curriculum, and also to automate the work of analysing this information. An alliance of these two trends has the potential to constrain teaching practice, and therefore it is necessary to take a systemic view when assessing the impact of analytics on teaching practice.
Three types of analytics intervention are discussed, in terms of their impact on practice.
- efficiency in the wider functioning of the institution, which has few implications for teaching practice,
- enhanced regulation of the teaching and learning environment, which has potentially negative impact on teaching practice,
- methods and tools intended to help lecturers carry out their tasks more effectively, which have the potential to be a useful tool in teaching practice.
It is concluded that Learning Analytics should not be seen as a short cut to providing teaching professionals with universal advice on ‘what works’, and that its use to increase the accountability of teachers to management may have unintended negative consequences. Rather, the most promising area for enhancing teaching practice is the creation of applications which help teachers identify which of the many interventions open to them are most worthy of their attention, as part of an on-going collaborative inquiry into effective practice.
Continue reading CETIS Analytics Series: The impact of analytics in Higher Education on academic practice