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.
Link: CETIS Analytics Series Vol 1, No 1. Analytics; What is Changing and Why Does it Matter? (pdf)
This paper provides a high level overview to the CETIS Analytics Series. The series explores a number of key issues around the potential strategic advantages and insights which the increased attention on, and use of, analytics is bringing to the education sector. It is aimed primarily at managers and early adopters in Further and Higher Education who have a strategic role in developing the use of analytics in the following areas:
- Whole Institutional Issues,
- Ethical and Legal Issues,
- Learning and Teaching,
- Research Management,
- Technology and Infrastructure.
Link: http://publications.cetis.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/LTI-Briefing-Paper.pdf (pdf)
The IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specification provides a standard mechanism for seamlessly connecting Interoperability learning applications and remote content to virtual learning environments (VLEs) and enterprise portals.
It is increasing in popularity as a method for providing integrations which are not dependent upon a particular VLE.
This briefing paper provides an overview of the LTI specification and illustrates the benefits for developers, VLE administrators, teachers and learners.
Link: Cloud Computing in Institutions (pdf).
Summary: The term “Cloud Computing” refers to any “computing capability that is delivered as a service over the Internet. While there is no authoritatively accredited definition of the concept, one of the most frequently used definitions is the one given by Gartner, who describe cloud computing as “a style of computing where massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ across the Internet to multiple external
This briefing paper will explain some of the key characteristics and delivery levels of current development and implementations that provide a basis for understanding cloud computing and the ongoing discussion about it.
Link: IMS Question and Test Interoperability v2.1 (pdf).
Providing a decade of interoperable assessment, IMS Question and Test Interoperability is a widely used specification for managing and sharing assessment material. Now that we are near the release of the final version of QTI v2.1 this paper provides an overview of the specification, outlining some of the key features of QTI v2.1 and its value for developers and educators. The intended audience for this paper is managers, learning technologists and developers interested in online and electronic assessment and new to QTI.
Link: Mobile Web Apps (pdf).
With today’s students carrying a vast array of mobile devices that operate across a massively fragmented and shifting market, institutions can find themselves wondering how to deliver content and services specifically designed for mobile use most effectively. Apple’s App Store? Android? Blackberry or Microsoft Phone? Each has created their own app ecosystems.
The aim of this briefing paper is to give institutions an overview of the mobile web space and an understanding of why developing hosted, mobile web applications can offer an attractive and viable solution that can overcome the fragmentation and deliver crossplatform services.
Link: Service design in Higher and Further Education (pdf).
Summary: This guide is an introduction to service design and improvement methodology and its application in Higher and Further Education. It introduces a key technique service blueprinting – which has been used successfully at the University of Derby in the Development and Review of Business Interfaces (DERBI) project to improve the transition stage from applicant to registered student, with a specific focus on the university enrolment process. Together with a theoretical introduction to service design, the guide provides illustrative examples (coloured boxes) of how service blueprinting can be applied.
Link: Download PDF
Summary: This briefing paper provides a high level overview of key concepts relating to the Semantic Web, semantic technologies, linked and open data; along with references to relevant examples and standards. The briefing is intended to provide a starting point for those within the teaching and learning community who may have come across the concept of semantic technologies and the Semantic Web but who do not regard themselves as experts and wish to learn more. The examples and links are intended as starting points for further exploration.
Link: Enabling e-portfolio portability (Leap2A) (html).
Link: Enabling e-portfolio portability (Leap2A) (pdf).
Leap2A is an open specification for transferring learner-owned information between different systems. e-Portfolio tools and systems are now widely used by learners to present evidence of learning, achievements and abilities for many purposes, including application for a job or university, assessment or professional accreditation. During their studies, these learners may invest significant time and effort in collecting, selecting, reflecting on and presenting the information included in their e-portfolios, so it is vital that their work doesn’t disappear or become unusable as learners move to another college, university or into the workplace.
Link: Distributed Learning Environments (pdf).
Summary: After a period of relative stability and deeper embedding, the debate about the role and function of the VLE (virtual learning environment)
within the institution is gathering pace again. Many institutions in the UK
are in the process of reviewing their current VLE provision in the light of
changing pedagogical requirements, more administrative integration and the emergence of new classes of social media on the wider web.
In the past, the requirement for deeper integration with other (administrative) systems gave rise to the MLE (managed learning environment) concept. Later, the demand for greater personalisation and the availability of new web tools gave birth to the PLE (personal learning
environment) debate, in which people radically re- conceptualised the notion of a learning environment. During these phases, however, the VLE still remained a dominant force within institutions. This has resulted in a tension between the role of the VLE as a common tool for the institutional community, the desire to make it permeable to the institutional network and the wider web and to allow greater levels of personalization / customization for individuals and institutions.
A number of working solutions are now emerging to address these tensions. This briefing paper will explore five emerging models, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each and link to working examples and further sources of information.