Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Day 2 BUMP Update

Day 2 BUMP Update ....

Yesterday resulted in a some successes, especially around rss pulls into the login page, sorting out the various certificates and starting to upload the FAQs.

Today we will be re-allocating our resource towards focusing on the integration between Blackboard and the student record system. A little bit of slippage due to staff issues.

Any questions, please email elevate@ucs.ac.uk

Monday, 30 July 2012

Day 1 BUMP Update

Day 1 BUMP Update ....

Well, it has started. We are progressing very well, in fact a little ahead of the original schedule :-) All the content has been moved to the the Blackboard managed service. Blackboard will be spending the next few days restoring the modules. So we'll be hoping to start the initial testing of the migration by Wednesday.

During today the Elevate Team will be working on the login page, working with Blackboard Project Manager on sorting through emerging issues, talking to UCS IT Services around integration scripts and updating our FAQs.

Any questions, please email elevate@ucs.ac.uk

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Exploring UCS and Ipswich - An Interactive Campus Tour #Layar

During a previous Elevate Development Sprint we create a layer in the Augmented Reality "Layar" app.  The sprint was designed to allow us to test the technology and to find possibly uses for this application.

Since the sprint we have spoken with our Marketing & External Relations team to show them what we developed.  This seemed to fit very well with the work of the Student Recruitment Team, they wanted to create a more interactive campus tour, for open days and visits from prospective students.  The Student Recruitment Team had already starting gathering current students' favourite places around campus and around the town.  We were able to plot these locations on our layer, allowing them to be viewable once the user had downloaded the free "Layar" app, they can then view the "UCS" layer.

Below is a view of the places plotted on the map, this view is also available in a list, or the very visual camera view, where it overlays the locations on the phones screen in real time, so when you are looking at certain locations/buildings the screen will tell you what those are:

Locations on map

Not only do we show the locations that the students' chose, but we also display their comments about the locations, this also allows others to reply to those comments.  As well as being able to see the comments, open times, menu and other information is available.

Student Comments

The Student Recruitment Team produced a "Welcome to UCS Ipswich" brochure, which tells the reader about downloading the app.  This brochures also has embedded video content about locations around the campus, simply by downloading the UCS Connect app, readers can watch videos by holding their mobile device over the appropriate pages.

Welcome to UCS IpswichLayar App UCS Connect Embedded Video

We are now working with our Induction Planning Team to enhance the tour for new students arriving in September.

Couple of things we are playing with over the summer

Against the backdrop of the LearnUCS upgrade and migration project, a re-design of the support programme for Mahara, and a re-design of our Student Induction programme, we are looking to explore the following two requirements, for implementation within pilot studies in October 2012.

Development of a Learning Material Repository. This is based on a project requirement from Radiography. Where they wish to share learning materials (docs, powerpoints, videos and images) between themselves and others within the School. The expectation is to deploy a pilot service modelled around a number of Open Educational Resource Repositories (Jorum - http://jorum.ac.uk & Ostrich - http://ostrich.bath.ac.uk)

Enhancing class based group work. With increasing use of iPads in teaching and learning, and students bring devices to University, this project explores the most effective way of integrating an Apple TV (connected via a VGA connector) to enable easy projecting of student work within a classroom setting. This will explore the requirements around the most efficient way of locking this down for ad hoc (unstructured groups).


Monday, 23 July 2012

LearnUCS Timetable of Work (BUMP No 7)

As part of our project dissemination for the LearnUCS upgrade and migration, we have released the calendar of work packages. This is available from  (we suggest you view this via the Agenda view).

>>> http://bit.ly/learnucscalendar

We'll be adding tasks, descriptions and summary statements for the various work packages as we progress, so simply click on the item to find out more.

If you have any questions, please email elevate@ucs.ac.uk

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Kurogo Mobile Project Plan: Elevate Team

Kurogo Icon As highlighted in the Projects & Pilots section, we will be undertaking a small pilot (proof of concept) project using the Kurogo Mobile Framework. The aim of this project is to build on our initial work in this area, and give us a focus to report back to various groups at UCS, to inform further and wider discussion.

The Elevate Team don't view Kurogo as a learning technology, therefore, it is not something we'd have an obvious ownership over. However, we are interested especially around the location based services as this offers potential interfaces with our existing augmented reality work using Layar and Aurasma.

The broad aims of the project are:

  1. install the Kurogo Mobile Framework on our test server and evaluate if there is a technical fit with UCS

  2. review how the Kurogo Mobile Framework has been deployed at other institutions (http://kurogo.org/examples/)

  3. design and develop a number of mobile learning scenarios which are deployed using the Kurogo Mobile Framework

  4. disseminate the product and outcomes to other interested parties at UCS, including, Marketing, IT Services, Library and Recruitment

The proposed time plan is for the work packages to be undertaken as follows

October 2012

  • installation on test server, and discuss with IT Services about technical fit

  • review of how other institutions have been using the Kurogo mobile framework

November 2012

  • design a number of appropriate learning activities

  • development sprint to create these learning activities

  • document and evaluate

December 2012

  • dissemination event at UCS

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Wolsey - LearnUCS upgrade project: what you need to know

As most people are aware we will be undertaking the LearnUCS (Blackboard) upgrade and migration project during the week starting the 30th July, 2012.

This will involve taking a copy of the last two years worth of material on Wolsey, and moving it to the new hosting service provided by Blackboard. Once the material is moved across it will need to be restored and checked. Overall, we are expecting this to take about 4 to 5 days. Therefore, during the week commencing the 30th July, we would suggest you view Wolsey as read only servive. Given we will copy the material at the start of the week, and the expectation is for the new version to be released over the following weekend, any changes you make to your VLE courses from the 29th July will not automatically come across.

However, to re-assure those using Wolsey during this week, it will still be available for you and your students to complete their online learning activities. The process we have in place is for those who are using the service over the week is to inform us asap and we'll arrange to manually migrate your material at an agreed time. Therefore, you'll have some control over the process, and it will minimise disruptions to your teaching and learning.

From discussion with Academic Support we are aware and working with the Course Administrators for the following courses:

  • Pre Reg Nursing: submission of work during 30th July & 5th August

  • SCPHN– Community programmes and standalone modules: Re-submissions on 3rd August. 

  • Prep for Mentorship: Re-submissions on 1st August

The following steps will limit the likelihood of your material not being transferred to the new version.

  1. Ensure your courses are up to date by the 26th July.

  2. If you are using Wolsey during the week starting the 30th July for critical activities, such as student submission of work, entering student grades, online marking or comments from external examiners, you need to complete the following form to request we manually migrate your courses at the end of the week (http://bit.ly/learnUCScoursecopy)

If you have any questions about the upgrade and migration project please email us at elevate@ucs.ac.uk

The current timetable is available below (you might want to view using the Agenda option)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Ethnographic Practices of Listening - AR Poster

As part of our hub spoke model, we were approached to talk about the use of augmented reality posters. This came about after an informal chat over coffee about what's new in the technology world.

Allison Boggis was interested in utilising UCS' Connect app (Based on Aurasma's AR technology) to make a conference/lecture poster more interactive. When it was agreed the Elevate Team would support this as a case study to determine workflows and point to point turn around time, we sat down with Allison for a chat to begin the process. The chat covered aspects such as size, content and how many AR elements there would be on the poster, however, a large portion was talking about limitations of the technology, I'll rephrase that, talking about 'best practice' for using this technology. Size of the triggers had to be considered, how small can we go? The length of the content (In this case video). How much space dedicated to user instruction on the poster compared to the main content text etc..

  • A2 Poster

  • Trigger image height no higher than a PostIt note (easy reference)

  • 3 Short videos less than 1:30 in length.

We were happy we had a plan, an A2 poster with three AR elements which would be videos of Allison extending and reflecting on the content of the poster. A date was set when we could record the video. A simple HD camcorder and wireless lapel mic were used to capture the three videos in different settings. The next step was to design the poster, a free stock bokeh background was used. One thing we did want to do was to capture the first frame of each video and use that as our trigger image (The area scanned to view the video), this we feel helps bring the poster to life as as soon as the user scans the trigger the image starts to move, unlike having a different image which then suddenly changes when the video plays.

Once the review process had been completed with Allison for the poster design we moved onto adding the AR to the poster using Aurasma's developer studio, this was a quick process.

The overall process was completed over a two week period, totalling roughly 8 man hours on this project.

The result was a visually appealing poster integrated with augmented reality technology, this we feel is a great pre-cursor to stepping into the more student involved teaching and learning aspect of using this type of technology.

Here is a shot of the poster in action (albeit impossible to capture video in a still image).

Ethnograpic Practices of Listening AR Poster

If you would like know more or have a chat with the Elevate Team about this type of technology use the contact us option on this blog.