Activity Data Synthesis

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tabbloid #5: 11 April 2011

This week's Tabbloid is a bit of a bumper edition. The highlights for me are:
- The RISE project have shared a demo of their MyRecommendations prototype and reported a positive reaction from their first Project Board meeting which I noticed was attended by a representative of their 'Improving the Student Experience' programme. Some of their discussions were (perhaps inevitably) around privacy issues which (unsurprisingly) looks set to emerge as one of the overarching themes of this programme.
- LJMU reported on some of the initial hurdles they've faced in trying to extract the desired data from their systems and in their efforts to herd students into a focus group - suffice to say that the Royal Wedding is not really helping matters. The 'what would we do differently' angle they've added to the post is very useful and highlights the difficulty of gauging how much detail is needed in early discussions with internal stakeholders.
- The Leeds Met STAR-trak team have been blogging with vim and alacrity this past week. A gem of insight stood out to me in their post about users:
We are in the fortunate position of already having a proof of concept application. Having something to look at makes it far easier for end users to grasp the potential uses for the application and thus come up with requirements.

- There was also a whir of synthesis team activity - namely, running the first 'virtual event' which I then blogged about, and also Tom Franklin released his guide to writing a robust business case.
- The focus on costs vs. benefits within Tom's guide links nicely to a point noted by Martin Turner on the AGtivity blog relating to questions about "finding and defining the usage and benefit access gives the user" which emerged from last week's #INF11 Programme Meeting in Birmingham. Will we get further down the road on the Activity Data donkey if we focus on finding tastier carrots and do what we can to hide the 'risk stick' out of view (albeit not out of mind)?

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