Activity Data Synthesis

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Tabbloid #6: 18 Apr 2011



There is so much activity data related aceness in this week's Tabbloid that it's hard to know where to begin ... << deep breath >>

Dave Pattern tweeted about the gender differences he'd noticed in one of the #LIDP datasets:
- females have a stronger book & grade correlation than males [src]; and
- males have a stronger e-resource usage & grade correlation than the females [src].

Serendipitously, Paul Bacsich shared a link to Elly Broos' discussion paper: 'Gender Perspective on e-learning and information sharing' which adds some additional context and apparently is generating a good level of debate on the Instructional Technology Forum email list.

The #LIDP project team have been having all sorts of fun with data this past week:
- Dave Pattern has swapped his self-proclaimed 'shambrarian' title for 'shamistician' and has been playing around on the the 'R Project for Statistical Computing' website and also sharing some interesting graphs.
- De Montfort shared their guide to 'stitching together library data with Excel' which makes it look so simple that I'm almost tempted to have a go myself.

The #JISCSALT project team shared their news that, somewhat surprisingly, that extracting a sample of data from the LMS at John Rylands had been easier than expected which bodes well for extracting the remaining 3.5 million records. Janine Rigby also shared her thoughts on what shape the user evaluation of their recommender tool will take - the plan is to gauge users' attitudes to data privacy as much as their thoughts on the tool itself and a deeper understanding of the subtle hierarchies of trust and perception of value that are in play when users evaluate recommendations.

Finally, a couple of 'wider world' links worth taking a look at:
- Dave Pattern (again, I know!) flagged up a virtual event being run by The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS). The event was called 'Information Access and Usage Behavior in Today's Academic Environment' and it's worth taking a browse through their archived tweets from April 15th to eavesdrop on some of their interesting discussions - I particularly like the fact that one of the attendees managed to reference Flaubert.
- This Chronicle of Higher Education article on 'higher education's Net­flix Effect' profiles a 'number-crunching provost' in the US who has embraced the power of data to provide course recommendations to students. [spoiler alert: I'm giving them extra brownie points for including the word 'zeitgeist' at the end of the article]

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