On Thursday 27th July, I went along to a lecture on data visualisation. I missed out on the workshop due to it being fully subscribed but was able to attend the lecture beforehand ‘Navigating the Visualization Jungle: A 101 to the What, Why and How of Data Visualization’ by Benjamin Bach, a lecturer in ‘Design Informatics and Visualization’ at the University of Edinburgh.
I have compressed this into some interesting links and various visualisation data types Benjamin discussed.
He talked about presentation tools including RAWGraphs which is an online tool where you can upload your spreadsheet data and select how to present it. He wanted to show us the directions of visualisation rather than the solution.
It is worth taking a look at Anscombe’s Quartet if you haven’t heard of it, it shows how the same data can look quite different.
Benjamin tried a few visual tests on us which looked at pre-attentiveness and parallel processing. I found this link Perception in Visualization which has the red dot tests he used on us and more.
He showed us this interactive timeline of wealth and global health life expectancy on Gapminder.
The following resources were created during a ‘DIY Film School’ session at the LTW Staff Meeting on 13th July 2017, held at Dovecot Studios. Our challenge was for groups of ~5 to produce a video pitch for a randomly assigned LTW service. Our service was MyEd, the University’s web portal (available to applicants, students, staff, visitors and alumni).
Video is a powerful medium of communication for staff and students and doesn’t always need high-end production techniques to be effective. This session aims to give you the skills and confidence to beginning filming, using just your smart device.
Please give a warm welcome to Sam Knight (firstname.lastname@example.org), a 3rd year Computing Science student, who has joined us in the role of Teacherbot UG Intern today.
Sam’s main responsibilities include:
Liaising with stakeholders to agree the form and functionality of the new service, including the School of Education group which developed the “Teacherbot” pilot
Creating chatbot definitions in AIML, and migrating existing chatbot definitions to AIML
Configuring and managing the Pandorabot system, including bot definitions, user access, social media integration
Co-ordinating a trial of the new Teacherbot service, alongside the academic team in the School of Education
Helping support early-adopters to get the best out of the service
Managing the web and social media presence of the project
Reporting on adoption and usage
Sam is joining my Interactive Content team within Web, Graphics & Interaction service and will be with us for the next 2 months. He will be working on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week and is based in Argyle House, Floor H-West.
We wish Sam well and I’m sure he will enjoy his time with us.
We are moving! From Monday 21st November our new home will be Argyle House, 3 Lady Lawson Street, in the centre of Edinburgh. The main entrance is opposite Evolution House (Edinburgh College of Art).
Google map directions
When visiting Argyle House you should go to the main reception for the University of Edinburgh on level E (ground floor). They will provide you with a visitor pass. You will need to sign in and out and return the visitor pass at the end of your visit or at the end of the day (whichever comes first).
Our new office desks are located in Argyle House’s west wing on level H (2nd floor). Please note that all bookable meeting rooms are on level E (ground floor).
3 Lady Lawson Street,
The University of Edinburgh,
Level H West,
In 2017 the University of Edinburgh’s Interactive Content service and Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their collaborative and fruitful partnership – only last month both organisations were highly commended in the BMA Patient Information Awards 2016.
Over this past decade developing innovative e-learning resources together several major changes have taken place. The most impactful decision was hopefully making all content developed in-house available as Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Creative Commons licensed (CC BY-NC-ND as minimum).
OERs are open documents that are useful for teaching, learning, educational, assessment and research purposes
This year the partnership has decided to support non-English languages and publish videos that cater to a wider, more inclusive, Scottish audience. Within CHSS the ‘Tackling Barriers’ programme has identified several key languages to target: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Polish, Urdu, Bengali and Lithuanian.
At CHSS we aim to support people in their community. Many with low literacy and English as a second language are not engaging with our services. Through co-production with low literacy and BME organisations and their members we will shape the development of CHSS health information and services. We will do this from inception to conclusion to tackle the barriers to engagement with CHSS services. CHSS will share lessons learnt with other long term condition organisations.
At the time of publication there are now 8 different ‘Tackling Barriers’ videos online and with many more in the production pipeline. Each of these instructional videos show you how to use various inhaler devices (e.g. metered dose inhalers with spacer). They are all available for playback, embedding and download via Media Hopper, Vimeo and YouTube.
Please visit the My Lungs My Life (MLML) resource for more advice, support and information regarding chest illness:
Stemming from our previous blog post Scotland CSS & JS 2016 Stewart Lamb Cromar was kindly invited by Melissa Highton to present a lunchtime talk as part of the PlayFair Steps initiative within ISG.
Stewart’s presentation “Coding For Diversity” covered two key topics – gender and accessibility. His primary aim was to show that equality involves everyone, and web developers in particular can design and build solutions that benefit all of us.
When is it ok to ask?
When is it not ok?
How do you ask about gender?
Designing for diversity helps everyone
Based on the excellent talk Chad Gower gave at Scotland JS 2016, Stewart asked us all to question our existing form design. Do we really need to ask for titles or gender? If we do, then we should explain why, and give people the flexibility to choose a gender or title that they feel best reflects them.
Gender case studies included the analysis of various user registration forms from Vimeo, Facebook, Scratch and several University of Edinburgh websites maintained by the Interactive Content team. Stewart demonstrated what changes his team made to their websites as a direct result of attending Scotland JS 2016 and in research carried out for this PlayFair Steps talk.
In regards to accessibility, Stewart referenced an excellent Render 2016 video presentation by Robin Christopherson that explained how various situations can temporarily give anyone a visual or motor impairment:
Reading glasses or sun glare on screen makes you temporarily visually impaired
Holding coffee in one hand makes you motor impaired
Similarly, small phone and big fingers makes you temporarily motor impaired
The accessibility case study focused on CAPTCHA and how legacy implementations can negatively affect all users, regardless of any impairment.
Stewart concluded his talk by playing back a recent BBC audio interview with a ten-year-old named Leo.
For most of his life, Leo has lived as a girl, but this summer he began to speak openly about his sense that that gender identity wasn’t quite right. With research help for his parents, he’s decided he is non-binary, though for the moment he dresses as a boy and has taken a male name.
N.B. Both the featured image and repeating tile (transparent PNG) used for this article were created by Stewart Lamb Cromar. They are CC BY-SA 4.0 licensed and can be downloaded from this Flickr album:
This years OER conference: #OER16 Open Culture was held in Edinburgh, which was great for the Interactive content team. Now in its 7th year the 2 day conference was a very full and diverse one with people attending from all over the world. There were keynote speakers, presentations, lightning talks, Wikipedia sessions and posters. Many of the presentations were live streamed and can be found on the ALT (Association for Learning Technology) YouTube channel.
What do we mean by open?
There were lots of thought provoking topics. From letting students choose how they learn to letting them use their own tools. From research into the effectiveness of OERs, who has heard of OERs, to what are OERs? Different areas of openness, open to whom and how. The area of copyright, creative commons licensing and ownership to archives and collections.
Day 1 Catherine Cronin, University of Galway, “If ‘open’ is the answer, what is the question?” the first keynote speech on day 1.
I am just covering the topics I attended on the day but there were other sessions in parallel to this. My first session was titled ‘Converging or diverging cultures of openness’:
Awareness of OER and OEP in Scotland: Survey Findings from the OEPS Project: this covered the findings of the survey which covered higher and further education. Some of the interesting things from this research is the need for staff development and sharing practices.
Veethika Mishra a student from India presented: GameEd Archive: OER for tabletop games: for such a large industry she emphasised that the educational value of table top games is underestimated and underutilised.
Connecting Resources and Users – requirements for a federated cross-sectorial infrastructure for OER: feasibility study based in Germany around repositories, distribution and the needs of different educational sectors.
In the afternoon I attended the ‘Converging or diverging cultures of openness’ again which covered more aspects of OERs:
Finding the open in the in-between: changing culture and space in higher education: In-between: Third space, Third place, Liminality. Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute, Retain.
Open Educational Resources and Tools for the Digital Student: collaboration between 2 universities one in Romania and the other the US, the students work together and share resources, using open educational tools and social media such as ThingLink, Google hangout, Voicethread and SoundCloud.
Doing OER: Developing an institutional OER policy and how that policy might influence practice. Open.ed Stuart Nicol
Converging Cultures of Open in Language Resources Development: Mining and data driven learning, linguistic data, FLAX project domain-specific language collections.
Day 2 started with an excellent keynote from Edupunk Jim Groom, Reclaim Hosting “Can we imagine tech Infrastructure as an Open Educational Resource? Or, Clouds, Containers, and APIs, Oh My!”.
My first session was called ‘Innovative approaches to opening up cultural heritage collections for education’:
Bastille, a pop group or a French Fort? How the Research and Education Space (RES) is using linked open data to open up cultural heritage collections so they can be used in education: a project funded by Jisc, the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) and the BBC
Learning Effectiveness and Perceived Value of Wikipedia as a Primary Course Resource: research based at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya which compared sets of students using Wikipedia
Open education: “Runnin’ with the Devil”: are we critical in our thinking and writing? Paper citation, semantometrics and citation metrics
Open education on Wikipedia’s sister projects: Wikipedia is well known but there are a number of other equally interesting open projects such as Wikisource, Wikibooks where students can create their own textbooks