Keith's Blog

Apps for Teaching - Learning - Research

Topic: Agile

It's official - I'm a Social Media Superstar!

📥  Agile, Apps, Co-Design, Enagagement, Jisc, Mobile, Peer Learning, Social Learning Network, Software Development

image of super hereos

Jisc have announced their top 10 UK higher education social media superstars of 2017, and I'm honored to be included!

The top ten higher education social media superstars of 2017

There’s also an announcement in Times Higher Magazine

But in case anyone is wondering why someone with minimal presence on social media should warrant a mention on this listing, the answer is that I’ve been silent-running; working on an internal social media app that provides a safe place for students.

Internal Social Media

Back in 2015, like many other people, we tried using Mainstream Social Media (MSM) with students.  However, it quickly became apparent that there are some intractable barriers: A fundamental issue is that a significant number of students do not want to leave a permanent MSM imprint of their activities undertaken whilst learning. Digital identity and employability are key concerns.

As a result, an internal home-grown app was developed and trialled in the spring of 2016 with a cohort of pharmacy students.

The system was further developed and version 2 has been implemented on a variety of programme units at the university. In addition it has been used for collecting student feedback for staff/student liason committees, and the app itself was the subject for teaching agile development on our MSc in Innovation and Technology Management.

The app seems to have been very well received by both students and academics, and the evaluation data indicates that it is useful for supporting learning:

Study-Space-Evalution-Data

The app also lends itself to role-play remarkably well.

Of course, this was not a solo effort, and I would like to thank everyone who has made this a success. In particular, the Learning Technologists and Academics that have driven the project forward:

Learning Technologists: Rachel Applegate, Geraldine Jones, Yvonne Moore, Paul Pinkney, Kevin Renfrew
Academics: Felia Allum, Albert Bolhuis, Steve Cayzer, John Chew, Julie Letchford, Mirella Di Lorenzo, Philip Rogers and Tony Roath

 

Student Co-Design using Agile

📥  Agile, Apps, Co-Design, Enagagement, social media, Software Development

Following an invitation from Dr Steve Cazyer, Director of Studies, I was involved with a session for the MSc Innovation and Technology Management. This involved some 30 international students studying the programme unit 'Managing Product Development'.

For me, it was an opportunity to find out the features that I should incorporate into the next version of Study-Space which is an enterprise app that is currently being developed and trialed at the university (including Steve's unit) and which shows some promise as a collaborative learning environment or Social Learning Network (SLN). For the students, it was an opportunity to engage and learn about Agile Software development using an authentic real-world example.

Part of the session involved an activity where the students as 'clients' were required to produce a list of enhancements for the app, which they prioritise and pass to the developer (that's me).

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The results for each group reveal some really interesting ideas, such as the facility to upload study material to the app, and discussion boards. I never really expected these! Anyway, pulling these ideas together, Steve facilitated a vote for the top priorities from the entire group, which indicates that the facility to add pictures is the most requested enhancement:

agile-prioritiesI will be taking these ideas forward with the Study-Space development team which comprises of a small group of students that are currently developing the specification and coding the next version. So far,  the 'ground-up' approach seems to be working exceptionally well. The ethos is very much around the idea of 'An App developed by Students for Students'.

Many thanks to Steve Cayzer and the vibrant bunch of students enrolled on ME50236 who were full of creative energy and a joy to work with!

agile-students1

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