About a month ago myself and Max ran a workshop for a class of level 3 computing students, the original post can be found here. Following on from this we ran a second workshop session with this group recently. The purpose of this session was to gather feedback about how the DIVERSE tool is progressing, and more importantly whether the changes we have been making are an improvement or not.
Overall the feedback from this session was very good, and definitely highlighted that the changes made recently are a step in the right direction.
The two graphs below highlight the difference in feedback between each sesion.
A graph showing the change in feedback between the two workshops
A graph showing the change in feedback between the two workshops
One of the initiatives heavily tied in with projects like DIVERSE is the Student as Producer agenda. The Student as Producer agenda is all about putting the focus back on research at university. In their own words Student as Producer:
“Student as Producer restates the meaning and purpose of higher education by reconnecting the core activities of universities, i.e., research and teaching, in a way that consolidates and substantiates the values of academic life. The core values of academic life are reflected in the quality of students that the University of Lincoln aims to produce. Student as Producer emphasises the role of the student as collaborators in the production of knowledge. The capacity for Student as Producer is grounded in the human attributes of creativity and desire, so that students can recognise themselves in a world of their own design.”
As part of the I’m a Producer day ran yesterday, we gave a demonstration of DIVERSE and also took part in a Q & A session regarding DIVERSE and Student as Producer. Overall this session went well, and provided us a good oppurtunity to further spread the word about DIVERSE. Furthermore the students who attended this session showed a definite interest in DIVERSE and liked the idea. All of this will hopefully prove invaluable when DIVERSE is fully rolled out and in use properly next semester.
For more information about the Student as Producer click here
Based on previous feedback from students and staff using DIVERSE we have made a number of changes to DIVERSE. So to keep everyone up to speed l decided to write this blog post to keep everyone updated with what has been happening lately.
Firstly DIVERSE is in full swing in terms of its deployment to faculties and is being actively used by computing students currently. The hope is to have classes from other faculties using it regularly in the near future.
From a more technical perspective DIVERSE has seen a number of overhauls aimed at improving usability for users of DIVERSE. These changes have been heavily driven by the feedback we have received from users.
These changes include the new more user friendly and SEO (search engine optimised) links.This means rather than having to go to diverse.lincoln.ac.uk/application/index.php?module=101&topic=hello-world which is difficult to remember and also bad from a security perspective. Instead clouds can be accessed in the following manner: http://diverse.lincoln.ac.uk/module/101/topic/hello-world, which is much cleaner and simpler. This may however change in the near future to become http://diverse.lincoln.ac.uk/101/hello-world, depending on user feedback.
The second usability change is that resource clouds themselves have been made to fit more consistently with the rest of the project website; consistency was an issue raised by many users. This means that all DIVERSE pages share the same header and footer allowing users constant access to key parts of the project website e.g. support, documentation etc.
Following on from this, the add page functionality has also been reworked and updated. The new system involves a 2 step process. Firstly the user fills out the URL as normal:
Step 1 for adding a resource
Then if necessary the user is taken to a second step in which an image selection form is presented, the aim of this is to help reduce the number of default icons being used and to ultimately make resource clouds look more varied and useful to users.
Add a resource step 2
In addition there have also been some smaller additions made to DIVERSE, these include the inclusion of a profile page and cloud list page which allow users to see the clouds they have access to currently. As well as this as part of the research aspect of DIVERSE a statistics page has been created which presents the data DIVERSE is collecting in a more user friendly manner. An example of part of the stats section can be seen below:
Stay tuned for more updates and news.
Just a quick update of recent events regarding DIVERSE. The main news for today is that myself and Max took part in a meeting with lectures from the faculty of Health, Life and Social Sciences who are interested in using DIVERSE in their modules. The meeting proved there was a definite interest amongst the lecturers regarding DIVERSE. Furthermore we gathered yet more ideas and opinions on what can be added to DIVERSE in the future; for example one interesting area to consider is the idea of staff creating their own semi private clouds as part of their research, so DIVERSE becomes helpful not only for student research, but also for staff collaboration on research projects. This alongside the other demonstrations of the tool means we have a wealth of ideas to improve DIVERSE.
The current plan is to start integrate DIVERSE with students in HLSS in the coming weeks. More on this will be posted once the timetable for this roll out is finalised.
Finally just to keep you updated with other project goings on, myself and Max have 2 sessions with students from Business & Law tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled for more news on that shortly.
Today as part of our on-going work to integrate and launch DIVERSE, we took part in a session introducing computing students to DIVERSE. In this session myself and Max gave a talk to level 3 computing students. This talk consisted of giving students an insight into the on-going development of DIVERSE, as well as highlighting the benefits and changes we hope DIVERSE will have on their own studies. This talk also involved a guided and informative tour of how to use DIVERSE, and also was linked back into the students current studies by introducing DIVERSE as a case study for component based software engineering.
Overall myself and Max believe the session went well and ran smoothly, and hopefully has had a positive impact on students and helped raise their awareness of not only DIVERSE, but also other university projects linked to DIVERSE such as Nucleus, OAuth & Jerome etc. Which students may previously have been unfamiliar with.
The second part of this session consists of a workshop which will take place this Friday. This workshop will involve the 40 or so students who took part today actually using DIVERSE and populating resource clouds for a given topic. In this session we will hand out questionnaires and gather volunteers to gain further feedback on the DIVERSE tool. We hope that this feedback can then be used to enhance and improve DIVERSE overall.
The lecture slides from today’s session can be accessed below.
DIVERSE presentation 26/10/2011
Just a quick update today. Following on from my previous post last week I am pleased to announce that DIVERSE now has a dedicated support page. This support page can be accessed here and contains a knowledge base and also allows visitors to open support tickets regarding DIVERSE. This allows us to centralise the technical support for DIVERSE and makes it more manageable as we roll out DIVERSE to students.