Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Summer of Student Innovation Showcase

Today I'm at the Summer of Student Innovation Showcase at Reading University. This was funded as part of the JISC codesign programme, and it's great to see so many student projects which have been developed as part of it. It's the second year it's run - students suggest projects to improve student life  and JISC fund them to get them into an early stage of development. 18 student teams are presenting what they've developed over the summer. Amazing how much has been done in a short time.  Each project had a stand with a demo, and gave a 5 minute short presentation. Some of the projects are listed below, and I've done some brief notes, and included a link where there is one. They are definitely worth a look, and it is quite illuminating to see what students think is important to them. Most have a prototype, and have done a pilot, and are are looking to extend the pilot to other Universities.

20,000 students made a complaint about their university in 2012. Student expectations are very high, and student satisfaction is critical. Student feedback is key, so this is a way of collecting feedback from students. Unitu is an app which facilitates a collaborative feedback process by creating communities of course reps and staff where issues can be raised and resolved. Being piloted in two Universities already.

Learning and retaining foreign vocabulary can be difficult. This is an app for teachers and students providing tailored support for commonly taught languages, with a vocabulary library and  tests for students and analytics for staff.

Open Access Button
A suite of  apps to help researchers, students and the public get access to scientific and scholarly open access research. There's also functionality  for publishing your own research in an open access way.

This is a peer to peer teaching initiative enabling medical students to deliver regular structured teaching to younger students. Medical students already help each other and there is currently lots of information from students, on Facebook, Dropbox etc, but it is hard to find. This brings it together. Being piloted at Universty of Liverpool and Limerick.
I was really impressed with this - there's some good content there, and I can see its application to other subject areas.

An app for getting someone to proofread work before its handed in. Based on the premise that it is often difficult to spot your own mistakes and it's expensive to employ a proofreader. This development is an online platform so students can swop their work and proof read others for free.  It also aims to improve reading and writing skills as will be building in tips on grammar and spelling.
Impressed with this one as well - they've given a lot of thought to how they might handle plagiarism etc.

Fully functional app which actively solicits feedback from students after every lecture or seminar and feeds it back to teachers. Being piloted at LSE.

An app designed to help students plan and deliver assigments etc on time - a sort of academic to do list. It helps student meet deadlines. Has a lot of tips built in on referencing etc. Gamification is built in so you can see how far along the timeline you've progressing.
I can see the potential for this to all students. but particularly those who have difficulty organising themselves. 

Students are better connected then ever before, not only to each other but to information and resources.
This is an app which allows students to create and share multiple choice tests. To create a test means you have to understand it. A dashboard is being created to allow insitutions to look at what the students are doing.

A platform for students to submit ideas, discuss them, and have them turned into action by their student union. Ideas can be voted on and have comments on them.
Launched in University of Edinburgh Student Union, and they have built it into their portal so their is single sign on to it.
Free and open source.
I was very interested in this. It looks very much like Ideascale but simpler, and it is free :-)

A murder mystery game as part of student induction. Takes students to places they need to know about, meet people they need to know. Uses a lot of technology including geoloaction maps, virtual reality (aurasma).
This was great, if slightly wacky. Not sure how they would roll it out further as it requires a lot of input form them, but very cool!

A flashcard app for vet students. Lot of content to learn in vet studies they study more species than medical students! Does 3 things. Spaced repetition, a algorithm which schedules a card just before you forget it. Database of 80,000 cards - huge database of vet content. Also uses collaboration - can work with other students.
Saw a demo of this and very impressed, especially with the algorithm which works out when to repeat a card based on when you are going to forget the info.

Project to help students sell themselves. Students undersell themselves through using traditional paper based CVs. Also good way of making better contact with employer at application stage. Biggest problem not technology, but most people don't know what their most sellable skills and assets are. So, as well as making the videos, they run workshops to help students to work out what they should be emphasising.  They've run a pilot scheme at Loughborough University and want to expand. Really good project.

Host and Dine

An app to put students in contact with each other, to cook for and with each other. Encourages
students living in halls to learn, share and cook meals together. For example, you want to cook a Sunday roast. Not practical on your own. So you post it as an event. Others can join, and come over and cook together. Also good for sharing cooking for different cultures. Have run a pilot, and now want to extend it. Also getting in touch with private companies such as Unite.
I though this was great - the pilot has apparently been ery successful.

 Online money saving community which calculates the cheapest prices possible for products and tells you where to get them. Also a crowd sourcing site for people to share information about offers etc.
Developed by a student who was having trouble making ends meet. 

Some of last year's funded projects were also there:

An online noticeboard for students to search, buy and sell at their local university. 
Phase 1 developed and rolled out at Brunel University.
Now looking to roll out phase 2.

Call for Particpants 
This offers tools to researchers to connect them with volunteers to take part in research projects and then for a university to measure public engagement with research

So, a great day, some great projects. Really enjoyed talking to the students.

No comments: