Thursday, 20 May 2010

Rolling on...

Yes, we're one of the few lucky Rapid Innovation projects to receive follow-up funding from JISC! We'll use the funds to carry out a pedagogical evaluation of CloudBank in co-operation with the International Student Centre (ISC) at the University of Sussex. This will strengthen any future bids to develop the system further and thereby address one of the most important aspects of sustainability: funding.

So what do we plan to do?

Based on preliminary talks with Tom Ottway, Head of English at the ISC, we'll use CloudBank in two consecutive language courses with international students. A big hurdle for any mobile learning project is the availability of mobile devices, and to this end we'll purchase a set of cheap Android devices and make them available to students together with with pre-paid internet access. The pedagogical evaluation will then be carried out in collaboration with ESOL teachers at the ISC.

Before we can start however, we need to ready the system for use in a production environment. Currently all user-generated content ends up in the same pool, however, in order to use the system in different contexts and with different user populations it is necessary to introduce the notion of user groups or content channels. This will allow the creation of distinct learning spaces with separate content pools for specific user groups. As a knock-on effect, we also need to update the web interface, technical and end-user documentation.

Finally, the evaluation will yield plenty of material to talk about, and we're planning to do this at the mLearn 2010 conference in Malta to maintain momentum and ensure continued international interest in CloudBank.

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