As part of our work in the areas of open educational resources and data analysis CETIS are undertaking a new project to visualise the outputs of the JISC / HEA Open Educational Resource Programmes and we are very lucky to have recruited data wrangler extraordinaire Martin Hawksey to undertake this work. Martin’s job will be to firstly develop examples and workflows for visualising OER project data stored in the JISC CETIS PROD database, and secondly to produce visualisations around OER content and collections produced by the JISC / HEA programmes. Oh, and he’s only got 40 days to do it! You can read Martin’s thoughts on the task ahead over at his own blog MASHe:
PROD Data Analysis
A core aspect of CETIS support for the OER Phase 1 and 2 Programmes has been the technical analysis of tools and systems used by the projects. The primary data collection tool used for this purpose is the PROD database. An initial synthesis of this data has already been completed by R. John Robertson, however there is potential for further analysis to uncover potentially richer information sets around the technologies used to create and share OERs.
This part of the project will aim to deliver:
- Examples of enhanced data visualisations from OER Phase 1 and 2.
- Recommendations on use and applicability of visualisation libraries with PROD data to enhance the existing OER dataset.
- Recommendations and example workflows including sample data base queries used to create the enhanced visualisations.
And we also hope this work will uncover some general issues including:
- Issues around potential workflows for mirroring data from our PROD database and linking it to other datasets in our Kasabi triple store.
- Identification of other datasets that would enhance PROD queries, and some exploration of how transform and upload them.
- General recommendations on wider issues of data, and observed data maintenance issues within PROD.
Visualising OER Content Outputs
The first two phases of the OER Programme produced a significant volume of content, however the programme requirements were deliberately agnostic about where that content should be stored, aside from a requirement to deposit or reference it in Jorum. This has enabled a range of authentic practices to surface regarding the management and hosting of open educational content; but it also means that there is no central directory of UKOER content, and no quick way to visualise the programme outputs. For example, the content in Jorum varies from a single record for a whole collection, to a record per item. Jorum is working on improved ways to surface content and JISC has funded the creation of a prototype UKOER showcase, in the meantime though it would be useful to be able to visualise the outputs of the Programmes in a compelling way. For example:
- Collections mapped by geographical location of the host institution.
- Collections mapped by subject focus.
- Visualisations of the volume of collections.
We realise that the data that can be surfaced in such a limited period will be incomplete, and that as a result these visualisations will not be comprehensive, however we hope that the project will be able to produce compelling attractive images that can be used to represent the work of the programme.
The deliverables of this part of the project will be:
- Blog posts on the experience of capturing and using the data.
- A set of static or dynamic images that can be viewed without specialist software, with the raw data also available.
- Documentation/recipes on the visualisations produced.
- Recommendations to JISC and JISC CETIS on visualising content outputs.