Last week, we presented and demonstrated Kritikos to delegates at the 5th International Materials Education Symposium, at the University of Cambridge. We were pleased by the positive reaction that we received and the number of enquiries as to if/when the full functionality of Kritikos would be available to students outside Liverpool.
This morning the team sat down to discuss possible ways forward and agreed in principle that we might be able to work with a small number (3-5) of partner institutions in trialing Kritikos, possibly on the basis of an individual course or module. By way of some guidelines:
- We are looking for a module/course with between 50 and 100 students. If appropriate for the host institution, we could consider a subset of students from larger classes.
- We would require a breakdown of the module/course into its main topics, so that students can relate resources to those topics (rather than the module as a whole)
- We’d aim to trial from Sept-Dec 2013
- At present we have only developed the user interface in English, though the actual search does work in all languages.
- We would need to cover the costs we incur from Google for use of their custom search engine. This is currently charged at the rate of $5 per 1000 requests. There might be some modest additional charges to cover our costs, but the trial would be conducted on a not-for-profit basis.
Please contact Andrew Green [amgreen at liv.ac.uk] if you are interested in participating in a trial. Please note that we will operate on a first come, first served basis.
Tim Bullough, Andrew Green and Adam Mannis will be presenting Kritikos to the 5th International Materials Education Symposium to be held in Cambridge, UK April 4-5, 2013.
Talks, workshops, and poster sessions will focus on four key themes:
- Engaging Student Interest
- Crossing Disciplines: Design & Architecture
- Emerging Opportunities: Sustainable Technology
- International Perspectives
The abstract for the presentation is here.
We are working Computing with CSD to develop an integrated sign-in for Kritikos. At present, it is necessary to redirect users to the University Student Portal in order for them to sign in and perform an initial search from there. In future they will be able to sign in directly from the Kritikos site. We’re sure this will improve the overall experience for Kritikos users.
Today we had a very useful first meeting with Peter Reed from the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences to discuss the possibilities of extending Kritikos for use by students in the Medical School. We recognise that whilst much of the functionality of Kritikos is readily transferable beyond Engineering subjects, we will need to look carefully at how medical students would want to associate learning resources with distinct areas of study (module, topic, learning outcome, etc).
We also discussed how new features could be incorporated; for example how advanced search options might be used to limit results to certain domains, or how in due course, results could be limited to those with existing Learning Registry data attached to them.
We look forward to the possibility of close collaboration with Peter over the coming months and demonstrating the full potential of Kritikos.
During the next couple of weeks, we’re demonstrating Kritikos to the Engineering students here in Liverpool.
Students are invited to drop by and have a play with the search engine; we can try looking for concepts and terminology encountered in the most recent lectures, etc.
If you’re a student and have feedback or comments, please leave a reply in this blog.
Today we sadly bid farewell – or do svidaniya – to Tatiana Novoselova, a key member of the ENGrich/Kritikos team, who leaves the EMERG team at the University of Liverpool for Moscow on Thursday. Tanya was instrumental in shaping the original project proposal and subsequently in helping convert our initial ideas into a real workig product with so much potential for future expansion. Thank you for all your help and we wish you all the best in your new life in Russia.
At long last, when all hope seemed to be fading, we have managed to get our Learning Registry node at Liverpool up and running. Thanks to the LR people (especially Jim Klo) for helping identify the problem, but especially to John Gilbertson in our Computing Services Department for his perseverence. Many would have thrown in the towel long ago.
We’ve re-published all the records that our students collated over the summer (32,000 in all – records, not students) and have verified that we can retrieve these data by the various means required.
As it’s a Friday afternoon, we’re not going to try and change the Kritikos website to point to the local node today; better wait and do it properly next week.
UPDATE 4 Mar 17:00
The Kritikos website has now been successfully changed to read all Learning Registry data from the local Liverpool node.
The next step is to change the code to write to the local node. This will require some careful testing, but we confident it can be completed quite quickly.
We are getting ready to “soft launch” Kritikos for all our Engineering students at the University of Liverpool. This demonstrates how they will access Kritikos via the student portal at University of Liverpool. All engineering student at University of Liverpool will have eventually have the Kritikos ‘widget’ pre-installed, so they’ll have access to it as soon as they log in.
Kritikos widget on the student portal at the University of Liverpool
When an user types a search term into the search box in the widget they will be taken to the main Kritikos search page, shown below, with all the results relevant to the particular search term. A user can select the resource type, and the page will display Any resource which already has data associated with it in the Learning Registry is clearly marked by the LR icon at the top-right.
Kritikos search results for Flash movies on tensile testing
Clicking on a thumbnail takes the user to the resource detail page. This provides a mini representation of the resource, and if it is interactive, the user can enjoy the full functionality of it without going to the host page. This is the page where all data associated with an individual resource is displayed. The user can also interact with the resourse, e.g. leave a comment, reccommend it, or assign it as relevant/not relevant to a particular module of study. A user can also add the resource to his/her favourites list. They can also ‘vote’ on the activity of other users by clicking on the thumbs up/thumbs down icons.
Kritikos resource details page
Paul Hagan and Simon Hatton from our Computing Services Department have been a huge help in finalizing the current view of the Kritikos widget and the site itself. Thank you guys!
Filming has been taking place this week and last week for the end of project video. Members of the project team, together with the students that have helped throughout the project, have each been doing their piece to camera.
We’ve also prepared screen capture showing the Kritikos site in operation. As ever, the hard work will be in editing all the footage down to 5 minutes.
A frustrating week as we try – so far without success – to reinstall our Learning Registry node here at Liverpool. It was actually working okay until we wiped the test data in readiness for publishing the main set of documents.
Thanks due to John Gilbertson from our Computing Services Department, and also especially to Nick Syrotiuk from Mimas, for their patience in trying to resolve the issue.
We aim to roll out Kritikos to all the students in the Engineering Dpartment as soon as we can resolve the problems with the node. Some of the front-end web application code will need changing to reflect the new paradata document structures, but believe this can be done quickly.
UPDATE 28 Feb 10:00
John has now tried reinstalling the Learning Registry node onto a clean virtual machine and it still doesn’t work. He suspects that some library file required by the software has been updated and is no longer compatible. Running out of options and ideas
UPDATE 1 Mar 17:00
Problem now resolved – see new posting.