Hold the front page! Academic IT hits the headlines

The Technology Enhanced Learning team made news headlines this month, including the front page of the University website (twice), the front page of the BBC, and the DailyInfo podcast.

Oxford at War 1914-1918 roadshow

Alun Edwards was interviewed for DailyInfo and the Oxford Mail in the run-up to the Oxford at War 1914-1918 roadshow on 12th November. Dr Ylva Berglund Prytz, Sarah Wilkin and Alun coached more than 20 volunteers, who learned first-hand about the techniques of public engagement and outreach in which Academic IT excels.

A group of smiling early career First World War researchers

Researchers from around the world (attending the International Society for First World War Studies conference in Oxford) were coached by our team before working at the roadshow

Glass-fronted training space, and corridor

The roadshow showcased the flexibility of the new training spaces offered by the Thames Suite which is managed by the ITLC in Academic IT

An Antiques Roadshow style inteview concludes with smiles from the team

The Educational Media Unit filmed interviews with the public, helped by young volunteers

Remembering #TheOxfordSomme

Cover photo of No Man's Land during the First World War with the Twitter campaign details for #OxfordSomme

After a great deal of team effort to craft hundreds of tweets, on 18th November the Technology Enhanced Learning team created #TheOxfordSomme. This is an online memorial on Twitter to the 394 members of the University who fell during the Battle of the Somme (1st July – 18th November 1916). This was done as part of the University’s commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. #TheOxfordSomme drew a lot of attention on Twitter, and could not have been achieved without the enthusiastic support of the network of college librarians and archivists who shared photographs, links, and online memorials.

Thank you @ww1Centenary for the moving #TheOxfordSomme memorial today #ww1 [Worcester College Archivist on Twitter]

Impressions tell only part of the story, some engagements from 18 November for @ww1Centenary

Impressions tell only part of the story, some engagements from 18 November for @ww1Centenary

The team’s public engagement and outreach service can offer more in-depth analysis for you if you are running a similar campaign. For example, this somewhat shallow cut through the data shows that where @ww1Centenary might be shown on a couple of hundred Twitter accounts (‘impressions’), on 18th November this jumped to over 68,400 impressions. The engagements are shown on the right (click the image to see a full-size version).

As always, the trick is how to turn those ‘engagements’ (links clicked, retweets etc.), or news articles (press releases, interviews), or public events (the roadshows) into what the marketers call ROI (return on investment) but which in the University could be course enrolments, tickets sold, alumni donating, or… what ever your call-to-action will be!

Oxford’s first MOOC

We have also been excited to see the coverage in the national press regarding the announcement of Oxford’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The news hit the front page of the BBC News and the Times Higher Education Supplement. For more information, see the post Supporting the design and development of Oxford’s first MOOC.

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