Staff Challenge – closing date extended

The closing date for submissions to ‘IT Innovation Challenges – Staff 2018’ has been extended to 25th March. This is to allow for time lost in strike action.

There will not be a separate discussion period so please ensure any comments on ideas are also posted by 25th March.

To submit an idea, see ideas shared by others or add comments and suggestions, please go to https://oxfordideas.wazoku.com.

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Staff 2018 Challenge launching!

By Robida, Albert, 1848-1926, artist. (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The IT Innovation Challenges 2018 staff round is open!

This call is open to all Oxford University staff* who have ideas for digital projects.  Successful ideas will receive funding of up to £50,000.

The theme for this year is The Intelligent Campus.

Artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and virtual/augmented reality are technologies that have arrived and have the potential to tackle some of Higher Education’s big challenges. This year’s IT Innovation challenge invites you to come with ideas for projects that improve the staff/student experience at Oxford through exploring these emerging technologies – the use of smart campus technology, AI to speed up administrative processes, AR to enhance our our public spaces, VR to create immersive learning experiences.

As always, we also welcome other ideas for projects that bring benefit to the University, its staff and/or students through digital means.

Ideas can be submitted between 26 February-25 March 2018 at the Oxford Ideas site https://oxfordideas.wazoku.com. Any University member can see, comment on and vote for submitted ideas. [Update 13 March:] Please note – the submission period has been extended to allow for time lost in strike action. There will not be a separate disussion period so add your comments and suggestions before the closing date March 25th.

For questions about the scheme, the process of applying or anything else, please explore the FAQ or contact innovation@it.ox.ac.uk.

* Please note: IT Innovation Challenges are open to any member of staff within the University. Due to financial constraints we cannot fund college-only applications but we would encourage college staff to submit their ideas and to seek collaboration with University departments.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

IT Innovation Challenges – Student 2018 update

The idea submission stage for this challenge has now closed and 14 ideas have been shared. All University members are invited to explore the ideas at https://oxfordideas.wazoku.com, ask questions, add suggestions and vote for their favourites. The ideas are open for comments and discussion until Feb 23rd. The IT Innovation Challenges panel will then evaluate the ideas and select the ones to go through to the next stage which consists of developing and presenting a project proposal based on the idea.  

Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Student 2018 round launching!

By Robida, Albert, 1848-1926, artist. (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The IT Innovation Challenges 2018 student round is opening on MONDAY 29th JANUARY.

This call is open to all Oxford University students who have ideas for digital projects.  Successful ideas will receive funding of up to £15,000.

The theme for this year is The Intelligent Campus.

Artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and virtual/augmented reality are technologies that have arrived and have the potential to tackle some of Higher Education’s big challenges. This year’s IT Innovation challenge invites you to come with ideas for projects that improve the staff/student experience at Oxford through exploring these emerging technologies – the use of smart campus technology, AI to speed up administrative processes, AR to enhance our our public spaces, VR to create immersive learning experiences.

As always, we also welcome other ideas for projects that bring benefit to the University, its staff and/or students through digital means.

Ideas can be submitted between 29 January-15 February 2018 at the Oxford Ideas site https://oxfordideas.wazoku.com. Any University member can see, comment on and vote for submitted ideas.

For questions about the scheme, the process of applying or anything else, please explore the FAQ or contact innovation@it.ox.ac.uk. A similar challenge for staff members will launch at the end of February.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Embedding Innovative use of Wikimedia across the University

In this gues post, Dr. Martin Poulter describes his work on the IT Innovation Challenges project ‘Embedding Innovative use of Wikimedia across the University‘ 


Map of hillforts, coloured by type, generated with data from the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland By MartinPoulter [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons

Wikipedia is the top search engine hit for millions of topics; Wikidata is the largest authority file ever created and Wikimedia Commons has more than 40 million digital images with potential use in research or education. Wikimedia projects overlap with all the work done across the university, whether in research, education, or curation. Spending a year as the university’s Wikimedian In Residence, I worked with various researchers and projects, tailoring the work to their goals.

The Electronic Enlightenment/ Oxford Text Archive team were interested in biographical dictionaries of booksellers and printers, and getting these from page scans into a more usable format. We used a combination of Wikisource, Wikidata and Google Sheets to produce a digital text version of one of these books, a data set representing the book, and the book’s text as a data set, with crowdsourced help from the Wikisource volunteers.

This team also wanted to explore getting more incoming links to the EE biographical dictionary. We arranged for Oxford University Press to give free access to EE for active Wikipedia editors who request it, and publicised this to the Wikimedian community. So far, 48 Wikipedia editors have been given free access to the service. We matched thousands of identifiers from EE with Wikidata, then used these data to identify people in EE with no Wikipedia article.

With the Atlas of Hillforts, the interest was in getting incoming links to this newly-launched web site. We imported selected data fields into Wikidata, with links back to the Atlas for the full information. We matched Atlas records against Wikidata records where they existed, and tagged images in Wikimedia Commons with links to the relevant entry in the Atlas. We created a project page to tell the Wikipedia community what was happening, and used a tool to generate list articles in Wikipedia from the imported data.

The Cultures of Knowledge group (who run Early Modern Letters Online) are interested in combining data about notable people and locations from historical sources, and having those data used in research and education. I have advised on how these data sources (including EMLO identifiers) are reconciled with Wikidata. Wikidata already has thousands of EMLO links and I was able to use these to find other sources about people in EMLO.

The Oxford Research Archive had digitised thousands of doctoral theses and made them openly available. I created a new property in Wikidata to represent the institution to which a thesis had been submitted, and added data about the Oxford theses in a bulk upload. We then added thesis links to Wikipedia articles about notable thesis authors, such as John Vickers and H. A. Berlin.

With the Voltaire Foundation, we worked on describing Voltaire’s most important works in Wikidata, including the non-fiction books that were subject of a project funded by the AHRC. These data were used in two custom interactive timelines, using the Histropedia software library.

With Prof. David Zeitlyn, a cultural anthropologist whose work covers people and archives in Cameroon, we found that a limiting factor on coverage of this topic in Wikipedia was the lack of published secondary sources. I recommended a way to adapt existing open-access journal articles into Wikipedia articles.

The Ritual Modes research group in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology had tried to add articles to Wikipedia about their topic, but had been discouraged because an article had been deleted. I got the article undeleted and gave them advice on getting further articles accepted.

The Women In German Studies group wanted training on how to improve Wikipedia articles in their field. In a training workshop, they learned about the behind-the-scenes efforts to improve coverage of women and to facilitate translation between different language versions of Wikipedia.

For IT Services, I documented two kinds of event using Wikimedia platforms to engage the public in research, including instructions that would be given to participants. I also provided training workshops for two different groups of staff in IT services.

There was a lot of interest in using Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikisource and related open platforms. Queries continue to come in and I am working on using Wikidata to help the discoverability of objects in the university’s collections.

Posted in Completed projects, Projects | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

IT Innovation Challenges 2018

We have just received confirmation that we will be able to run both a student and staff round of the IT Innovation Challenges in 2018. The student round will launch first, in Hilary Term, and we will be inviting ideas for student-led digital projects to start in the summer.

Exact dates and details will be announced here as soon as they are confirmed.

Photo credit: “Money” is licensed by CheapFullCoverageAutoInsurance.com under CC BY 2.0.

Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

‘VR-AR Hub’ launch event

Colleagues from Academic IT attended the launch event of the VR-AR Hub at the Cohen Quadrangle, Exeter College on 26 October 2017. The VR-AR Hub is a student project winner of the IT Innovation Challenge award 2017 and is designed to bring together people, knowledge and resources related to VR and AR technologies.

The event was presented by the team of Gustavo Quino, Maria Lissner, Mattia Montanari and Richard Smith. An enthusiastic audience of more than 30 people listened to some fascinating VR case studies, and also had the opportunity to try out the latest VR technology. Further meetings and events are planned.

For more information see the project webpages. For an introduction to VR and AR at the University see the Digital Education Strategy webpages.

Group of researchers and students try the VR technology.

The audience try out the VR technology.

Man with VR headset stands in front of computer monitor with VR controllers in hand.

Trying out the VR controllers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Impact Awards – OxReach

We congratulate the OxReach project team – finalists in the ‘Project of the Year’ award category of the PraxisUnico Impact Awards. The Impact Awards celebrate”…the achievements of KEC [Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation] professionals and our volunteer community in delivering and developing best practice across the sector”. The team was recognised for the work with LIFE [Life-saving Instruction for Emergencies] – a smartphone based serious game training healthcare workers in Africa. The game could be created thanks to funding generated by the team using the OxReach crowdfunding platform, created as an IT Innovation Challenges project.

For more information about the OxReach project and their crowdfunding work, please read the OxReach – crowdfunding for University projects blog post.

The OxReach project team at the ceremony

Posted in Projects | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Self-Heal App Launch Event

(by Hadassah Buechner)

Photo by ‘It Gets Brighter’

Self-Heal teamed up with other mental health charities to host an event celebrating technology and communities in mental health. There was music, nibbles and wine in the beautiful surroundings of Rhodes house. More than 70 people attended and heard about the App, It Gets Brighter, Oxford Mental Health Support Network and listen to the keynote speaker, Nicole Gibson – the youngest mental health commissioner all the way from Australia.

Learn more about the Self-heal app:

Posted in Projects | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

2016/17 student round – funded projects

The 2016/17 Student round of the IT Innovation Challenges attracted a record number of ideas (47). All ideas were evaluated by the IT Innovation Panel and 15 idea creators were invited to deevlop a project proposal based on their idea. We are pleased to announce that of the 12  proposals that were submitted, eight have been awarded funding. These are (click on title to see the project abstract):

  • Clinical Research Data Management Toolkit – identifying sound strategies for new projects
  • Interactomy – An interactive app for anatomy teaching and learning
  • Learmapp – An app that helps learners navigate and collaborate around learning resources
  • Oxford Restfulness Tracker – An app to help student athletes avoid over-training
  • Sanctum – A website allowing students and staff find places to study/work in Oxford
  • Studious – A networked knowledge platform allowing students to collaborate around reading list resources
  • VESPA – An interactive tool for learning sampling techniques in a virtual environment
  • Virtual Reality Oxford Network – Bringing together people, knowledge and resources related to VR

Further information about the projects and their progress will be posted here as the projects get starting (from mid-June).

Posted in New projects, News | Tagged , | Leave a comment