Managing your time

Starting a project from scratch can seem overwhelming, especially if you have never worked on a long-term project before. There are so many tasks that need to be done, but only so much time in a day. So where do you even start?

We have collected some tips and ideas that will help you to think about time management. Once you are in control of your time, completing your project will become much easier. Of course these tips also come in handy in your student and working life. Continue reading

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Currently completed: VESPa – the Virtual Environment Sampling Platform

What is VESPa and how does it work? In this interview, Maureen Doyle, project manager of VESPa – the Virtual Environment Sampling Platform, explains how the tool works and how it can help students with acquiring sampling skills. Continue reading

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The story behind… VESPa – the Virtual Environment Sampling Platform

What it is like working on an IT Innovation Challenges project and what does it take to complete a project? In this interview, Maureen Doyle, project manager of VESPa – the Virtual Environment Sampling Platform, reflects on her experiences as project manager.

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Learmapp launched on AppStore and PlayStore

Learmapp is a mobile-based, learning oriented, networking platform, intended to manage and socialize learning journeys. Developed by Karim El-Mehairy and funded by the IT Innovation Challenges scheme (student round 2016/17), the app has now launched on the AppStore and the PlayStore.

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Funded projects – 2018 Staff Round

The latest IT Innovation Challenges funding round for staff saw 21 ideas shared and discussed. Eight of these were invited to develop and present a project proposal. The IT Innovation Challenges Panel were very impressed with the proposals and the pitches that the project teams made and could only regret that the scheme could not fund all of them.

The following five projects were offered funding and will be running in the year to come (click on the project name to read more about it).

  • Enabling Research and Public Engagement with VR – developing unique and exciting VR applications and experiences. Based at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (start: July 2018)
  • Instant Video Creation  – piloting an all-in-one video creation solution. Based at the Said Business School (start: August 2018)
  • Open Cabinet: AR access to Oxford’s collections – virtual handling of 3D artefacts in the museum. Carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute, in partnership with the Pitt Rivers Museum and IT Service. (start: August 2018)
  • Oxford 101: Augmented Reality Tour of Oxford for new and prospective students. Based in the Academic Administration Division Communications. (start: July 2018)
  • Oxford Careers Compass – a web-app for values driven career planning. Based in the Careers Services (start: September 2018)

We will be publishing more information about the projects as they progress.

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IT Innovation Showcase event

More than 20 projects funded by the University’s IT Innovation Challenges scheme displayed their innovative work at the Showcase event last night. The scheme supports projects that bring benefit to the University or enhance the staff or student experience at Oxford through digital means.

visitors at an event with projects stands

Project representatives from initiatives such as Inkpath, go_girl code+create, VESPa, Oxford Alternative Stories, Workplace Finder, VR and AR Oxford Hub and many more were present to show their work and to inspire the use of digital at Oxford. Visitors were keen on learning more about the projects at the numerous stands, during the Flash Talks and the panel discussion. The 3D printing competition was one of many highlights with more than 30 innovative ideas submitted.

The event was very well attended and visitors left extremely positive feedback using Meetoo, an online polling tool. A similar event was highly requested and many felt inspired by the Showcase. The project representatives networked with members of the University. They enjoyed the interest in their work and the positive responses, and many of them would like to participate in a similar event in the future.

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What’s on at the IT Innovation Challenges Showcase event?

Join us for the Showcase event to celebrate the innovative work done by staff and students on projects funded by the University’s IT Innovation Challenges (27 June, 17:00-19:00 at the Mathematical Institute). Please follow the booking link to sign up.

Image by Funky Focus

Meet more than 20 projects 

Talk to representatives, join demos and discover digital applications. This is your chance to find out more about the projects, their impact and how they may benefit you and the University as a whole.

Explore the VR World

Emerging technologies, like VR and AR, continue to surprise us with their endless possibilities. Enter virtual worlds and directly experience the potential of these technologies at Oxford.

Join the 3D printing innovation competition 

Why should you come up with an idea about innovation that can be printed in 3D? Because not only will every entrant be rewarded, but the winner will also get to keep a 3D printed version of his/her innovative idea.

a 3D printed prosthesis of a hand

Image by splotramienny

Be part of Flash Talks

Short and to the point. 5-minute presentations to introduce you to a range of innovative digital projects realised as part of the IT Innovation Challenges during these talks. Projects participating include Self-heal, VESPa, Oxford Alternative Stories and more!

Come to the panel discussion

Top tips from current and past projects. Experiences and insights to inspire and enlighten, and an opportunity for you to ask questions and exchange ideas.


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Win!! 3D print your idea

We are looking for anything printable in 3D as long as it is about innovation or innovative in itself. Enter our exciting 3D printing competition at the IT Innovation Challenges Showcase Event where you can experience live 3D printing.

Image by Creative Tools via Flickr.

We ask you to come up with an idea that can be printed in 3D, so get creative and brainstorm ideas in advance. Make sure to join the fun because every entry will be rewarded!

The most innovative idea wins the grand prize: With the support of our 3D printing team at the Radcliffe Science Library, you will have your object modelled and printed in 3D after the showcase event and will be able to keep it.

To learn more about 3D printing visit Oxford LibGuides for tips and video tutorials end explore how 3D modelling software can make your innovative idea come to life.

You can also join Richard Smith (Bodleian Radcliffe Science Library) and his team for an introductory session on 3D printing. This series of workshops was introduced in Trinity Term and will continue in Michaelmas Term. The workshops are open to all members of the university – so just drop in.

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IT Innovation Challenges Showcase Event – A unique opportunity to explore innovative digital projects at Oxford

The IT Innovation Challenges Showcase celebrates the innovative work done by staff and students on projects funded by the University’s IT Innovation Challenges. The event takes place on Wednesday 27th June at the Mathematical Institute, 17.00-19.00.

A phone with a castle coming out of the screen in 3D effect

Image by FunkyFocus via Pixabay

The IT Innovation Challenges support and fund innovative projects which enhance the staff or student experience at Oxford through digital means and bring a benefit to the University.

This Showcase event presents a unique opportunity to experience innovative digital projects at the University. Project members will be on hand to showcase their initiatives, providing first-hand insight into the development of their innovative digital solutions.

Among the many projects to explore are Inkpath, a skills tracking app for university students and administrators, Multisensory Access, a project bringing art to life through touch and sound, and VESPa, an interactive tool for learning sampling techniques in a virtual environment.

Come along and take part: demonstrations, flash talks, virtual worlds, competitions, interactive tools, discussion groups and more with light refreshments.

If you would like join us, please let us know by booking online.




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Challenges 2018 – April update

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

Hilary term has been busy for IT Innovation Challenges, with two calls for ideas published, one for students and one for staff. We were particularly pleased to be able to reintroduce the staff call, as it did not run last year. The theme for this year was ‘The Intelligent Campus’  and ideas that embraced emerging technologies, like virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence, were particularly welcome. As always, it was also possible to share ideas for projects that would benefit the University and/or enhance the staff or student experience at Oxford through digital means.

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 public spaces, VR to create immersive learning experiences.

Ideas were posted to the Oxford Ideas site, where any member of the University could read them, add comments and questions, and vote for their favourite. The IT Innovation Panel evaluated the ideas and drew up a shortlist of ideas that were to progress to the next stage: project proposal.

Student call

The Student call saw 14 very good ideas, and five teams were invited to submit project proposals where they show how they would realise their idea as a digital project. The proposals need to include a description of the proposed project and the benefits it would bring, as well as a description of technologies and methods to be used, with explanation of why this particular approach has been chosen. The teams are also asked to explain how they will make sure their project is a success, for example by describing what they will do to make sure that their project is useful to, or used by, its target audience. A budget and time line also have to be created.

The five ideas pitching for funding in this round are:

  • Benchshare: Platform for AR guided research collaboration at bench level
  • Common Room: Oxford’s Support Nexus for Cyberbullying
  • Oxford Accessibility Project – Mapping App
  • Oxford Looking-Glass: Interact with the City through Augmented Reality
  • Oxford Mental Health Network: Mental Health Search Engine App

The proposals are circulated to the IT Innovation Challenges Panel before the pitch event. At the pitch event, each project team gets an opportunity to present their project to the Panel by talking to three points (only): What is the project?; What are the benefits?; What would you do for half the budget? After the five-minute pitch, the Panel asks questions and there is an opportunity to discuss different aspects of the project, clarify certain points and receive feedback and suggestions. The funding decision is made by the Panel shortly after the pitch event, which this year is held on 2nd May. It is expected that successful projects will start from late June. More information about the funded projects will be published here once the funding has been agreed.

Staff call

The staff call had the same ‘Intelligent Campus’ theme as the student one, and 21 ideas were submitted. Eight of these were shortlisted and their project proposals are to be submitted by the 24th May. The proposals are very similar to the student ones with regard to the information that has to be included, and the pitch event (6th June) follows the same structure as that for students.

The shortlisted staff ideas are:

  • BAME pedagogic toolkit
  • Connecting the Multilingual Research Community
  • Enabling Research and Public Engagement with BabelVR
  • Instant video creation space
  • Open Cabinet: AR access to Oxford’s collections
  • Our Primate Heritage: A Multisensorial Digital Library
  • Oxford 101: Augmented reality tour for new Oxford students
  • Oxford Careers Compass for values driven career planning

We will feature the successful proposals here, once funding has been agreed with the projects.

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