The JISC activity data projects

  • The JISC Activity data programme funded nine projects to investigate a variety of different areas of activity data. These were
Recommender systems
These are systems which offer alternative suggestions when you are searching or retrieving material.
  • The AEIOU project is designed to increase the use of material in the Welsh Repository Network (a joint virtual open access repository for Welsh Universities). It is designed to encourage people to look for other material when they come in from a search rather than just retrieving a single article and moving on.
  • The RISE project is designed to support learners to find a wider range of material through offering recommendations based on three possibilities (students on the same course viewed these resources, these resources may be related to the ones you recently looked at, and students using similar search terms used these resources).
  • The SALT project is designed to help users to find rarely used material in libraries. While most recommender systems offer choices that are commonly associated with what the user is looking at the SALT project deliberately encourages users to consider more rarely used material.
  • While the OpenURL Activity Data project did not directly develop recommender systems by exposing data from thousands of students and researchers it can form the basis of a recommender system. The data can also be used in many other ways.
Improving the student experience
These projects are concerned with supporting student success through early diagnosis of potential problems.
  • The EVAD undertook early work in understanding what the activity data that is produced by their VLE means. This can be used in a number of ways including understanding how the VLE is being used, identifying which tools and facilities are being used, patterns of usage etc.
  • The STAR-Trak: NG project developed a tool to help staff and students to measure and monitor their performance in order to help diagnose any issues early.
  • In a rather different way the LIDP project demonstrated that there is a clear link between use of library resources and eventual degree classification.
  • The RISE and SALT projects mentioned above where concerned with improving the student experience by supporting students to find material that they might otherwise not have found.
Resource management
With the current budgetary constraints it is especially important that resources are used as effectively as possible.
  • The AGtivity project used usage patterns of the national videoconferencing system to help to provide better support to users by understanding where faults occurred and the patterns of usage of the various videoconferencing
  • The EVAD project, mentioned above, was also concerned with determining where the VLE was being used effectively and what support the University might need to provide in order to make encourage more effective use of the VLE.
  • Several of the other projects also provide data that can be used to enhance or improve the management of processes including RISE and SALT.
A full alphabetic list of the projects is: