The iNorthampton Journey

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Presentation to Blackboard Strategic Workshop on 25th October 2011

Presentation to Blackboard Strategic Workshop on 25th October 2011

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  • Welcome and introductions
  • Rob Strategic drivers – refocus pedagogy (ref Sharples & the MALT project) . Also personalisation, flexibility, infrastructure foundation (unified approach) recruitment, transition & retention (Marketing), demand (survey – see next slide) Julie Why not Traxler’s paper on student devices Loan devices and portable wifi hotpots Mobile OS accessibility tools From the Learning Technology Operational Plan 2011: 1D: Investigate new and emerging technologies which may offer pedagogic value 2B: To develop NILE as an academic portal 2C: The MALT project is considering to increasing use of mobile devices by staff and students and the impact this will have on learning and teaching. M&ER are considering the use of mobiles by prospective students. From: Information Services Learning and Teaching Strategy 2010-15 3.6 We will explore, develop and promote new technology for learning and teaching.  Over the period 2010-15 this will include an emphasis on mobile technology..... From: University of Northampton Learning and Teaching Strategy 2010-15 O2.1         To provide effective physical spaces and online environments to enhance student learning AA2.4       To establish a project on mobile learning
  • Julie what are the needs? (survey) - the content we chose - what we wanted, Rob TEAM what was possible in the timeframe, who needed to be involved (phase 1) – student union involvement ! Logical progression - the needs determined the team (data sources), then needed a delivery platform (the supplier) Why Blackboard ? Out of the box with the ability to customise Talk about the mobile VLE and discussions with alternative suppliers. “Learning is not just one way” customised data to audience – staff and student split on news – thinking about prospectus / enquiries.
  • Julie - herding cats (Computing, NBS) and data - project management & branding - the “skills gap” (esp in relation to app stores etc) - timezones & communication with the SF team - Blackberry development (benefits of client network)
  • Rob -Dates of activity – 13 th April 2011 (purchase)......7 th September 2011 (publish to IOS / Android market) impact? welcome weekend, freshers week - analytics Difference between analytics between mobile central and Stats through building block (information of use to those who have only purchased Learn and not central).
  • Julie - informal feedback - focus groups - mobile learning pilots
  • Julie identify a project manager/someone with lots of time, get your accounts ready, and beware of Apple process delays! Feedback loops – iterative process - transparency
  • Rob Future sessions - the mobile VLE


  • 1. The iNorthampton Journey
    • Rob Howe & Julie Usher
    • The University of Northampton
  • 2. Drivers
    • Why mobile?
      • Strategic planning and pedagogy
      • Demand
      • Recruitment
    • Why not?
      • Inclusion and challenges to access
  • 3. Making it happen
    • What are needs of different audiences (students, staff and prospects)?
    • What’s possible?
  • 4. Challenges
    • Project convergence (all under one roof.....where possible)
    • Skills gaps
    • Working within different time zones
    • Challenging platforms (Blackberry)
  • 5. Measuring success: the data
    • 1000 downloads one week after launch
    • >3000 downloads after one month
    5 months from purchase to deployment Most popular link was timetables with 21,686 hits in the first month
  • 6. Measuring success: what they said
    • Twitter (#iNorthampton)
    • Email
    • Blog
    • Spot surveys
    • Focus groups
    • Pilots
    Get the @UniNorthants app immediately! Dream!! @UniNorthants has an app!! This is tres exciting! I'm actually having a physical reaction I am that excited. Will make life so much easier! @UniNorthants now have their own app. Snazzy. Am not tryna gas but thank God for the Northampton app because now I left my timetable at home, I would have been lost. Bloody good idea!
  • 7. Top five tips
    • Identify needs (and decide which ones you can meet)
    • Bring together a project team with range of experience.
    • Find a provider who can satisfy the immediate need and provide extensions for the future (SDKs).
    • The app stores are your friends (?)
    • Stay in the loop
  • 8. Next Steps
    • Kaizen...
      • Piloting the mobile VLE
      • SDK developments and extensions
      • Strategies for engagement (bribery etc.)
      • iNorthampton phase 2