Presentation on eMargin given to BCU Learning & Teaching Committee
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Presentation on eMargin given to BCU Learning & Teaching Committee

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Presentation on eMargin given to BCU Learning & Teaching Committee

Presentation on eMargin given to BCU Learning & Teaching Committee

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Presentation on eMargin given to BCU Learning & Teaching Committee Presentation on eMargin given to BCU Learning & Teaching Committee Presentation Transcript

  • A collaborative textual annotation tool rdues.bcu.ac.uk Research & Development Unit for English Studies Andrew Kehoe & Matt Gee JISC LEARNING & TEACHING INNOVATION GRANT
  • Background
    • Harnessing power of the web as a linguistic resource
    • Building own search engine and 10 billion word web corpus
    • Introducing to A-Level students through AHRC KT Fellowship
    • www.webcorp.org.uk
    • Corpus Linguistics: Study of a collection of electronic texts to discover new facts about the language.
    • EPSRC-funded projects
    • Directed by Antoinette Renouf until 2010
    • Developing software to test hypotheses about language use
    Neologism Detection Document Similarity Semantic Relations Word Dispreference
  • Issue: English Literature Teaching
    • Traditional mode: ‘close reading’ : detailed examination of short extracts down to individual word level.
    • Students (re-)read, underline important words, make notes in margin, colour-code, draw out themes/motifs.
    • Origins in exegesis of religious texts dating back to Middle Ages.
    • Literary text often hundreds of pages long but teacher must focus discussion on particular themes/passages.
    Luther: lectures on Romans (1515) glossae
  • Limitations of Traditional Model
    • Student annotations tied to printed copy of text
    • Difficult to share / combine in class.
    • Annotations not archivable or searchable.
    • Text quickly becomes cluttered with underlining/notes on each re-reading.
    • Increasing emphasis on e-texts (e.g. LION, EEBO ) but surprising lack of software to support close reading.
    (Image: Cat Sidh, Flickr)
  • Other Available Tools
    • Folksonomies like Delicious : keyword tagging at whole text or whole website level .
    • Websites and browser plug-ins offering basic highlighting and ‘sticky notes’ .
    • Digress.it : WordPress plug-in allowing paragraph-level comments – not fine-grained enough for academic close-reading .
    • ‘ Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in the Margins’, New York Times, February 20 2011:
        • writing comments alongside passages…is a rich literary pastime , sometimes regarded as a tool of literary archaeology, …but it has an uncertain fate in a digitalized world
  • Our Solution
    • Web-based collaborative annotation system operating down to word level .
    • Initial idea late-2007; basic prototype developed allowing simple text highlighting and commenting.
    • Trialled in English classes at BCU and University of Leicester.
  • Pilot Study
    • Structured feedback collected from 25 Leicester students across 3 modules (2 BA, 1 MA).
    • 96% found word-level commenting useful.
    • 88% found highlighting useful.
    • 92% agreed that “reading others’ comments helped me formulate my own ideas”.
    • 96% found prototype ‘easy’ to use.
    • Leicester wishes to use full version with whole 1 st yr.
    • Pilot study suggested which features of most use.
  • Project
    • £50k JISC Learning & Teaching Innovation grant
    • June 2011 – May 2012
    • Building a more robust, fully-functioning, open-source collaborative text annotation system
    • System to be developed iteratively, with classroom testing and student/teacher feedback
  • Demonstration of Features
  • Progress Installation & configuration of hardware Set up user account / log-in system Set up project website / blog Developed core features of tool Seeking further test users Documentation and reporting to JISC
  • Proposed Features: Wiki
    • Annotation search
      • Colour
      • Tag
      • Text in comments
      • Text in wiki entries
      • User
      • Date
    • Concordancing: word/phrase shown in context
    Proposed Features: Search MI5 was a Soviet mole . He also claims there have you got a mole on your left shoulder in love with the mole on your cheek which showed that a mole had passed them details summiteers ended atop a mole hill rather than a mountain apparently blind like a mole . The modern tank with raven and the Mafia mole , the anonymous letters and the talpa, the suspected mole who betrayed details of a mountain out of a mole hill . The House of Commons' committee could have been a mole within the KGB i tself,
  • User Levels Individual student Small group Class Teacher Community
    • Teacher will be able to:
    • Moderate student contributions.
    • Set text / annotation access privileges.
    • Share archived annotations with new groups.
  • Proposed Features: Text Selection / Uploading Ctrl-C http://www.website.com/text
  • Beyond English
    • English Literature in first instance but transferable to any text-based discipline: Education, Law, Social Sciences, Theology, Languages…
    • Collaborative research/editing tool.
    • Integration with VLEs like Moodle.
    • e-assessment tool.
    • Outside HE: interest from AHRC KTF partners.
    • Commercial potential: e-readers.
    http://emargin.bcu.ac.uk