Teaching Development Award Application Form 2013/14

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Teaching Development Award Application Form 2013/14
Teaching Development Award Application Form 2013/14
Name of Applicant(s)
Name(s) of Head(s) of School
Alan Miller, Katie Stevenson and Rebecca Sweetman
Prof. John Hudson, History.
Authorised by Head(s)
Prof. F Stephen Halliwell
of School: YES
(Classics), Prof. Steve Linton
(Ian Gent acting) Comp Sci
Project title: Framework for Location Aware Learning Apps
One sentence explanation of the project:
This project bring together comp sci, history & archaeology staff and students to create a
Mediaeval St Andrews app that will be used in ME ME3309 Mediaeval St Andrews as a central
element of the module with assessment built around it based on information gathered by
University Archaeology Students.
St Salvators: from Geddy map and 3D reconstruction
Aims and objectives:
1) Create a location aware Medieval St Andrews app, which connects physical locations with
written narratives and thereby creates engaging research learning linkages.
2) The app will be a central part of ME3309 with assessment built around it.
3) This project will provide a focus for archaeology students to develop their skills in data
collection and recording monuments.
4) Create a framework, which enables domain specialists to easily develop their own
Location Aware Learning Apps.
5) To support self-paced student centred exploratory learning of both physical locations and
written texts.
6) Promote co curriculum learning by embedding communication skills, digital literacy and
professional issues awareness to be developed through the use and creation of location
aware mobile learning applications.
Description of the project: (500 words)
The Medieval St Andrews app will enable learners to concurrently explore the physicality of St
Andrews and access location specific research. The app will act as a guide providing a narrative
linking together specific locations on the physical trail. This will encourage self-paced student
centred learning. For each point of interest on the trail text, images, audio and video, combine
with the physicality of the location to provide an engaging learning experience that motivates
further reflection. Links to online digital resources, which index relevant scholarly research guide
further investigation. In this way new research learning linkages are created.
Smart phones and tablets are becoming ubiquitous and have the functionality to add a new
dimension to learning. They typically contain GPS, a high resolution screen and connect to the
Internet. We propose the development of a Medieval St Andrews App, which will enable the
synthesis of scene and discourse in the learning process. Until now the cost of app authoring has
been too high for this technology to be integrated into infrastructure of learning in higher
education. This project will demonstrate the educational value of integrating location into the
learning process and develop a framework for educational app creation.
St Andrews is a town central to Scottish and world history. Robert the Bruce attended the
consecration of St Andrews Cathedral, whilst the diocese funded him through the wars of
independence. St Salvators dates from the foundation of Scotland’s first University. St Andrews
was a driving force for the reformation with the Castle being home to Scotland’s first protestant
congregation. Evidence of this rich history is interwoven with the fabric of the town.
There is a rich potential for further location aware learning apps. Within St Andrews: History of
the University, Witches Tour, the Books of St Andrews, Churches of St Andrews and History of Golf
are examples. This approach is also valuable across disciplines with relevance in history, art
history, classics and divinity, location aware apps will also enhance virtual fieldwork in geography,
geo-science and ecology. In computer science the design of such apps is relevant in multi-media,
networks and human computer interaction projects and modules.
The design and creation of apps currently attracts a premium. Single apps may cost between tens
and hundreds of thousands of pounds to commission. We propose a generic format, abstracted
from existing apps, which will support multiple disciplines and applications. A welcome page with
embedded photograph and image map provides a visually striking introduction. At the heart of
each app is a zoomable interactive map. A user’s location and clickable points of interest are
represented. Each point of interest may have text, images, audio, video and a 3D model
associated with it. These stimulate interest and act as gateways pointing to further learning and
research materials.
We will design a web user interface which will enable app content to be easily created and
updated. A simple form enables upload of the front page image and definition of menus. The live
map area is defined in OS coordinates, if required a custom map may be uploaded. Points of
interest are defined by entering OS co-ordinates. Each point of interest is then associated with
text, images, audio and video as appropriate. This interface will also enable students to create
apps enabling co curriculum development of communication skills and engagement with
professional publication issues. Once the content for the app is defined open source tools allow
automatic compilation for IOS, android and other platforms.
This project will draw upon scholarship and student input in the schools of History, Art History and
Classics. It marries the teaching and research agendas of staff in the Institute of Mediaeval Studies
(SAIMS) and in the Institute of Scottish Historical Research (ISHR) which supports the umbrella
project and teaching portfolio of Mediaeval St Andrews. It will make accessible reconstructions of
St Andrews Cathedral (https://vimeo.com/77928887), St Andrews Castle and St Salvators chapel.
Outline how the project reflects the Proctor’s Priorities:
This project will strengthen research teaching linkages. Making relevant research materials
available within the physical context of location will enable them to be contextualised.
Strategies to identify and reward excellent teaching.
This project will add a new dimension to learning and teaching within St Andrews
and provide new ways for teaching to excel. Through making learning materials
available from mobile devices, it will improve accessibility. We intend to run an
open competition for the best location aware teaching app idea and include in the
request for project funds monies to support development of that app.
Research-Teaching linkages & their relation to employability.
New research teaching linkages are created by linking research materials to
spatially relevant locations. This enables on site synthesis of geo spatial information
with archive textual, visual materials and reconstructions. Through providing
multiple simultaneous perspectives reflection is encouraged and new insights
generated. Through working with mobile devices communication skills and digital
literacies relevant to employability will be developed.
Supporting independent learning from pre-sessional induction to Honours
dissertations & projects
Extending access to learning resources with devices which are familiar to and
constantly available to learners will support self-paced and independent learning.
Fostering students’ confidence and ambition
Confidence is engendered by providing access to learning resources through
devices that learners are already familiar with and confident in using. Creating a
new and engaging learning experience will build confidence. The provision of a
framework which enables learners to create their own apps, will both place the
student at the centre of a creative learning process and further boost their
confidence and ambition.
Professionalisation of co-curricular skills
Through enabling students to marshal their understanding of a subject into a
creative process they will address issues of professionalism in concrete contexts.
Issues of professionalism related to quality control, copyright, intellectual property
and correctness will all be addressed. By providing archaeology students with valuable
hands on experience important professional skills such as Recording monuments will be
This project excels in co-curricular skill development. The close connection
between use of technology and investigation of learning content provides an
environment where important and emergent communication skills develop naturally
as part of established learning contexts.
Further funding will be sought from the HEA in 2015 to roll out the app development framework
across the higher education sector.
Predicted start and end dates:
The project will start in September 2014. The exemplar app will be launched on St Andrews Day
2014. The app framework will be available from January 2015. The project will end in July 2015.
How will your project contribute to/or improve learning and teaching in the University?
The project will add a new dimension to learning across the University. It will enable the learner’s
location to guide selection of relevant learning materials. It will enable the physicality of sites to
enrich learning materials by providing additional perspective and context. It will provide an
engaging learning experience which both motivates and provides guidance for further learning.
Through providing an easy to use and free framework for the creation of location aware learning
apps it will enable academics across the University to create apps relevant to their discipline. It is
expected this will be relevant in subjects such as History, Art History, Management, Astronomy,
Geo Sciences, Classics, Divinity and beyond.
Further, the existence of the app framework will enable app creation to be part of the
coursework in non-technical disciplines. Instead, or as well as marshalling material and
argument into the form of a traditional essay, students will be able to develop new
communication skills and digital literacies through the creation of location aware learning
Can the project be replicated across the University? [Please explain how]
A central output of this project is the framework for the creation of cross platform location aware
apps. In the first instance this will be demonstrated through the creation of an exemplar app. This
will be followed up by the creation of at least one more app.
Through lowering the bar for app creation so that technical skills beyond normal computer
literacy are not required, academics and students will be empowered to create apps relevant to
their research, learning and teaching requirements.
Once the framework is established and experience in app creation with the framework has been
achieved it will be possible to assess the value of integrating this approach as a mainstream
university service.
How will the project’s success be measured at the end?
The project’s success will be measured primarily through evaluation of the quality of learning
facilitated. Evaluation of learning will be an important inbuilt part of the project from the start. It
will involve observation, structured interviews and questionnaires with students and academics.
A second criteria will be the ease of use of the app creation framework. This will be evaluated
through structured interviews and observation of users.
Further criteria will be the reach of the learning app, which can be measured through number of
downloads. It is expected that there will be an audience for the use of this app among local
schools and visitors to St Andrews.
How sustainable is your project in the long-term?
The provision of an interface which enables the content of the app to be updated and modified,
and will enable the app to be sustainable in the long term.
The project leads in each school will work closely and consult with other academics during the
project. (In computer Science Dr Alan Miller, Ishbel Duncan and Colin Allison) This will ensure
continuity in case of individual participants become unable to contribute. Drs Miller and Allison
have a track record of developing innovative learning technologies and migrating them to
mainstream use; for example the University MMS system is an example.
Dissemination plan
This project will be widely disseminated. We will hold a launch event on November 30th St
Andrews day 2014. From this point the exemplar app will be used on module ME3309 Mediaeval St
A short paper will be written for the Learning & Teaching Committee, which evaluates “the
success of the project, the scale of the change it has brought about and the benefits to learning
and teaching.”
The summary from this paper will be posted to the Learning & Teaching webpages along with
download links to the app itself. We will be happy to contribute to other internal events such as
the Learning & Teaching Open Forum and annual monitoring dissemination event.
We aim to submit a workshop proposal on “creating research teaching linkages through location
aware learning apps” to the QAA Enhancement Themes conference. We also aim to publish our
experience in developing and using the app at the Higher Education Academy conference and in
the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies and.
The app will be cross platform, being compiled automatically for IOS, Android and other
platforms. It will be available by web download.
We aim to also make the app accessible to the general visitor to St Andrews and will investigate
placing publicity in the sites that are highlighted by the app. These will include St Andrews
Cathedral, St Andrews Castle, St Salvators and St Leonards Chapel.
A web page for the app will be created along with a short promotional video for use on You Tube.
The app will also be advertised on social media to achieve widespread distribution amongst
alumnus and others with an interest in the University.
We will advertise a competition for a second location aware learning app, which will be created
using the app development framework.
Level of funding requested – Please give a full and accurate breakdown of proposed costs e.g. staff time (hours and
rates of pay), travel expenses etc. NB: The standard rate of pay for an undergraduate intern is £220 per week. If employing
research postgraduates this should be costed at the appropriate hourly rate of pay (e.g. research assistant, tutoring, clerical).
Please also give details of part-funding from other sources (e.g. School budget, external funding) if applicable.
Research assistant 1: Development of 3D content. £13.27 * 110 hours £1,460 Ms Sarah Kennedy
Develop 3D model of St Leonards Chapel:
Landscape 10 hours
Architecture: 60 hours
Fixtures and fittings 40 hours
Research assistant 2: Development of app and management system. £13.27 * 140 hours £1857 Dr
Iain Oliver.
Development of initial app user interface design 40 hours
Connection of content with map 60 hours
Testing and evaluation 40 hours
Research assistant 3: Development of textual content and coordination of archaeological input.
£1327 * 100 hours £1327.
Learning app reward: £100 for poster and publicity.
£255 for travel to conference.
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