Tag Archives: Modular

And there’s more! User experience for groups on campus

As a follow-on to this project, we’re going to be undertaking a study of group management user experiences for an institutional group management service, with the goal of creating designs for a group service user interface which matches genuine academic and scholarly behaviours and needs. Background The MEAoT project explored two teaching administration tools – [...]

the MAW of HEFCE

Prof. Peter Barrett writes in the 27 May TES about a HEFCE-funded project on Managing Academic Workload, led by him and Lucinda Barrett at the University of Salford and involving 20 partner institutions.  The project has recently published a report; “Management of Academic Workloads: Improving Practice in the Sector“.It is interesting to see such a [...]

Project Outputs

Continuing our wrapping-up theme, we’ve put together a list of links to code, demonstrations and documents we’ve produced during the project. The final report of the project has been posted on the JISC website, but we promised to include all the links right here as well so here they are:Final Report Final Report of the [...]

computing for the person in the street

Or in our case, the person in the teaching office!Our “tenets for software that can be maintained by non-specialists” might have some things in common with Jef Raskin’s “Design Considerations for an Anthropophilic Computer” (28-29 May 1979). Simple hardware is not that unlike simple software: dispensing with multiple modes, interfaces with other systems, no libraries [...]

Closing summary

We reproduce here the executive summary from our final report:Most universities have a central IT function. Despite this, or sometimes because of it, individual departments and academics are frequently motivated to develop ʻhome grownʼ IT systems, to fulfill unmet needs or to support particular departmental processes. These systems are often small and minimally complex, but [...]

Comparison of software development approaches

Following on from our last post, about ‘trunkless’ software development, we want to share some thoughts about when it might be useful to consider that model. Many thanks to Matthew Jones, now of the South African Sugar Cane Research Institute, who developed much of this thinking.Centralised systems in the Cambridge University contextThe University of Cambridge [...]

‘Trunkless’ development

Following on from our last post, about developing simple software, we’d like to describe how we used this in practice, taking the Engineering Department’s TODB software, making custom versions for six other departments, and making them feel able to take responsibility for maintaining and supporting it into the future.We plan to publish this also as [...]

Developing Simple Software

These are the principles we used to guide our development of software which would be deployed and maintained locally in university departments by non-professional programmers, such as computer officers, competent academics, even summer students. We are planning to also publish them as a white paper companion piece to the e-Admin project’s final report.Appropriate to the [...]

tasty outcomes

Yesterday, the project team met to complete our programme evaluation. In our discussions, we summarised the outcomes of the project: two examples of a prototype user-generated software system providing a requirements definition or specification for use in further work provided a model of how simple software development principles can provide a system which non-specialists can [...]

wrapping up

The project team is currently wrapping up the final loose ends for “MEAoT”. I think one thing we’ve learned is that acronyms can be very ugly, and it might sometimes be better to stick with a nice meaningful name!We’ve had some people join us towards the end of the project, with Guy Chisholm working hard [...]

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