I’ve not done a theoretical, academic(ish) blog post for a while, choosing instead to focus on the more technical sides of what I’m doing. However, that doesn’t mean that what we’ve been doing is driven purely by the technology.
What I’m talking about in this blog post is our Nucleus platform – a collection of data stores, APIs and authentication mechanisms which, when put together, allows anybody within the University to interact with data in exciting new ways. Of particular interest is how Nucleus meshes with Student as Producer, our new institution-wide pedagogy. Put simply, Student as Producer is all about empowering students to become part of the production and provision of teaching and learning, rather than just consumers. Students are involved in research, course creation and much more on the academic side. It’s already seen some awesome results, and it’s becoming a massive part of how Lincoln does business.
So, how does Nucleus fit in? The answer lies in the potential to unlock the University’s inner workings for Students to mash up as they like. At the moment if the University doesn’t offer a service, students can’t do anything about it. Want a way to automatically renew books if nobody else has requested them? Nah, can’t do that. Want to mash up room availability with your classmates timetables to find a perfect study session and a room to put it in? Tough.
Understandably, as a former student, this isn’t good enough. So part of our Nucleus platform is trying to open as much of this data and functionality as we can up to anybody who wants to have a go. Obviously it’s still held within an appropriate security framework, but we believe that if a student can come up with a better (or different) way of doing something, they should be encouraged every step of the way.
We’ve got some really exciting stuff coming down the pipeline to help us offer support and resources to students (and staff) who want to explore the possibilities. Stay tuned!