Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Project Evaluation

Well we're very close to the end of the funded part of the project with the project now set to continue through postgraduate support over the next year. In terms of evalution of where we are at a SWOT follows this short piece.

Looking back over the project it's clear that there have been some key WINS and some key losses to learn from. In terms of the WINS, on submitting the proposal we weren't too sure how we were going to tackle the lecturer tool for composing slides having previously encountered problems with working with MS Powerpoint slides and other presentational tools for the first prototype. We knew that the way we were doing things needed to change (a clunky Java application is just not usable across the uninitiated) so the decisions made in creating a web solution and producing an add-in which has a really usable side effect of being able to embed any web content directly into Powerpoint was a real positive. Made even more positive when we sorted the add-in for a later version to enable multiple web pages to be displayed on the same slide.

In terms of the web system, we are in the position of having the basic functionality working and in addition having a lot of the other functionality ready to be integrated but we perhaps still need to continue to work on the interface to make things easier for users. That will happen though as the Wild system starts to be used in anger in a few modules in semester 2.

In terms of losses I think the main one has been the inability to get the desired technology through the University and corporate channels. However, the technology purchased through the project offers lots of different opportunities for future exploration linked to the Wild thing.

SWOT Analysis (at this point)


The add-in (has the potential for widespread use given the propensity for the inclusion of web content in presentations)
The re-formulated architecture of Wild (offering clear opportunities for expansion)
Things work in the Wild, with tasks not too difficult to complete
Team (Clear ideas for how to continue to strangthen Wild)


At present we still need to integrate some of the more advanced question types into the web tool.
The Wild system at the moment needs a clean up and will get one over the next couple of days.
The Wild web system is working but we need to re-factor the code to make it easier for other developers to add to the system.


Wild demonstrated at Making Web 2.0 Work For You and other external events coming up over the next six months
Wild demonstrated internally successfully, need to start to get more people using at the very least the web page insertion tool within their practice leading to transmitted word of mouth and tool usage in multiple circumstances.
Clear opportunity to experiment with embedding other forms of feedback mechanism directly into slide content e.g. twitter feeds and using other Web 2.0 technologies linked in with Wild within the lecture room environment.
Potential for commercial link up with a local company to move the system forward (still considering whether to actively pursue) - leading to a couple of versions of the software.


New versions of PowerPoint will possibly require a new image of the add-in tool. As things stand it seems to work retrospectively at the moment i.e. the version of the tool for PP95 works with PP97.
Loss of momentum, however, the PG focus should enable the system to move on substantially over the next year.

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