Week Beginning 16th November 2015

I met with Gary Thoms this week to discuss the content management system I’m going to build for the SCOSYA project. Gary has prepared a spreadsheet template that the fieldworkers are going to be using when conducting their interviews and we talked through how this was structured. After that I began to think about the database structure that will be used to store the spreadsheet uploads.   I also had a meeting with the Burns people to discuss the new bid that they are putting together, which is getting very close to completion now. I also talked to Pauline about the restructuring of the Burns online resource and we agreed that I would begin work on this at a temporary URL before moving everything across to replace the existing site. I’ll need to start work on this in the next week or so. I also updated the search functionality of the SciFiMedHums bibliography system to enable users to search for multiple themes and mediums (once the system goes live). I also made a few tweaks to the Medical Humanities Network website, mainly adding in the site text and helping out with some video uploads. I made a couple of small tweaks to the new Thesaurus of Old English content management system and set up some user accounts for people too.

My major focus of the week was the Metaphor in the Curriculum project. At our last project meeting Ellen had given me some sample questions to show how the metaphor quizzes that will be found in the apps and the website will be structured. I spent a lot of this week creating working digital prototypes of these, using a similar approach to the one I’d taken for the interactive STELLA apps I’d previously produced: there is a question, some possible answers, a ‘check answer’ button, a ‘restart’ button and next and previous question buttons (where applicable). The question content itself is pulled in from a JSON file and there are three question types, although really types 1 and 3 are handled in the same way in the current version.  Types 1 and 3 (questions 1-3 and 6-7) present possible answers, the user can click on one and then press the ‘check answer’ button.  A tick will be placed beside their answer if it was correct, a cross if incorrect.  No other feedback is currently offered and there is no tracking of right / wrong answers (this is something that might be changed).

Question type 2 (questions 4-5) allows the user to ‘drag and drop’ an answer into the dotted box in the question.  Once an answer is dropped into place the user can press the ‘check answer’ button and a tick or cross will be displayed beside the sentence and also beside the item they dragged. I’ve tested this drag and drop functionality out on iOS and Android devices and it works fine, so hopefully we’ll be able to include such functionality in the final version of the quizzes.

The prototypes I’d created focused entirely on the functionality of the quiz itself and not on the overall design of the interface, and once I’d completed the prototypes I set to work on some possible interface designs. So far I have created three, but I need to work on these some more before I let anyone see them. Having said that, I think the technical side of the project is currently on schedule, which is encouraging.

On Friday there was a corpus linguistics workshop at the University, which was being organised by Wendy. I had been invited to be part of the panel for a roundtable discussion session at the end of the event so I spent some time this week preparing for this. Unfortunately my son was ill on Friday and I had to leave work to pick him up from school, which meant I had to miss the event which was a real shame.