The first RISE Project Board meeting

The first RISE Project Board met on Friday 1st April at the OU Library. Chaired by Project Sponsor Gill Needham, Associate Director of Library Services, the meeting was attended by Judith Pickering representing the DOULS project; Richard Nurse – RISE Project Director; Liz Mallett – RISE Project Manager; Paul Grand – RISE Technical Developer; Hassan Sheikh – Head of Library IT Systems Development; Judy Thomas – Learning and Teaching Librarian Team Leader (Science and Health & Social Care) representing the Improving the Student Experience programme and Clari Gosling – Head of Faculty Team (Maths, Computing and Technology and OU Business School) .

Richard and Liz gave a presentation outlining the objectives of the RISE Project and gave some background on other projects in the JISC Activity Data programme. Here’s the presentation:

Liz gave her Project Manager’s report on work package progress to date and budget status. Judith gave some suggestions as to how the RISE Google gadget might be promoted alongside the other OU gadgets, and informed the group of some gadgets that  were being discussed to provide recommendations which may dovetail with what RISE is doing.

There was a discussion among the group as to how best to promote the recommender tool (MyRecommendations) in order to ensure we get some useful feedback on top of the student interviews which are planned. One suggestion was to publish a library website news item. There was some concern that this might confuse students as there is already a news item on the website about the new One-Stop search. Therefore care needs to be taken with timing. Other suggestions were to target particular groups of modules and also talk to Student Services about the best direction in which to promote.

Paul gave a demonstration of the MyRecommendations interface. The board members were impressed by how much had been achieved in such a short time. The search functionality was shown, demonstrating the search results, the resulting recommendations and the ratings functionality. It was commented that the interface was clear, attractive and easy to understand. A decision was made to pass a parameter to the EBSCO API so that the results list only shows those items where full text is available.

It was mentioned that there is some user testing on new tools happening imminently on campus, and a suggestion was made that RISE might use this as an opportunity to do some extra RISE testing if there are any free slots in the schedule for April.

There was a discussion about Privacy issues. The RISE Privacy Statement is written and includes an “opt-out” button which allows users to indicate that they would not like their search data to be included in the recommender system.

A number of suggestions were made as to where to link to the privacy statement from. These were:

  • Link from the Policies page on the Library website.
  • Link on the EBSCO Discovery Service page.
  • Link from SFX

The RISE Privacy Statement sits alongside and is additional to the main OU Website Privacy statement (

Our next Project Board meeting will be in June 2011.

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