Welcome to Bebop!

Welcome to what will be the first of many blog posts about this project. My name is Dale Mckeown and I’m a third year Computer Science student at the University of Lincoln. I’ve been working with the university’s LNCD group on my dissertation project, which involves utilising data and services from data.lincoln.ac.uk.The basis of my dissertation was to develop an attendance monitoring system which could be used by staff and students at our university, prototyping a tool to allow students to take accountability for their education through analysing their own attendance data.

With my final year at university coming to an end, I shall now be working on the Bebop (BuddyPress OER Profiles) project, which involves ‘consuming’ Open Educational Resources from third party content providers (e.g. Slideshare, YouTube, Jorum) through their APIs. Today I spent my first day on the job at the JISC OER programme meeting, learning more about the overall programme and the other projects on the Rapid Innovation strand. Some challenges of the project were identified, the main one being the stability of third-party APIs, and how likely they are to change over time. It’s likely that we will review each potential API over the coming weeks to determine their stability, which in turn should help us deliver a suitable and useful plugin for BuddyPress/WordPress.

I look forward to posting more detailed information, but for now I would like to call on anyone with any experience of working with APIs of popular services where academics publish their OERs. If you have any advice about working with these APIs, please get in contact with us via the comment box with any suggestions or useful tips.

Thank you.