Executive Summary

We propose to establish a cross-disciplinary and University-wide teaching and learning platform for computational key skills development incl. scientific computing and data analysis that will facilitate integration of computational hands-on experience into existing modules and drastically improve student experience in acquiring essential modern computing skills. We will achieve this by reducing the steep learning curve and educational overhead associated with traditional computational tools for software development, data analysis, and data visualization. We will set up a purely web-browser-based learning experience hosting interactive computational notebooks, which will seamlessly integrate content and executable software. In a cross-disciplinary effort by colleagues from several departments, we will (1) implement a server-based prototype solution to provide an in-house platform to host computational notebooks on existing server hardware and (2) implement two exemplar applications within three undergraduate modules in the 2018/2019 academic year that provide evidence of its effects on learning outcomes in teaching computational key skills for diversely different student audiences in different learning environments.

To achieve these objectives, we request financial support from IATL for the technical and programme implementation and feedback collection via teaching assistant positions, as well as temporary teaching relief during time-intensive phases of the project.

The long-term goal of this project is to provide the technology and evidence base for the development of a permanent toolkit for dual computational skills training and discipline-specific content delivery that will benefit student experience across all faculties and guidance for educators on how to integrate this tool into their practice.