Academic Book of the Future Update

Co_LAB Academic Book of the Future

In May 2016, co_LAB undertook an intensive, interdisciplinary workshop that brought together students and staff from across the University of Lincoln to explore the future of the academic book. The output of the project were a series of concept visualisations for an augmented reality surface that would interact with books and mobile devices to provide additional information and functionality to enhance the reading experience. We have since developed working AR prototypes, which we will be demonstrating at the British Library later this month!

We were also commissioned to produce a short documentary for the wider AHRC funded Academic Book of the Future project, which will be premiered during Academic Book Week:

European Youth Awards – Online Student Competition

During October, November and December of 2016, students and staff from the University of Lincoln and various other European partners participated in the European Youth Awards D(R)IVE DEEP DIGITAL collaborative project, leading up to the final event, hosted in Graz, Austria, Nov 30th – Dec 3rd, 2016.


Chiefly, the students were challenged to respond creatively to one of the category winners of the EYA competition, by creating a poster presentation that illustrated the core themes, ideas and drivers behind the concept. In the spirit of cross-European collaboration, students from each partner university were allocated a group that contained individuals from varying different countries, which the mixed nationality groups working together online to research and evaluate their allotted EYA project. This culminated in the production of conference style posters which the students (accompanied by Jon) presented at the EYA gala festival in Graz. Once again, Graham was an online juror again for the European Youth Award over the summer.

LiGHTS Nights Research Showcase

LiGHTS Nights (Lincoln – Get Hold of Tech and Science) is a one-day celebration of how science and technology impacts on our daily lives. With a lively and thought-provoking free programme of events in venues across Lincoln, the day aims to inspire and excite visitors with the wonders of innovation and exploration.

LiGHTS is part of the European Researchers’ Night, which is a Europe-wide initiative that takes place on the last Friday night of September every year. It was launched in 2005 in 20 cities, across 15 countries and has grown fast since then, attracting over 1 million people every year. This mega event offers visitors in cities all over Europe a unique opportunity to meet researchers and take part in science activities aiming to showcase both the fascination of research as a career and its significant societal impact. LiGHTS is Lincoln’s first event contribution to this event, hosted by the University of Lincoln Friday 30th September.

co_LAB facilitated a public workshop as part of the event, providing an opportunity for attendees to engage directly with our research in a variety of ways. The workshop featured demonstrations of the latest Virtual and Augmented Reality technology, alongside the exhibition of innovative concepts created in previous co_LAB workshops.



Participants of the workshop had the chance to immerse themselves in virtual 3D environments through a variety of games and interactive demonstrations of the latest VR headsets (including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR). The workshop aimed to highlight the creative potential of Virtual and Augmented Reality, with participants encouraged to contribute to our emerging practice-based research in this exciting area. We also invited previous co_LAB participants to join us as co-facilitators of the workshop, providing an opportunity to reflect on their experiences, discuss their concepts with the general public, and to act as student ambassadors for co_LAB.


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Partnership Accreditation Conference

The co_LAB team were recently invited to contribute to the Partnership Accreditation Conference, which was hosted by the Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement, University of Portsmouth, July 1st. This event was a 1-day collaborative developmental conference that brought together staff and students from academic institutions all over the UK, alongside national educational bodies (HEA, SEDA, TSEP, RAISE, JISC and NUS), to begin the process of developing a national (and possibly international partnership) accreditation framework for collaborative partnerships. The purpose of the conference was to explore what an accreditation framework would look like by considering good practice in existing institutional partnerships and accreditation models.

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Jon, James, Graham and Martyn, accompanied by Zach and Klaudia (two fantastic student participants of previous co_LAB workshops!), were invited to act as ‘expert witnesses’ by sharing our experiences/best practices, providing feedback and contributing to the debate. We also helped to facilitate break-out discussions, with delegates being divided into small teams to collaboratively explore the following questions:

Breakout Session 1

1. What are the students doing?

  • How are students facilitating learning and teaching within the University and externally?
  • What kinds of roles are they engaging in when they do this?

2. What kind of learning are we trying to recognise and value in students who are facilitating learning and teaching within the University and externally?

Breakout Session 2

What kinds of accreditation criteria could we use to
benchmark this learning?

  1. What are students demonstrating when they engage with these criteria?
  2. Are students engaging with more than one set of accreditation criteria?
  3. What is the distinction between engaging with criteria benchmarked against learning and teaching and self assessment criteria benchmarked against learning gains ?
  4. What is the relationship between these different sets of criteria?

Breakout Session 3

  1. To what extent would a Partnership Award add value for students ?
  2. What kind of progression could there be in a student partnership award?
  3. What kind of evidence and reflection would students provide in each level/tier ?
  4. How is the award parcelled/packaged and why?
  5. What needs to happen next in the development of this framework?

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Jisc Change Agents’ Network Staff & Student Meet Up

The team recently contributed to the Jisc Change Agents’ Network (CAN) Staff & Student Meet Up, hosted by the University of Lincoln, 2 June 2016. CAN is a rapidly growing national network of student and staff practitioners in student engagement. This one-day event provided a chance to share practice, research, experiences and new thinking on student engagement, with a particular focus on engaging students as partners.

We took part in the practice showcase, presenting our latest project that sought to engage students in designing the Academic Book of the Future. This networking event enabled us to discuss the co_LAB workshop model and receive feedback of our student partnership projects from other educators. We were also accompanied by a student participant from the latest workshop to share her experiences and contribute a student perspective.


co_LAB stall at the CAN Showcase