Spring cleaning #OERuSIA ready for #Abbotsthon17

A frame grab of the landing page for the Sport Informatics and Analytics (#OERuSIA) course on WikiEducator.

I have been getting ready for #Abbotsthon17 in October in Dublin at the HPX 2017 Knowledge Exchange Conference.

As part of the day’s workshop, I have planned an autoresponse pre-workshop sharing of information about Sport Informatics and Analytics. I am using an OERu course to do this (#OERuSIA).

I have spent the last week Spring cleaning the course and making sure I am using the appropriate WikiEducator pedagogical iDevice templates to structure course content.

An example of the IDevices used in WikiEducator

The process has enhanced my interest in the open sharing of microcontent. I am looking forward to learn how the #Abbotsthon17 participants have enjoyed the experience.

The WikiEducator course template includes the opportunity to list an outline of the course with all the sections listed.

The Sport Informatics and Analytics outline can be found here. As of today there are 100 mocrocontent parts of the course.

As an open resource licensed under a Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 3.0, I think these microcontents could contribute to an infinite collection of resources focused on performance in sport.


Shortly after posting this, Wayne Mackintosh was writing on the ICDE blog about micro-credentials in open online courses. In his post he notes:

The OERu assembles open online courses from OER and open access materials designed for independent study. Learners can study OERu courses online for free from anywhere in the world. Learners only pay for assessment, if and when they are ready for it. OERu partner institutions award transcript credit for assessed learning. OERu partners have developed a system for transnational credit transfer that operates within existing institutional policies. Successful learners can have their credits recognised towards designated qualifications based on credit transfer and credit accumulation agreements between OERu institutions.

I see enormous opportunities in this approach for learners with different amounts of time to invest in their learning journeys.

Fogo helping us out of our fog

I have discovered Fogo Island, Newfoundland.

… through a documentary about the Fogo Island Inn.

The documentary introduced me to Zita Cobb and her visions for cultures and spaces.

Zita’s ideas for the island led me to the Shorefast Foundation. The Foundation’s website has this introduction:

Shorefast operates as a social enterprise, meaning we use business minded ways to achieve social ends. The Shorefast model of social entrepreneurship is based on the following principles:

There is inherent, irreplaceable value in place itself and that the key to sustainability lies in nurturing the specificity of place; in the intellectual heritage and cultural wisdom, talent, knowledge and abundance that exists naturally in each place;

That with an initial investment, viable enterprises and businesses can be developed so that the surpluses from these businesses (social enterprises) contribute to the resilience and economic wellbeing of the community;

That art is a way of knowing, of belonging, of questioning, of innovating. It is a way of participating in a global conversation and a way of making sense of the world. As such, it has the potential to contribute to positive social change.

I was particularly struck by the way the Fogo Inn lived these principles. Their everyday practice embodied “a way of knowing, of belonging, of questioning, of innovating”. I think it offers all of us insights into how we might be in a connected, value-rich culture.

The Inn has an ethological ethic that I find inspirational:

From its inception, Fogo Island Inn has adopted a responsible, systems-based approach to design and implementation in order to conduct itself in a way that demonstrates and upholds a higher fidelity relationship with the natural world. The Inn has a concrete and accredited environmental strategy, ethical suppliers, and tactics in place to protect the environment. We are deeply committed to and invested in all things local and we consistently surpass the requirements of environmental laws.

I see this as applicable to many contexts … acting locally and globally.

The Inn has a Community Host Program to connect guests with the island:

People and place are inextricably tangled up with one another on Fogo Island. It is crucial to hear stories from the people who have lived here before truly being able feel this place and understand how everything fits together.

The hosts “are intimately connected to their home and eager to pass on their extensive knowledge of Fogo Island’s culture and history to our guests”.

I am sorry it has taken me so long to find Fogo, Zita and Shorecast. I do think what is happening on the island is very significant.  The ideas and principles have helped me think deeply about service, leadership and followership. 

Photo Credits

Fogo Island (Douglas Sprott, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Fogo Island Inn (Paul Asman and Jill Lenobie, CC BY 2.0)

Shorefast hotel construction (Timothy Neesam, CC BY-NC_ND 2.0)

Fogo Inn (Fogo Inn website)

Small places (Fogo Inn website)

#cssia17 Connecting and Sharing

I have been following up on some leads shared by Mara Averick. Two recent suggestions caught my attention as I try to improve the ways I share and connect.

The first was a post by Joris Muller about reproducible computational research for R users. In it he explores ideas shared in a 2013 paper written by Geir Sandve and colleagues. In that paper, Geir proposes ten rules for reproducible computational research. These are very pertinent to those seeking to share and explore performance in sport using analytics insights.

The ten rules are:

  1. Keep track of how every result was produced.
  2. Avoid manual data manipulation steps
  3. Archive the exact versions of all external programs used
  4. Version control all custom scripts
  5. Record all intermediate results in standardised formats when possible
  6. For analyses that include randomness note underlying random seeds
  7. Always store raw data behind plots
  8. Generate hierarchical nalysis output allowing layers of increasing detail to be inspected
  9. Connect textual statements to underlying results
  10. Provide public access to scripts, runs and results

Joris concludes his post:

All the 10 rules proposed in the Sandve paper are reachable for a R user. Just by using R itself, the rmarkdown workflow and some organisational rules cover most of these rules. My basic reproductible workflow meet almost all the criterias with the notable exceptions of the software archive (but it’s work in progress with packrat) and the lack of public access (but I can’t share everything).

For an introduction to Joris’s workflow, you might find this post of interest.

The second lead from Mara focussed on reproducible behaviour too.  Jenny Bryan shared her ideas back in 2015 about Naming Things. This is one of the many resources Jenny has shared. I have found her GitHub repositories immensely helpful. In her 2015 paper, Jenny notes three principles for file names: machine readable, human readable and ‘plays well with default ordering’.

The two leads sent me off thinking about how I might improve my practice. I am fascinated by Joris’s transparency with his workflow and I see this approach as essential for sport analytics as we start to extend cumulative rather than ‘ab initio‘ research. I admire Jenny’s work immensely. I have tried to use some robust file naming conventions for the past fifteen years as I have sought to use cloud based storage for all my resources. I realise I am a long way from meeting Jenny’s three principles at the moment but this will be a work in progress.

Mara Averick’s Twitter recommendations are becoming a very important way for me to connect with a community of practice. These two leads discussed here are a way for me to make this process explicit … and to initiate a conversation about reproducible behaviours in sport analytics research and practice.

Photo Credits

Tree on campus (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)