Using Open Data in Higher Education – A Mini Survey

Image CC-BY  Jer Thorp
Image CC-BY Jer Thorp

Last term I taught the Digital Information Technologies and Architectures (DITA) postgraduate module at #citylis.

Sessions are divided in an hour and half of lecture and an hour and a half of computer lab work. As part of the module students created datasets obtained using data from the Twitter and Altmetric APIs.

We also looked at the data obtainable from the Old Bailey Online and tried text analysis and basic visualisations using Voyant. In my lectures I have also used some of the datasets I have created and shared on figshare to teach. The Open Knowledge Foundation’s Open Data Handbook is part of the reading list.

The awareness amongst researchers that open data is citeable is increasing rapidly, and the benefits of open data for research are being widely acknowledged by learned societies, publishers and funders from various disciplines.

My colleagues Javiera Atenas (University College London), Leo Havemann (Birkbeck College) and I have been interested in Open Educational Resources and the interconnections between research, publishing and educational practices for some time now (for example see our recent article on Open Educational Resources Repositories here).

We are interested in finding more about how other colleagues in higher education are using open data in teaching.

We are conducting a mini survey to understand which portals, tools or repositories fellow academics are using to retrieve open datasets and how this data is being used in teaching and learning in Higher Education.

If you have used open data in your teaching practice we would like to hear from you.

It’s only three questions. The mini-survey is here.

If you know someone who teaches with open data in higher education, we will be very grateful if you can refer them to the survey.

Thanks a lot in advance.


Atenas, J., Havemann, L. & Priego, E. (2014). Opening teaching landscapes: The importance of quality assurance in the delivery of open educational resources. Open Praxis, 6(1), pp. 29-43. doi: 10.5944/openpraxis.6.1.81


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