AALD Project

Funded in 2021 – The Vietsch Foundation announces a new project grant on Academic Achievement and Learning Diaries (AALD).

Epistemic cognition, like the justification of knowledge, is a growing theme in learning analytics. It is highly topical in the era of MOOCs and conflicting resources of knowledge.

AALD aims to increase the scientific understanding of students’ epistemic thinking related to learning analytics applications. This information is vital for making advancements in designing new applications to measure and monitor student success.

The application used to record student experience is a structured learning diary that allows higher education students to prepare for classes, make notes, and reflect on their learning experience afterward. Our research expands the dataset to include student interviews, student register data, and questionnaires (pre-test, post-test, and two delayed post-test questionnaires).

AALD contributes to publishing two scientific open access articles, a public web page describing the structured diary tool contents, and main findings summary of the project. In addition, a public presentation will be given as part of a relevant conference. The project timeline is from Oct 2021 to Jan 2022. Publications’ should be open after the review processes later in 2022.

For more information: Ville Kivimäki, University of Helsinki, ville.kivimaki@helsinki.fi

 


Targeted Online – A publication on how AdTech works

 

Funded in 2020 – The Vietsch Foundation funded the publication of “Targeted Online”, a handbok by the European Digital Rights (EDRi), an association of civil and human rights organisations from across Europe.

The web has become a place where visiting a webpage triggers many effects elsewhere, where advertising technology results in a surveillance ecosystem. Yet people still think of the ‘friendly’ world wide web of the nineties. The “Targeted Onlie” handbook is intended for curious internet users who want to understand the internet’s dominant business model, how tech companies use (and abuse) data, why some ads are eerily creepy and others so foolishly wrong. The handbook explains how online advertising works, and why a reform of the entire online advertising industry is urgently needed.

The “Targeted Online” handbook can be dowloaded here. For more informtion visit the EDRI website.


EMREX project

The Vietsch Foundation announces a new grant to CSC for a project to expand the EMREX network to the EU and beyond.

EMREX is a solution for transferring student data internationally in a machine-readable way. It consists of two parts: the technical solution and the international network (EMREX user group – EUG) enabling and developing the activities. EMREX originated as an EU-funded project 2015-2017, aiming to simplify and increase the quality of the credit transfer process after a student exchange. At present, EMREX is operational in a number of countries in Europe. It is a technical solution used to securely exchange educational data between students and third parties, for example higher education institutions (HEIs) or potential employers. In this way, EMREX can facilitate student mobility and decrease the administrative burden of student exchanges for the institutions. EMREX uses an open source technical solution, through which different kinds of educational data can be transferred, be it transcript of records or entire diplomas.

The Vietsch Foundation grant will serve two objectives:

  • Industrializing the EMREX registry and reviewing the ELMO standard
  • Dissemination of EMREX services and building the EMREX brand

This will help EMREX to make a step-change towards a self-standing service which creates value to students and organizations in Europe and also globally.


Science Checker Project

Funded in 2020/21 – The Science Checker project built a free to access search engine, developing a novel approach that verifies scientific claims by means of analysing the pertinent and available scientific literature. The science-checker.opscidia.com is now publicly available.

The subject of fake news is a very topical one. With social networks, and the advances of artificial intelligence, it is increasingly easier to create fake news and make them circulate quicker and quicker. Health and sciences are particularly nasty topic for fake news. Scam medicine, and worrisome information circulate, often based on absolutely no scientific facts. The current context of Covid19 pandemic has made the need to tackle this crisis in the scientific information even more serious. 

The grant was awarded to Opscidia, a startup which develops artificial intelligence tools that make use of open access articles to accelerate innovation, promote sound policies and help providing rigorous information to the general public. Thanks to the Vietsch Foundation grant, Opscidia will build a prototype online application that allows to check scientific fake news. This prototype will consist in different types of indicators based on the analysis of large volumes of scientific articles. These indicators will be easy to understand in order for the non-specialists to form quickly a good idea of whether an information is backed by the scientific literature, is under debate, or is totally groundless.


New project: “Free and Open Source: Law, policy and practice” edited by Amanda Brock

The second edition of “Free and Open Source: Law, policy and practice” edited by Amanda Brock, will be published by Oxford University Press, in summer 2020, as an “open access title” with pdf, html and e-reader freely available on an attribution basis, thanks to the generous funding of the Vietsch foundation.

Amanda Brock, told us that “ having managed to persuade an amazing group of contributors to write chapters for the second edition, we will create what I believe will be one of the most important collaborations in open source in 2020. It’s great that the legal and other advisory and support communities around open source, have been willing to pull together and commit their time to create this work. We will be going beyond the European slant of the first edition to a global viewpoint with authors from the US, including Stephen Walli and Ross Gardler on community and governance, Mark Radcliffe on Blockchain and McCoy Smith on copyright. All areas of IP will be covered. Miriam Ballhausen, will pick up on copyright litigation considering recent actions in her home country, Germany and Canonical’s Jilayne Lovejoy will write about contribution agreements. On the patent front, as well as an update of the existing chapter on Patent litigation from the Origin team, Peter Langley and Colm McKernan and Malcolm Bain’s introduction to patents, we will be joined by Knut Blind writing on standard essential patents and his recent report from the Commission. Pam Chesteck is of course covering trade marks while Carlo Piano considers competition and antitrust issues.

Mirko Böhme will explain the economic of open source and Andre Katz will look at All Things Open and open hardware. The Linux Foundation’s Shane Coughlan will write on Open Chain and Kate Stewart on SPDX while Redhat’s Richard Fontana and David Levine will write on Cloud. Iain Mitchell will look at public sector and Open Forum Europe’s Sachiko Muto public policy.

As well as editing, I will be looking at commercial and operational models in open source.

It will be an incredibly practical and useful text for lawyers, open source offices and people working on compliance, suitable for academics and those working at the code face.

The icing on the cake for me as editor of this book is to know that the book will be available to all through open access thanks to the Veitsch Foundation.

Look out for further updates on the book status over the next few months.”


Development of a Proposal for a Trusted Student Identification Framework

Funded in 2019 – The Vietsch Foundation funds a study by the European Campus Card Association (ECCA) that will encompass requirements for cross-border trusted student eID credentials, and provide recommendations for a trusted student eID framework to support the provision of secure identification and authentication on a cross-border basis in Europe.

The study started on 10 September 2019 and will end in May 2020 with the publication of a report surveying state of the art and business aspects and issuing recommendations for the establishment of a cross-border Student eID Project.


Diamond Key Security Microsoft CryptoAPI Integration

Funded in 2019 – The project aimed to create and develop the software application programming interface (API) and perform the necessary integration and validation steps for the DKS hardware security module, the Diamond-HSM™, to support and function with the Microsoft CryptoAPI (often referred to as “CAPI”).  Developing this integration to communicate with the Microsoft operating system will dramatically increase the reach of security solutions among non-profit higher education networks driving scientific research and innovation.

In partnership with the Vietsch Foundation, Diamond Key Security (DKS) is excited to make available under a permissive BSD clause 3 open-source license software, software installation, and related documentation to enable DKS and CrypTech solutions to integrate with and support Windows networking environments. 

The installation documentation provides information and instructions so that the software can be installed in a Windows network environment for either usage for signing by a Windows Certificate Authority (CA) (for various applications like DNS) or for a developers utilizing Diamond-HSM solutions or CrypTech solutions.


New project in the Research and Higher Education Technology Fund

The Vietsch Foundation has decided to fund a new project under the NLnet Research and Higher Education Technology Fund :

TRACKING EXPOSED

Algorithms are the technological solution to the information overload: they are as powerful as necessary to manage the overflow of data that reaches us. Unfortunately, they can also conceal the existence and use of assessments and judgments that impact the dissemination of ideas and culture. No one should be allowed to abuse such power over connected people. At this stage, consent is nor informed nor optional.

The main objective of the project is to put a spotlight on users’ tracking, profiling, on the data market and on the influence of algorithms. As long as these phenomena are shielded from view or understood only by experts, they cannot be tackled with the political determination that problems of such magnitude deserve. That is why we strive to explain the issue, test and promote new solutions, developed to benefit the community.

Project URL https://tracking.exposed/


Democratic Sendcomm

Funded in 2018 – The project aims to build a user-friendly connected telemetry appliance with just enough configuration to teach democratic communication while keeping the learning curve flat. The main deliverable will be a Opensource design of cheap yet high performance LoRa devices in form factors appropriate for one low-power platform (like BBC Micro:bit) and one high-power platform (like Minnowboard Turbot). Work will include a sample production run of 1000 units for one of the form factors and suitable documentation for educational purposes. This project is jointly supported by the Vietsch Foundation and the NLnet Foundation.


Explain Direct

Funded in 2018 –  Open source technical solutions for analyzing, recommending, and querying open educational materials within the context of higher education. This collaborative project between the Web Information Systems group of TU Delft and FeedbackFruits, aims at piloting new and more effective access paradigms for Online Open Courseware. In most cases, online educational material is intended to be consumed in a traditional course-based manner. The project is working on making access to educational material easier, targeted and direct, re-usable and more tailored to life-long learning scenarios.

Project URL https://explain.direct/