Mr Niall Barr
- System Developer (IT Services)
Areas of Interest
My main area of interest is the use of IT in education and, in particular, interoperability specifications for educational material and systems. I have been involved with the development of a number of IMS interoperability specifications, in particular the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) version 2 specification. I am also interested in the use of formative assessment and other interactive activities to enhance and re-enforce learning.
I am the developer of YACRS (Yet another classroom response system), an open source system that allows students to use their mobile phones or other internet devices to answer questions during lectures. YACRS has recently been adopted as the centrally supported replacement to 'clickers' by the University.
My other main area of interest is the development and use of generative programming tools (and related small domain specific languages) as a means of enhancing both productivity and quality in the software development process.
Current and Recent Development Activities:
- Principle Investigator for the JISC funded QTI-PET, QTI-DI and QTI-IPS projects. Our project blog gives further details of these and the associated Uniqurate project.
- A set of lightweight implementations of IMS LTI 1.1 that will allow Java, PHP and C# developers to quickly add LTI functionality to their web applications.
- CCPlayr, a simple desktop player for IMS Common Cartridge packages.
- An XSLT viewer and validator for Leap2a e-portfolio interoperability files as part of the JISC funded PIOP3 program.
Over the last few years I've been Principle Investigator on a number of JISC funded projects.
- A development of Leap2a import and export facilities for Mahara (in collaboration with ULCC and with the work being carried out by Catalyst IT, the developers of Mahara.) (C £10000)
- Development of a Leap2a validation and rendering tool that helps developers of import and export features of e-portfolio software. (C £4900)
- The QTI-IPS project which is supporting uptake of QTI 2.1 to provide improved formative assessment and sharing of material across the sector. (C £39000)
- The QTI Delivery & Integration Project (QTI-DI) starting in September 2011 which will increase the use of QTI to support maths skills at the University, and share our experience with several other institutions. (C £40000)
- The QTI-PET project, a continuation of QTI-IPS. (C £40000)