eMargin used in European election campaign

The Spanish political party Podemos has been making extensive use of eMargin in its European election campaign. The party uploaded draft policy documents to our system and invited the public to comment on them using eMargin’s collaborative annotation, discussion, and tagging features. The comments, from thousands of participants, have helped to shape the policies and future direction of this new political party.

While we don’t have any affiliation with Podemos or any other political party, we’re excited to see eMargin being used in this way! We believe that our tool has great potential in gathering views from a large number of participants in an open, democratic way.


A warm welcome to all new eMargin users!

We’re pleased to see that eMargin now has over 3000 registered users!

If you’re a new user, why not complete our feedback form to let us know what you think of the tool and what features you’d like to see? Many of the current features were suggested by eMargin users and we’ve got lots of new features planned!

You can also ‘like’ eMargin on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.

eMargin in Ariadne Magazine

We’ve written an article on our experiences developing eMargin, which is featured in the latest issue of Ariadne: the web magazine for information professionals. The article describes the background to the eMargin project, the features of the tool, and its recent integration with virtual learning environments. It also reports on some of the ways in which other researchers are using eMargin.

You can read the article at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue71/kehoe-gee

eMargin on Tour (Part 2)

Recently, we’ve given further presentations on different aspects of eMargin, as we continue to develop the tool for new audiences.

On November 23, we were invited to present eMargin at a workshop on Corpora at the University of Nottingham. This workshop was part of the AHRC-funded Hidden Collections series, designed to introduce doctoral researchers to methods and approaches in the broad field of archives, collections and datasets.

A few weeks later, on December 6, we presented eMargin at Lancaster University in the UCREL Corpus Research Seminar series. Researchers at Lancaster have been using eMargin in their ESRC-funded Metaphor in End of Life Care (MELC) project. The XML-export option in our tool has proved particularly useful in this project and we’re excited to be working with Lancaster in developing eMargin for their particular task.

You can find previous eMargin presentations on Slideshare.

eMargin on Tour

This week we’ve presented eMargin at two Higher Education Academy (HEA) events, as we continue our dissemination programme and attract new users across disciplines. The first event was the 8th Annual HEA Conference at the University of Manchester, from July 3-4. You can download a PDF version of our eMargin poster from the conference below.

eMargin Poster

The second event was an HEA workshop hosted by the University of Leicester on July 5. This workshop reported on the findings of the #tagginganna project carried out by the Leicester team, which examined the social annotation of texts online to support seminar discussions at university.

We had already worked with Leicester on a pilot project, testing an early version of eMargin in English seminars there. Feedback from Leicester students was of great benefit to us in designing the full version of eMargin and in securing JISC funding, so we were very pleased to be invited back to talk about the latest developments in our project and to hear more about their work. Our presentation from the workshop is available on SlideShare. You can also read more about the event on the Leicester Peer – 2.0 – Peer Learning Enhancement blog.

Both events were invaluable in helping us to consider different perspectives on e-learning in general and on social annotation in particular, and on the features which may be useful in other disciplines. Expect further developments to eMargin in the coming months!

Coming Soon: Integration with VLEs

We’ve just secured further funding from JISC under the Embedding Benefits scheme which will allow us to develop eMargin further over the next year. In this next phase, we’ll be focussing on closer integration with Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) such as Moodle and Blackboard Learn. This will allow users to access eMargin directly from the VLE without having to log-in separately, and will also make it much easier for teachers to manage class groups.

This integration will be achieved through use of the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specification published by the IMS Global Learning Consortium and supported by all major VLE providers. As part of our work, we’ll be developing a new Java LTI class library which will be reusable by other software developers, allowing their tools to benefit from closer integration with VLEs too.

More details coming soon!

eMargin Progress

We’ve been working on eMargin over the summer and an initial version is now ready to try. Feel free to give it a go and let us know if you have any comments, questions or suggestions. At the moment, anybody can try eMargin as an individual user but you’ll need to contact us for permission to create groups of users (e.g. students), upload your own texts, and share texts with groups.

We’ve been giving further demonstrations of eMargin to current and prospective users, at our own university and at other institutions. The tool is being used this semester in English seminars at Birmingham City University and at the University of Leicester, and is now being trialled in other disciplines.

Following our recent technical discussions, Rowin Young of JISC CETIS has written a blog post about eMargin. We’ve also been contacted by Caren Milloy and Anna Vernon of JISC Collections, who were keen to hear about eMargin in advance of the NISO meeting on Standards Development for E-Book Annotation Sharing and Social Reading at the Frankfurt Book Fair. We hope to work more closely with JISC Collections on future developments to eMargin.

See what others are saying about eMargin on Twitter.