Opps for Apps symposium update

The upcoming symposium is gathering steam, attracting a number of high profile internal and external participants. At the moment we are communicating with attendees, organizing panels, and constructing the schedule.  The day long event, on June 17th, promises to be a fitting finale to the ‘Opps for Apps’ project. If you are interested in attending then do contact research coordinator Larissa.Allwork@northampton.ac.uk . We hope to see you all there!

The Sonnets

IMAG0162 Today we finish the last of our seminars using literary apps! This week students have been exploring the Touchpress Shakespeare’s Sonnets app which is devoted to the 134 sonnets written by the Bard. This comprehensive app utilises a variety of multimedia features, in addition to material from the Arden Shakespeare edition of the sonnets, to enhance our understanding of this substantial body of poetry. We look forward to examining the feedback for this app and to the next stage of the project.

Subject Futures Visit by Jon Ingold

Jon Ingold, joint creative director of the award winning app company Inkle, visited the University for Subject Futures Week on Tuesday. Jon, who is responsible for the Times Video Game of 2014, 80 Days, spoke on the subject of interactive fiction to a diverse group of students and staff.

photoIn a fascinating 1 hour session, Jon covered a host of pertinent topics including the opportunities for creative writers in this emerging field, choice and branching narratives, the issues that surround adapting a beloved text into an interactive form, and the links between Inkle’s work and that of other participatory fields such as improvisational theatre. We hope to bring Jon back in sometime in the future to speak more on the intersections between literature and apps.

Carmilla Update

The new year has only just begun and we have already trialled the use of another literary app! This time round it was the level 7 module LITM017 Pulp Visions and a session on J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Gothic text Carmilla. M.A. students looked at Draculaapp’s Carmilla app, exploring how the software worked and what the strengths and weaknesses of the app are. Overall, the experience was a positive one, with student Anthony Stepniak commenting, “The ‘Opps for Apps’ project is helping to take literary studies into the new digital age. With the text, combined with lots of contextual extras, it allows both student and staff a shared innovative foundation from which to critique a text. As someone who has experienced the use of literary apps in a seminar, I welcome them as a new and much needed addition to the study of literature”. Next up we will be trialling the use of the award winning TouchPress app “The Wasteland” in level 5 Modernism seminars.


We recently handed over our project Ipads to Dr Lorna Jowett from the Film and Screen Studies department. Lorna, and her M.A. students, have kindly agreed to take part in the ‘Opps for Apps’ project, and to try out the Carmilla app in the level 7 module Pulp Visions. Students will get a chance to explore the app in the penultimate seminar of thescreen320x480 module just after the Christmas break.

Symposium Update

Guests are rapidly signing up for the ‘Opps for Apps’ symposium to be held on June 17rth 2015. The latest guests to confirm their attendance at the event are Professor Andrew C. Goodwyn from The University of Reading and Selam Zeru from the app company TouchPress (responsible for Shakespeare’s Sonnets and  The Wasteland apps that we are using in the project). It already promises to be a really interesting day for all involved, so why not contact either Sonya Andermahr, David Simmons or Larissa Allwork if you want to attend. More names to follow soon!




Today we handed over the first Ipads and material to our first participating member of staff, Dr Richard Chamberlain. Richard will be using the app in his Shakespeare seminars on Othello next week. We look forward to hearing back from Richard and the students that are involved with this initial stage of the project in a few weeks time.


Let Us Know About Your HE App Experiences

Hi all, we’d like to use this shared Google doc as an informal repository to document and record any experiences staff at The University of Northampton have had using educational apps on their smart phones and tablets.


If you would like to contribute, please do so. We’d be interested to hear about apps that you’ve encountered, whether you’ve ever used any apps to aid your teaching in any way, and anything else related to the broad subject of apps in HE. Thanks!


Weekly Update!

Yesterday was the second meeting of the ‘Opps for Apps’ team and it was a productive one! The team discussed a range of important matters related  to the project. Of most significance was the drafting out of the questionnaire we are going to ask students, who take part in the project, to complete. After carrying out research into existing (primarily U.S. based) material on the use of educational apps in the classroom we managed to formulate an accessible yet pertinent set of questions. We now need to explore the ways in which we might transfer this into an electronic format so that students can complete the questionnaire on the same tablets they use for the apps.

We also discussed acquisition of the selected apps, potential dates for the symposium (the second week of June) and the specific needs of students taking part in the study who may have special learning requirements.