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As we come to our 25th anniversary we would like to invite you all to a celebration of how Knowledge and Media technologies are impacting education, science and beyond. If you visit any of our booths you will be able to talk in depth to our research teams and see demonstrations of our work as listed below.

This will include the Social Media Analytics team whose work has been featured in WIRED, the learning analytics team shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award and scholarly data researchers whose platform now attracts more web traffic than either the OU or FutureLearn websites.

Please use the button above to register interest in attending the KMi Festival. Lunch will be provided on the day.

KMi Staff photo 2019

Jump to Themes Jump to Showcases

Festival Themes

Smart Cities

The use of sensors and analytics to enhance city life, for example, to automatically route transport, to monitor air quality and to conserve water and energy


The use of semantic or machine learning technologies to automate reasoning

Smart Energy

The application of data analytics and machine learning to manage the generation and use of energy

Online Labs

'Labs' where students can create their own artifacts which are available online


A decentralised technology which underpins the crypto currency Bitcoin. Used in a wide variety of non-financial sectors such as education, energy, supply chains and to manage the Internet of Things


Individuals or groups who create interesting physical objects often including small computers and/or sensors

Social Media Analytics

The application of data analytics and machine learning to social media such as twitter

Learning Analytics

The application of data analytics to student data. Used to analyse student activities online, to predict outcomes (such as passing or failing a course) and to make recommendations

Citizen Science

Platforms which enable citizens to participate in science, for example, acquiring data, such as images for a local area or classifying images (e.g. of animals or stars)

Scholarly Data

The application of data analytics and machine learning to data about scholarly articles

Collective Intelligence and Online Deliberation

Increasing our ability to resolve complex problem with enhanced forms of collectively sensemaking, argumentation and deliberation


Biodiversity Citizen Science

We research Artificial Intelligence technologies to facilitate citizen science learning with the goal of motivating citizen action in support of nature. We will demonstrate technologies for (a) providing formative feedback to citizens learning to identify species through Natural Language Generation, (b) automatically generating multiple choice quizzes to test learning, and (c) technologies for communication citizen science and other ecological data to the public in engaging and actionable ways.

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World Class Internet Learning Labs

PT Anywhere is a network simulation tool developed in collaboration with the Cisco Networking Academy, which has over 1 million students worldwide. The tool is used by students and educators in the UK and abroad and is featured in a badged open course offered via the award-winning OpenLearn platform. PT Anywhere has received funding from the European Commission and the Ufi Charitable Trust in order to extend its educational capabilities and, most recently, to provide an accessible interface for visually impaired learners.

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Award Winning Learning Analytics

Conceived in 2013 by Prof. Zdenek Zdrahal, OUAnalyse is a joint collaborative project between the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi), the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) and Data and Student Analytics (DSA).

The resulting product of this fruitful collaborative research and development effort is a learning analytics tool, currently available to all undergraduate modules at the OU! Based on trained Machine Learning models, this tool automatically identifies students at risk of failure within the institution.

Not only the research behind this tool demonstrates its association with enhanced student performance, but an earlier deployment of this tool at the Czech Technical University has demonstrated its profound impact in terms of increasing retention. The number of failing students in this institution has dropped down by 49% since the 2015/16 academic year, generating an economic saving of more than 1M pounds. The results of OUAnalyse are currently being extended at two other UK universities as part of the the Institute of Coding.

OUAnalyse is currently nominated for the Times Higher Awards (THE 2019 Awards) in the category Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year! and nominated for the Research Excellence Awards at the Open University under the category of Outstanding Impact on Teaching, Curriculum and Students.

We will showcase a live demo with the anonymised version of the OUAnalyse dashboard. Attendants are welcome to come and learn to how to use the tool to monitor students' progress and improve their performance. Not to be missed!

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Smart Cities, Digital Humanities & Scholarly Data Analytics

The Intelligent System and Data Science group will showcase their work in a number of areas, including Digital Humanities, Smart Cities and Robotics, and Scholarly Data Analytics. In particular, members of the group will present our work on the LED and Read-It digital humanities projects, including demonstrations of the LED portal and the specialised search engine, FindLEr, that we developed to identify listening experiences in text. In the area of Smart Cities and Robotics we will show the work we are currently carrying out to develop an autonomous robot, HanS, which can monitor compliance with health and safety guidelines in the lab. In this area we will also present our work on the award-winning MK Data Hub, focusing in particular on its deployment to support the SciRoc Challenge, the 1st International Competition on Robots in a Smart City, which was held in Central Milton Keynes on 18-21 September. Finally, we will also present our work on Scholarly Data Analytics, focusing in particular on the technologies we have developed to support editorial processes at Springer Nature. These include the CSO Portal, a web application that enables users to explore the largest taxonomy of topics in the field of Computer Science; the CSO Classifier, a state of the art tool for automatically annotating scientific articles; and finally the Smart Topics Miner, a system that supports the annotation of proceedings books at Springer Nature and significantly improved the discoverability of their publications.

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Knowledge Makers: Bringing OU staff together to make things

The Knowledge Makers Group, established in 2017 brings together academics, staff and makers from across the OU. They have hosted many workshops and events around campus covering a diverse range of topics such as 3D printing, robotics, electronics and even origami. The group will be at the KMi Festival with a range of cool projects on display including their brand new 'Memory Masher Challenge'. Will *you* be the Memory Masher Master? There'll also be lots of other fun stuff you can also get your hands on!

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Smart Energy

A cutting-edge energy management system that helps track, analyse, and monitor businesses will be demonstrated. Presented as an intuitive dashboard and mobile app, the intelligent system provides a simple way to manage and control energy. Its backend engine includes AI techniques and algorithms devised and developed at KMi. It helps businesses, to not only reduce their usage, but also delivers tailored business insights.

RAE2 and RAE3.

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Social Media Analytics for Misinformation and Disaster Management

Misinformation is a persistent problem that threaten societies at multiple levels. In spite of the intensified attention given to this problem by scientists, governments, and media, the lack of awareness of how someone has interacted with, or is being exposed to, misinformation remains to be a challenge. This demo is of MisinfoMe; an application that collects validations from numerous FactCheckers, and provides an assessment of a given Twitter account, and the accounts it follows, with regards to how they share reliable or unreliable information.

COMRADES platform is an open-source application based on the Ushahidi platform, that collects, analyses, and maps crises reports from citizens and Twitter. The platform uses semantic technologies to automatically and rapidly filter out irrelevant reports, identify semantic entities, categorise reports based on the information they carry, and assess information validity.

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Smart Open Publications

CORE offers seamless, unrestricted access to millions of research papers from around the world. The service hosts the world's largest collection of open access full texts. It currently has 115 million metadata and 13 million full text records, which harvests from 10262 content providers. CORE is listed among the 5,000 websites globally according to Alexa Global Rank, which is calculated from a combination of daily visitors and page views on a website over a 3-month period.

The CORE services are used by researchers, libraries, universities or repositories. CORE Services include:

  • CORE Search
  • CORE Recommender
  • CORE Discovery

CORE's collection is continuously growing and can be accessed programmatically. It enables researchers and companies to build diverse applications such as checking and detecting misinformation, analysing trends or identifying plagiarism. You can start mining CORE data via the

  • CORE Dataset
  • CORE FastSync

The research underpinning CORE has been conducted at the OU since 2010 and has raised over 2.5 million for the OU from external grants and sale of licences.

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Blockchains: User Empowerment and Transforming Education

Over the last few years there has been growing concern over how large tech companies use our data. The Open Blockchain group in KMi have been investigating how blockchains can be used to empower users to control and manage their own data in a verified fashion without the use of any intermediaries. The group has also been developing platforms for using blockchains as personal lifelong accreditation records. As part of this work we have been collaborating with the team who are building Solid a personal data storage platform led by the web's inventor Sir Tim Berners Lee.

Our platform has been deployed in an OU master's course and a number of summer schools and bootcamps in the UK, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. We are developing global and national accreditation blockchains to support the transferability of accreditation and high-level capability policy analysis.

Additionally, we have been applying blockchains to monitoring energy generation and scientific reviewing.

On the day you will be able to speak to the team and see demonstrations of our blockchain applications.

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Stadium Live Interactive web broadcasts

The Stadium Live platform combines live web broadcasting with question-and-answer widgets to create interactive broadcasts. These are used within STEM modules to create labcasts and fieldcasts, where representatives from the module team can ask the students questions and demonstrate practical activities taking account of the students' responses. Timing is literally crucial for these events and is the focus of our ongoing research into interactive broadcasting. Broadcasting video at scale introduces a buffering delay that needs to be considered when preparing each broadcast, so that the widgets are embedded within the broadcast along with the students' subsequent responses. Furthermore, variations in network latency and streaming protocols need to be managed to synchronise the video and audio. Come along and see how we mange timing these across the configurations we use for lab and field broadcasts.

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Collective Intelligence and Online Deliberation

In this stand we'll showcase with banners and live demonstrations the latest collective intelligence technologies developed by the IDea research group.

IDea.kmi.open.ac.uk is an interaction design research group investigating new methods and tools to harvest discourse-based collective intelligence. This is intelligence emerging from new forms of human-machine collaboration and interactive dialogue.

We'll showcase technologies for structured online discussion (DebateHub.net; Evidence-Hub.net), Argument mapping and Visualisation (LiteMap.net and DemocraticReplay.org), and audience engagament with live events (DemocraticReflection.org). We'll also introduce a new ambitious project, funded by the Office of Naval Research, which aims at devising the next generation of technological solutions for discussion-enhanced collective intelligence and decision making. Finally the PhD students in the IDea team will be available to describe their latest research on Explainable AI and Accountable Computational Journalism.

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Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1908 653800

Fax: +44 (0)1908 653169

Email: KMi Support


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Email: KMi Development Team