May 9, 2017, by Stuart Moran

Digital Engagement (8): Toolkits for Assessment

For members of the public, the main outcome of academic research is not usually the data, but the insight, analysis and commentary that an academic provides. This means that even if the data were made available to a wider audience in an interactive way (as per the previous blog post), it relies heavily on the end-user asking the right questions and analyzing the data in the right way.

A different type of approach might be to not only offer members of the public access to your data, but to also offer some kind of automated analysis or assessment, including a set of corresponding recommendations.

Lets take a look at a couple of examples of toolkits that provide assessments or advice:

NHS Babylon is an AI-powered mobile phone app that provides advice on medical conditions based on a users description of their symptoms.

Do Not Pay is an ‘robot lawyer’ which can provide advice and automatically generate legal documentation based on a a users answers to a set of questions.

Who Shall I Vote For is a website which asks users a set of questions based on their beliefs, morals and lifestyle choices and highlights which policies from which political parties they best align to.

Class Calculator a web-based survey designed to categorise users into 1 of 7 different British Class groups. This provides a social commentary on your status in society.

Literatin is a browser based plugin that calculates the readability of text, and makes a comparison to popular literature. This is an awareness raising tool designed to highlight the complexity of legal documentation.

Not only do these toolkits engage users with research through the incentive of feedback, but it also encourages users to provide the researchers with more data. Consider the class calculator, users complete a survey to get the results; which can in turn be added back into the survey and research.

If you would like to discuss the use of Toolkits in your research, please do get in touch with the Digital Research Team.

Stuart Moran, Digital Research Specialist for Social Sciences

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