And we’re off!

The Noteable service is into its next big pilot phase this Semester. Over 500 students will be using the service this week across 6 different courses in 6 different School within the University of Edinburgh.

But what is the Noteable service and what is the scope of this pilot? I’m glad you asked (You did ask, I heard you)

Here’s a quick summary of what the pilot involves, what we will be hoping to achieve and how we will measure it. Comments are more than welcome. (Nice ones)


What will be delivered

The Noteable service is a cloud-based application providing access to Jupyter notebooks online. Noteable provides a central space to store and run Jupyter notebooks in a variety of languages.

The purpose of Noteable is to allow students and staff to access Jupyter notebooks at any time without the need for pre-installation which can be cumbersome and difficult for programming novices. Noteable is integrated with the institutional VLE to allow for a central launch point into a pre-set environment without the need for a separate login.


The initial pilot will run for the duration of Semester 1 of the 2018-19 Academic Year concluding in December 2018. Feedback information from staff and students as well as usage data and indications of further demand will be collected and presented before the end of December 2018.

Users – Students, Courses, Schools

For the pilot of this service, we have worked to ensure pilot users from across the University. The Semester 1 pilot will involve 580 students in 6 courses from 6 different School within the University.

We are also aware that the Noteable service will be used as part of the Digital Skills Programme and we will report of the number of students involved in these sessions at the end of the semester.


There are multiple benefits to be derived from the Noteable service pilot. Firstly, staff who already incorporate Jupyter notebooks into their teaching will benefit from removing the need to have students install Jupyter beforehand which is time-consuming and can cause issues, especially when using multiple additional packages. We will work alongside current users in the creation of Jupyter specific OER materials which will help new users be more easily able to adopt the service.


Success Criteria

The key success criteria for the Noteable service pilot will be based around 3 components:

  1. Demonstrate Need
  2. Service Fit
  3. Service Cost
 1. Demonstrate Need

The first goal of the Noteable pilot will be to determine that there is a need for a centrally supported notebook service for teaching purposes. This can be quantified both with the number of current users as well as secured future users. This will be broken down into two measurable indicators: number of courses using Noteable and number of students within these courses as a total. There will also be an additional measure citing the number of different Schools associated with the pilot to help ensure that the service is widely accepted across the University.

Goal: 6 Courses with up to 500 students in Semester 1

 2. Service Fit

Define whether the Noteable service fits the needs of the user community. This includes comparing the Noteable service with other comparable services. This criterion cannot be easily quantified and will largely be based on the feedback from the current and prospective user community. As part of this evaluation, there will be a suggestion as to whether to use Noteable or use a comparable service.

Goal: Create a comparison document with service recommendation

 3. Service Cost

Determine the total cost of running the Noteable service including the cost of staff (both development and support) and operational/infrastructure cost. This can be determined as a yearly cost and also broken down to a per-user cost. This defined cost can then be used as part of the comparison with other comparable services as per criterion 2.

Goals: Cost per year and Cost per user.


And to makes all this seem a little more real, here’s a graph of the use for Tuesday

Jupyter notebook Usage Graph
First ‘big’ usage day, peaking at over 100 concurrent Jupyter notebooks. The best bit is; this isn’t even our busiest day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.