Thursday, 12 February 2009

From alpha to omega

We had a very valuable meeting with Lisa Gray and her colleagues from JISC. It was a chance for the JISC team to find out what we had been doing over the last month or so and for us to get some feedback on our draft project plan. They also had a chance to meet our stakeholders in the Business School and Life Sciences. The first part of the meeting was with Mark and myself and concentrated on the work we had done to date and looking at some of the issues that the plan had raised.

The round table that followed teased out some really interesting issues within the schools about the need for this kind of project and the kinds of solutions that were being developed - both bu early adopters and having to us technology as the only way to cope with a situation - for example the impracticalities of 650 students all handing in hard copies of coursework at 3.00 on a Friday afternoon. There was a rich conversation on how schools at UH are using of the electronic voting systems and the hidden benefits that emerge once you start to use this kind of technology. Studynet was also discussed in detail and some of us spoke with passion about what we and our have been able to achieve with it.

There was a valuable discussion on the level of detail needed in the work packages - which we took on board. The work packages will need to be more comprehensive when detailing our baseline audit of what is happening in the schools at present - a fair comment. This detail will come in the next couple of weeks as we start to work much more closely with the module teams to dissect the modules and the staff and student experience.

We also discussed the resources and support that will be made available to us over the course of the project. The meeting was held in the Learning Resources Centre where the JISC team were able to see a cross section of the way our students work from informal small study groups that form due to almost chance meetings to more formal student led sessions in dedicated seminars rooms. As I looked around it was clear that technology in the form of laptops, wireless Internet and the web 2.0 technologies was very central to the students learning - the place was a hive of student activity.

All in all a very useful morning, it is good to know that we are heading in the right direction and that we have the support and resources to deliver the next part of the project. I am pleased the way things have gone so far and liken the project to picture of my daughter trapezing - its a delicate balancing act that we are attempting and it will not be easy to get the embedding that we are after - but it is possible and when you get it right it is exhilarating!

1 comment:

Malcolm Ryan said...

I'm very pleased the meeting went well and that you benefited from the visit and have gained feedback on your plan. Are we going to be looking at a revised version at the Steering Meeting on Thursday or will comments on the original version still be valid?