Thursday, 5 February 2009

15 (shh 45 !) minutes with the School of Life Sciences

We , (the ESCAPE team), managed to get an invite to talk more widely with one of our Partner Schools - The School of Life Sciences. We were invited to give a project background to the School’s Academic Quality and Enhancement Committee. Clearly we are not working with the entire School nor all their modules and so it was a good chance to alert others as to what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve.

My 15 minute slot ran into 45 minutes. Not convinced it was all my fault – I took many questions and the meeting ‘seemed’ happy for the discussion to spill over. Many questions were upbeat and some, perhaps rightly, felt a little more challenging. Why should they engage with us? What were we bringing to the table to a team that is already looking at its assessment diet? (and hopefully alignment with the Module Learning Outcomes) Why also the focus on the National Student Survey?

All good questions and naturally we need to provide a convincing argument about why we are doing what we are doing. Academics are very busy right now and want to know why they might need to revisit their curricula. If it aint broke …

I took a really positive email the following day from someone at the meeting. They wanted to offer their support for the project and the ways in the project was aligned with their interests some of what they had been trying to achieve. I was really grateful for the mail and for them letting me know that the project had rekindled an interest in this important area :-)

The meeting was a useful outlet to get ESCAPE out there but also a timely reminder that we need to marshal our evidence as we seek to engage and suggest a need for change.

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