Mark and I travelled up to Glasgow last week to meet with Rachel Harris from Inspire Research. We were looking at how using appreciative enquiry techniques could help us in our work with the module teams in the schools. AI looks at growing what works in a organisation to foster change rather than to think of things in terms of something needing fixing.
The day was very productive and we were able to flesh out exactly how we we going to approach things on a module level. In addition we have started to put a detailed timeline together for work we are doing with the schools. We had a chance to knock around quite a few ideas and we were able to develop some ways of looking at things that should really help the sustainability of the project's influence after the project itself finishes. In particular we looked at how many modules you would need to influence in order to bring about an institutional change . Mark compared it to how many people were needed to start a mexican wave in a stadium. Was there a critical mass of modules that you needed? and if so what were the factors that influenced that number. We also looked at things from person centred approach and looked at how we could measure a persons influence within a school as an agent for change. We wanted to encapsulate how many modules a particular person could influence and see if we could express that as a kind of index or quotient. It was good to have Rachel's input and experience to keep us both grounded on what was possible within our time frame.
At the end of last week we also got the feedback on the project plan from JISC - so this week will be concerned with updating the plan in the light of these and the steering groups comments. In addition we will be and arranging meetings with the module teams within the schools to get them to examine their current practice within an AI framework.