Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Summer Holiday

Well you may have noticed that blogs have been a bit thin on the ground, this is due to a number of reasons, one of which links to the summer holidays, I have been enjoying some short weeks, and will continue to be doing so until the end of August (which is nice!) as has my colleague. Sam has been working hard on the baseline for JISC and the project, while that has been going on we have also been talking about the next stage of the project, the review, while sorting out the next stage of interviews, and attending JISC workshops on Phoebe and Learner Engagement. All these things have been very interesting and are worthy of mention.

The Learner Engagement workshop was very interesting and linked nicely to a meeting I was in the day before with our study skills team, and I will be passing my notes from the day on to them and other spoke projects we are engaged with talking to. As part of the day the project team need to write a learner engagement plan, which I have started, and am hoping that the rest of the team contribute to before the 15th July (when it needs to be "handed in"). I will be using the information from this day during the meeting with the Student Union too.

As part of the next stage of the project, we have created a new, closed, Elgg group at Staffordshire University to discuss issue groups (such as do we even want to call them issue groups) and the up and coming SMWG that we are planning for at the end of July. We are still putting notes from events and interviews up into our open Elgg group so that our spokes can see what is going on, and I am in talks with the Elgg administrator to see if we can get any useful statistics out of it about views to see if it is being used at all.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Documentation and preparation

As the project moves on we have now completed the evaluation plan - this will go up on the project website over this week (along with the project plan). I still have to go through the workpackages in more detail for the second phase of the project planning what needs to be done based on the meetings we have been having as a team over the last two weeks. Other project work has included registering for the ALT-C conference in September, as we are doing a short presentation on Enable and Enterprise Architecture (and Archimate) and sorting out a draft agenda for the cluster meeting we are hosting in September (which is looking to be a busy month). As part of the draft agenda we have asked Paul Barron to do a presentation on the work he is doing at the university, fingers crossed he will be able to attend.
Mark had a meeting with the Students Union which hopefully he will blog about here, and Sam and I have a follow up meeting in July, along with a number of catch up interviews with initiatives we last spoke to in January. These interviews will be very focused to create baselines for the project with regards to expectations and defining things like "quicker" and "better" that were used in the project bid. We are also looking to use the work we have already done to redefine the project "problem" as per the bid and project plan.
As part of reporting to senior management we have pulled together a summary document on the main issues with initiative management in the university and have also given them a copy of the leaflet I did for my course that links to the presentation I did at the last SMWG.
Project Partner involvement is still growing, although it has been noticed that some partners are more involved at this point than others. I am wondering whether it is time to get on the train and do some more visits on this.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Video Dissemination

Here is the promised video (approx 5mins long):

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Enable Workshop

Yesterday I ran my first workshop at the Staffordshire University TSL conference focusing on the work that the Enable project is doing at trying to bring together the individual projects within the university. I did a few slides based around previous presentations on the background and what we were doing which led to some interesting discussions from the group around a few points that are worth noting:
  • Tutors can feel disengaged from an institution, there was a feeling that tutors that don't feel included in strategy will pick their courses up and move to other institutions. It is important to have a strategy that does not appear to exclude a particular group of stakeholders that you are trying to engage (for example excluding post graduate awards etc)
  • It is important for any programme team to be outside of any particular service (this reflected conversations at previous meetings such as at Bolton last week)
  • It is equally important that senior management and executive are supportive and involved in the work taken on by the programme team - they felt that the Executive office was the best place for this type of work as easier to get attention of the right people at the right time.
  • It was seen as beneficial that the Enable project team was small, with an innovative and familiar character (Mark Stiles) leading it.
  • Any programme office/team should be seen as helping projects rather than reporting back to senior management, or enforcing views from top down.
I will post the video of Mark Stiles talking about Enable as part of his key speech later on.