Monday, 10 May 2010

Supporting Innovation

The last week and a half has been a busy one, with the cluster meeting in Bolton at the end of March (read here for coeducates summary of the day), meetings around our new “mini” project and discovering Ning was changing its charging model. This has highlighted issues with innovation when it occurs outside of the “safe” environment of the university, as tutors as well as the Enable project are looking at alternatives to the Ning environment. We have had to manage how we look at these alternatives, we can’t spend too much time on it as otherwise we would be better off paying for the new service, however we also need to ensure that the choice we make does not impact negatively on the end users. We are, however coordinating our effort with others in the university and it is almost a project on its own – with stakeholders in each faculty.

The cluster event went extremely well, with discussions firstly around managing innovation and the shared experiences of the different projects. This lead to some thoughts around how we could work together towards a single output, rather than working in isolation, and to support our institution making the changes felt needed for the new environment we are finding ourselves in. The afternoon discussion was around managing course related information (CRI) and competencies. As a side product of this day, and the work the Staffordshire University LDI team have been doing towards a conference, a new expert workshop is being promoted at Staffordshire Uni  “Sustaining Innovation via Organisational Development” (more information, or register here).

Our project has been moving forward with the focus on modelling the processes, information and roles around supporting external examiners. We have had meetings with the university QI Service and they have offered to give expert advice and attend meetings with QA staff within faculties. As this work progresses a lot of it will be on the shoulders of the Technical Manager, Sam, as I am taking a lot of holiday before going on maternity leave in September. I am working hard at ensuring that the same level of communication occurs during my absence but please bear in mind that blog entries may drop off a little over the next few months.

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