The FLAG tool has now been launched in its pilot phase. A very exciting moment as months of mapping, tweaking and moving things around has now been put on hold as real staff get to use the tool to support their developments. Feedback has already been positive, with some very useful suggestions on improving the tool.
Initial demonstrations have highlighted the different needs of course design stakeholders. Each sees the tool as useful in different ways, from e-learning facilitators, business managers, and lecturers. It has been noted by a number of stakeholders that the amount of information collated during course development, and the use of the information for different audiences, would be useful to take on next. This is much more than was originally intended from FLAG and links to the work of
the XCRI project and the embedding of a document management system at the University.
Demonstrations with partners has also highlighted a new focus for developments. Should we be looking at a separate process when partners are driving the development? Or do we need to look at a tool that allows different people to take ownership of different steps in the process? This aspect of the tool for supporting partnerships will become further unpicked as the work within the Partnership office continues.
One of the questions we were recently asked from JISC and I fully expect the same question from our senior management: 'So what are the time-scales for this?' The time-scale for this is very flexible by the nature of course design. In an ideal world we would give a two month period for pilot, however we would like those piloting the tool to go through if not all, at least most, of the work-flow. Therefore I envision a more fluid end to the pilot as the different awards are completed. We have got a questionnaire for each end of the pilot to capture how course design is considered, but one aspect I believe will be changed by FLAG is communication between the different stakeholders engaged in a particular award design, and I need to consider how this gets captured.