Thursday, 27 September 2007

Project meeting: 25 September 2007

So we met yesterday to let the teams catch-up on each others' work-packages. The progress reports have now all been posted on our Blackboard-based Wiki. Team members who weren't there should read the reports. We are also using the Wiki for conference reports and to flag relevant project outcomes and issues.

Work-package headlines from yesterday are as follows:
1. WP1: There are issues of maintaining momentum with PG Cert HE staff who are planning to teach and actually teaching. The assessment for the PG Cert students has been revamped to include e-learning. The June group are editing action plans and we need now to offer them follow-up sessions. [Action: HC and RH]

2. WP1/WP6: Steve Mackenzie is delivering some synchronous development sessions on pedagogical and technological issues with members of the PG Cert HE and Faculty of HLS. We will evaluate this approach to test its sustainability. Library front-desk staff may also benefit from this approach, as their shift-work impacts upon access to professional development. [Action: SM and AB]

3. WP3: There are issues of maintaining momentum with Library staff who are thinking about using Web 2.0 approaches in their work. We intend to offer developmental sessions, linked to staff development reviews. [Action: AB] We also intend to review the ISAS approach to using Wikis as knowledge bases [Action: RH] The team also intend to review the non-technical issues around the conversion of extant support and training materials for a Web 2.0 age. [Action: JT, MYK and AB]

4. WP4: the iTunes issue for catching and feeding Blackboard-hosted podcasts t users has been resolved, so that the podcast tool now works with iTunes
. A key issue is the apparent reticence of users to be recorded for the production of webcasts. We have feedback to suggest that some users do not like hearing or seeing themselves on-line, or committing to this type of “publication”. This is a potential issue that will require intervention with specific teaching teams in order to build effective local, coping strategies. Initial evidence suggests that few students use or subscribe to podcasts, so there may be a cultural issue for staff teams. The third issue arising is the support we can offer staff in answering the question of streaming vs podcasting.

5. WP5: case studies will be produced for AAD, BAL, Hums and Library in the use of tools to support first-years in student-student communication. [Action: HC to talk to Jo Leese in DSU re: student reps' experiences of tools like Facebook]

6. WP6: Our Second Life Island has been purchased and activated, and staff who registered an interest have been invited in. Twelve staff are registered so far, and a user group has been formed. A building party is being held on 15 October. Subsequent staff development events will be planned and delivered by the user-group. A meeting was held with Howard Rheingold in the IOCT in September to discuss ways forward with SL. We intend to use his videos to prime some of our developments. Steve Mackenzie is delivering some synchronous development sessions. We will evaluate this approach to test its sustainability. The DMU e-Learning Pathfinder team have a Facebook group. There is no protocol for its use, but its development will be mapped as a project management and dissemination tool.

7. WP7: RH has been in contact with NIACE about the publication of the project’s findings. [Action: RH to meet with JC re: conference]

See also:

Matters arising:
  • headsets and webcams for all team members;
  • monies to be re-charged this week with covering letters to budget holders; and
  • access to iTunes for all team members.

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