Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Project Board: 23 October 2007

The Project Board met yesterday. The key messages were as follows.

  1. Evaluation is critical. We have to be able to show the impact of the interventions that we have made. We need, therefore, to be collating evidence for the claims that we make and that includes baseline data. Baseline data should evidence the current state-of-play (i.e. pre-intervention).
  2. On WP1: both engagement and non-engagement with the PGCert wikis need to be captured. So we need to know what action plans were produced by users and how were they implemented. But given that we currently have around 25 participants not engaging we need to know why (e.g. technophobia, lack of time/interest).
  3. On WP2: on the work with Design Management Programme Leaders, in developing a marketing plan for prospective students, we need to capture what works and what doesn’t and track this through with students who arrive on the programme next session (after the project ends). There is a spin-off in this work in AAD as staff who were previously less engaged with e-learning are pushing forward with the development of multi-media. Note 1: we are also working with HR on evaluating their approach to coaching as a leadership activity. Note 2: we are working with a sub-set of Teacher Fellows on using social networking and bookmarking tools to lead pedagogic research development across DMU.
  4. On WP3: the developments in Registry, ISAS, Library, SPS and HLS Faculty Office need to be grounded so that they are relevant rather than abstract. For instance, Library users need developmental sessions that enable the to produce a knowledge base in the form of a wiki that helps them achieve their aims.
  5. On WP4: podcasts and webcasts need to be evaluated in the context of the curriculum. How are they helping student learning and enhancing face-to-face experiences? How do they signpost debates or developments?
  6. On WP5: the critical issue is mapping the gaps in provision for students when the come into DMU. So work with English in the Workplace students on providing guides for students and with Abi Moriarty’s Transitions project needs to ascertain what those gaps are and then measure the impact of what we put in place in the faculties/Library. Capturing the student voice is critical here, but it was felt that students need something to engage with first, before they add to or develop it. This deeper engagement with the student voice might be another spin off for the project.
  7. On WP6: Steve Mackenzie’s Web2.0 collaborative learning sessions with staff will support the work that we are doing in Second Life with staff development. So we need to ensure that these sessions are evaluated for impact. We also need to transfer those sessions into SL, to evaluate the impact for staff of coming together to explore social networking and bookmarking technologies collaboratively. This might include linking SL to or or for use in SL, but where the outputs were saved in a defined space in or or This would enable staff to get-to-grips with SL, but also to learn about social networking and bookmarking.
  8. WP7/dissemination: it was felt that there would be scope for a publication, perhaps with NIACE, with our CAMEL, for a cross-institutional evaluation. The HEA Research Observatory may also be interested in this approach. Once he CAMEL had met, a HEA briefing would be useful, possibly as an entry on the Pathfinder blog. We need to think about best dates for the symposium.
  9. The Board highlighted that we would need to grapple with the issues around the interface between institutional and non-institutional technologies. E.g. archiving from or access to technologies that we do not own and cannot control.
  10. Sustainability is key – how do we ensure that the project’s outputs are embedded or built upon once the project ends? Kathryn Arnold and I will develop a series of briefing papers for SMG, ULTC, FLTCs and OMG, highlighting the value of this project to DMU. It might also be worthwhile discussing how best to get this information disseminated from ULTC into the faculties.
  11. Evaluation: did I mention that already?

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