Wednesday, 19 March 2008

MMU CAMEL meeting: no lunch, 5 pints and a video

Malcolm, Jon and I all headed off to Manchester Met on Monday for our lovely CAMEL meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and storyboard our media briefing paper on building collaborative, co-operative networks to support e-learning. So, what did we learn?
  1. Don't go to MMU and expect lunch or afternoon tea. [:>0]
  2. Brainstorming can be problematic when there is no chairperson.
  3. The Lass O'Gowrie is a lovely pub with very forgiving clientele.
  4. Terry Mayes is an excellent, hands-off, yet focused critical friend.
  5. We think there are the following barriers to the development of a collaborative co-operative culture: poor internal communication; individual staff, technical fears; the lack of local champions, or champions, who aimed to high; a poor vision or strategy or a lack of leadership; the intractability of middle management; silo-working (not invented here); a lack of inspiration; appropriate support and institutional structures, in terms of timetabling, workloads, available finance etc.
  6. These are complex barriers, but we thought that there were several enablers, which emerged: more flexible models of staff development; more flexible models of communication; the development of cross-institutional teams and new human networks; institutional leadership at a variety of levels, including the huge importance of inspirational champions.
We left, having decided to post a series of institutional podcasts/animations/videos that encapsulate how our pathfinder project has built a new collaborative, cooperative partnerships. In particular, we will focus upon the themes of flexible models of staff development and building new networks of cross-institutional teams. We intend to present these on-line and then work out how to thread our short multimedia snippets into a five-minute briefing paper - and all this before our next meeting here at DMU on 20 May.

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