Thursday, 15 May 2008

Meeting with LeTS colleagues

Another very helpful meeting with Steve Collier, Paul Wigfield, and Danny Monaghan from LeTS. We got the green light on organising a launch event on the 24th of June; and we got general approval for our plans for moving forwards, and for developing a more detailed bid and timeline. We also had more useful conversations about what the resource might look like, and what it would do. We're still working on this small, light centre model, but I think now structured around a single site, with an extensive "Comments" function, where users can post their reflections on sites, and any other useful links they find. This site will be a hub in the sense of the one place you go to access a series of resources, and as a front page (like iGoogle) that offers customisable dynamic and static content.

To pick up on points from the last meeting, Steve confirmed that this project would follow the outline of an LTDG, with similar forms and deadlines; however, it was suggested that we would have greater flexibility than the standard timescale for this, given that the DLTD panel are acting as our line managers and may be able to approve our Stage Two paperwork at a meeting other than the ones suggested. Paul and Danny also filled us in on other projects (including one on academic writing being discussed between Geography, English, and the ELTC) and fed back their experiences on developing Resources for Courses. Essentially, they saw this as a space that had grown so large it was difficult to manage, and that if we opened the floodgates to universal submission, we might encounter the same difficulty. Paul also talked about the MOLE tutorial store, which has been designed with a series of questions at the front, allowing the user to find out what they need, rather than pick their way through different tools and options. This relatively light signposting (our new word for diagnostic) model is helpful, especially if we can work something out along the lines of a personalisable hub, where the learner's preferences and history are recorded, and future choices influenced by these. In time, this could become a tab within MUSE, thereby giving users the one-stop-shop academic information that we initially proposed.

Our rough timeline was approved, with a lot of research and development work before the end of the year; then the Stage Two submission; then production, with alpha testing in April. Steve was keen to get students involved with the design of the resource as soon as possible, and suggested that finding second-year student testers in the first semester of 08/09 might be the way forward - we'd have something to show them, and they should be in a position to appreciate what skills they felt they'd lacked during the first year. The Student Officer from the Union, and perhaps someone from CILASS' SAN should be invited to the June meeting, and it would be worth talking to Debs Fowler and Chris Stokes about the pre- and post-entry concerns they've identified amongst students.

So, what to do next. Steve will continue talking to Louise, confirm the accessibility of funding for the June 24th meeting, and keep clarifying the approval and design process for the resource. WK, TH and (presumably) JM will organise the event on the 24th (WK has already enquired to CILASS about using one of their rooms), keep working on the timeline (especially focusing on the 2008 dates), and finish off the participant-facing survey. Easy enough, then; now, where's that time machine?

1 comment:

Willy Kitchen said...

According to this morning's TV guide, Dr Who will be on an Agatha Christie-like 1920s whodunnit weekend this evening, 7pm. You may be able to pinch the tardis whilst he's off saving the world.