Sunday, 29 November 2009

Progress update

From within the press of the taught semester, it's hard to find space to reflect on longer-term projects and work still in progress. So, apologies for the silence on the blog; and many thanks to those who have commented on and supported TASH via the uSpace group.

The resource is now live, and a number of specific groups of students are being targeted as beta-testers for the site. These include:
  • TILL students who have the misfortune to be taught by me and Willy, especially in study skills contexts;
  • Engineers, with whom Linda Gray is working; and
  • English Literature students, who Bob McKay is supporting.
There are also other students working with staff associated with TASH who have been pointed towards it in less systematic ways; and bits of feedback are reaching us from different colleagues about how useful they've found it. We're hoping to arrange more formal evaluations of the resource next semester (1) with (or via) the Union Links, and (2) with the Study Abroad / Erasmus students arriving for the spring semester. This formal evaluation will sit alongside the uSpace area for feedback and comments from all users of the site, which will remain open and vibrant during the next semester.

Behind the scenes, we're working to ensure the stability of the resource. In the short term, this stability involves someone doing some technical work at the back end, a someone we're close to appointing. It also involves continuing to respond to the uSpace feedback, tidying up the resource, and adding new links when they are suggested. Medium term, we will be designing the promotion strategy for the spring semester in the next few weeks. Strong ideas already on the table are (1) a Faculty-specific approach, making sure there's engagement and awareness on this level, and responses to requests to feedback; and (2) sitting with departmental Learning and Teaching Advocates, offering hands-on tuition for the resource, and exploring how it might be embedded in different learning contexts.

And longer-term, ensuring stability means creating a post to look after the whole kit and caboodle. We're getting there with this project, although such things will always take a certain amount of time, and are of course subject to the whims of future internal and external policy demands. And the future is, for everyone, currently looking rather whimful.

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