Three months on
I can’t believe that I have been at Leicester University three months already! I thought this would be a good time to put down some reflections on what has happened over the past few months. Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone in BDRA and CDDU, as well as people across the university, who have made me feel very welcome.
One of the key remits in my new job is to make the excellent research and development work that BDRA and CDDU have been doing more relevant across the institution and in particular to feed into institutional policy and practice. With this in mind, my first task was to get out and meet people and find out what people wanted from BDRA/CDDU and what were the issues they were facing with using technologies to support their teaching. Armed with this information I have then been working with senior managers and people in BDRA/CDDU to create a vision for the future in terms of achieving this. To this end, we are working on a vision statement and roadmap for taking things forward which we will share with people in the New Year.
We are also working with the Blackboard project team in terms of our planned move to Blackboard 9.1. This includes a university wide consultation process to find out what people are doing with Blackboard, what other tools they are using and what they would like to do in the future. This has included an online survey and we are conducting interviews and focus groups the academics and students. This should give us a rich picture of how the VLE is being used. I am also doing a keynote at the Blackboard conference in Durham in the New Year, it will be useful to find out what others are doing in other institutions.
We are in the process of developing a new master programme in Learning Innovation, which will consist of the following modules: Technology Enhanced Learning (an overview of the field), Learning Design, Research Methods, Case Studies of Innovation and a double dissertation/project module. We hope to have this up and running by the next academic year.
I am looking forward to continued collaboration with people across Leicester in the New Year!
On a footnote, we are planning to humanely release the animals into the wild, sshh don’t tell anyone 😉