Thursday, 13 May 2010
UG-Flex was at the SEDA 2010 spring conference in Leeds last week.
The timing coincided with the general election and the immediate aftermath, but on the whole we all managed to focus on the original aim of exploring issues and practice in relation to “communities of learning”.
Along with others members of our Curriculum Design Cluster Group (from City University, Birmingham City, Cambridge and Cardiff universities) I took part in a session we called “The CAMEL trail” that aimed to share our experience of being in a community of learning/practice organised using the CAMEL model http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/camel Go here for some very useful resources on CAMEL, with contributions from other Greenwich University colleauges who took part in the original CAMEL pilot.
Our audience at SEDA included a mix of practitioners who were considering applying the model to their own practice along with representatives from funders who asked some probing questions about the impact to our projects and ultimately the value of adopting aspect of the CAMEL model.
I think we all did a good job in responding! One example I gave in relation to UG-Flex focussed on how experiences shared by colleagues from other institutions had helped me over the past year to plan a pro-active approach to engaging with new senior management at Greenwich and as well as other stakeholders. Without these insights shared in our CAMEL sessions I think there is a good chance I would have focussed on other pressing issues and I believe the project would have been adversely affected as a result.
Discussions in the session led to some conclusions that there would be benefit in exploring how the CAMEL approach might help to deliver a more consistent approach to the management, co-ordinatio and support of projects in HEIs across the board. I would certainly support this.
I also attended a talk given by Aaron Porter – president-elect of the NUS and I suspect in Parliament soon after that - on “the importance of the learner voice”. This was a timely reminder that I need to keep pursuing closer collaboration between UG-Flex and the SU at Greenwich.
I also attended a session“webinars as a best practice model for engaging members in a online community of practice”. I want to try out this or a similar approach as a way to capture and convey the issues UG-Flex is trying to tackle at Greenwich to a wider audience.
Incidentally I was introduced to “Second Life” – the online 3D virtual world community – and decided that this is a step too far for me. I’ll stick with blogging and tweeting.
SEDA stands for the Staff and Educational Development Association http://www.seda.ac.uk/