Thursday, 30 June 2011

Blended Learning Conference

A few weeks ago UG-Flex was at the International Blended Learning Conference at the University of Hertfordshire. The project manager contributed to a session called  "Enhancing the Blended Learning Experience through Flexibility" and described how we had used aspects of Peter Checkland's soft systems methodology to help stakeholders identify to barriers to flexibility at Greenwich through rich pictures.

A report on the session, along with photos of the rich pictures produced by participants can be found on the Design Studio:

The Design Studio - a useful resource for curriculum design

The Design Studio is a developing toolkit which draws together a range of existing and emergent resources around curriculum design and delivery and the role technology plays in supporting these processes and practices.

The Studio will provide access to project outcomes and outputs from UG-Flex and other projects in the JISC Curriculum Design and Delivery programmes as they are developed and will continue to be sustained as a community resource after the programmes finish.

Disseminating Good Practice & Knowledge Transfer

I am such a fan of the Viewpoint project! There is so much potential in the methodology they have developed to support curriculum teams to review their courses/programmes.

UG-Flex has been working with colleagues in Greenwich's Educational Development Unit (EDU) to help them to build the Viewpoints materials into their work with teams who are embarking on a programme review.

The beauty of Viewpoints is that the materials guide the discussions expose issues and questions.  This means programme teams don't feel they are being lectured to and facilitators aren't overburdened with expectations.

On Monday 6th June six members of Greenwich's EDU team travelled over the City University (our extremely generous hosts) to join with colleagues there to take part in a train the trainer session run by Alan Masson and Catherine O'Donnell (our extremely generous and knowledgeable trainers) who had travelled over especially from the University of Ulster. 

As well as a hands-on taster session using the Viewpoints materials, Alan and Catherine circulated a comprehensive Viewpoints Handbook and provided lots of advice and handy hints.

Alan's presentation can be viewed on their slideshare site and photographs of the outputs can be viewed on flickr.

The Handbook and all of the curriculum design resources are available to download free of charge at

I think I can safely say that my colleagues in EDU are now adopters (maybe even fans) of Viewpoints. I got some great feedback afterwards and I look forward to seeing the plans for school-based activities and incorporation in Greenwich's teacher training courses put into practice.