Monday, 21 July 2008

Getting Lost

As I mentioned last Monday I attended the JISC 08 Innovation Forum. I attended the three sessions around sustainability, these sessions held some interesting conversations. I was interested to see the different models around supporting project outputs after the project ended. The first session showed how one institution had recognised a number of failures in developing project outputs beyond the initial projects (these were websites created around data sets). However they were more hopeful of future projects and had developed a model of generating income from subscriptions outside of the UK.
During the breaks in sessions more useful conversations took place, from discovering a new version of some software which might be of use to the project (PebblePad now pulls in information from the institutions MIS systems, and is being developed to pull information out of PebblePad to sites such as Monster / UCAS - does this mean we can pull information into the Support Point - and deliver it to employers etc?) to talking to librarians about the restrictive use of VLE's and allowing learners and other parties promoted "guest" access to different courses. I also discovered a plugin could be available for HIVE that will create RSS feeds for new content added, which would be very useful for the project.
On the title - well on the way back from Keele we were supposed to be going to Stoke station, but the taxi driver tried to take us to Crewe! We only noticed 5 miles from Crewe that we were going in the wrong direction, fortunately we left in enough time to catch the right connections.
The technical manager is off for the next week while the technical team are working towards embedding a FAQ Wiki into the Support Point.

Monday, 14 July 2008


The last few weeks have been spent publicising the work done in the project. The first event was last week at Bradford, part of supporting the SpaCED-FD project, this was a two day conference involving tutors, learners and employers. Those who attended showed a high level of interest in both the resources created and the support point and how it could be used to develop a support community beyond one institution. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the second event attended today, this event was held at Stoke college and hopefully the experiences and issues raised from this event will be raised on their blog. The main problem at this event was the lack of involvement employers & mentors appeared to have with the awards beyond the work based learning project. Another was ensuring tutors had access to the right systems at the university, and in this case were aware of what they should be able to access as opposed to what they could access.
Later this week I will be attending a JISC Event in Keele, where I am planning to look at sustainability beyond the life of a project. This is already looking good for the support point, with discussions with college staff on how the support point can be embedded into the learners induction so that they can continue to drive the site, and encourage tutors and employers to develop stronger relationships.