Had an unusual experience yesterday - I went on a training course! I can't remember the last time I had to watch powerpoint slides for two hours and actually learn something, especially when the topic was a quite complicated HR related one. Still, I now feel equipped to determine how atypical workers (ie casual staff) can be assimilated onto regular contracts, and I think I understand the difference between an employee, a worker and a contractor....
Then to a meeting to discuss the concept of the Sheffield Graduate, which is at the heart of our Teaching and Learning Strategy . This defines 12 the attributes that we believe we should be enabling our students to develop and demonstrate impact, excellence and distinctiveness in their chosen field. I won't list them all here but they include being able to carry out independent enquiry, having core information literacy skills, applying creativity, enterprise and innovation to knowledge creation, identifying the wider social, cultural and economic context of their academic knowledge, and recognising their responsibilities as active citizens. All departments should be building in the concept of the Sheffield Graduate into their own teaching and learning strategies, and we will be looking at how we can build it into ours.
I then had a very useful hour with the PVC for Teaching and Learning where we discussed a number of issues, including the development of our teaching and learning support strategy, the minefield that is student printing (especially the requirement to print out all assignment, single sided and double line spaced), and the management of teaching space .
Finally an Innovative Comms project group - following our announcment of our decision to implement Clearspace, we received many applications from staff to take part in the pilots. Yesterday we had the difficult task of deciding which ones to go with as we couldn't support them all. We were looking to cover 4 different areas - research, teaching and learning, business processes and student activity and will run 2 pilots in each area. If all goes well, they will start in January, and a full service will be available in May.