Monday, 6 July 2009

When is a student not a student

Started the day today with a visit from our Gartner Account manager. I've been a Gartner client for a few years and find their research papers very useful. We've procured access to the Gartner research web site for all University staff and students (access details given in an earlier post for anyone at TUOS who's interested). Today we were making sure that our section heads were up to speed on how to use it and familiar with hype cycles, magic quadrants and the like. I'm looking forward to the new Hype cycles on Emerging Technologies and Higher Education which I suspect are due out soon.

Then we had a meeting looking at how we might change our recording of assessments in order to take account of HEFCEs rather odd definition of "completion". Rather odd in my opinion anyway. Their definition of completion for financial purposes is that a student completes the final assessment (and by final HEFCE means chronologically the last one - no matter how many credits it carries). So a student can attend for the whole year, take every assessment but the last one, come back and take the one they missed as a resit, pass, and proceed to the next year. But in HEFCEs eye thay haven't completed the year and we lose all the funding for them. Personally I just can't understand it. But, that's what the rules are, so we have to abide by them and change all of our assessment and data collection procedures merely to fulfil this recording requirement - nothing to do with the business of the Unversity at all. As I said, that's my opinion, not necessarily that of the University ;-)

Finally, we had a look at the use of our Twitter account - how we can make it more useful rather than just reporting on planned maintenance and status updates of service failures, which is what we seem to do at the moment. It started as a bit of an experiment and we've not advertised it much but we have 340 followers. We'll be looking at how successful it's been and what sort of things we can use it for over the summer.

1 comment:

Ian Loasby said...

WRT to twitter use, I notice that we have posted our question of the week from our exhibition at ICOSS to @lawsheffield (if you go down to ICOSS a question will be posted on the wall each week during the exhibition in July with post-it notes to reply on).

“Question of Week. Giving IVF to women in their 60s -what are the implications for the child?”

Now we have actually received some replies via twitter which I found quite exciting.

benroach @lawsheffield who am I to say somebody can't have a child at 60, but at 60?! By the time the childs 10 their parents will be like 70...

benroach @lawsheffield ...and may have even lost one, or both, of their parents by the time they reach school age.

Ok I’ll admit it’s just a very small start but it has got me thinking again that there really are more uses in education than just announcements, news and blog post updates. Maybe hash tagging the question of the week is the next step.

Oh and thanks to Harriet Godfrey in our research support team for having the idea to tweet it in the first place.