Tuesday, 18 September 2012

New students, space and data

So, the campus is buzzing this week as the new students arrive back. We had staff up at the student residences all weekend, mainly helping them connect to the newly installed wireless network. Many had completed all of the pre-registration information which gave them a computer account, but those who hadn't were able to do that as soon as they arrived.  It was very interesting that many of them who had completed all of their pre-arrival information, and had been given a username and email address, couldn't use them, as they couldn't remember what password they had created!  This was despite making it more obvious that this password was actually important to them once they got to University. Perhaps next year we should just suggest they use their Facebook password :-)

Now it's Fresher's Week, new students are finalising their module choices, picking up their uCards, and finding their way round campus. Helping them to do that is our newly re-branded mobile app, iSheffield, available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and as a web app. It's got some great location features, including finding the nearest free open access PC.

As well as keeping an eye on what's happening with registration, this week so far I've had a couple of catch up meetings, and the inaugural meeting of the the Learning Infrastructure Group. This is a small, focused group, chaired by a PVC, and with the Directors of Student Services and Estates, myself, 2 academic heads of department, a project support officer.  Its remit is to provide a strategic steer to a number of projects which have an impact on teaching space, including the common timetabling project, teaching space refurbishments, and many projects looking at data which utlimately affect the way we handle process such as timetabling.  I'm not sure anyone understood the complex interactions of these projects, until they tried to study the diagram below!
Later today I'm off to London to a Gartner conference on Portals, Content and Collaboration, so will try and blog as many interesting sessions as I can. As usual, this will take the form of live blogs, so most will be in note form.

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