Monday, 4 March 2013

Social media, diversity and stuff

Quick round up of things happening last week. which I didn't get to write about, mainly because of the 24 lecture event, which I will write a full post about later today. I went down to London on Wednesday to talk to some people from The Ministry of Justice. I'd been asked to go by Gartner, and to share with them our experience of using social media.  I was a little hampered in the presentation by the fact that the AV didn't work very well, there was no wireless network, and the laptop they provided was so locked down it didn't have anything on it for opening pdfs! But, I'm used to getting by with a wing and a prayer, so that was OK. I think they enjoyed it - talking to people from different sectors is always interesting, but I still find it astonishing that tools we take for granted - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube -  are still blocked in many organisations.

The bulk of Thursday afternoon was taken up with a session looking at Equality and Diversity issues in Student Recruitment, facilitated by Simon Fanshawe.  We've spent a lot of time over the past few months looking at staff recruitment, and student is more complex. There are many additional drivers affecting how we recruit students - the tariffs, AAB/ABB, league tables,  Widening Participation (WP) targets, International student recruitment. There's also evidence of subject and cultural biases and choices in some areas. So, to narrow it down, we're going to look at underepresentation, and any differences in attainment between different groups.

Other things discussed last week - MOOCs, iTunes U, Open Learning Resources, our new portal, various presentations we're giving at UCISA next week and our budget for next year. It was a busy week of meetings.

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