Thursday, 10 April 2014

Innovation and ideas

Yesterday I was at a workshop run by JISC as part of their Co-Design programme, which involves a number of stakeholders working in partnership with JISC to agree on priorities and projects for innovation funding.

Our job yesterday was to come up with ideas - a very well run day, and a lot of good ideas came out of it. We started with challenges that we thought technology could solve, grouped them into themes, and then spent some time working on them in groups, refining and defining them.  In the end we had to produce elevator pitches for each, and pitch to the rest of the group - we came up with about 15 challenges, with defined outcomes and benefits - which finally we voted on. JISC will now work on them and come up with some suggested projects to take forward. The main themes in the groups I was involved in were around Digital Literacy and the Student Experience

Digital Literacy is vital for all staff. Academics need to feel comfortable with new technologies and the best pedagogic way to use them in their teaching. Professional support staff need to know how to use technologies to make processes and procedures more efficient, and all staff need to feel part of the community and conversation which takes place on social media. There's a wide range of digital literacy out there, with different skill levels, and there is a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone has the skills they need.

The student experience is important for so many reasons - for student satisfaction, for league tables such as those based on the NSS, to make students feel connected with the University. We need a digital environment that is fit for the 21st century which covers the whole student lifecycle from enquiry to graduation and employment. this is a huge project which could take in many things, including some of the issues around identity which I posted about after Tuesdays meeting.
Quite intense hard work,  but the view made up for it!

Today I was in Oxford for the Organising Committee of the UCISA Conference. UCISA14 only finished a couple of weeks ago, and we're already planning UCISA15 - and I'm now Chair of the group. The feedback from delegates which we got today confirms that is was very successful, and many said it was one of the best. So, we've got to follow it next year in Edinburgh.  No pressure there!

1 comment:

Masud Khokhar said...

Co-production is so important in any technology based development. We are adopting a strong students as co-producers policy at Lancaster, resulting in a big although slow culture change. It will take time, but if successful, it will help realise the benefits of agile, customer focussed services in the long run. Completely agree on the importance of Digital Literacy as well. We think it will be the most important underlying principle for everything digital we do in the future, and will be the building block for all our digital initiatives, including digital innovation. Thanks for your posts on the blog, they are very valuable and informative.