Good news in March

Here is good news from OCSLD reported to the VC’s news sharing meeting today.

1. Our Leadership Foundation project to evaluate our Participative Process Review workshops is progressing well. Ian Whiting is delivering these to six other universities over the coming weeks, as well as at Brookes and we are evaluating their impact, also following up with people who have engaged with this process at Brookes over the last 2 years.

2. We are also touring the country with a series of workshops in England, Scotland and Wales, disseminating the findings of our Jisc funded project ‘the FE Digital Student’ with Liz Browne in School of Education. We ran focus groups with over 200 students in FE to find out their expectations and experiences of using technology in college.

3. Mary Deane has co-edited a book titled ‘Learning and Teaching Writing Online: Strategies for Success’. To be published in April 2015. This book looks at the challenge of supporting writers online, such as feedback in online environments, collaboration through online environments, and course design for online environments. This book is designed for higher education practitioners. It will also appeal to researchers of writing development and technology enhanced learning.

4. We now have 8 courses actively using the Brookes Open Online Learning Environment, with lots of more in preparation. I’ll tell you about a couple of these:

– Developing Leaders for a Digital Age, a 40K project led by OCSLD with support from School of Education, funded by Education and Training Foundation. An online course for managers and leaders in Further Education to help them plan for the impact of digital technologies in their colleges. Interest from almost 100 participants. Pilot just coming to an end and we will be bidding again for phase 2.

– Biodiversity Monitoring led by Tim Shreeves, launches 9 April, These include: methods for detecting species presence in the field and assessing species richness, determining the abundance of species and interpreting community similarity and change in the context of environmental change. (43 enrolled as of today, includes tutors and DMELDS).

5. Good news from Staff Development

We have recently completed the third cohort of the Springboard programme and the first cohort of the Navigator programme. Achievements of the Springboard participants on Workshop 4 were as impressive as ever, with some people making huge strides with deciding where their strengths and motivations lie and making things happen for themselves – shadowing, new roles, as well as other kinds of development. We thing these programmes are important vehicles for talent management in the University.

We have some consultancy with Ruskin College, their management team were very appreciative of the management and leadership workshop Valerie Fawcett ran for them, including facilitating their introduction of a revised appraisal scheme and want us to do more.

Our third cohort of ILM Coaching and Mentoring participants have just completed their assignments with nearly everyone completing this time. We have a CPD event for our ILM Coaching graduates this month to keep up momentum on developing a coaching culture.

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About the author

Rhona Sharpe

Rhona is Head of the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development at Oxford Brookes University. Her interests are around developing and tutoring online courses, developing learners for a digital age, and  pedagogic research. Rhona is one of the co-founders of ELESIG (Evaluation of Learners’ Experiences of e-learning Special Interest Group), a Senior Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a National Teaching Fellow. She is Editor of the Brookes eJournal for Learning and Teaching.

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