Well, this is three years of weeknotes. I wasn’t sure if I could keep it up, but have found it useful to reflect on the week, but also to review back about what I was doing and reading.
This week Russia invaded the Ukraine. Lots of talk, but very little action from the Western nations.
The week started off for the higher education sector with the Universities Minister saying universities ‘must scrap online lectures’ after Covid curbs are lifted.
‘Online teaching should only be used to supplement face-to-face teaching, not replace it,’ she told the Daily Mail. She went on to add there is ‘no excuse’ for institutions to continue hosting lessons online once measures are lifted,
So though she is saying universities should no longer replace in-person teaching with remote teaching, the press rhetoric and the headlines gives the message that universities should scrap all online teaching. That isn’t what she said, but that is pretty much what people are reading she said.
The week started off for me with a HE leadership team meeting, which was looking at various discussions about what we need to do next.
I spent some of the week working on success criteria for the HE strategy. Part of this is expanding on the strategic objectives. These state what we are going to do, and I expanded them to include the why and the how. I then added what success looked like from an university perspective and what it looked like from a Jisc perspective.
Generally, as with many organisations, in the past we have mapped activity to the strategy. Strategy should really drive activity.
I published a blog post on eventedness.
I was recently reminded of the importance of eventedness when it comes to events and has similar implications in the delivery of teaching both in-person and online.
I published a blog post on my tech and productivity blog about collaboration.
I don’t think anyone thinks they consciously and actively block collaboration, but we often hear cries for more collaboration, so much so that we wonder why we don’t collaborate more than we do. In this post I will explore the reasons for collaboration and some of the blockers that stifle collaboration.
I posted this tweet to the Twitter about an undocumented feature on Jiscmail.
What most people don't know is that Jiscmail has an undocumented feature which means if you post the same message with multiple lists in the To: field, recipients will only receive one, despite how many of the lists they are subscribed to. No need to apologise then.
— James Clay (@jamesclay) February 19, 2022
What most people don’t know is that Jiscmail has an undocumented feature which means if you post the same message with multiple lists in the To: field, recipients will only receive one, despite how many of the lists they are subscribed to. No need to apologise then.
I’ve used this feature quite often to send the same message to multiple lists.
It was a response to Simon Thomson who said
‘Apologies for cross-posting’ is the most hollow apology ever.
I agree with Simon that most people aren’t sorry when they apologise for cross-posting, but I also think a lot of people actually ignore messaged which start with an apology for cross-posting as they (rightly) assume it probably is some kind of spam message.
Wednesday I did think about going to the office. I had planned to go to Bristol, but missed the train from Weston Milton with seconds to go, I was literally on the platform. Went back home and decided to work from home.
On Thursday I headed off to our Bristol office on the train. I didn’t check the trains, the one I was going to get was cancelled, however that was because the earlier train was running 24 minutes late. So managed to get that one to Bristol.
It was nice to be back in the office again, something nice about the social aspects of office working. Not sure I could do it everyday, but nice having the option.
I did an online presentation for the Public Policy Exchange on using digital to overcome the funding challenges facing universities.
There was a problem with the meeting room I was using as I couldn’t turn the noisy fan off. So I had to present with the fan on.
My presentation was in the main about recognising that what we’ve been doing over the last two years isn’t the basis for moving forward. I also talked about transformation as opposed to just digitalisation.
At the event there was a lot of talk about the announcements from the Government about access to higher education. Would it surprise you that no one thought this would improve access to higher education.
I took leave on Friday and had a day in London.
My top tweet this week was this one.
From the UK pic.twitter.com/NQKv5sdSX4
— James Clay (@jamesclay) February 23, 2022