Tag Archives: cyber essentials

It’s a new year – Weeknote #231 – 4th August 2023

As I was about to go on leave for two weeks, I ensured that everything with a deadline was done, and that my inbox was empty.

I made a start on my Q4 Review paperwork, which also covers the previous 12 months. Our new year starts on the 1stAugust. I also started some planning and scaffolding for the next 12 months as well. This included creating a new Confluence site for my objectives and my work, as well as a new JIRA project. I have been using the same JIRA project for the last few years, but as a result it was getting complicated by previous years’ work. So decided to start afresh.

As part of our Cyber Essentials accreditation, I had to return some old kit, so spent time erasing and cleaning an old Microsoft Surface tablet and an iPad. The Windows machine, which can’t run Windows 11 was a really nice machine, and I quite enjoyed using it over the years, so it was somewhat sad when I had to hand it back in. It was also relatively easy to wipe and clean.

I spent some time reading and reviewing QAA briefing: Reconsidering assessment for the ChatGPT era: QAA advice on developing sustainable assessment strategies.

This paper sets out QAA’s advice for providers on how to approach the assessment of students in a world where students have access to Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. The principles set out here are applicable to both higher and further education. This resource develops a theme first introduced in our earlier advice – Maintaining quality and standards in the ChatGPT era: QAA advice on the opportunities and challenges posed by Generative Artificial Intelligence – published in May 2023, around the (re)design of assessment strategies to mitigate the risks to academic integrity posed by the increased use of Generative Artificial Intelligence tools (such as ChatGPT) by students and learners.

I am planning to attend ALT-C, so have been planning, researching, developing, and preparing my presentation for ALT-C.

Looking through that digital lens

The pandemic crisis gave universities serious challenges and required creative thinking to provide solutions. Universities have needed to act at pace and scale. They’ve needed to do this whilst staff and students are coping lockdowns, social distancing, and restrictions. One aspect of higher education that gained more prominence during the emergency response, was the importance of digital. Knowing that digital has been critical to dealing with the challenges of the pandemic, the question now remains: how and what role will digital play in the post-pandemic strategic priorities of the university?

There are two key questions facing universities?

Does the strategy still meet the needs of the university in this new, changing, and uncertain landscape?

What role does digital play in helping universities achieve their [new] strategic aspirations?

Any departmental or methodology strategy should always link back to the organisational strategy and how the objectives and actions will support the organisational strategic aims. If you apply a digital lens to the corporate strategy, you can demonstrate how digital technologies can enable that strategy. So rather than talk about how you are going to increase the use of digital technologies, the strategy talks about how the use of digital technologies will enable the strategic aims (Clay 2018). Digital does not exist in isolation and there may be other strategies, such as teaching and learning, assessment, environmental, wellbeing or community. The concept of a lens can be used here as well. The digital lens approach, as outlined by Jisc (Phipps and Clay 2018) can enable effective and transformational behaviours to emerge by helping staff to understand and develop their capabilities and confidence in the context of their own work. The results can include an improved status quo and the identification of new goals for individuals and their organisations. There is a history of people talking about applying a lens to challenges, to look at things differently. (Phipps and Clay 2018) To give a different perspective on what has been written or talked about. In this session we will reflect on the various ways in which universities can respond to these questions, you may want to create new strategic priorities, which reflect the new landscape in which universities will operate.  A question that we will also discuss is, do universities need a separate digital strategy? There are challenges with having additional strategies that are an addition to the core strategic priorities, and with more strategies in place it is sometimes easy for things to fall between them.  Additionally, the provision of a new strategy, with new digital priorities, may be seen as some kind of extra or addition to what staff are already doing. The end result is that the digital strategy is often ignored or left to one side (Clay 2018). In the session we will look at how this can be avoided. In this session participants will gain an understanding of the importance of digital in strategic planning and decision making.

Phipps, L and Clay J (2018) Delivering digital change: strategy, practice and process. Senior leaders’ briefing paper Jisc

Clay J (2018) Why does no one care about my digital strategy? – eLearning Stuff [online] eLearning Stuff.

My top tweet this week was this one.