Lovely weather this week, I spent the week working inside.
Monday I went into our office in Bristol. It was somewhat quiet, and I actually spent most of the day in one of our meeting rooms by myself attending online meetings. However the reason for going in was a change in routine and it was nice to be back in Bristol.
I did go for coffee, which was nice.
Attended an online workshop about learning spaces. There was some discussion about dual mode or hybrid teaching and some of the technical challenges in creating an equivalent experience. I am still surprised by how important a small number of activities (such as examinations) which happen infrequently and for a short amount of time have so much impact on the design of some spaces. However what I learnt from the workshop will feed into an estate vision piece I am working on.
On Tuesday the internet broke… but it did get fixed in the end.
Spent some of the week planning for the Digital Leadership online programme I will be co-presenting with Lawrie over the next six weeks.
Continued to work on our projects, so much planning, reading and writing.
On Thursday I was presenting at EUNIS 21, which would have been nice if it was on the planned Greek island, reality was, that I was at home presenting over wifi. I was also part of a panel discussing the current landscape. I always find it fascinating presenting to an international audience, ensuring I come across clear and coherent. Also worked out in 2006 in Finland, that humour doesn’t always work for an international audience. Though the conference time was one hour ahead, it was quite a late presentation.
My top tweet this week was this one.
Okay, who broken the internet? Was it you at the back? Yes you?
Monday was a mix of meetings, some about our current consultancy work, some about future consultancy work and one was a formal presentation for one of our current projects. Had to keep my head straight so I could ensure that I was talking about the right stuff in the right meeting.
Cardiff University have confirmed online lectures will continue in September 2021.
Cardiff University has announced that online learning will continue in September. Despite government rules relaxing, the university has said it will be prioritising the safety of staff and students. However, in-person seminars, workshops, tutorials, and lab work are expected to go ahead.
This is a similar model to what many other universities are going to do for September 2021.
At the end of Monday I was in a meeting with the Office for Students in preparation for a meeting later in the week.
On Tuesday I went to the office. This was the first time I had been to the office since October. I had been a few times during August last year, but following the second lockdown in November our offices have been closed and only reopened on the 17th May.
As might be expected it was somewhat quiet, I think there were only ten staff in all together. It was nice to see people (for real). The main problem I had was the desk I booked meant I had a window behind me, so on my calls I was a dark shadow. Which was confusing for people who usually find me sitting at my desk with a virtual background.
I did enjoy going into the office and also enjoyed my walk at lunchtime, it was interesting though to see how much had changed. Even though I have been to Bristol a few times, I generally was going shopping, my lunchtime walk took in the parts of Bristol that I wouldn’t normally visit during a general shopping trip.
What I hadn’t missed was the commute. Combined with the rain as well, it was a hassle and annoying to drive to and from work.
Enjoyed watch Lawrie move through 21 locks on his boat as he had a well deserved holiday.
Had a scoping call about the Intelligent Campus and potential consultancy we could do in this space. We have been thinking about how we could work with universities on vision pieces and use cases.
I also had a useful discussion with another university later on Tuesday about blended and digital learning.
Wednesday I didn’t go to the office, as my car had its MOT (which it passed). Hardly using my car compared to pre-covid times, mainly as I am not travelling to events, universities or other Jisc offices.
In an interesting move, University of Cambridge has expanded into online learning and begins to launch its portfolio of short online courses, with 50 to come priced at around £2000 each.
The University of Cambridge has launched a series of online short courses for professionals in a major expansion of its distance learning activities.
Thursday I had to wait in for a collection, so no trip to Bristol either.
I had a meeting to plan a shareshop I am helping to run next week called Supporting Students to Transition to HE in September.
Over the last twelve months universities across the country have switched to emergency remote delivery as lockdowns caused students to stay at home (or in halls). Though we know university staff have made huge efforts to provide high quality remote teaching and learning, when we talk to students we have found that many feel isolated, separated from their cohort, missing the in-person social interaction which is so important to the student experience and for peer support and learning.
I did consider going to the office on Friday, but with all the wind and rain decided not to.
EUNIS annual Congress takes place from the 9-11 June, with pre-Congress workshops 1-4 June and a (virtual) Greek island.
I am presenting about Learning and Teaching Reimagined on the 10th June and will also be a panellist in another session.
Join us to discuss digital transformation, find out how universities internationally have delivered innovative learning experiences during the pandemic and reflect on what happens next. An inspiring schedule of presentations, roundtables and workshops.
As ever, EUNIS brings a local flavour even when virtual. Relax and meet others on our own Greek island: a totally new experience in virtual networking.