This week I was attending the UCISA Leadership Conference in Liverpool.
On day one I drew two sketchnotes from the sessions I attended. On day two I did four sketchnotes. On the final day of the conference I did two more sketchnotes.
Tackling Today’s Student Engagement Challenges
Today’s students expect more from your institution. Apart from their academic careers, students expect to be communicated with in a modern way, they expect to be engaged right from the start, and they expect to be part of your campus community. The question is: how do you live up to those high expectations? Innovative digital solutions have proven effective in improving student communication, increasing student engagement and personalising the overall student experience. This session will share valuable learnings and insights on how an institution has effectively personalised the student journey.
Trust, teamwork and technology: building a culture of educational innovation at scale
This is a session where we, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor Academic and a Chief Information and Digital Officer, will share our journey of building a trusting relationship to serve our academic and learner communities. We will reflect on what qualities we foster among our teams, give them space to innovate and collaborate, and drive motivation to deliver at pace. We will share our story of building a bridge between academic and professional services communities, where the frequent users are our students. Finally, we will showcase some tech transformation and implementation that may not be ground-breaking but delivered at pace and at scale. It’ll be an interactive session and we will have some fun!
I am attending the UCISA Leadership Conference in Liverpool.
On day one I drew two sketchnotes from the sessions I attended. On day two I did four sketchnotes.
A sustainable approach to building a diverse and disability inclusive team
Building a diverse and inclusive team requires both honest reflection and positive action. Hear from AbilityNet on how to create the conditions where the widest talent pool can thrive.
Curriculum management as the foundation of digital transformation and success: What can UK higher education leaders learn from their Australian counterparts?
We passionately believe that true digital transformation starts with an institution’s core asset – its curriculum. In this presentation, we share learnings from universities that have successfully digitally transformed their curriculum management systems, exploring along the way:
Why curriculum management should be the focal point for any digital transformation journey
How digital tools enable staff to manage critical digital data assets accurately, effectively and efficiently
How a curriculum management system with composable architecture supports and builds resilience into the university ecosystem
How to ensure a successful implementation
Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in Tech
The twin challenge of pay gap and lack of role models can mean it feels like an uphill struggle to attract and retain women in tech. In this session Tracey Jessup talks about her role as Chief Digital and Information Officer at Parliament and the work the Parliamentary Digital Service did to ensure they were recruiting across the whole of the market, leading to a 0% gender pay gap.
Durham University’s AI Journey
I did attempt to do a sketchnote on the shared services session, but it didn’t come together.
I am attending the UCISA Leadership Conference in Liverpool.
On day one I drew two sketchnotes from the sessions I attended.
Driving transformational Higher Education through automation and Total Experience technology
In this session Dave Wright from Servicenow talked about driving transformation in an university, thinking holistically about the processes and role of digital.
As the technology landscape grows more complex, the need for platforms that cater for large scale change are essential for educational management. Recent events have shown a need for hybrid and digital learning, plus automation of back-office processes and systems to provide a revolutionary student and employee experience. Delivering a cohesive Enterprise Service Management(ESM) that’s easy to adopt, monitor, and use is now crucial to Educational institutions.
Reasons to be cheerful
In this session, Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor, Solent University takes about the challenges, but all the opportunities that mean there are reasons to be cheerful.
Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor at Solent University, for this keynote session focusing on the positives IT Leaders can look forward to in the near and distant future. With attitudes in the sector often straying somewhere south of positive, it’s time to consider how the role of IT Leaders will change as the importance of technology grows in shaping strategy will .
There was some excellent sessions and I made some sketchnotes for lots of them.
Belonging in a cost of living crisis
The stats are dire and the initiatives have come thick and fast – but what sort of impact is the cost of living crisis having on the student learning experience? Do efforts to enable students to succeed in these circumstances normalise a thin and stretched student experience?
The real risks to equality of opportunity
Tacking equality gaps in higher education remains a huge concern – particularly when some initiatives and efforts seem to fall foul of government guidance and preference. In this session we’ll bust some myths and seek to understand what really works when it comes to narrowing the gaps.
How to (re)calibrate the needle of trust
Post-Covid, there’s been lots of debate about the extent to which safety-net shifts in trusting students should be rolled back in the name of academic standards, as well as discussion about assessment methods that both appear to narrow awarding gaps and exacerbate allegations of cheating. How viable is it in 2023 to maintain the idea that every student should achieve a standard at the same pace? Where is the line between cheating and collaboration? And what could new AI tools mean for teaching, learning and assessment?
Cracking the code
So your department has a difficult NSS score on assessment fairness, and the Dean wants you to turn things around – fast. Or a flag goes up on your engagement analytic dashboard – what now? In a field teeming with data, finding out what is going on with the people behind the numbers can make the difference. In this session we’ll consider the role of the qualitative in turning data to action – and share new insight from our new student survey platform Belong on what students are really thinking.
Why are students so left wing?
The political leanings of students have been central to the free speech debate that has played out in recent years – but is it nature, or nurture? Some would argue that the past decade has seen a huge expansion in higher education participation, opening up opportunity to more students than ever. Others would argue that politics is increasingly skewed away from students and young people’s economic interests. What’s really going on – and what should universities, SUs or governments do about it?
Secrets of the student experience
Increasingly universities are expected to have a handle on “difficult” aspects of the students’ experience: alcohol and drugs, sexual harassment, and sex work. In this session, we will think through the various frames available for managing behaviours and the implications for students, university policy, and the competencies of university staff.
I spent the week in Berlin attending Moving Target Digitalisation 2022 conference. I did a few sketch notes from various keynotes and panel sessions.
Trust and reputation in the digital economy
In this keynote, Prof. Timm Teubner talks about how, when, and why (and why not) people trust online. The talk sheds light on research on trust and reputation and explores the mechanisms and designs that govern our perceptions and behaviors — as well as the side effects that come with it.
Virtual Exchange for social inclusion
VE is not inherently equitable and inclusive. I will introduce a framework for Critical Virtual Exchange (CVE) (Hauck, 2020; Klimanova & Hellmich, 2021) and present and discuss examples from global exchange initiatives to illustrate the approach and its potential impact and socio-political relevance.
Panel session on Reframing mobility in and for transnational collaboration: Moving beyond the on-site/online divide
This panel draws on case studies to critically discuss the multiple meanings and models of mobility. We pay special attention to mobility in joint degrees and reflect on barriers and enablers and the current policy work towards a European Degree Label. We suggest a conceptual shift to mobility from a ‘singular’ individual experience to a process by which multiple mobility options are organically integrated in an institution’s pedagogic offering
Panel session on Benefits and challenges in the context of Open Educational Resources
The distribution of Open Educational Resources (OER) is strongly connected to the rise of the world wide web.
One thing I did find was that doing the sketch notes hit the iPad battery quite heavily. This also happened at the ALT conference, so much so that the iPad battery died before I had finished the sketch. At that session I kept listening and took some photographs on my phone. Afterwards I headed out to Caffé Nero to both refresh myself with a coffee and use their power sockets to charge my iPad.
At Moving Target I probably would have done more sketches if I had either more battery life, or I could have charged up the iPad. I forgot to bring my power bank, but that really only has sufficient charge to charge my iPhone and doesn’t have enough juice to recharge the iPad. Something to think about is can I get a heavy duty iPad power bank.
After a week in Manchester I spent this week working from home. I took the time to work on the implementation of our HE Sector Strategy and more on our internal communication plan to continue to raise awareness of the strategy.
I wrote up my reflections on the UCISA Conference.
Overall, I enjoyed the conference and found that it exceeded by expectations. Despite being labelled a leadership conference, I was expecting to see and hear much more about the operational side of higher education IT but was pleasantly surprised by how many sessions were on leadership and transformation. I will be planning to attend the UCISA Leadership Conference next year.
I also wrote up about sketching at UCISA 22 with some thoughts about sketches from earlier conferences. My sketch notes are really for me, rather than other people. The process of sketching allows me to digest for myself what is been talked about and demonstrated. The sketch note provides me with a mechanism that provides a process for my interpretation of what is being said and what I understand from the talk.
The process of sketching engages me in the talk in ways in which note taking does for others or conversing on the Twitter. They are not done for other people, if other people find them useful then that’s just a bonus. So if you want some sketch notes for your conference, why not get in touch.
First up, every student’s favourite way of working – group work!
He is working on a series of blog posts about online learning.
Like many of you I’ve been getting rather exasperated by the “online = bad, face to face = good” narrative that seems to have arisen post-pandemic. So I thought I’d try a series on some of the ways in which online learning can be done effectively. I mean, I know it won’t make any difference, but shouting into the void can be therapeutic. They’ll be a mix of research and my own experience.
I worked on some reports and guides we will be publishing later in the year on the Intelligent Campus and the Intelligent Library. We originally published the guide in 2017. This was at the time well received by the sector and continues to be the core guidance in this space. Since then, universities across the UK have been exploring how they can make their campuses smarter and intelligent. Since the guide was published, there have been many changes to the landscape, as well as the covid-19 pandemic, there have been advances in smart campus technologies, and a new range of use cases. We know from sector intelligence, member voice and Learning and Teaching Reimagined that the future of the campus is an important component when it comes to digital transformation. This has shown the need for Jisc to update their advice and guidance in this area.
Continuing our research into the Intelligent Campus is outlined in Jisc’s HE strategy.
We will continue our research into the intelligent campus, learning spaces and digital platforms, and how these improve a seamless student experience. This includes how digital and physical estates work together so that they are responsive to student journeys and interactions as well as to help universities achieve their net zero targets.
I was interested though (from an FE perspective) to read about Gloucestershire College’s move to ensure that their campuses function on fully renewable energy. They are digging bore holes for a heat exchanger. For a site that is in the heart of the city centre I did think that this was an intriguing solution to moving to net zero.
When we talk about online and in-person many of us think of this as a dichotomy, either we are online, or we are in-person. The reality is though as we know, that this can be more of a spectrum, a range of possibilities, with varying depths to which online or digital can be embedded into an in-person experience.
I did think that this Twitter thread on academic presentations was interesting and useful to read on six useful things.
A year ago, a non-academic friend listened to a talk I gave. I thought it went great. My friend disagreed.
She said that academics are experts at making interesting stuff boring—and that we should all take a speech class.
So I did. And here are 6 most useful things I learned.
I did like the sixth thing was interesting and useful.
Academic talks often end with a Q&A. But this can mean that the last thing you audience hears is a subpar question or an awkward “No more questions?” You can ensure that things end on a high note if you prep a post-Q&A conclusion.
This is something I am going to start doing in my talks and presentations.
Last week I was in Manchester for the UCISA Leadership conference. I have never attended that conference before, but after the 2020 conference was cancelled, I was given the chance to attend the 2022 event. This was the third in-person conference I have attended since March 2020. I did a couple of sketch notes at Digifest.
At the UCISA Leadership conference I I took the time to sketch some of the sessions and the details of these are covered in the posts I did about the three days of the conference, day 1, day 2 and day 3.
Thinking now about upgrading to Paper Pro for more tools and flexibility. It’s £8.99 a year so quite good value for what you get.
My favourite of the sketch notes I did was from What’s your narrative? Building a compelling vision and dancing in the field with Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning & Teaching, Teesside University.
You can tell Mark covered a lot by how busy my sketch is. That I think is sometimes the challenge with sketch notes, is that if there is a lot of content and importantly thinking then I can do a rather busy sketch. However where the focus is on a single idea then it is harder to develop the sketch.
I also liked the sketch I did of Sustainability and the climate emergency: how can IT be part of the solution and not part of the problem? A conversation with Mike Berners-Lee.
I realised comparing my most recent sketch notes with ones taken pre-pandemic, that I am a little rusty and need more practice. Here are a couple from ALT-C 2017.
Made me realise how long I have been doing them for now.
This one was from Maren Deepwell at ALT-C 2018.
I actually recorded this on the iPad as I drew it. I then speeded it up and put it on YouTube.
My sketch notes are really for me, rather than other people. The process of sketching allows my to digest for myself what is been talked about and demonstrated. The sketch note provides me with a mechanism that provides a process for my interpretation of what is being said and what I understand from the talk. The process of sketching engages me in the talk in ways in which note taking does for others, or conversing on the Twitter.
Looking back at the sketch notes I have used in this blog post has reminded me of those talks I sketched and what I got from them.
They are not done for other people, if other people find them useful then that’s just a bonus. I am not sure how useful they are for other people, but having posted them to the Twitter I did receive some nice comments about my most recent sketches.
So if you want some sketch notes for your conference, why not get in touch.
It was Monday, so as well as having a few online meetings, responding to e-mails, I was also writing stuff too. There was an interesting discussion on the Twitter about the term blended learning. Started off by this tweet from Peter Bryant.
I am finding the notion of blended learning to be increasingly problematic. Its like saying the drink has to be a milkshake because it blends fruit and milk. So, it must be good. But do you want o need a milkshake? What do you get out of drinking this blended masterpiece? #EDEN19
I do agree with the sentiment of Peter’s tweet that the assumption blended is somehow better than other kinds of learning is flawed.
Reflecting on this more I thought about it, I realised that we’ve always had “blended” learning.
I posted my response to his tweet.
Hasn't learning always been "blended"? In the olden days (well when I was at University) we had blended learning. We had big lectures, small discussions, working in the library, in groups, individually, working remotely, working in coffee places (well it was tea shops and pubs).
There are many ways to deliver learning (is that even a thing, can you even deliver learning) and ways for people to learn. My experience is that people like to learn in different ways and in different contexts depending on what they are learning, how they are learning, with whom they are learning, the topic, the subject and even the outcome of that learning and how it will be assessed. Don’t fall into the trap of learning styles, thinking that each individual has an individual way of learning, as the way in which people learn varies all the time and what works one day, may not work for them the following day. Sometimes your don’t even have a choice about certain aspects, as in I have to attend that compulsory lecture regardless of how I actually feel about it and the subject.
The difference today is that certain technologies can add, enhance and improve on those blended experiences.If I watched a video on a Betamax tape to help my understanding, is watching an online video hugely different?
Since writing that tweet, I realise that the control aspect is both enhanced and diminished by the advances in technology.
We want to “measure” learning by using tools such as the VLE, whilst students can subvert that control by using tools such as WhatsApp or historically Facebook groups (are Facebook groups still a thing these days?).
So what do you think? Is blended learning new or has it always been here?
Tuesday I was back in London, it was warm and sunny and we had blue skies, alas as the day went on it started to rain. I was in London for an event by London Higher on research they had undertaken on commuting students, and the impact of commuting on student outcomes and wellbeing.
I made a sketch note of the event.
These sketch notes are mainly for my benefit, as they collate and coalesce my thoughts from the event.
The event took place at the BT Tower and I did initially think we would be at the top of the tower, alas it wasn’t meant to be, the event took place in a room on the ground floor. I was close, but not close enough.
In between meetings I went to a new coffee place and enjoyed a flat white as I caught up with my correspondence.
In the afternoon I was off to the RVC for a meeting with an old friend to discuss learning and teaching in higher education and her thoughts about what Jisc can do in this space.
The end of the week saw me once more off to London, this time for a meeting with officials from the DfE. It was really nice and sunny compared to Tuesday.
Oh had more coffee as well…
My top tweet this week was this one.
That @DavidOlusoga brushed past me at Paddington, I hope he managed to catch his train, as he appeared to be in a real rush.
Over the last few years I have been, rather than taking notes in the keynotes (and other sessions) at the ALT Conference #altc drawing pictures. This is sometimes called sketchnoting.
My sketch notes are really for me, rather than other people. The process of sketching allows my to digest for myself what is been talked about and demonstrated. The sketch note provides me with a mechanism that provides a process for my interpretation of what is being said and what I understand from the talk. The process of sketching engages me in the talk in ways in which note taking does for others, or conversing on the Twitter. They are not done for other people, if other people find them useful then that’s just a bonus. Having said that I do share them online, through Twitter (and Flickr).
This is an updated version of this blog post from 2016. It now includes details of the 2016 and 2017 conferences.
Reading Maren Deepwell’s recent post about her #altc journey, it reminded me of the many conferences I have attended and like her the impact that they had on my life and professional practice. Going back to my experiences of my first ALT-C I was surprised I even went again!