Wednesday, 13 July 2016

#ELESIG London - Evaluation By Numbers - 7 July RVC

On Thursday 7th July, the ELESIG London local group met for the third time, again somewhat-organised by Mira Vogel and me. This time we were at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden.

As with the previous meetings, the group was small but perfectly formed. With no shortage of institutions and people in the London region, there is potential to grow the size of the meetings but I was delighted with the mix of people and the group dynamic, and the fact that it had more of a 'working group' feeling, with everyone participating and no one just being an 'audience'. So this format seems to be working for us for now.

Mira's write up of the event plus links to various resources is here: ELESIG London 3rd Meeting – Evaluation By Numbers. I just wanted to add a personal thank you to our presenters Michele Milner (UEL) and Andreas Konstantinidis (KCL), our hosts the RVC (especially Sarah Sherman for meeting and greeting), Mira, and everyone who attended and contributed. Looking forward to the next one.

Monday, 16 November 2015

The EMA Nightmare at #M25LTG

Last Wednesday the M25 Learning Technology Group met at UCL for an afternoon of presentations and interactive sessions on the theme of 'Dreams and Nightmares'. While some presentations were really quite dreamy, Sarah Sherman and I decided we could present some of our ongoing work on assessment and feedback in Bloomsbury, specifically considering issues with electronic management of assessment. The slides below give a flavour of our presentation.

Storified tweets of the event below, courtesy of Vicki Dale.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

ELESIG London: Come Evaluate With Me! 11 November 2015, UCL

The second meeting of ELESIG London took place at UCL yesterday. Mira Vogel and I facilitated an interactive morning considering the nature of evaluation, why do it, and how it can be done. Our aim was for participants to move forward with their own evaluation plans, as well as hear about some interesting work, so plenty of time for discussion and networking was built into the schedule. The room was (as hoped) a hive of activity as participants discussed their own evaluation plans and gave each other suggestions. We also welcomed some special guest stars, with a couple of great presentations from Tunde Varga-Atkins from the University of Liverpool (unfortunately only via Skype, rather than in person, but it worked well), who discussed the use of nominal focus group technique, and Professor Amanda Jefferies from the University of Hertfordshire, explaining how to get the best results from learner video diaries. It was also great to have London-escapee Vicki Dale down from Glasgow for the meeting.

All in all I think it was an informative and enjoyable meeting, and has taken us a step further towards a local (but extended), networked, community of practice in learner experience research. Many thanks again to Tunde and Amanda for presenting and everyone who attended for participating.

Links for presentation slides:

A Storify of the tweets from the event should display below.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Farewell to the things I never wrote - ambition is good, but realistic goals are better (some thoughts for #acwrimo)

It's already been a week since I realised that November is #AcWriMo (academic writing month) and read some excellent pieces of reflection, advice and encouragement such as the writing is never done – a post for #acwrimo from Pat Thomson and Why I changed my mind about #acwrimo from Inger Mewburn, and lots of other great stuff on Twitter via the hashtag

And so, I thought (as I often do), I should write something about this. And then I didn't, because to be honest, I was writing too many other things. In fact what I have been discovering lately is that having finished one quite major writing (and editing) project (an independently published, open access book I've edited with Javiera Atenas), I now want to encourage people to discover and read it, and that means writing more about it. And that made me reflect on another idea for a piece of reflective writing I never wrote, which was about how I have really, really intended to get a lot better about posting on this blog more frequently (are you noticing a theme developing here?).

The problem is not a lack of things to write about. I have ideas, sometimes even paragraphs. But that's where I get stuck; when I have got somewhere that is already too long for a tweet, but not long enough to be an adequate blog post, or so I feel anyway. Maybe I should be more relaxed about these short posts and think of them as more akin to a workshop, rather than a lecture, where the purpose is to generate or engage in conversation, rather than deliver an argument. And I should also give myself permission to say farewell to the things I never wrote, and enjoy completing things a bit more. 

What I really want to do though, and this #acwrimo phenomenon has definitely made me think about this, is set realistic, achievable goals, rather than just have an ever increasing list of stuff I need to get done 'now'. Yes I realise I was supposed to start the month by doing that. But it's harder than it sounds. I am going to get on to that straight away. Well, after the next thing I need to get written and sent off urgently.