SEDA Summer School – Academic Development for the Digital University, July 9-11

This was my first SEDA event and participants were from a range of roles including learning technologists, librarians or former librarians, educational developers and me.  It is fascinating to have a glimpse of this ‘other world’, its issues, challenges and opportunities.

We are each working on our own project at the Summer School and I chose to explore the opportunities for taking BPP’s scholarship and producing outputs in a variety of digital formats that will engage with a wider audience and take advantage of emerging digital technologies where appropriate.

We started the summer school by considering in some detail the outcomes and outputs of our project and how we might measure these.  What are the indicators we would use to measure success of our project?  The overall outcome for me is that the ‘world’ will perceive BPP to be academically credible and worthy of university college status.  No more booing at awards events!

During the first afternoon and into the early evening we worked in small groups using action learning sets (http://www.actionlearningsets.com/php/news.php?id=4) to discuss our projects.  Using this technique you have a set amount of time to talk about your project, then a set amount of time for the group to question you, you to reflect on the discussions and with one person observing the process and feeding back at the end.  There were lots of overlaps and similar themes running through our projects and it was a really enjoyable session facilitated by Carole Baume (Board Member of Regents College and former OU faculty).

Lawrie Phipps from JISC spoke about what is different about digital, playing devil’s advocate that there is nothing that different.  His presentation is on his blog (http://lawrie.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/07/05/sss12/) although he spoke without slides. He also talked about MOOCs, whether there is anything different you can do with digital and about the visitor and residents ideas of Dave White (http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3171/3049 and http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/).

Day two sessions were on digital identities, personal learning networks, open practice (by Lindsey Jordan from the University of the Arts http://prezi.com/z5kdwgdwiczf/open-practice/) and a session on workshop planning facilitated by David Baume.   A theme emerging for me is whether digital literacy is a helpful term or whether digital fluency or digitals skills (or meta-skills) would be more apt.  I also now realise that many workshops end without a clear understanding of what will happen as a result of them: the outcomes lack clarity.

I am left with a long list of things to explore but in particular I will ensure that I become familiar with TEDx, WordPress, open publishing and ISSNs in order that I can advise and support faculty.  I also will ensure that our videos and MP3s are published online.  I will become familiar with Slideshare, Digio and Linoit in case we could be using them to make life easier…

The best outcome of the summer school was that there are now 23 HEIs who understand BPP better.  Several folk told me it was good to find out first hand what we are about and they were surprised that their perceptions were previously misplaced.

Here’s the poster I developed to articulate my project:

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