During the summer/autumn of 2016 we asked academic staff in the Faculty to complete our Technology Enhanced Learning survey. The survey aims to inform our planning so we can better support teaching staff.
In discussion with the Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning, Marianne Ellis, we've now had a chance to pull the data together into some headline issues which have helped us develop an action plan for this year (and on into next year). We'd like to share this with everyone here.
Please get in touch if you have any questions (Yvonne Moore and Rachel Applegate) at firstname.lastname@example.org
The tool we used to present these headlines is a free web infographic maker called Piktochart.
Wiki, wiki, wiki...
We've all heard about it. Our Faculty's internal web pages. But why should we use it?
Basically it has all the information you need... About everything else.
Imagine this. You need to know what the new email address is for the Faculty Student Centre. Immediately. But oh no, everything has changed and moved around. Oh, if only there was a space where this useful information is held… (hint, hint).
A quick overview
Using wiki allows you to:
- Create, share and collaborate on information quickly.
- Easily publish, organise, and access information in one central location.
- Capture, store, and grow your team's knowledge so you can stay up to date and on the same page - quite literally.
Sure, it’s another system to learn. But if I can use it so can you. I mean, just look at this amazing page on E-Communications I made… *whispers* all by myself!
E-Communications Design Best Practice wiki page
I’ve used loads of different ‘macros’ which have helped me make the page more, what I like to say, aesthetically pleasing. Tracey Madden writes monthly posts called (funnily enough) ‘Tracey’s macro of the month’. Check them out to find out more useful information.
My saved pages:
If you’ve made it this far into my blog, I applaud you. By the way, here are some of the pages which I find useful:
And that’s just the beginning!
But hey, don’t ask me… find out for yourself: go.bath.ac.uk/fedstaffwiki
The Faculty Professional Services team held a Celebrating Excellence event in December which aimed to reward and recognise everyone’s amazing achievements over the past year.
As part of this, the team were given opportunity to nominate and vote for colleagues who they thought were particularly deserving of extra recognition. What better way is there to tell someone that you think they’re awesome?
Awards were made across three categories:
Working well with people
Random Acts of kindness
The team was asked to complete a short form, telling us why they thought a particular individual had gone above and beyond what was expected of them in their day to day work being sure the actions related specifically to the category criteria to ensure parity among all nominees.
Nominations were then anonymised and voting commenced, three very worthy winners were identified, who will remain anonymous to keep the spirit of this special type of celebration going.
The event also focussed on outcomes from the Staff survey. We welcomed Sally Palethorpe (Inspired Partners) and Sue Johnson (HR Business Partner) to help us begin a new path in working with and enabling ourselves through ‘change’. An end focus looked at positive outcomes from change and improvement for future change challenges.
Steve Egan popped along just before lunch, and found out a few interesting things he didn’t know about our local successes in Engineering & Design. I think Steve will agree he found out a great deal about the team’s fantastic work and understood fully why we were celebrating.
Our final activity focussed on collaboration and what that meant for the team. We generated a lot of food for thought and looking forward we will be focussing more on communication, working closely together, understanding all our roles and greater engagement.
Everyone left the event with a full belly from the amazing food catered for by The Edge and a Golden Duck – keeping our 50th anniversary celebrations alive.
Remember to focus on your weekly team positives – for the future is going to be great. I will be popping round to check on your notice boards, three positives a week is the aim.
I first used Wiki when I started in my current role to share papers for a group meeting. I only used very basic features to start with, such as uploading papers and using permissions to give new members access, but I was curious to learn more.
Learning about Wiki
I was initially a bit nervous about creating my own Wiki pages, but support from Tracey Madden, Learning Enhancement Adviser, gave me an overview of Wiki and also introduced me to macros. Macros allow extra functionality to be added to a page and range from including an attachment to inserting content from an Excel spreadsheet, or embedding a twitter feed or video. Every month, Tracey publishes a macro of the month blog post, which is great for finding out about different macros.
In discovering more about Wiki, I began to see potential for using Wiki to improve the efficiently of a number of processes. I have now created Wiki pages to enhance information sharing and to contain extensive resources for staff to access (for example, the documents for the Faculty’s REF paper grading workshops). I also use Wiki to manage informal meetings, contribute to project work and find information on the Faculty’s Staff Wiki space.
Advantages of Wiki
There are many advantages of using Wiki. You can set up and manage permissions to allow individuals or groups access to all, or some, of your pages. Wiki provides a permanent hub of resources that are available at any time. It is also useful for project work, particularly when working with staff throughout the Faculty or University, as pages can be easily accessed and updated by various staff.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to engage with Wiki, especially since the Faculty’s internal staff webpages have now moved to the Staff Wiki space. For Wiki guidance, have a look at the Faculty’s help with Wikis page. If you want a few tips on using macros, watch out for Tracey’s macro of the month blog posts.
The Faculty’s staff Wiki space
Rosie Hart, Programmes Officer (Postgraduate Taught), shares her experience of attending the Association of University Administrators Annual Conference:
I became aware of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) through attending a presentation at the University of Bath about their study tours. I thought that it seemed like such a positive opportunity to share information and expertise, and to get a feel of how other cultures’ educational systems work.
I assumed that I wasn’t really important enough/ not on a high enough grade to be sent to the AUA Annual Conference, but I was encouraged by my manager to register. At first I wondered what I could possibly contribute, but having seen that they offered working sessions and being quite opinionated, I thought this would certainly be something I could participate in! I did feel a little apprehensive when I arrived at the conference centre as I was out of my comfort zone – I must say that this was also part of my motivation for going, I feel it’s important to keep challenging yourself.
The Conference contained a mixture of large talks to all delegates, some smaller presentations and a series of working groups. Most of the sessions were held in Nottingham Conference Centre, but the largest talks were held a short distance away at the Albert Hall. It was great to meet my fellow delegates from other universities, who all had a wide range of roles. Some had been working for their institution for a long time, whereas others had only recently began their employment, ensuring there was a whole range of backgrounds and experiences to build our discussions on. I was also quite surprised to see representatives from overseas institutions and upon speaking with some of them, realised just how different comparative roles could be.
Although I gained something from each session, there was one talk I attended that was by far the most enjoyable: The future of data and information in HE by Andy Youell, Director of HEDIIP. Andy was very engaging and amusing on a subject which could have come across as very dry.
In the evening I attended the gala dinner. It was good to have the opportunity to meet a few more people, but I did feel that those who didn’t drink were perhaps not enjoying the event very much! I dined with a smaller group and got to know other University of Bath attendees who I hadn’t met previously, which was a valuable experience.
It was great to have the opportunity to meet and share experiences with colleagues from other universities and to share ideas and good practice. I think there should be far more of this.