One of the problems within universities with the types of role I’ve been performing in the last couple of years is the out-of-sight, out-of-mind, problem. As a L&T “support” person the folk in the faculties, especially those in senior management, aren’t always aware of exactly what it is you’re doing. At the same time, they are aware of all sorts of problems they are seeing with L&T, have specific ideas how those should be addressed and don’t see folk like me implementing those ideas. Consequently, they don’t see any value in what we do.
There are some aspects of that problem that you can’t do anything about. This post is the first in a new tradition and is intended to address one part of the problem. It is questionable as to how well this approach will address the problem, but better to do something than nothing. The idea is that I’ll report on this blog what I’ve been doing for the last little bit in the position. In part, this will be used to inform my supervisor and over time I’ll promote these posts as way people can track what I’m doing. In part, this type of work fits with a number of my position’s accountabilities.
More importantly, I’ll point out that it is a way for people to critique and make suggestions. It will also prompt me to reflect a bit on what I’ve done and what I might’ve done.
Summary of work
From the 4th to 20th of August, the major tasks I’ve been involved with include:
- Working on BIM.
- Talking with Psychology folk about curriculum mapping.
- Talking with Quality folk about projects etc.
- Supporting others in research.
- Preparing for a presentation.
- Working on the PhD.
Some of the issues, barriers or hurdles around this work have included:
- On-going uncertainty about the nature of this role and how it fits within the broader CQUniversity policy and process structures.
- Disquiet about the role and what it is doing from sections of the CQUniversity community, as identified in the PRPD process.
- Sickness of both myself and family members.
Working on BIM
This is currently the major task in my current work role. BIM stands for BAM Into Moodle and is taking an existing research project/tool from CQU’s existing LMS into its new one (Moodle). I’ve spent the best part of 3 or 4 days on this project in the current time period. The work during this period on BIM is summarised in a series of 4 posts: 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The current status on BIM is that it is now much clearer how this will work within the Moodle model and the first steps have been made in implementation.
A few weeks ago I was approached by folk from CQUni’s Psychology school with a need around curriculum mapping. The aim was how to improve the availability and use of curriculum mapping information around the Psychology program. Originally an L&T grant was envisioned, but increasingly this appears to be something better addressed at an organisational level.
Some additional explanation, examination of some related factors and one suggested way forward is outlined on this blog post.
I’ve met with someone from the Quality division to talk about various related projects and sketch a way forward. There is certainly some overlap and space for collaboration, though it is not immediately possible.
I’ve discussed potential and existing research projects with a number of CDDU staff. Have given feedback on an ASCILITE paper for one member of CQU staff outside of CDDU and feedback on another ASCILITE paper to a member of CDDU.
I have been working on a presentation to be given under the auspices of the L&T research centre at CQU. Initial thinking about the presentation is outlined in a number of blog posts, including this one.
The presentation will aim to give some theoretical underpinnings to how I approach my current role and identify potential ways forward for CQU in terms of improving L&T.
Working on the PhD
Progress on the PhD is regularly updated on the blog – the most recent is here
Work to be done
Over the coming couple of weeks the work focus will be on:
- Progress BIM.
I hope to have a prototype to show people within a couple of weeks. A month at most.
- Help out on a paper for the indicators project.
A late request, this will be a focus for the next week.
- Progress the curriculum mapping project/requirement.
This is a complex issue, in particular how best to progress it through the necessary CQU processes in order to achieve a decent outcome. I will aim to have developed a report on this opportunity within the next couple of weeks.
- Complete the presentation.
This will be given in mid to late September.
- Make progress on the PhD.