A little more clarity

I had a meeting with a few colleagues about project support for the JISC Transformations programm;, Will Allen another consultant trainer at Netskills and Andy Stewart who you might remember from the Blakes coffee shop meeting a few posts back.

I feel I’m getting a firmer grip on the background to the programme now and it’s becoming clearer what contribution I can usefully make.

Here we go.

The Transformation Programme

The funded programme of projects is called “Transformation”. The projects  are all funded to implement the use of other JISC funded resources in transformational projects in their own institutions.

One of the biggest criticisms of JISC is that theresource outputs of it’s funded projects are of limited use as other institutions, apart from the ones that took part in the initial projects, do not benefit. The Transformation projects seek the redress that.

As part of the bid requirements for successful projects, each project needs to produce a final written case study AND a piece of digital video or audio to sit along side it.

The aim of the piece of digital media is, as far as I can see, to make the experiences of the projects in implementing these JISC resources more accessible to other institutions, making it more likely that subsequent adoption of the resources will be successful.

The digital media could be quite bland and the risk is that each project turns out an unengaging, glorified screencast.

I feel that by telling stories, projects will give a fuller picture of what it the experience was like, adding narrative and meaning to the data in the final written report.

Each project team has to provide 2 team members to represent it on the SIPG (something something Practice Group – need to check. It’s these people that I’m likely to be supporting most closely

What might the support look like?

We’ve been asked to consider a particulr approach to supporting projects in using digital media which at the moment, I think has it’s merits:

I’ll conduct an online seminar about digital storytelling for projects that outlines the value of using this technique, gives basic guidance on structuring and writing stories and hints and tips about the technology. This will be free for projects to attend (i.e. they don’t need to spend any of their project funding on it!)

This will be backed up free-to-access resources that expand on the content of the webinar and act as a resource base for the projects.

The second level of support will be a full day event where we take a longer look at the skills and technology involved and discuss different approaches. It will be a practical day and is meant to be back up by the resources.

There could also be a third level, but this would have to be provided outside of the scope of project support, more on my own time, which is a more intensive consultancy for a small number of teams; working with some of the projects through the whole process, offering advice and technical support.

So that’s it…

…in a nutshell. The plan WILL change over the coming weeks but I wanted to document the early vision.

On a side note, the 3 levels of intervention give a good differentiated way of researching the impact of the project support, by exmaining the outcomes of projects that accepted no offer of support, though to the ones who were worked with intensively.

One thought on “A little more clarity”

  1. Hi Chris, Liking the blog… and the fact our meetings have offered a *little* clarity! However, it’s a murky world of education, institutions and JISC in which we work. :-S Indeed, clarity is surely an ideal rather than anything attainable!Thought, given your ethnographic approach, i’d offer a little context, at least as I understand it… Happy to respond to questions or talk more f2f – your call.A useful distinction for your DS work, is between the standard (generic) Netskills training offer on the one hand and our offer for JISC programmes and their projects. The latter allows us to demonstrate our wider expertise and understanding, situating DS in the practice of JISC and JISC-funded projects. In the past, Steve and I have referred to our standard training having a "hit and run" approach! What’s interesting with the Transformations programme projects is that one of their core required deliverables is to produce a media story of their project.Re. the Transformations programme, you’re right to pick up on the programme addressing the criticism that JISC doesn’t know how its outputs are picked up and used by institutions. This is in fact the second programme to begin to address this, Building Capacity being the first. In BCap institutions were offered considerable funding to identify and use JISC outputs. In Transformations, they’re meant to be doing it already (i.e. without funding) and the limited JISC funding of 15k is essentially provided for projects to document their learning and engage in support activities. (Interestingly, having marked some of the bids, many of the proposals missed this fact, perhaps indicating that 15k isn’t perceived to be a small amount!)Here’s the Transformations programme blog btw: http://transformations.jiscinvolve.org/wp/Re-reading your post, you might benefit by thinking about which bits are re. understanding the landscape vs. which are re. defining the Netskills offer (perhaps in terms of training and, separately, support/consultancy).

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