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|PALET - The Programme Approval Lean Electronic Toolkit Project|
Sarah Williamson, Head of Learning and Teaching Support at the University gives feedback from a student focus group exploring how students are/could be involved in Curriculum Design activities. At the students focus group, we explored the following areas:
- How do you learn best?
- What teaching methods or learning activities help you to learn best?
- Are different teaching methods or learning activities more appropriate to different topics/subject areas?
- Do you know how you'll be taught certain things? Where does that information come from?
- Do you think you have the knowledge/understanding to make decisions about course design? How would you want to use the knowledge?
- Would you like to be involved in helping to design how a course is delivered? How?
Monday of last week, we held the all important workshop, at which participants worked towards designing the future state of the Programme Approval Process at Cardiff University. After a few ice-breakers, participants were asked to list the real-world constraints that could hinder a perfect process - for instance QAA/Professional body requirements, University culture and 28 different Schools. Constraints aside, participants were then asked to design a 'ship' to represent their aspirations of a new programme approval process for Cardiff University.
Each group explained the reasoning behind their ship design. Common themes throughout the four ships were: Manoeverable, simple, advanced navigation system, streamlined, futureproofed, supportive crew, Ship captain keeping an eye on the horizon....
Two participants kindly offered (were coerced...!) to talk us through their ships - please view the below video:
Next, participants took the key messages from the "Art Attack" boat session, and started to develop a high level map of what the Programme Approval Process might look like in the future - using brown paper and post-it notes in true LEAN style! So, by the end of the workshop, we had an 'aspirational' high level map of what a new process would look like in an ideal world. Three more workshops are planned for November, at which participants will start to thrash out some of the detail, adding flesh to the bones of the high level aspirational map. As you can see - busy times aboard the good ship PALET - roll on Christmas :)
Last week, Cardiff played host to the third CAMEL meeting of Design Cluster B*. The meeting took place in the impressive Committee Rooms of the Glamorgan Building - people seemed very impressed - and perhaps more impressed that a scene from Dr Who was filmed in the ladies loo...!
The meeting began with a summary update from all visiting projects. This was followed by a 'calzon quitao' session, during which we (Andy and I) highlighted key challenges and difficulties that had arisen during the life of the PALET project and accepted constructive criticism, advice and support from other cluster projects.
The first workshop session of the Camel meeting was run by Katya Hosking, the Inclusive Curriculum Officer at Cardiff University, and focussed building inclusivity into curriculum design. The interactive session was well received and seemed to provide food for thought for many project teams. Feedback on the session was captured via twitter and included;
"E&D session gave genuine food for thought."
"Great session from on inclusive curriculum design at Cardiff"
"Rethinking notion of "disability" and inclusion in light of #dcb09 session this pm will include this as one of our principles for predict"
Day one concluded with a picturesque, sunset boat trip around Cardiff Bay. (This sounds very peaceful and relaxing, but ended up involving a huge panic when Taffs Mead ferry port couldn't be found...!) We continued discussions over dinner at Mimosa and came up with some great ideas for joint dissemination (*Watch this space!*).
A 9am start on day two, and straight into another workshop session focussed on evaluation. Professor Peter Chatterton facilitated the session, at which we explored the different approaches projects were taking to evaluation. The meeting finished with further discussion of potential joint dissemination opportunities. And to round of a successful camel meeting, we found out that our proposal to run a symposium session at the SEDA Conference next year has been accepted.
Personally, as the host, I found it difficult to relax and enjoy the meeting at first - I was more concerned whether everyone else was enjoyed the sessions. Once I realised that everyone was engaging well with the inclusive curriculum workshop, I was able to enjoy the session myself. So, we're looking forward to the next Camel Cluster meeting in March, at which we'll experience sights and sounds of Greenwich...
* Cardiff University, Cambridge University, Birmingham City University, City University London, Greenwich University.
Sunset over Cardiff Bay
We've had a busy couple of weeks following ALT-C with the PALET Project Management Team and PALET Project Steering Group meeting within one week of each other. Both meetings were good and reinforced to me the genuine senior level support and enthusiasm for the project - particularly now we've completed the baseline review of the current process and are moving into the design of the future.
The next stage of the PALET Project is for a new Programme Approval Process to be designed. As we are using a 'participatory design' model, we want the users of the process to lead in its design. An aspirational state workshop is scheduled for the start of November, during which colleagues from SONMS, two other Schools (TBC) and University Directorates will address the issues raised by the baseline report and focus upon what a new process would look like in an ideal world, with no constraints - what the LEAN team call 'an aspirational state'.
Once completed, the aspirational state map will be used as the basis for a further series of consultative workshops with all other Schools during November, during which academic and administrative staff from all Schools will build upon this to design the 'future state' of the process. The PALET Project Team will consider the outcomes of the workshops and produce a visual representation of a possible 'Future State', that will be presented to ASQC for consideration in January 2010.
Programme Information Templates
A workshop was held last month, with representatives from a number of schools to work towards redesigning the templates used to gather programme information. Since then, we've reviewed the outcomes of this workshop and come up with a redesigned programme specification template and module description template. We have attempted to design the templates and associated guidance, to encourage people to write the information for a student audience. Whilst we're aware that further programme related information will need to be collected throughout the programme approval process (for the purposes of validation, populating other fields in SIMS etc.), the two templates have been structured to capture programme and module related information that would be of interest to the student. The new templates will be submitted to the Academic Standards and Quality Committee for approval at the end of October.
Andy and I are attending the JISC 'Designing for Delivery and Delivering the Design' Programme Meeting in Manchester next Tuesday/Wednesday (will Manchester have even more to answer for...??!). This is a cross programme meeting to provide an opportunity from the Design and Delivery programmes to network and identify synergies. I'm absolutely sure that they'll be more tweeting than talking - the twitter tag is #jisccdd for those of you who are interested to follow.
We're also preparing to host the next Cluster CAMEL meeting here at Cardiff, where we'll be focussing on themes such as Equality and Diversity and Project Evaluation. I'm looking forward to it... but finding it hard to visualise what a Welsh Camel might look like...
Although it may sound like it, 'Wordle' is not a magical town in Middle Earth, neighbouring Mordor - it's a clever little tool that we have stumbled across and have decided to start using as part of our project communications. The Word Cloud below was particaruly easy to create. It was a matter of copying and pasting the aims and objectives of the PALET project into Wordle, which generated the below Word Cloud - giving greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. We think it quite a smart way to communicate what the project is about, in a single snapshot. For a clearer version, please click here.
Right from the inception of this project, it has been our intention to try and involve the academic community at Cardiff in the development of a ‘lean’ Programme Approval Procedure as much as is practically possible. Failure to do so would likely lead to a lack of ‘buy-in’, and risk failure.
The question is … how to do so, given the myriad of different commitments that academic staff have, the devolved structure at the University, the varied needs of 28 different schools, and the natural reluctance we all have to get involved in something where it is not immediately clear “what’s in it for me”.
It is a common theme within our cluster, one we have sought to look at together by exploring innovative ways of involving ‘stakeholders’ and by investigating different models of ‘participatory design’. The problem is, as soon as you start talking about “facilitating stakeholder involvement in participatory design” is that half the audience will switch off, and the other half will look bemused! We desperately need an alternative an alternative term to “stakeholders”. Any suggestions please get in touch.
So how will this be undertaken? The need to gather feedback from and the views of all 28 schools has been acknowledged, as an addition to the specific involvement in the project of the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies. We also plan to gather video clips to illustrate the different perceptions that staff have of the current procedure, and to work with staff undertaking the PCUTL programme, by thinking about different models of curriculum design and the need to develop sustainable programmes. There will be other ways to get involved. How this will be done … well that’s largely up to you – so why don’t you get in touch, you never know it might actually be a useful and interesting thing to do.
Welcome to the blog for the Programme Approval Lean Electronic Toolset (PALET) project. Please find below a short overview of the project:
PALET Project Overview
Utilising the Lean Thinking methodology for process improvements, the PALET project will develop revised procedures for the approval of new programmes to create a more agile, efficient and flexible approach to the design of new curricula and the subsequent programme approval process. In the context of the University’s Modern IT Working Environment (MWE) project, a service-oriented approach will be utilised to develop a toolset to support academic and support staff through each stage of the new programme approval process, which will also ensure that the resulting programme and module information is clearly defined and can be seamlessly utilised by other business applications.
The project will build on and extend a recent end-to-end review of the process conducted through the University’s Lean University Project and will redesign this procedure to ensure that new programmes are attractive, innovative, market relevant and of a high academic standard. This will include a focus on the business case developed for new programmes, on the information required within a programme proposal, and on the process of curriculum design.
The revisions will be guided by input from staff within academic schools, the main users of the process. The project will draw upon the tools being utilised across the University within version 2.0 of the MWE, specifically those that will support collaborative working and the development and management of online processes. The project will also link with the work being undertaken to improve the University’s data quality, to facilitate the most effective use of this data, and to improve the ability to find, access and publish corporate information.
The project has been identified as a high priority for the University, and it is linked with a number of key strategic matters and other ongoing University-wide projects. These include the ongoing implementation of the Student Information Management System (SIMS) across the institution, review of the University’s future approach to portfolio management, implementation of the University’s learning, teaching and assessment strategies, and a move towards a definitive single data source to cover the lifecycle of a programme from inception through to delivery. While the success of the PALET project is not dependent on the implementation of the related projects and initiatives, a holistic approach to policy and practice will help to transform institutional business processes over the short to medium term.
© Dr Sarah Williamson. Powered by Apache Roller 4.0.1-dev.
|« May 2013|
Tagsalt approval assessment blog camel cardiff change charter collaboration connections curriculum description design digidol enagement flexible handbooks hea information jisc lean mwe palet programme quality stakeholders students technology university webservice
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