Make your choice

We’ve launched our opt-out policy for lecture recording,  it will apply to all lectures in enabled rooms from the beginning of semester 2 in January. We expect to be recording around 13,000 lectures for 2,000 courses.

If you want to opt-out you need to do that now.

The Replay Scheduler is a simple online tool for the management of lecture recording scheduling preferences and to enable opt-out.  This is available for use now.  You must ensure your preferences are actioned in the Replay Scheduler if you wish to opt-out.  Your Course Organiser will be able to either give you access to the Replay Scheduler or act on your behalf. 

 

If you don’t do it in advance, remember – you are in control of what happens in a teaching space.  If the recording light changes to red to indicate that a recording is taking place, simply press the light to pause the recording.  The light will change to flashing amber.

Student helpers will be available for the first week of teaching to provide ‘on the spot’ support.

time to update our timeline

Lovely infographic made by LTW interactive graphics team.

Inspired by a conversation with Lauren today, and some recent announcements,  I am updating our timeline of learning technology developments at University of Edinburgh. Are there other things I should include?

taming the wild web

The title of this image from the CRC collections is: ‘Examining an Doubtful Brand’. https://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/n8dh30

Work is currently underway to manage and  rationalise the web estate.

The University owns and manages the domain www.ed.ac.uk but a devolved approach in managing the University web estate has resulted in a growth of websites and associated web applications.

An audit of University infrastructure in September 2017 found that there are around  1,600 University of Edinburgh websites, only one of which is the corporate University Website (www.ed.ac.uk/*). The  corporate University website contains 400 sub-sites of its own.

The other website domains are split between circa 1,300 sub-domains (for example, law.ed.ac.uk) and 300 top-level domains (for example, www.mediblog.ed.ac.uk) depending on the business unit’s affiliation to the University. The suppliers, technology base or quality of these solutions is not well known and it’s a bit of a wild west at the moment.

lecture recording and the law

Wise Owl from the University Collections https://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/txp932

We’ve had some questions about the legal bits of our University of Edinburgh lecture recording policy. I’m not a lawyer, but I know some good ones.

Here, thanks to our excellent Policy Officer Neil, is our explanation:

The policy task group considered the intellectual property and data protection implications extensively during development and we’re confident that the new lecture recording policy is legally compliant.  We took detailed advice from the University’s lawyers and Data Protection Officer, from the School of Law’s academic IP expert and from the ISG Copyright Service, in addition to the evolving versions of the very helpful JISC guidance.

In terms of Data Protection:

  • Uses:  The policy clearly defines and limits the purposes that a lecture recording may be used for, including an “essential purpose” of allowing the students on a Course to review their lectures.
  • Lawful basis:  We’re using legitimate interests of the University in providing the service to its staff and students as the lawful basis for processing personal data within the Media Hopper Replay service.  The Data protection Officer and lawyers were very clear that this is the appropriate basis (and that the consent lawful basis would actually not be appropriate for a number of reasons, including ensuring consent is freely given, given the power imbalance between the University and either a member of staff or a student, and some of the implications for implementing any withdrawal of consent once a recording has been made.
  • Sensitive data:  There is a clear requirement in the policy to obtain written consent from a data subject before recording sensitive personal data.
  • Retention:  There is a clear retention period and disposal policy for the recordings.

We have undertaken a Data Protection Impact Assessment and there will be an updated privacy statement for the service that will both be published in due course.

In terms of Intellectual Property:

  • Rights in recording:  The policy recognises that the University, the lecturer and any students who make a contribution to the lecture will each hold some intellectual property rights in the recording.  (The University is the producer and at least in part the director of a recording, and the lecturer holds performer’s rights in the recording.)  In a collaborative approach, these rights will be retained by the respective rights holders who will licence the University and/or the lecturer to use the recording for the defined purposes.
  • Further uses:  It spells out that the University, the lecturer, a student or anyone else may not use the recording for any other use without further agreement from all the rights holders.
  • Lecturer opt-out:  If a lecturer does not wish the University to use a recording containing their performer’s rights, they will be entitled to arrange not to make the recording in the first place.  The lecturer has complete control of whether or not to record a lecture, whether to pause recording, and whether and when to release the lecture to the students.
  • Student opt-out:  It provides for students not to be recorded or – if necessary – to request their contribution deleted, and for students to know in advance which of their lectures will or will not be recorded.  We understand there are practical limitations on keeping students out of shot in some smaller venues but haven’t seen specific problems in practice.
  • Third party copyright:  The policy reiterates the standards required in terms of permission, licence and citation when using third party copyright materials in a lecture, whether or not it’s recorded.  The  ISG Copyright Service will produce specific guidance on use of films, broadcasts or musical excerpts within recorded lectures and on openly licencing recordings if preferred.

I hope that helps.

 

widening participation and access

Photo of WoW leaflets from my mothers cupboards. No rights reserved by me.

This week I’m at the Advance HE conference in Liverpool. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the University of Edinburgh ‘s new Widening Participation strategy is being launched.

University of Edinburgh actually has a long history of widening participation initiatives, but our institutional memory does seem to get lost along the way. Luckily we have splendid university archives.

I’m inordinately delighted to have found a place for both my parents in the University archives.  My father, previously mentioned, and now featured in a group picture of the front of a new book, and my mother Joanna*, in a blog post about Widening Opportunities for Women, the WOW courses of the 1980s.

The WOW programme was aimed at women planning to return to work –most often after pregnancy and years of domestic ‘employment’–, and sought to provide training opportunities as well as guidance over how to approach the job market, what type of opportunities might be available, and what obstacles may be encountered.’

Joanna first attended this programme, after having been stuck at home  with us lot for many years, and then she became the course leader.  I used to visit her in her office in a basement in Buccleuch Place. She’s very pleased to know that in my role in ISG I’ve been able to find places for ‘women returners‘ in our organisation.

After ‘WOW ‘and ‘Second Chance to Learn’,  and ‘Return to Work or Study’, she then led for many years the University of Edinburgh Access Programme  for part-time adult learners who wished to return to education to study humanities, social sciences or art and design.

Nice to see these things coming around again.

 

*just a note to say lest you be concerned, that although I found my father in the archives after his death, my mother is still very much alive.

on having an even bigger sister

In some cities, such as Edinburgh, the university may be one of the largest tech employers in the city. At Edinburgh we have around 600 staff in IT roles. That makes us a big player in tech employment. We also get the benefit of having an even bigger sister standing right beside us. The University of Edinburgh as a whole is a huge employer and a huge part of the public sector workforce. The terms, conditions and perks which we as information services are able to offer to our potential employees are made possible by virtue of being a small part of a huge organisation.

As well as a range of flexible working options and attention paid to being family-friendly most universities offer generous maternity and parental leave and arrangements for sick-pay.  Although many universities do not offer as much on-site childcare facilities as some would like, I suspect it is still way ahead of some tech employers.

University holiday allowances are pretty good. 40 days a year is about the average for most institutions (including national holidays and closure days). Equal pay schemes and university unions ensure that salaries and pensions are decent. Universities are also able to offer permanent or open-ended contracts for IT staff. Other industries might offer more in terms of up-front salary, but there are many extra benefits to working in a university .  We have information about staff  benefits and reward calculator which we use to show the real value of our arrangements.

Universities are learning organisations, if you need to grow and develop in your job training is usually offered for both the skills needed for your job and to assist career and personal development. There are mentoring schemes and career development and promotion tracks.

The climate for equality and diversity is also generally good, most universities have a very progressive stance on equality and diversity in terms of both recruitment and working environment. The very fact that there are high profile initiatives underway in higher education for students and academics contributes to the social environment or culture constructed in universities in which the professional staff work. That is to say, IT professionals working in universities benefit  from large initiatives such as Athena SWAN which are given resource and investment by the university.

There is a range of less talked about perks which I think make universities great places to work.

1) Universities have sport facilities, theatres, staff clubs, art galleries, museums, music venues and shops which are there to be enjoyed by staff at discounted rates, often for free.  There are very few employers who can boast such a range of amenities.

2) You get to working on a filmset. I worked for several years at Oxford and you couldn’t turn a corner without bumping into  a film crew, catering vans and extras dressed in medieval outfits. Or inspector Morse. Or a boy wizard.

3) Culture and collegiality abound. Every evening all across campus there are research seminars, events, book launches, receptions, openings, exhibitions to go to which are open to all staff and anyone interested. Its a lovely way to meet people and network.

4) The festival city is on your doorstep. Literally. Your office may be requisitioned at short notice for a comedy show .

5) Your children and the children of all your friends will have access to the extensive cultural capital at your fingertips when they need to find work experience for school.

6) Eduroam wireless will be provided to you free of charge as you move around the world.  You can sidle up to any university, library, hospital or museum building in any city and pick up free wifi.

7) We are fighting the good fight for truth, facts and against news. You get to be part of this.

perky

me, pondering the perks.

Next week, on the 26th I’ll be welcoming a new  group of staff to the  University,  talking about our mission and governance and people and diversity.

The following week on 10th October I’ll be speaking about The Perks of Working for a University as part of the ‘Empower yourself’ theme at the Scottish Women in Tech Conference in Glasgow.

It has to be said, working for universities generally include:

  • generous annual leave allowance
  • high quality pension schemes
  • a bunch of family-friendly working policies
  • staff discounts on a range of services
  • on-campus nurseries

All of which are defended by your union.

And the lesser-recognised, but best perk of all,  Eduroam!  Free wifi in ( and near) university buildings, libraries, museums and hospitals all over the world.

To highlight the kinds of values the university has I may mention that:

The University of Edinburgh won the National Universities Human Resources Award for Excellence in Equality and Diversity in 2018 https://www.uhr.ac.uk/awards/awards-2018/.

The University of Edinburgh won the Wikimedia UK Partnership of the Year Award in 2018 for our work in contributing biographies and articles to raise the profile of role models of women in STEM https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/about/news/partnership-of-the-year-2018

Our Director of Learning, Teaching and Web  Melissa Highton (me) is named as one of the EdTech50 in 2018 https://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6798/1/edtech50-2018.pdf

The University of Edinburgh Staff Pride Network was awarded Stonewall Scotland Network of the Year in 2018. https://www.ed.ac.uk/equality-diversity/news-events/news/staffpride-award

The University of Edinburgh is shortlisted in the Diversity Project of the Year category of the Computing Women in IT Excellence Awards 2018 http://events.computing.co.uk/womeninitawards/static/2018-shortlist

The University of Edinburgh is recognised for our commitment to promoting gender equality by attaining the prestigious Athena SWAN Silver Institution award, the first in Scotland to do so. https://www.ed.ac.uk/equality-diversity/news-events/news/more-athena-awards

The University of Edinburgh case study was highlighted in the Equality Challenge Unit’s briefing on ‘Intersectional Approaches to Equality and Diversity. https://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/intersectional-approaches-equality-diversity/.

The University of Edinburgh was awarded the Scottish Union of Supported Employment (SUSE) Inclusive Workplace award in 2017 https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/about/news/inclusive-workplace-awardcommitted-to-supported

The University of Edinburgh is a sponsor of Girl Geek Scotland http://www.girlgeekscotland.com/

The University of Edinburgh recruits women into IT roles via Equate Scotland’s Women Returners programme https://equatescotland.org.uk/projects/women-returners/

The University of Edinburgh recruits women students into IT roles as summer interns providing paid work and industry experience and has won the Student Employer of the Year (SEOTY) award in 2018  https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/about/news/excellence-in-student-employment

bags of blogs

Image from University of Edinburgh Centre for Research Collections

Blogging? I’ve never been a fan, as you know. Nonetheless, we are launching a new service for all our staff and students.

The Academic Blogging service directly underpins the “Influential Voices” theme within our Web Strategy 2018-2021. This theme aims to: “Give our staff and students an online presence to publish and promote their work, and exchange ideas with organisations and communities globally”.

The  service will give our staff and students the tools and support that they need to publish online effectively, to develop a digital identity, and make more visible a range of authentic voices from across our academic community that are identifiably connected to our institution.

Our staff and students will be able to link their academic blogs into their profiles on social media or academic networking sites, improving the profile and visibility of the University across online channels. Staff and PGR students will also be able to link to their official University profile on EdWeb. Selections of blogs can be presented on our web pages to represent the range of learning, teaching or research activities that take place in a particular area. Content from blogs can be syndicated by ourselves, or by our partners or external organisations to create curated selections of content, reflecting the richness of our institutional activity.

 

If you want one, let us know.

as others see us

Graphic design from ISG BITS magazine

When looking at equality and diversity drivers for change in organisations, there is some literature which suggests that external accountability , the impression the public have about your organisation, or investor or client pressure, may be a consideration for  senior management. There may be concern for reputational damage with the wider business and society, and this risk could be mitigated for instance by the company’s success in winning a prize for gender equality .

Following our recent success as winners of the national Universities HR Excellence Award for Equality and Diversity, Information Services Group is now shortlisted as a finalist for 2 further awards.

We are finalists in the ‘Employer of the Year’ category in the Scotland Women in Technology Awards 2018 to be announced on Wednesday 24th October 2018 in Glasgow and for ‘Diversity Project of The Year’  in the Women in IT Excellence Awards taking place on 27 November at Finsbury Square, London.