Month: March 2019

voices from the institution

This blog is for Amber because she wants to know about institutionally provided technologies  #openblog19

At University of Edinburgh we know that our people are our strength. This is a place of knowledge creation, and a place of knowledge sharing.

As Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services I am lucky to have responsibility not only for the institutionally provided learning technology, but also the institutionally provided Web. You know me, I like to have a strategy for such things.

Our Web strategy addresses how the university uses web technologies to enhance our
students’ experience, disseminate our best research and engage with our diverse audiences.

The University’s web estate and use of online channels has evolved largely organically, which has led to gaps in corporate knowledge and exposed the institution to significant risks. Its no secret that there is fragmentation of technology, working methods and standards, which leads to uneven and, in some cases, broken user journeys.

We try to address these issues, with a tight focus on the University’s vision to deliver impact for society through leadership in learning and research. While University websites, including the corporate website (EdWeb) and MyEd portal, are at the core of the strategy, strong consideration is also given to online channels as a point of user acquisition and engagement.

Whether delivered centrally or locally, there is a clear need to empower our staff by providing them with the intelligence, tools, standards and resources to attract and engage users.

Our vision is founded on a need to work together in the use of web technologies to achieve business goals across the University, developing the operational agility to take advantage of the most promising online opportunities.

Our web strategy aligns with the University’s Vision 2025, Corporate Plan and other significant institutional and national strategies, and complement initiatives such as Service Excellence and Digital Transformation. This strategy was developed in the manner in which it should be executed – collaboratively – with strong senior leadership and active engagement from publishers and practitioners across the University.

One theme of our strategy is that of ‘Influential voices’. We aim for:

  • Increased online visibility for the work of staff, students and, ultimately, the University
  • Improved profile and visibility for the University across search and online channels
  • Well-trained staff and students who effectively and safely manage their online identity
  • Improved cooperative working online with partners from the commercial, third and public sectors
  • Enhanced partnership syndication of University content
  • Investigation into the development and deployment of a centrally-managed website publishing platform
  • Development of policies, processes and quality control mechanisms to support staff and student publishing
  • Development of content syndication and sharing  tools
  • Creation of training materials and investment in associated communities of practice

The development of and launch of an academic blogging platform and Domain of One’s Own is a big part of what we are doing in this theme of our web strategy. You can read more about this in blog posts from Anne-Marie and Lorna. And once Jonathan is in post, you can meet our new Head of Web Strategy to find out more about each of the other themes.

University of Edinburgh Web Strategy 2018.

 

stay within the lines; the lines are our friends

Don’t Cross the Line campaign posters and social media materials https://www.ed.ac.uk/equality-diversity/respect/campaign/campaign-materials

The University of Edinburgh recently ran its first institution-wide staff engagement survey.

It has sparked some long-needed conversations in many areas of the University.  To support us in exploring the reports further a data analysis pack has been produced which gives some insights into the key results and messages at University, College and Professional Service Group level .

Within LTW we have started conversations to help us explore our data, and to build on initiatives happening across the University. At our LTW All Staff meeting in December 2018 we ran a session/activity to increase our understanding of contributing factors in the responses by LTW staff and to contribute to an outline action plan.

We know that 42% of the LTW respondents  believe that action will be taken as a result of the survey. That’s 10% higher than in the rest of ISG and a clear message to the director and managers.   We are in the midst of our annual processes for ADR, reward and recognition ( more than 20 staff have been nominated for lumpsum payments or increments) and we already have programmes for innovation, staff development and equality and diversity. In addition, ISG have finally appointed a comms officer to look at internal communications, so we can hope that messages to and from our staff are heard.

This week we will try our first run of our ‘Where do you draw the line?’ workshop to learn about the factors that empower participants to work collaboratively to address concerns about bullying and harassment.

More updates on our plans will follow.

views and news

Lovely illustrations for our playful engagement website by the LTW

Jisc have published a case study of our Wikimedian in Residence . We are not sure why they won’t capitalise ‘Residence’ in the job title, or spell Allison Littlejohn’s name correctly. We did ask, but no joy.

I’ll be making reference to Allison’s work this week when I speak about the future for learning and development at the Museums Association event in Edinburgh .

I’ll also be speaking about our playful engagement strategy, MOOCs and OER. A day later I’ll be speaking about some of those same things again, with Charlie, at UCISA. 

In other news:

Our Wikimedian in Residence, Ewan has been shortlisted for a LILAC award.

Our Equality and Diversity Intern, Dominique has been shortlisted for an Equate Student Award and I’ll be joining the event in the evening to celebrate what it looks like to be a “Steminist#thisiswhatasteministlookslike . Thanks to Sandra I have managed  to get one blue ‘steminist’ t-shirt, If you would like to take a photo with it, it’s near my desk.

Chris, Clara and I are nearly finished the update of our book on designing learning. It’s only taken us the 10 years.

naming and reframing

We have great stuff. Picture taken by Jacqui Aim. No rights reserved by me.

It’s been a very busy week.

On Friday, for international women’s day I welcomed ISG colleagues and Friends of the Library to celebrate the naming of the Brenda Moon Board Room in Argyle House. It was a naming, but also a re-instatement. There was previously a Brenda Moon Room in the Main Library, but it got lost, and although Brenda still has an info board on display there, I felt it was important that she should also get her room back.  She is, after all, the only woman ever yet to hold the title of ‘University Librarian’ at Edinburgh, and having a room of one’s own is important.

Our ISG celebrations for IWD are growing and and thriving. A fabulous team of colleagues were involved this year. We edited wikipedia,  created new art inspired by old collections and made badges for everyone to wear.

At the weekend I worked on our workplace equality and diversity programme, writing a case study for Equate Scotland.

On Monday I went with colleagues  to see Helen Pankhurst speak.  A woman with a famous name. We had invited her as part of our ‘Vote100′ project in ISG, but on Monday the visit was hosted by Students’ RAG week.  When I was a student we called it ‘on the rag’ week, but seems like not so much anymore. At University of Edinburgh it used to be called ‘Settlement Week’.

On Tuesday I joined fellow members of the Centenary Commission on Adult Education in Manchester.  Melissa Benn and I had another occasion to chuckle and refer to each other as ‘the other Melissa’.

The meeting touched on the future of adult learning in the digital age.

Me: “we should be discussing the emerging business models of the huge global learning platforms”

Them:  “when I search google I can find lots of interesting things”.

Me:  “the internet giants try to disrupt every sector they set their sights on and they are very interested in training and lifelong learning”

Them: “its just like reading newspapers and going to the library”.

Me: ”  “.

 

 

presenting and representing

Dominique and me busting myths in London. Picture taken by someone else at the event. No rights reserved by me.

Dominique and I presented our work in Equality and Diversity  in London this week. We were invited by Universities HR to showcase ‘The PlayFair Steps‘, our award winning staff development and organisational change programme.

A quick check around the audience indicated that we were the only non-HR professionals in the room. Dominique was certainly the only student. Nevertheless, the audience were very kind and seemed genuinely interested in how much we have achieved. Colleagues from Salford and Leicester have already contacted me to find out more.

We touched on a number of challenging ideas. We spoke about the sector imperative for IT services in universities to ensure that the services and products we develop meet the diverse needs of our students and users, and how diversity in our workforce can contribute to that business advantage. We spoke about the need for the sector to work together to make a career in university IT seem like an attractive choice for all.  We spoke about the value of students as change agents in your organisation and the importance of intersectionality. Dominique managed to say ‘intersectionality’  to this audience nearly half a dozen times.

In the bar afterwards we reflected that equality and diversity at work is a matter for leadership, not something to be ‘left’ to HR.

In July 2015  only 1 out of  the 8 grade10 posts in ISG were held by women. In January 2019 we are 4 of 9.

In July 2015 9 out of 35 grade9 posts were held by women. In January 2019 we are 15 of 38.

Looking at staff engagement, 438 staff in ISG have signed up to attend events in our ‘PlayFair Steps series’. Event titles include:

Understanding age in the workplace: challenges and opportunities
PlayFair Steps Equality Working Group: introductory session
Race Matters in the Workplace
PlayFair Steps – LinkedIn for recruitment
PlayFair Steps brown bag meeting
PlayFair Steps – Coding for Diversity
PlayFair Steps: Supporting fathers to make the most of workplace entitlements
PlayFair Steps: Changing Recruitment Language
PlayFair Steps: Girl Geek Scotland
PlayFair Steps: Disability and Employment – The Challenges of Finding and Keeping a Job
PlayFair Steps: Managerial and Critical Perspectives to Understanding Gender in the Workplace
PlayFair Steps Working Group: Dads’ Focus Group
PlayFair Steps Working Group: Managerial Perspectives to Understanding Millennials in the Workplace
PlayFair Steps Working Group: What is LGBT+ and why does it matter at work?
PlayFair Steps Working Group: Religion at the University
PlayFair Steps: Working Dads Focus Group
Playfair Steps Equality Working Group: Moving Beyond ?Add women & Stir? Approaches to Equality and Inclusion at Work
PlayFair Steps: Renew You (a one day course for women)
PlayFair Steps: Speak Up (a one-day course for women)
PlayFair Steps Working Group: IT and Accessibility
PlayFair Steps: Outsiders Within? Can Feminist Managers Make a Difference?
PlayFair Steps – Age Awareness: Working in Inter-generational Teams