Presenting the PC3 framwork

For the staff development festival and the launch of the PC3 project we devised a graphical representation of the main elements of the PC3 framework.

PC3 Framework poster V1

PC3 Framework poster V1

 

For later presentations we rearranged it slightly to put coaching at it’s heart:

The core elements of the PC3 supportive framework

The core elements of the PC3 supportive framework

Mainstream

Margaret Christian and I had a very welcome opportunity this morning to present PC3 to Leeds Met’s Mainstream meeting, a meeting of senior staff (including Associate Deans, Chief Operating Officers, PVCs and the Vice Chancellor) with a brief to explore future avenues for the University. The discussion ranged round potential learner groups, technology and integration issues, and how far elements of the PC3 framework are currently in place around the institution. This was followed by consideration of sharing resources – another aspect we are working on supported by JISC – and one which will be core to the success of PC3.

Overall it went extremely well leading to an opportunity to speak to the new Carnegie Graduate School, which will be leading masters provision across the institution – and another potential user group to follow up. This engagement with senior management is vital to the success of the project and it is encouraging to have such a genuinely positive response.

Partnerships

The PC3 team had a very productive afternoon yesterday meeting representatives from MyKnowledgeMap to explore how their suite of tools might help us support the PC3 model. Learning from the stresses of previous projects I am keen to avoid spending significant effort developing software, if there are systems out there that can do the job we need, especially when they have been developed by forward thinking companies who are interested in working with us to tailor software to our needs.

Our meeting was very encouraging. Our model and workflow is different to any the company demonstrated to us – but individual components were similar enough for us to see how things could be configured to support our particular approach. Their enthusiasm for tackling the issues raised by backend systems such as Banner was encouraging (and a huge relief!). They are already working with Intralibrary which is the Repository we have at Leeds Met – and have worked significantly on CETL ALPS in which our Faculty of Health is actively involved. Indeed several of the developments of ALPS will be useful to us.

The next step is for the team to flesh out proposed work flows for our initial user groups to take back to MyKnowledgeMap so that we can discuss the nitty gritty. Thankfully we built software licensing and consultancy into our bid so we should be be able to reach an agreement to suit everyone.

Technology should certainly not be the driver of projects such as this – but it can be the killer of them. We need a reliable, integrated and professional platform to support our model. I am hopeful that MyKnowledgeMap can help us develop that.

Serendipity

Yesterday I was invited to attend a dissemination meeting for the HEA/JISC DEL-2 programme at the HIgher Education Academy in York. I was invited by our ICS subject centre as I had had a small grant under the programme to develop some learning resources. I went along dutifully prepared to report on our modest developments but in the end (with the agreement of the subject centre rep who had invited me!) sat in on some extremely useful discussions of the ePortfolio strand of the programme. The experiences described and the resources collected will be very useful to us as we begin our own institutional evaluation of ePortfolio systems next week. An unexpected benefit to the project.

Today saw another useful meeting – this one planned – with Margaret Christian and her colleague Phil Warren, who is an expert on coaching. I am still working on persuading Margaret to be interviewed on video on coaching (watch this space) but this morning we had a very useful discussion of what kind of coaching we would be looking for and how we might develop support and induction for staff and students to support this. On the basis of the discussion Margaret and Tam will outline an initial coaching model that we will start with, with the intention of iteratively revising this (and the training) as we work with different groups. We anticipate that different groups may need different approaches to coaching – with some requiring more or less mentoring, some focusing more on support, others on goal setting and self-realisation. For me, I hadn’t realised coaching was such a complex area. So one of the first groups to experience the coaching training will be the project team – led by Phil – we all agree it is important that we practice (or at least understand!) what we preach!

Real world problems

Had a useful first meeting this morning with team member Jill Taylor and June Copeman who is leading a new flexible programme in Health for assistant practitioners in nutrition. We talked about some of the challenges she is facing in setting up and rolling out this programme, not least the limitations of institutional back end systems. This is certainly something we anticipated at the start of the PC3 project and it will be very helpful to us to work with June to establish what exactly the problems are and where they are coming from: whether they are the result of limitations of the software, lack of awareness of staff, or resistance to change for instance.

We will be talking to June again in the new year and following her cohort through their first year, ensuring that the PC3 framework is developed to address the challenges raised by her programme. Working with users on the front line is as important as liaising with managers and procurers of systems. Sometimes what should be possible in theory is not at all easy in practice.