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!

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