Potential Cohort with Mental Health

Today Janet and I had a productive meeting with Sarah Patrick from the department of Mental Health. We were looking at what aspects of the PLC module and coaching could be used to support a part time degree in this field. One of the problems that senior people in the health sector have is finding time for their own personal development and extending their specialities. Sarah’s team ran a series of modules that covered a range of highly specialised topics. The problem with running these types of modules for people with little time is that recruitment can be very varied, resulting in periods when they are not run at all. These modules are also subject to rigours standards from various accrediting bodies which mean they needs to be some sort of continuation to retain the endorsement.

Sarah is in the process of re-write a couple of the courses and looking at how the process can be improved. At the moment students are required to spend one day a week on campus which for senior practitioner is not always practical. She is looking at providing a more online alternative. The courses are also focused around a portfolio of evidence based on competencies and one has a number of choices the student needs to make regarding the specialist direction.

Our initial ideas is to run the PLC module as a long thin over a year period as a support process for choices, finding evidence and building the portfolio. Coaching linked into the profession development module as both a support mechanism and a peer support mechanism and providing a sense of why the students have chosen what they are doing. Provided the glue for a range of different modules where students are not working within a common cohort.

There is some work to do here, Sarah homes to have a more structured view of what she is a after early next semester. In the mean time we need to consider how coaching and the PLC module can be used to support CPD and PDP. Which fits rather well I think.


JISC Programme Meeting

Attended the JISC programme managers meeting today with John. As usual the Sarah’s team put together a well organised and structured day, with good food and space to socialise. The theme for this meet was change management and how this impacts on the structure of the evaluation plan. A particular emphases was again placed on the need for base-lining, particularly form the perspective of stakeholders and their expectations. I found the presentations interesting and informative.

Peter Bullen (University of Hertfordshire) a critical friend, gave a presentation on the CABLE project, developed to support change at a local level using the HEA’s SOME NAME  methodologies. The point I particularly liked here was the inclusion of student representatives within the teams instigating the change process. This is something we should possibly consider, once we have a first cohort going through the PC3 process. While capturing the student perspective is part of the evaluation process,  having live input during the revision process might be very beneficial.

Several models of change management and assessment were also presented. As table teams, we  were asked to consider our current institutional environment form several  perspectives and identify the types of strategy that might support the changes required by the project. This was a very debatable topic, and John and I found that we had fairly different views. However this does highlight the importance of role and experience based perspectives. While it is not possible to accommodate all (a most frequently quoted phrase) the more you are aware of the more likely you are to be able to adjust to those that become barriers to change.

The final exercise of the day (other than a quick cluster debriefing) was to consider the project stakeholders. This was facilitated by a very handy set of documents that I think might be useful for us as a team to consider at our next meeting. Several issues/considerations were raised during this. The difference between the requirements from a stakeholder’s role and their requirements as an individual were raised during our tables discussion. This was brought up in light of the prospect of an individual changing jobs, which also reflects on the risk analysis. Another issue discussed and also highlighted by other groups, was where to draw the line regarding which stakeholders to include within the projects process. This becomes a particular issue when stakeholder views/requirements change frequently, and in effect pull the project in directions others than those intended. As with most things these issues are not new nor unique, and require a balanced approach and well documented justification for the decisions taken.

All in all a good day.