In a reflective mood on my Friday evening commute home I tweeted that:
I have a bit of a problem with MOPPs. I don’t think they work and, in fact, I think they are counterproductive. Here are my reasons:
Let’s face it universities aren’t corporations and never have been despite what proponents of university corporatisation would have us believe. Universities are based on a collegiate model in which command and control does not work very well. Simply put, the academy don’t like being told what to do and many will passively resist in reaction. This includes being told that they must use the institution LMS as part of a MOPP. Continue reading
I came across this useful tool this morning thanks to watching Anne Marie Cunningham’s interesting presentation on using Web 2.0 technologies in BlackBoard. The tool is called Social Networks Adapting Pedagogical Practice (SNAPP) and it is defined on the SNAPP site as:
SNAPP is a software tool that allows users to visualize the network of interactions resulting from discussion forum posts and replies.
In 2004 I wrote a web application for managing student assessments. It was primarily designed for handling the submission of assessments from large cohorts of students. It manages the assessment lifecycle including creating assignments, managing marking schemes, handling submissions, distributing groups of assignments to assessors, facilitating easier online marking, enhancing rapid feedback and the moderation of assignments.
This video provides an overview of the application. I will record some additional videos showing the way that the marking schemes are managed, how moderation is handled and the way that students interact with the system. Continue reading
I was watching the Twitter stream for the ASCILITE 2009 conference this morning during the final keynote from @jamesclay with a certain amount of dismay as tweets regarding the ‘Innovation Prevention Department’ (IPD) started to appear. The reference was to IT Services organisations in tertiary education. Now I wasn’t at the conference so I don’t know the context of the IPD in James’s talk but I do feel the need to comment on this notion of innovation prevention by IT Departments [Edit: 10 December, 2009. Please see James's comments about context - in fact the notion of an IPD may be any organisational unit within a tertiary education institution]. Some of you may be aware that I am a senior IT Manager for one of Australia’s largest universities (70,000 headcount, 46,000 EFTSU). I normally only comment on general educational technology issues and not work related matters. I am going to make an exception this time.
I have worked with and for six universities in the UK and Australia over the last twenty years. The last eleven months have been my first in a central IT organisation. Previously I spent ten years as a lecturer and the rest of my time as a software developer/consultant/contractor/elearning manager. Prior to my current position it is fair to say that I have been reasonably critical of central IT organisations in tertiary education. It was a mutual dislike. A group that I once worked in was described as ‘rogue programmers’ by the university Director of IT. We, in turn, thought of them as being risk averse, conservative, slow and rigid.