[JISC] Weeknote 1/33

Inspired by BERG and the growing number of contributor to weeknotes.com I have decided to do my own weeknotes for the remainder of my time at JISC. In case you are wondering the numbering system is based on what I am pretty sure are the amount of weeks I have left at JISC this time around.

I always found the daily standup at Jiva a useful tool for keeping my head straight in busy periods and as life at JISC is nothing if not complex I thought this would help me keep track of what is going on! I’ll stick to pretty broad strokes.

So…Week 1.

Much of Monday was spent getting to grips with some of the work I am in the process of picking up from a departing colleague. This is mainly a series of projects and reports about how students, researchers and academics actually use digital resources. It is similar in scope to the more traditional user needs/experience work I have done in the past – but as is the nature of these things in this world it is MUCH more academic in nature and can be pretty dense with detail at times. A light read it isn’t. That said it is extremely interesting and insightful and I enjoyed catching up with it.

Another preoccupation this week was the fact that a number of projects at JISC that are part of the portfolio of work I am covering are due to close shortly. This entails a number of formal and a few informal steps that I haven’t previously been involved in so I asked my betters for some advice and now have a clear idea of what I’ll need to do next week.

As ever there was alot going on around OER this week including a ‘webinar’ from the OU SCORE team, a number of conversations around what happens next as funding has been secured for phase 2 despite the wider money problems in HE. In some ways the fact that this funding has been sorted seems to have risen its profile amongst people again and I’m getting more emails about this than anything else. I’m the process of commissioning a handful of projects looking at the more technical issues around distributed OERs at the moment which I am looking forward to and there was some positive movement on this as well this week.

Also the person I am currently covering for came across an article from CC during the week which she emailed about and tweeted that validated alot of the decisions made by the UKOER team (long before I came aboard) but also raised some interesting questions about the future technical direction of some aspects of the programme. To be honest I doubt I’ll be around long enough to see these issues through to their conclusions but I’m lucky to be involved in the early planning of an area of work I think is hugely important.

I spent Thursday in London meeting with AndyMcG and DFFlanders to discuss the internal work we term ‘synthesis’. This is a major aspect of the work I have been brought in to do. It always seems like a workable plan is just out of reach until now but yesterday I really think I made a breakthough about the framework that the activity needs to operate in and what sort of outputs we might be looking at.

To celebrate I spent a bit of time going old school and created a linked up image map for some work Andy and DFF have been running. Was fun to get back to my roots and gave my brain a chance to recover.

I also spent a little time this week thinking and writing about our repositories, JISCPress and websites and how they are all going to fit together in the future. That was just me sticking my oar in though really 🙂

I also spent a bit of time learning more about the ‘cloud’ and the relationship it has with JISC activity particularly around the ‘SAAS’ issue in prep for a conference next week (Repositories and the Cloud).

Today I spent at The Story conference – that wasn’t work though so I’ll save that for another post.

Next week is event/meeting heavy with the aforementioned Repositories and the Cloud event, Dev8D and a team meeting. Going to mean my couple of ‘free’ days are packed but that is part of the fun!

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