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Institutional pragmatics

November 12th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

This weeks meme has been change. Monday and Tuesday, we helped organise the Network of Trainers in Europe International On-line conference on Innovation in Training Practice. And today we have been working with the Create support programme in hosting a one day on-line conference, entitled Institutional Pragmatics, for the Jisc Institutional Innovation programme.

What does Institutional Pragmatics mean? The theme of the day was how can projects produce sustainable change at an institutional level and wider. What are the drivers of change and what are the barriers? How can these barriers be overcome. Who are the people who are important in a change process. Doe change occur from the top down or the bottom up or does it involve both.

The morning break out session heard presentations by different projects of their work. I was particularly impressed with the Erewhon and STEEPLE projects, both, if my memory serves be right, based in Oxford. Erewhon is an investigation into the deployment of existing university computing resources to mobile platforms, coupled with the implementation of relevant location based services and access to the Oxford VLE. The vision for the Steeple project is to streamline enterprise level podcasting and support a viable community around scalable, enterprise-level solutions, in the areas of automated video/audio capture, processing and delivery. But these are only two of more than 50 projects being funded by the UK Jisc. Details of all the projects, including the project blogs and access to outputs, can be found on the Support, Synthesis and Benefits Realisation (don’t be put off by the name!) web site.

The afternoon was largely given over to exploring issues around change. I was particularly interested in the question of whether we should be seeking to change thinking or practice. Whilst there obviously is a link between them, and thinking is important, for me it is changing practice which determines the way we teach and learn. It was also encouraging to note the importance given to engagement with students as both drivers but also as agents of change.

Our main role in the conference was to broadcast an internet radio programme, Sounds of the Bazaar, linking the different sessions, held on the Elluminate platform. Although the programmes were mainly music and chat, we made a number of interviews, which we are publishing here as podcasts.

They are well worth listening too. Two of the interviews, with Leo Care  from the  WeCAMP project and Mike Neary from the Learning Landscapes project, are both concerned with linking the physical design of university buildings to infrastructures for technology enhanced learning and about how design can promote learning networks. Wecamp has developed a Web-based interactive campus visualisation modelling platform to effect participation and collaboration. A major benefit, they say, is the ability to visualize scenarios being considered, aiding the communication with senior management and informing the decision making process. The e-modelling platform is designed to enable the University of Sheffield (UoS) to acquire and preserve over time its own organizational memory and knowledge in effective planning and uses of future learning spaces.Learning Landscapes is a research project looking at the ways in which academics work with colleagues in Estates to develop and manage innovation in the design of teaching and learning spaces in Higher Education.

The third interview was with James Wisdom about a consultancy report he has produced for SEDA in the UK on the Higher Education Framework proposals, unveiled by UK Business Minister, Peter Mandelson last week. These proposals may have far reaching consequences for the future of higher education in the UK, and in the thinking, for universities elsewhere. Thanks to all of them for agreeing to come on the Sounds of the Bazaar programme.

Music Playlist of the show:

  1. “Put The World On Stop” (Piano Version) by Sean Fournier
  2. “WalkOnFlames” by Markus Schmitt
  3. “Fusion” by Cool Cavemen
  4. “Anything But You” by Fresh Body Shop
  5. “Still Und Schön” by Tom Oswald
  6. “L’Odore della Morte” by Talco
  7. “When Will It End” by Erica Shine
  8. “The Great Deceiver” by Dennis Logan
  9. “These Days” by Robin Grey
  10. “50’s Life” by The Wookies
  11. “Miss is a sea fish” by Ehma
  12. “My Misfit Ways” by Christophe Marc
  13. “reggae and unity” by Jahmac
  14. “Broken Stereo” (Acoustic Version) by Sean Fournier
  15. “Pain” by LA OLLA EXPRESS
  16. “The Symphony” by Chris Skinner
  17. “Incoherent” by Josh Woodward
  18. “Roots” by Galdson

Tweetbacks/Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Graham Attwell, Graham Attwell. Graham Attwell said: Impressions from JISC Institutional Pragmatics conference- blog post-plus podcasts of interviews from our radio programme http://is.gd/4TudM […]

  2. […] for the day was provided by a special edition of the Sounds of the Bazaar internet radio show, with important interviews with practitioners as well as music for the coffee […]

  3. […] more from Graham Attwell’s blog and for the music playlist (here) and to listen to the interviews with Leo Care, Mike Neary and James Wisdom […]

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