e-Learning@DMU Benchmarking Blog

This is a place for some chat about the HEA's e-learning benchmarking exercise - at least in its DMU incarnation...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Institutionalised

and a very good morning. Panesar has just got Warne and all is well in the world. Which leads me to question whether there is a point at which you feel self-confident enough in your role to know that what you are doing is appropriate, and more often that not right? Planning helps; as does having a blueprint to plan around; as does having an understanding of your local culture. I like the notion of the 3-year plan to make a change - one to understand the local culture, one to implement your changes and one to evaluate and tweak them. At that point you need to manage the tension between becoming over-institutionalised and understanding the pragmatics of being in an institution and what you can achieve in it.

The duality in my thinking here is VLEs and Duncan Fletcher. With the former we have a blueprint, usually at least in someone's head and maybe down on paper in a strategy. The take-up of ours has plateaud after 3 or 4 years and we are now looking to kick-on in new directions, in particular thinking about Web2.0 technologies and toolkits for staff and students. In order to achieve this we need an amended blueprint and a new set of plans, to focus upon a quality improvement agenda that is in-line with an understanding of the pragmatics of being in an institution. This means that we maintain our tried-and-trusted resources (our VLE) but look to embed innovations that may change our outlook but will make us more effective.

Which brings me to Duncan Fletcher. This morning's performances of Panesar and Mahmoud on the one hand, and Harminson on the other, have shown that:
  • change should be embraced and trusted when it demonstrates its potential. Both Panesar and Mahmoud have shown over the last year that individually they can perform, that they are hungry, show spirit and want to play. Moreover they are attacking options. They fit an attacking blueprint;
  • we blew Brisbane because we were too defensive and hadn't played enough cricket. This was exemplified by Harmison - too unconfident and too cold.

So is Fletcher too institutionalised by dint of being too close and too fond of his old resources? This seems to be the case in his selections and the team's approach in the first two tests. He didn't allow the team and its individual resources to move on, despite the fact that it had to do so last summer due to injury, and despite the fact that cricket and our approach to the game had moved on. We beat the Aussies last year by attacking them and going hard at the game; by playing the ball rather than the man. Fletcher seems to have forgotten this and become trapped (or had his hand forced) by events. That's the wrong kind of institutionalisation.

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