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...

Monday, December 04, 2006


the interesting thing to me about teamwork is that it encompasses people who you may not usually expect to work well together. take Collingwood and Pietersen, who on the face of it appear to be wholly different characters, but when faced with a key objective (bat England into a winning position and bat the Ozzies out of the game) they click and work as foils for each other. it's the ability to see the issue in the round and then develop a strategy to deal with it.

a side issue is whether batting Pietersen at 4 rather than 5 would give him and England more options, whether hewould bat as well with Bell at 2 wickets down, or whether he wuld feel encumbered by batting with a long-ish tail. he is clearly the man the Ozzies feel could take a match, and possibly the Ashes, away from them in a session. so England need to find the best series of combinations to enhance his value to the team.

I reckon it's like looking at, for instance, the use of a Wiki plus SKYPE or a synchronous chat tool to enhance diagnostic work with distance learners. What are the best series of combinations to enhance the overall value of what you are trying to achieve.

however, of more concern to me at the moment is the bowling. So:
  1. you have to take 20 wickets to win a test;
  2. Flintoff has a damaged foot;
  3. Gilchrist looks to have nailed his round-the-wicket demons and Flintoff's injury makes this less of a concern for the Ozzies - will Fred really be fit to bowl in Perth?
  4. Harmison may as well go home;
  5. Gilo's figures so far are no worthy of a place in an attacking team: so far he has 1 - 158 and has scored 74 runs. however, he dropped Ponting on 35 and the test is subsequently heading towards a draw - a defining moment;
  6. you have to take 20 wickets to win a test - we need strike bowlers;
  7. the middle order is scoring and the Ozzie bowling looks ordinary;
  8. play Panesar - what exactly would we have lost by playing him rather than Gilo or clearly unfit Anderson?

this bowling attack is NOT going to win us a test. the management's uber-defensive style is a sign of weakness. take the risk - you never know what might happen.

risks,it all comes back to that really. we've taken the decision, given a lack of engagement across the institution with benchmarking (to be honest we are implementing this using a low impact approach), to do the following - low risk, max engagement.

  1. Area leaders to get their draft materials to me by Friday 15 December at noon. I will collate this into a WIKI on Blackboard for us all to:
    > Edit;
    > Identify any weaknesses/holes in the information; and
    > Identify from whom we may be able to get the information.
    This editing/identifying to be done by Wednesday 3 January at 5pm.
  2. Thursday 4 January: I, or maybe my boss, will email those identified as able to provide further info with original outline. Responses to be collated in the WIKI on Wednesday 10 January.
  3. Wednesday 10 January: I will inform ou Bb users that the evidence exists in the WIKI and ask for comments by 17 January.
  4. Wednesday 17 January: I will collate information into a single document for the relevant PVC: to reach PVC by Friday 19 January.
  5. Monday 22 January: we'll email the IRD to OBHE.

A interesting sub-text to all this is that we have also emailed out to all of our Blackboard users a long questionnaire about e-learning use, badged as follows:

"This will be the first major canvass of staff e-learning practice since we rolled Blackboard out. Your involvement is critical in enabling us to get a fuller picture of your practice and expectations, so that we can make appropriate changes."

I've already had 5 completed questionnaires back with the user's thanks for asking for their views. just taking the plunge sometimes seems to work.


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