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Page history last edited by Lou McGill 9 years, 5 months ago

Introduction and BackgroundFindings and outcomes | Summary |  Recommendations


6. Recommendations


For Coventry

  • consider how to embrace the multiple narratives that develop from the student experiences and that of academics, and external contributors - positive and negative - time is needed to reflect on the different implications
  • one of the challenges for managers is to reflect on individual contributions of staff and find ways to retain the innovative approaches whilst integrating it into everyday team practice - it may be difficult to maintain a balance between individual creativity and team culture although both will be needed to continue moving forward. This is now an issue for the whole University as the establishment of the Dissruptive Media Lab signals a commitment to enable people across the University to utilise open particpative approaches - enabling people is a very different set of activities to actually doing it yourself
  • it has been quite difficult at times to source information about the various classes during this study. Whilst this may have been due to the unavoidable need to take down some of the class websites due to security problems, it does raise an issue about how the Department tells it's story to the wider HE community. Although the http://disruptivemedia.org.uk/ site does link out to some of the open classes it assumes a level of knowledge that not all users may have, and does not link to all classes (e.g the cine collective). The COMC link is a project link so does not offer the story before or after the Jisc funded period. It may be of value to establish one place to tell the story of the open classes. For example, many of the articles or posts speak about phonar and concentrate on the photography classes but it is of value to show how these approaches are relevant to other subject areas, even within the media professions. Adopting a hashtag approach to this may be possible using the various class hashtags.
  • consider further how far the Department maintains the archive of class content and how far they support activity that might occur outside official class timescales. Automated aggregation mechanisms can do this to a certain extent but there is still a need to ensure that the virtual space remains a safe place to be. Does the open community 'police' itself in this regard or is there an onus on the Department to do this?
  • consider if there is an optimum number of students in a class for the open element to work. In the past low class numbers of 9-12 students meant that opening the course expanded the number of conversations and range of people involved. Now that classes could include as many as 40 students the group dynamics are likely to change and the open classes may work differently.
  • consider how far the content developed during open classes can be reused, either by the Department or by those outside the University. There are questions about the return on investment that are interesting to Department Managers, so for example does the extra time needed to provide open classes decrease as the open content is developed or does new content have to be developed at the same rate. Although much of the content in generated by students and external contributors significant content is still produced by the lecturers to keep classes fresh. 
  • is there potential for research into how far does the secondary education system enable students to take advantage of open networked approaches or do they need to be de-schooled/re-educated (at the moment these approaches work with second and third year students who have already established a level of trust)
  • Jisc funding allowed the Department to devote extra time to the classes. Would conventional classes have benefitted in similar ways if extra staffing had been available?
  • Several members of the department have identified a value in linking the open networked spaces and activities to physical spaces. This presents a very rich area for ongoing research

For other HE Institutions

  • need for institutional openness to change and new approaches - innovation needs space to experiment and acceptance that some failure may occur
  • taking adaptable approach to managing risk
  • innovations that are not branded as high profile institutional activities (such as the recent MOOC activities) are less likely to be risk averse and allows for more innovation 
  • consider how far these kinds of approaches could be adopted in other Schools with other subject areas
  • take advantage of new relationships with other educational institutions both nationally and internationally
  • use these kinds of distributed networking approaches to develop and maintain important relationships with external partners and broaden opportunities to engage with new partners and develop new kinds of relationships with industry
  • although these approaches seem to be highly appropriate for media departments, the fact that they have had to fight so hard to be recognised as a 'serious' academic subjects means that disruptive and experimental approaches may not seem to be viable. Ignoring these kinds of approaches, however, could lead to media departments not reflecting the educational needs of furture media professionals

For Jisc

  • funding for short term projects can have a significant impact where individuals or departments have begun innovating but need extra resourcing to consolidate action research - particularly in allowing time for evaluation, extra staffing, technical developments
  • Jisc needs to make more of work it has supported and documented in the past, which is often on or beyond the edge of what is considered current practice. These need to be easier for institutions to find, and presented in such a way that those interested can learn from it. (Many links to Jisc content about the Coventry Open Media Classes are no longer working despite this work being of very high value to the wider community)

For innovators (academics, educational tech, individuals, departments)

  • take advantage of support from similar innovators working in related areas - leads to shared experiences, activities and dissemination opportunities

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