Core area 4: Communication and working with others
I actively participate in morning meetings with my team over video calls three times a week (Microsoft Teams). I use this as an opportunity to pass on issues, liaise on technical problems and organise collaborative work. Particularly Jill Shacklock who co-owns responsibility for accessibility in Information Services and we also collaborate on the Jisc Accessible Maths Group. I represent the digital learning team on the Brighton Achieves Steering Group, a work area under the Vice Chancellor’s office, which focuses on student success and enabling all students to achieve their goals (e.g., retention, widening participation, engagement). After these meetings I disseminate information back to my team via our calls and by providing written notes. I specifically highlight forthcoming student induction plans and development requests to support workflow planning across the team.
I have regular video calls to coordinate with school teaching and learning representatives on projects, planning and to answer technical questions. This included creating a collaborative question and answer video podcast to explain forthcoming technology updates1. I communicate with academic staff via school-based Microsoft Teams, in-school events, meetings, and via the Remote Teaching Microsoft Team where I contribute to answering questions2. This Microsoft Team is shared with colleagues in the Learning and Teaching Hub and is where academic staff can write questions and share resources for feedback and support. Of all the communications channels outlined above, I have found presenting at in-school teaching events and meetings to be the most effective means of communicating information to academic staff. I also network and co-present with academic staff at the university-wide annual Education and Student Experience Conference. This year I am serving on the conference committee.
I use blogging as a medium to outline information with broad relevance and then link to these posts across communications channels including email. This blogging includes wiki-style posts on our teaching contingency blog, teaching-focused posts and case studies on our eLearning Team blog, and service announcements for our service status blog3. I compose service announcements for colleagues at service desk to distribute when Turnitin is degraded or unavailable. This consistent messaging helps make it easier for colleagues at service desk to field questions and stabilise the volume of help calls while an issue is actively being resolved. I also liaise with fellow learning technologists on the Jisc Turnitin listserv to diagnose and flag issues. I use Twitter to highlight content to staff, my team, and professional networks. Twitter is also important for keeping up to date with technology trends and the work of other universities. I also refer to ALT listserv and the Educause Horizon Report. I maintain a professional blog and a GitHub profile where I share tutorials and my own discoveries.
I frequently collaborate with the University of Sussex Technology Enhanced Learning Team (TEL). Most recently I worked with Matthew Taylor (Learning Technologist, Sussex TEL) and Dan Axson (Academic Developer, Sussex TEL) on two events for Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2021 (GAAD). We co-hosted a visiting keynote speaker and an online fireside chat between Brighton Digital Learning Team and Sussex TEL. For the accessiblity-focused fireside chat we co-wrote questions to keep the discussion structured. I moderated this event and although attendance was low, it was a valuable and reflective discussion between the two teams4. I am part of the User Experience design community in Brighton where I gain fresh perspectives from beyond Higher Education. I hosted a Watch Party for UX Brighton in April 2021 as a means to explore the format with a critically-focused audience5.
Evidence: Excerpt of video podcast with Dr Charlie Lea (2020). One of three episodes updating staff in the School of Applied Social Sciences on technologies relevant to teaching and learning. ↩︎
Evidence: Blog post examples for wiki-style posts and service announcements (2021) - Word document | PDF quick view. See also Core Area 1(a) evidence 1 and Core Area 3(a) evidence 4 for teaching-focused blog post examples. ↩︎
Evidence: Reflective blog post which I wrote about the Fireside chat event (2021) - Word document | PDF quick view. Outlines collaboration with Matthew Taylor and Dan Axson from Sussex TEL team and members of my own team, Jill Shacklock and Tucker MacNeill. ↩︎