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It’s what happens on the fringes

March 20, 2013

We had some great speakers at UCISA13, for sure, but often I find the most valuable parts of events are the follow up conversations with colleagues, the discussions that happen on the periphery and the “reading list” that starts to pile up for the day job.

First in the pile is the IPPR’s An avalanche is coming – HE and the revolution ahead.  Well, there’s a title to make people sit up and take notice!

Later in the conference Dan Derricott of the University of Lincoln gave a presentation entitled: Students as producers of IT departments.  He cited Lincoln’s student engagement strategy –  cue much furious scribbling and tapping from IT staff around the room, and from me.   It will be interesting to see what documents of this type mean for IT departments, and how IT can be at the forefront of student engagement.

Dan’s slides and a video of his presentation are now available from the UCISA website ,along with all other plenary sessions from the conference.

What a conference be without a sound bite or two? MOOCs were compared to “Nuremburg Rally –style pedagogy.”  I’m sure that’s not the first time I’ll hear this description.

The #ucisa13 Twitter stream was pretty active throughout the conference and I have also found reflections from others, gleaned from their blogs, useful. Special mentions go to  Chris Sexton, live blogger extraordinaire, and Gareth Edwards who have written up their experiences of their time in Liverpool.

In amongst three days of furious networking there was the odd moment of calm.  A favourite was hearing Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude being quietly played by a delegate whilst most people were busy demolishing the cheese board at the Thursday’s gala dinner.  Who was the mystery pianist?

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