On the 30th October, Laura J, Sophia, Emmy and myself facilitated the IBL cafe held weekly in the IC. We decided to take as our subject the ambassador-champions meeting of a few weeks ago, trying to expand on and discuss some of the points raised. With this in mind, we focused on three main ares:
- Cross-department collaboration
- The use of network technologies such as MOLE and Facebook
- The role of the SAN
When it comes to the idea of cross-department collaboration it was agreed that this was a fantastic idea, and would definitely contribute to best practice in the institution, but would work best on a small scale, i.e. joint seminars or small projects rather than whole modules produced in collaboration. The discussion was particularly pertinent considering the forthcoming move of the English, History and Music departments to closer proximity.
Theliveliest part of the discussion was probably our discussion of technology such as MOLE. The main problem seems to be that different departments use different technologies to different extents, and so what would work in one department would not necessarily work in others. There is also a problem in that staff may currently see setting up things like modules on MOLE to be time-consuming and work intensive. We discussed other technologies like Facebook – but it was considered that many staff would be reluctant to use it for fear of it being misused, and students themsleves may not want to see their tutors infringing on their social networking space. An interesting idea was that of GoogleDocs, which Laura and Sophia did some research on, and which is already being used in the History Department. It has many similar features to MOLE but may be seen as more accessible and easy to use, particularly by departments that do not habitually use MOLE.
Finally we discussed the role of the SAN, and the main focus seemed to be the ambassador-champion relationships. We agreed that this year got off to a great start with the ambassador-champions meeting, and people were keen for more of the same. It was clear that the meeting was inspirational for both students and the champions, as they could see what other departments were doing. To further foster good relations, an away day was suggested, as well as more similar meetings in the future.
All in all it was lively and helpful discussion, and helped us even further along in the ‘dream’ stage of our Appreciative Inquiry!