Friday, 25 September 2009

Viewpoints Steering Group meeting

Viewpoints had its first official steering group meeting today.

Attendees included Viewpoints Director, Dr Alan Masson and Viewpoints staff, Critical Friend Peter Bullen, Ulster University Pro-Vice Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Denise McAlister, along with other key Ulster staff and attendees from outside the University. Professor Mark Stubbs from Manchester Metropolitan University chaired the group.

The meeting began by discussing possibilities for faculty membership, with Denise suggesting that we work with each Faculty Co-Ordinator to nominate a member of each faculty to work with us.

Discussions then moved into the work schedule over the life of the project – and staff briefly summarized tool developments so far, describing progress on the Student Profiler, Assessment and Feedback tool and the Information Skills tool.

The group also discussed potential accessibility of the potential tools. Suggestions included having specialized user groups for testing, creating an accessible version of the tools as a facilitated workshop, or creating an alternative paper-based version of the tools. It was agreed to investigate this issue further, looking at the work done by TechDis (in particular their work with Xerte).

After a brief discussion on national developments in curriculum design, the steering group meeting was concluded with an agreement to meet regularly every six months for the duration of the project.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Poster Presentation at ALT-C 2009

Dr Alan Masson presented a poster about the Viewpoints project at ALT-C 2009 today.

This annual Association for Learning Technology conference is being hosted in Manchester from 8-10th September, with the theme ‘In dreams begin responsibility’.

The poster was presented as part of a workshop session entitled ‘Representing and supporting curriculum design at task, module and programme levels’ delivered by the Curriculum Design Programme Cluster Group ‘C’. This group consisted of Alan Masson (University of Ulster), Catherine Owen (University of Strathclyde), Simon Cross (Open University) and was facilitated by Peter Bullen (critical friend to the project cluster).

The workshop session used an interactive poster approach to give participants an overview of the work of the three projects to date. Participants were encouraged to engage with each poster, adding post-it notes and questions about the different project approaches. This stimulated conversations about curriculum design representations whilst considering the challenges for developing these for different audiences. Participants were also encouraged to consider how work done by each project could apply to their own particular context.

The Viewpoints poster illustrates our tool framework of ‘inform’, ‘inspire’ and ‘plan’ which helps academics to create student-centred curriculum design. The poster highlights various key elements of the project, including the emphasis on the student experience, the five different strands of the tool, delivery methods, possible applications, different tool perspectives (Module View and Course View), tool outputs and expected benefits and challenges.

Viewpoints Poster

The poster session provoked a great deal of debate and interest in the Viewpoints project, providing a useful opportunity for wider dissemination and feedback.

Further information on ALT-C 2009:
Keynote speakers and invited speakers sessions are available online via at (select ‘Recordings’ for 8th - 10th September).
ALT Twitter channel available at: