We are currently collaborating with the HR Department in HR in this two year project led by NUIG and funded under the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund 2016.
The project aims to providing Heads of School/Department, Deans, Associate Deans and other middle/senior management staff play a crucial role in higher education in shaping practice, influencing policy and in making a real impact ‘on the ground’ with students and colleagues. Such posts typically carry a large level of responsibility and a remit that spans research development, curriculum planning, teaching administration, HR management, contracts, financial planning, and much more besides.
Whilst training is available, much of it focuses either on administrative systems or on generic management skills. In addition, such staff are extremely time-poor and have very limited scope for embarking on new formal qualifications or large scale training commitments. Yet, in terms of ‘championing the digital’ and leading the enhancement of teaching & learning, this project rightly identifies such staff as absolutely crucial in moving beyond the stage of individual experimentation and initiative, towards systemic change.
We propose to develop a flexible, ‘light touch’ (but high impact) initiative, built around establishing a network of enquiry/experience, informed by high level guest speakers and podcasts, a small number of meetings, and the provision of practical tools, the agenda shaped by consultation and collegiality. We propose to develop this collegial model across the partner institutions, nuancing the approach to suit local contexts, sharing resources, materials and contributors. We will also exploit the available outcomes of relevant National Forum research projects, policy documents and our own extensive, international connections and experience.
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