It’s started – the Nottingham professional services NOOC

The Changing University: Inside Nottingham is underway

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The University of Nottingham professional services NOOC (Nottingham Open Online Course) is underway. Thanks to a great deal of work by many colleagues a first four week course is now open and over 400 members of staff have signed up.

The NOOC has been designed especially for staff working in professional services across the University, in Malaysia, China and the UK.  The course, ‘The Changing University: Inside Nottingham’, covers the ways in which the University works and how different parts of the professional services operate.  During the four week course we will also explore what it means to work at a leading global university and how gaining a better understanding of professional behaviours can help with developing careers.

The course is entirely online and uses Moodle, the University’s online learning platform, and will require a time commitment of around 2-3 hours per week.  The course begins with an overview of universities and an insight into how they work including the role of professional services, the regulations that govern us, how our large numbers of staff collaborate and work together and the challenges that face the University as we look forward to 2020.

One of the really important elements of the course will be the opportunity to work with, learn from and collaborate with colleagues from across all of our campuses.  The first NOOC run by the University, on Sustainability, attracted hundreds of staff and students from the UK, China and Malaysia who engaged enthusiastically with its contents.  You can find a brief note about the Sustainability NOOC here.NOOC_Logo_RGB

Whilst ‘The Changing University’ is intended just for staff working in professional services and not students, we are already seening similar levels of participation and engagement across the campuses which is hugely encouraging.

You can find full details of ‘The Changing University: Inside Nottingham’ and how to join on the course page.

It’s not too late to sign up and get involved with learning more about the University and the work of professional services.

 

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Launch of the university professional services NOOC

The Changing University: Inside Nottingham – a post just for University Nottingham (UK, China and Malaysia) colleagues

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An earlier post invited views on the possibility of a University of Nottingham professional services NOOC (Nottingham Open Online Course). Following much discussion and a great deal of work by many colleagues a first four week course is about to launch.

In just a few days from now (Monday 13 October to be precise) we will launch a new NOOC designed especially for staff working in professional services across the University, in Malaysia, China and the UK.  The course, ‘The Changing University: Inside Nottingham’, covers the ways in which the University works and how different parts of the professional services operate.  During the four week course we will also explore what it means to work at a leading global university and how gaining a better understanding of professional behaviours can help with developing careers.

The course is entirely online and uses Moodle, the University’s online learning platform, and will require a time commitment of around 2-3 hours per week.  The course begins with an overview of universities and an insight into how they work including the role of professional services, the regulations that govern us, how our large numbers of staff collaborate and work together and the challenges that face the University as we look forward to 2020.

One of the really important elements of the course will be the opportunity to work with, learn from and collaborate with colleagues from across all of our campuses.  The first NOOC run by the University, on Sustainability, attracted hundreds of staff and students from the UK, China and Malaysia who engaged enthusiastically with its contents.  You can find a brief note about the Sustainability NOOC here.NOOC_Logo_RGB

Whilst ‘The Changing University’ is intended just for staff working in professional services and not students, we are really hoping for similar levels of participation and engagement across the campuses.

You can find full details of ‘The Changing University: Inside Nottingham’ and how to join on the course page.

Do sign up and get involved with learning more about the University and the work of professional services.

 

What about a university professional services NOOC?

A post just for University Nottingham (UK, China and Malaysia) colleagues: what about a university professional services NOOC?

Following the success of the first NOOC (Nottingham Open Online Course) on Sustainability in, among other things, involving staff and students from the UK, China and Malaysia campuses in shared learning it occurred to me that it might be an idea to use a similar model to offer a course for staff in professional services.NOOC_Logo_RGB

A group of colleagues have had an initial discussion about what such a NOOC might look like and come up with a number of interesting ideas for subjects it could cover. However, before going any further I wanted to test some of these thoughts on colleagues.

What might a professional services NOOC look like?

If we did develop such a NOOC it would probably be similar in structure to the Sustainability NOOC (do have a look at it here) but would only be open to University of Nottingham staff in the UK, Malaysia and China.

The course would last perhaps 10 weeks and each week would provide a new activity through which key themes for Nottingham professional services would be explored.

So, thinking about such themes – could you select all from the list below which you think should be part of a professional services NOOC.

Would you be interested in taking such a course?

Would you think formal assessment for academic credit should be an option?

Could you imagine such a course forming part of your annual professional development and personal review (PDPR) or equivalent?

Any other comments or ideas for topics do add to the comments box below.

Frightening Stuff: It’s Monsters University

Fictional and daft but really rather impressive

My attention was drawn recently to the Monsters University website. It is of course an entirely fictional construct to promote a new animated movie from Pixar which is a prequel to Monsters Inc from a decade ago.

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Looking through the site it really is a quite good pastiche of the top level of university websites. It covers everything from Admissions to Campus Life and student related policies on employment, keeping pets and international student support. An extract from the University history gives a flavour:

Established in 1313 following a land grant from the city of Monstropolis, Monsters University has grown from a small local center of learning to a leading global institution of higher education. Upon this hallowed ground, some of the most fabled academic buildings in the world have been built, serving the hundreds of thousands of alumni that have walked the halls and grounds of MU.

So, utterly daft but really also rather good. It also helpfully reminds us that our own institutions’ sites might be just a few words away from the cartoon world. My only criticisms would be that the curriculum in the School of Scaring looks a little thin and there is insufficient coverage of Professional Monster Services.

Sustaining Excellence conference


2011 APM Conference – Sustaining Excellence

A brief note on what felt like a really good event, building on the success of first APM conference last summer and involving nearly 300 professional services staff from across the University.

Keynotes

In the main sessions we heard about the development campaign from Professor Jane Seymour together with an outline of the formal campaign laumch week in October and details of lifecycle, the John O’Groats to Land’s End ride being undertaken by the Vice-Chancellor and colleagues in August.

Chris Thompson, CFO, updated everyone on fees, funding and finances, highlighting the many financial challenges we are facing and how we are responding. We remain in a strong position but there is absolutely no room for complacency.

Professor Wyn Morgan, Director of Teaching and Learning, reported on the range of initiatives currently under way in teaching and learning including how we all have a part to play in delviering a world class student experience.

Workshops

There were some great workshops on offer, with the lean and speed-dating sessions proving extremely popular:

Workshop 1: An Introduction to Lean Process Methodology & Its Application Within The University
Workshop 2: Virtual Tour Of Campuses In Asia, Teaching Partnerships And Internationalisation
Workshop 3: Professionalising Marketing And Recruitment In Changing Times
Workshop 4: What Is Research Margin And Why Does It Matter?
Workshop 5: Why Do Universities Need To Make A Surplus?
Workshop 6: Speedy Professionals: Putting A Face To A Name
Workshop 7: Go Greener
Workshop 8: Balancing The Demands Of Work And Non-Work Commitments
Workshop 9: Building Positive Working Relationships: Why Do Colleagues In Teams Have Differences At Work?

Final session

We also had an entertaing Q and A session covering car parking, IT, marketing and environmental issues.

And finally the Vice-Chancellor wrapped things up, stressing the critical contribution made by all professional services staff in supporting the delivery of the University’s strategic plan.

Thanks are due to all the speakers, panellists and those staffing the stalls as well as the organising committee, headed by Hannah Robinson. Particular thanks too Karen of Classy Cupcakes for running the charity cake sale.

I hope colleagues found the day useful, met people they had not come across before and learnt something new.

Nottingham wins a THELMA

THE Leadership and Management Awards 2011: Outstanding Communications and Marketing Team

The full details of the results in each category can be found on the THE site. An earlier post reported the nominations Nottingham had received.

On a really entertaining evening this was a terrific win for the University of Nottingham. And this is what the judges said:

“Highly innovative, collaborative and novel in its approach to marketing.”
These were some of the judging panel’s comments about the University of Nottingham, where effective marketing has “changed public perceptions about the institution globally and supported a cultural sea change internally”.
Nottingham set out ambitious yet achievable targets to enhance the univer- sity’s brand, while at the same time saving at least £200,000 by resourceful tendering and bringing web marketing work in- house. The team oversaw a university-wide rebrand, as well as updating Nottingham’s visual identity and logo. Its efforts are credited with contributing to a 14 per cent increase in the number of undergraduate applications and a 29 per cent rise in the number of postgraduate applications.
Nottingham calculated its media coverage for the year at an advertising value of £24 million. It also raised its overseas profile by participating in the 2010 Shanghai Expo world fair.
Cary Cooper, chair of the Academy of Social Sciences, distinguished professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University and one of the judges, said: “The marketing and communications team at Nottingham has demonstrated [itself] this past year to be highly innovative, collaborative and novel in its approach.” He praised the team for using the full range of social media to reach out to students, as well as for a public relations campaign highlighting the university’s research.

This really is great and highlights the excellent work being done by colleagues in Communications and Marketing. Outstanding indeed!

Universities are “well-managed” shock

Remarkable speech at THE Leadership and Management Awards 2011

The THELMAs ceremony, on 16 June, was remarkable for a number of reasons. Not least the fact that Julian Clary was hosting. But perhaps the most surprising thing was the speech by David Willetts. First, it lasted barely a minute: realising that he was all that lay between the audience and their dinner he kept it extremely brief. Secondly, and even more significantly, he praised universities. He described us in glowing terms. He said we were well-managed. And well led. And that everyone working in universities was doing really rather well and that we were all highly valued.

I must admit to being rather gobsmacked by this. Whilst some might take issue with a possible mismatch between these words and some of the government’s other deeds, to me he sounded sincere. Given that the traditional mantra from Whitehall has been that universities are poorly managed and badly organised this was extremely refreshing.

Thank you Minister.

iPhones and iPads on Campus

The search for killer apps goes on

Follow up to an earlier post on Abilene Christian University providing iPhones to all students and a follow up on implementation a year later. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a conference looking at the use being made of smartphones and tablets in different parts of university business, again drawing on Abilene’s experiment:

At Abilene Christian, one of the most popular uses of iPhones has been to turn the devices into so-called “clickers,” using an app that lets students use their phones during classes to buzz in answers to quiz questions or discussion prompts. But even fans of that approach acknowledge that turning classes into something like a game show is not appropriate for every subject, and that a clicker app makes more sense in large lecture classes than in small seminars.

The simple answer is that no one “killer app” has emerged that fits every professor’s teaching style, every research discipline, or every administrative office on campus, according to several people who attended the meeting. (And of course, many professors have no interest in the smartphone craze—at Abilene Christian some professors turned down free iPhones.)

Instead, college professors around the country are finding unique ways to use smartphones, as well as highly portable tablet computers like the iPad, that work well in certain situations but do not represent a revolution in educational practice. At least not yet.

So, no killer app but does there need to be? As the remainder of the article notes, there are many ways this technology can be used to enhance the student experience, to help with classroom delivery and to support university professional services. There is a vast range of possibilities and it is this, rather than any single app, which is perhaps the most exciting thing.

Nottingham shortlisted in THELMAs 2011

THE Leadership and Management Awards 2011 Shortlist Announced

Times Higher Education has published the shortlist for the 2011 THELMAs

Having sifted through almost 200 entries from 95 different institutions, we can now unveil the shortlist for the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2011.

The shortlisted entrants are competing in 16 categories ranging from top library team and best in marketing and communications to the outstanding student services team and those who have delivered the best departmental administration. Other categories cover procurement, research management, university finance and human resources.

Ann Mroz, editor of THE, said: “Our annual awards always serve as a reminder of the extraordinary quality and dedication of those working in our universities and colleges.

“This year is no exception. Our sector, like every other, has already gone through some tough times and is facing more turbulence as the new funding regime beds in. But a glance at the shortlist for our Leadership and Management Awards is enough to instil confidence that we have the right people in place to continue to prosper and deliver the world-class higher education for which the country is rightly renowned.”

All very nice. But the best bit is that the University of Nottingham has six nominations. It really is extremely impressive and reflects fantastically well on the calibre, commitment and quality of delivery of our professional services staff. We may not win them all; we may not win any, but it’s still a really good achievement. Thank you THE!