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Sessions - feedback

Here are some rough notes in terms of the discussions from the sessions at the Course Business...

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Gráinne Conole
30 May 2010

Here are some rough notes in terms of the discussions from the sessions at the Course Business Models workshop, 28th May 2010.

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CBM workshop - session discussions

Table 1/Topic 1 Group 1

  • How early might a course team be able to do this?
  • The value of the Course View is that it might participate conversations that teams do not currently have
  • Can you systemise this? Perhaps by a first cut of the course map and then showing me courses that are similar to this
  • In the exemplars it will be important to have both good and bad examples
  • There will be end point where it will become static
  • This is another way of representing the rep 3
  • Content and activities – why are they in the same box?
  • Will these boxes drive change enough?
  • Might help people think that content is more interactive

Table 1/Topic 1 Group 2

  • One of the participants had already produced 3 exemplars – liked the course map simple but effective, one page view, already using it
  • Is too small in terms of layout
  • Course dimensions view – think this is very important and useful
  • AL and student views are very important – i.e. difference between what do course teams intend to happen and what actually happens
  • Parallel feedback on the Chinese course, the activities are under used by the students – so we need to relook at this, may be a workload issue
  • Whole different debate re: online vs. print
  • Also the macro-level where is the course driven from?
  • Could we add a summary of the physical vs. online?
  • SDK course we have four books and then lots of interactive stuff on the Web site
  • Shift from the course book to the online planner
  • One of the issues for online spines is to get the students to understand this is the spine…. We need to think differently about design
  • Issue about progression, we need to help students understand and develop their ICT skills and the benefits of that
  • Need to make clear the direction of the physical to online – confusing at the moment

Table 1/Topic 1 Group 2

  • Course map is a good way to summarise the courses, so you can look at any course and see the headlines
  • MCT have started using the course map in the production process, came out of the Out of the box work, big chunky 60 point courses with a lot going onU116, MU123
  • Issue with the use of the terms – course map for example
  • Often teams are working within a set of constraints
  • Could compare the existing examples to make judgements
  • There are differences in disciplines as well
  • We need to be careful that we don’t swap people with these things – there must be a pay back on using these
  • When courses start in production we start with the existing course model for a 30 point course, this saves huge amounts of time
  • How might we use these with a completely new course?

Two points to summarise back to wider group

  • Seen as useful generally
  • Need to demonstrate value and get buy in which means this needs embedding across the institution – all stakeholders and all processes

Other groups

  • How useful would these view be?
  • Broadly positive, as course snapshots to see different elements
  • Need a stronger visual queue for the quadrants
  • Use as a baseline for all courses
  • How transferable between faculties
  • Subjectivity of term terms
  • What’s missing – we need clarity about how the views with be used and with whom, clarity of terms and language

Pedagogy profile

  • Different interpretation of the categories
  • Tensions about how a tool might be used – a review tool or a planning tool
  • How it might link with other views, could it be merged with the student workload and patterning of student work?
  • But useful to raise questions but not solid enough to embed
  • Challenge - is it one size fits all or faculty specific?
  • How people might use it, may be some way away from thinking like this
  • How the terminology might be used differently
  • Missing overload – peaks and troughs
  • How do we provide pay back to the people who use it, link into stage gate process, saving time as part of rep 03

Data driven views

  • Cost effective view useful to stimulate debate, whether the views are useful themselves is less clear
  • Presentation vs. production cost and implications for tuition
  • In income and cost – time dimension is missing – graph over time might be better
  • One of big drivers of support and tuition is the extent of assessment
  • Graphical views welcome to see patterns
  • Felt that its important to have views on qualification etc.
  • Transparency about non-IUP costs
  • Tuition costs need to be broken down into different types of activity and link to pedagogy
  • Sliders where we can see what happens when x happens

Table 2/Topic 5 Group 1 – Embedding the CBM framework

  • Not having duplication with other systems – replace rather than add to
  • People need to be able to see that there is something useful for them
  • In FELS want to use the Pedagogy Profile view for planning, the possibility of colleagues using it at the planning stage
  • They do find the student workload tool useful and the Pedagogy profile has similarities
  • Is there a vision behind this, can we share this more clearly
  • We need to move from less content based to activity and communicative aspects
  • Are we looking at faculty exemplars – how do we share and communicate, what are the benefits
  • Would it be possible to record not just resources but easier in planning stage, have the type of activity
  • Sharing – depends on whether it is production or reflection
  • Initially might be about qualifications – at level one and see the profile
  • Sharing across the faculty is so important but is the different think to get right, until its embedded into other processes will be difficult to get things happening
  • This might be linked into perceptions about whether a course design was successful or not, how do you measure success
  • If we have new tools and methods these views must keep up with that
  • There is a danger that the examples put forward are unusual

Table 2/Topic 5 Group 2 – Embedding the CBM framework

  • Need Associate Dean’s on board, do you gather the exemplars on one single site?
  • Is it a timing thing, it does feel quite linked to the Action Plan, danger people might see as a cost saving
  • Title of project is misleading, its wider than CBM
  • Have library been involved? Comes back to comparing like with like some ontology seeing underneath these, conversation with course designer is key!
  • We do need worked examples to see what the differences are and why
  • Its about the exemplars plus the discussion space
  • Movement towards open source – need to replicate that here? Open source works in USA but not elsewhere in the world, why? Need to learn from this?

Table 2/Topic 5 Group 3 – Embedding the CBM framework

  • How now we have to complete certain things in Planet, if we can embed this into the system it will happen by a means of natural process, less clunky process
  • We can currently look at all rep 03’s but we don’t.  It’s not useful
  • One disadvantage of Planet – you have to know what the course is in advance, catch 22
  • Metadata thing
  • Communication strategy for this is quite critical
  • Would be great if there was some systematic way of saying this looks like x go and look at it
  • Work load management group – the number of times we are told you cant draw data down from here etc…. not helpful
  • Help people put data in one place for one purpose
  • Like the map but not sure about the dimensional view
  • How do we evaluate the courses are they really exemplary? What’s the elephant in the room
  • As a course manager I am less interested in a particular course but I am interested in getting a feel for what is the norm in my area, for a new course am I in the right ball part
  • Will this approach help us to think more programmatically?
  • You could use these to see the gaps


  • Not having duplication
  • Getting buy in, making clear the benefits and different ways in which these can be used
  • Shouldn’t underestimate the difficulty of changing practice, not everything is going to be for everyone – issue re: degree people feel comfortable with visualisations and with sharing/communicating publically
  • Exploration of how cloudworks could be used alongside the database for discussion/sharing 

Other feedback

  • Are we going to enforce or leave to faculties?
  • We need to take some things away, replace not add to
  • We should be targeting course chairs, need to show benefits very clearly, need to understand where academics are, what turns them on!
  • Role of IET and other forms of support and intervention
  • Recognition that establishing a repository is very important
  • Discussion about whether it would hold historical representations, or wiki-based ongoing working live documents
  • Enthusiasm for the idea of the visualisation being held in an open access wiki
  • Incentives – money! To buy the resources needed to build the exemplars in the first place, relevance is a big incentive, link to mid-life review in the first place, replace some of the existing tools, also its about use, to be persuaded that this provides useful decision making for faculty, replace current paper work not an addition to existing ones, feeling is that these would be an improvement
  • Storage – to be able to easily find the models that are relevant to you – tagging and metadata, what features would you need to be able to get to what you want
  • Need to have some ‘wrap around’ around the courses, to contexualise them

Impact and measurement

  • Improve overall performance, data-driven views should help with that over time
  • Would expect this process to create a community of practice, better questions and more specific questions
  • If actively dynamically growing the set of exemplars, the frequency with which some models are used might help us identified standard approaches this would leave more scope for innovation on other courses
  • If we have a set of tools, we should look at metrics available for tracking the usage of these tools
  • Better sharing of practice around the university
  • We need to pace ourselves, some of the impacts wont manifest themselves until we get student feedback
  • How the greatest impact/value would be through the integration of systems and processes – particularly stage gate and the data project, the IT systems need to be worked on and improved
  • Also how people talk about CBM in a few years, comparison with Learning Outcomes


Gráinne Conole
13:48 on 30 May 2010

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