Working with others
Team working and communication skills are critical as part of my role within the Multimedia Unit.
In my current role I am required to liaise, advise and support teams of academic staff within the School of Health and Wellbeing (SHaW) and external stakeholders from partner NHS organisations to plan, develop and deliver multimedia learning projects. This includes attending meetings, telephone and web conferences; producing project quotes, specifications and work stream planning documentation; ensuring data protection, copyright and participant consent requirements are met; as well as having the technical development skills needed to carry out the project. I evaluate requests for support on projects against their potential to add value to student learning and how they may support the strategic objectives of the School, providing advice and suggesting alternative solutions as appropriate. I delegate workload to other members of the MMU technical team where appropriate and monitor the progress of projects to ensure deadlines are met and the finished project meets quality standards.
In order to formalise the workload planning process of the MMU technical team, I introduced weekly team meetings where we take time out to reflect on the previous weeks activity, look at the progress of ongoing projects and plan for the week ahead. This provided the whole team with an opportunity to share their experiences and showcase their work with one another, as well as providing them with a forum to raise any issues. The MMU Development Team Meeting is also regularly attended by the Head of Interdisciplinery and Multimedia Learning and MMU Academic Translators. I have found that since the introduction of the meeting we are working more closely as a team and the improvements in the workload planning mean that we are better able to meet deadlines.
I have recently developed a Quality Evaluation Checklist document that can be used as part of the testing process for multimedia projects produced by the multimedia unit. It was developed as a response to some issues that were experienced during a development project. Due to unavoidable technical difficulties, there was very little time for testing the finished learning materials before they were released to students. Although the interactive materials worked well on the MMU development computers, students encountered problems viewing the materials on standard university machines, and there were intermittent problems with the tracking information being communicated to the VLE. This highlighted to me the need for a more structured approach to testing multimedia learning materials to ensure quality experiences for the learners. The Quality Evaluation Checklist has enabled the team to do this.
I am currently involved in a University-wide VLE Review Project. This involves acting as a representative for academic and technical colleagues within SHaW at steering groups and providing a review of alternative VLE providers to feed into the recommendations made by the Project Board to the University Executive. Click here to view my VLE review. Being involved in this project has been particularly valuable as it has given me the opportunity to critically evaluate the different features a VLE can provide for both students and staff. I also gained a broader overview of how the VLE is used across the University by different subject areas. In addition, my involvement with the project provided me with an opportunity to improve working relationships with the VLE Development Team and work more closely with them to inform plans for the Universities future VLE.
I am an active member of the HEaTED organisation, and regularly attend their regional network meetings for the West Midlands region. HEaTED are an organisation who support the professorial development of technical staff working in higher education. These meetings provide an opportunity for me to meet with technical staff working in other areas within the University of Wolverhampton and other HEIs across the region. As a result of these meetings I have met with technical colleagues from the Sports and Physical Activity subject area at UoW to discuss opportunities for cross-working and sharing of resources. I hope that building on these relationships will lead to a more efficient technical community at UoW and may provide opportunity for some exciting and innovative projects in the future. Click here to view attendance certificates from HEaTED Regional Networking Events.