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Report on delegate feedback ‘Change Agents in Higher Education’ JISC Institutional Innovation/ Lifelong Learning & Workforce Development Programme SSBR Event, 28-29 January 2010

Compiled by Patsy Clarke
February 2010

Introduction

This summary report is based on submitted responses to the online feedback form about the event entitled ‘Change agents in Higher Education’ organised by the SSBR (Support Synthesis and Benefits Realisation) ‘Create’ project team. Responses summarised were submitted by team members from projects of the JISC funded Institutional Innovation programme for whom the event was organised.  Included is information on responses about the event organisation, sessions attended over the two days, delegates’ perceived level of participation, what they valued, and what they would like to be different at future events.

Feedback collection

Of the 79 delegates who signed up for the event from the Phase 1 (Benefits Realisation), Phase 2 and Phase 3 projects of the programme (this is excluding the support team and JISC managers and other delegates who were not part of the two phases of the project teams), 14 submitted responses to the feedback form which is 17.7% return rate.  This proportion is slightly lower than those from earlier SSBR event s. The feedback form that collected the information summarised in this report is included in the Appendix and can be accessed online at: http://ssbr0110.inin.jisc-ssbr.net/feedback-form/

Representation of programme phases

Table 1: Feedback forms submitted and attendance totals

Group

Feedback forms

Totals attended

IIN (Phase 2 projects) 8 54
LLLWFD (Phase 3 projects) 06 25
TOTAL submitted 14 79

Booking and joining instructions

All those who submitted feedback agreed that the joining instructions had been received sufficiently in advance. However two responded about the booking instructions that they would have liked to receive confirmation e.g. at time of registration

Session participation

Table 2 and Table 3 summarise the sessions attended on the first and second days of the event by those who submitted feedback forms. Sessions are presented in the order in which they occurred during the event.

Those who submitted attended most of the events with the sessions on ‘Qualitative data visualisation of the program’ and ‘Project Planning space’ respectively being missed by a few delegates. Events were understandably well attended as the event was a face to face event.

Table 2 Sessions attended on Day 1

Session

No.

Welcome and introduction 14
Card sort: innovation themes: evaluate your project 14
Institutional Innovation Projects Trade Fair 14
Qualitative data visualisation of the programme 10
Outputs packaging for lasting impact 12
Benefits Realisation report 12
Project planning space 11

Table 3 Sessions attended on Day 2

Session

No.

Programme Evaluation 14
Realising Benefits for your community 13
Building links with other JISC Programmes 14
Dissemination and communication 13
Last words & upcoming events 14

Level of engagement

To provide an approximation of the overall level of engagement as perceived by delegates they rated this on a 5 point scale from 1 (Very weak) to 5 (Very strong).  Figure 1 indicates that with each event the number of those responding with a ‘very strong’ level of engagement has increased. The median score remains at 4 as that of the previous event which was the online event in November 2009.

One delegate reported a 1=very weak level of engagement. Another reported engagement that varied from 5 (very strong) to 1 (very weak) and was scored as an average of 3 for the purposes of Figure 1.

Figure 1: Level of engagement reported by delegates in feedback forms

Delegates’ perceptions of the event

Feedback forms contributed many appreciative comments concerning event organisation, venue and aspects of sessions and content.  At one extreme were comments of ‘Excellent’ and that ‘Everything’ was most valued at the event.  At the other extreme of a continuum a Phase 2 delegate considered the event ‘dreadful’, not targeted appropriately at the projects as well as causing team members  to feel ‘lost and confused’ by some sessions as well as..’disheartened, disenfranchised… (and) demotivated’.  Presented as evidence were ‘the numbers of people emailing etc’ during some sessions.

Aspects of the event that were most valued by delegates as expressed in the feedback forms as well as the aspects viewed negatively are presented in Table 4 (page 5)  together with suggestions submitted for future events.

For a visualisation of valued aspects and aspects viewed negatively Figures 2 and 3 (Page 6) provide word clouds based on the contents of the submitted feedback forms.

Table 4 Event aspects most valued, those least valued and suggestions for future events

Positive/ Valued aspects of the event Negative aspects of the event Suggestions for future events
Organisation:
-     ‘Well –organised’

  • Programme sound and well structured, easy to follow
  • Kept well to timetable
  • Mixed methods to engage participants

Venue:
Good choice,  ‘Excellent’ accommodation (3), catering  - and ‘caffeine on tap’

Session content:
Informative and  useful
Trade Fair (14)

  • access to and understanding of other projects’ products and achievements
  • discovering possibilities of integration of  products within our institution systems
  • was..’engaging, relevant, made us think, helped us focus on what parts of our project have value elsewhere’..,
  • Useful for planning how to package projects
  • Enabled a mixed method approach

Information about evaluation and other programs
Mixed phase contributions/sharing sharing

Breaks for networking (6)
Break out sessions with other Phase 3 projects

Opportunities for getting projects together and giving them focused time

Interactive, productive Day 1

Organisation:
Insufficient of what project teams might value

Venue:
Difficult to hear and see

Lack of reliable wifi connectivity

Session content:
Targeted more at evaluators than project teams

Card sort needed more categories e.g. a wild card to accommodate unexpected issues more flexible than those in the call

Erroneous assumption of familiarity with JISC programmes and acronyms:
PowerPoint slides:
- not visible from all parts of the room
- did not always identify speaker and
programme
- did not follow Techdis accessibility
guidelines for  visibility, size or colour
guidelines (e.g. colour-blindness)

‘Complex visualisations which worked badly on screen’

Too many presentations at expense of interactivity

Repetition of sessions from previous events

Organisation:
Duration one day or over two days to enable splitting days with team members thus overnight optional

Venue:
-

Session content:
Trade fair

  • More time for display of posters and  wares after the trade fair
  • More information to help buyers understand their role and pricing

For e.g. JISC branding present  JISC branding point to useful web resource and templates
More breakout sessions with choices
Target presentation to split for different project types and/or individual roles e.g. project managers, project developers.  .

Reduce presentations, provide links to useful examples, material

Have even more networking/discussion time with other projects

More time to share with previous phases.  to examine their pit falls, insights etc.

Provide choice of 15 minute, targeted small group session, swap ideas and feedback back to plenary (as done in the online conferences).

Figure 2 Word cloud of event aspects most valued

Figure 3 Word cloud of event aspects viewed negatively

Appendix: Online feedback form (Available online at http://ssbr0110.inin.jisc-ssbr.net/feedback-form/