You can tell it’s the last week in August. The phone is quiet. No scam emails. Even the comments from mightyviagara and powershower dot org saying they just dropped by and my blog posts are awesome – have stopped. All is quiet. Falsely so. There’s a sense of movement under the surface, an awareness of imminent change. Next week it will start. Staff will return. The bubbles are there, waiting to burst into Blackboard enquiries; I can’t see my sites, will you enrol me, where is my…how do I…..please can you help?
From now on, requests for assistance need to go through the ICT Service Desk not individuals. This represents a change in practice but one which makes sense. Here is a way to track the length and breadth of the support side of our work. The quick and the complex; the easy and the more challenging shades of assistance. We haven’t been good at monitoring what we do and as a result, much of our work is invisible.
Also, we are moving…
My boxes are packed, I’m ready to go. I’ve locked the office for the very last time. Goodbye Bridge House. Portocabin Heaven. Don’t slam the door or the floor will shake. I’ll miss you. Too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter but everything else was fine. Hello One Campus Way. Out on the edge. Above the launderette. Every move takes me further from the centre. On Monday 1st September I’m hoping my computer will be attached to the network and phone working, so I can unpack ready to welcome our new staff. Introduce them to Blackboard. They’ll be getting to know each other over the next few weeks as staff and then students arrive.
September is always a special time. This is what higher education is about. New beginnings, the promise of learning and all that entails; raising awareness, critical thinking, reflecting on practice, on prior experience or a difficult phrase in a book or paper. Asking questions. What does that mean? Why did that happen? Who said that? I came into higher education as a mature student. Pre MS Windows – computers had arrived but they ran on DOS and there was no internet. It wasn’t that long ago! I’ll never forget the pains and joys. Queuing up to enrol on my very first day with no idea of what lay ahead. The sense of discovery as I found the library, had my first lectures, met other students juggling family and multiple commitments. My first degree was a challenge but one of the best things I ever did. It’s a privilege to work in an environment which offers such potentially life changing opportunities.
September is the new year, time for resolutions and plans. There will be changes but positive ones. I’ll have further to walk – will need comfy shoes – and although we remain a central unit, we’re each aligned to a college. I’m with the College of Arts – which everyone says suits me – I hope that bodes well!
We are EDEU. The Educational Development and Enhancement Unit. Most of the team are pictured here http://edeu.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/edeu-staff/ We have an embyronic website http://edeu.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk, our own mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter moniker @LincolnEDEU. We have arrived. Although not formally launching until October, from next week we are a team, located in the same place, working towards shared goals for fostering excellence and innovation in student education and engagement, supporting academic staff in developing their teaching practice and programmes and supporting professional services staff in working with students to enhance the quality of services.
The future is bright. The future is EDEU shaped. Bring on the new academic year 🙂