Project plan

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The project plan is directed by the following objectives, namely to:
  • Develop a graduate profile for the proposed qualifications
  • Achieve a two-tier structure comprising a Level 4/5 Certificate and a Graduate Certificate
  • Develop a high level structure and course outlines for the respective qualifications
  • Identify existing course materials that could be incorporated into the development
  • Collaboratively develop the teaching materials for flexible delivery.

High-level project plan

This section summarises the main objectives for each phase of the project.

Establishing the project

  • Participating ITPs with representatives from relevant professional support departments should meet and brainstorm the concept
  • Set up the infrastructure and communication tools for a collaborative project
  • Maximise collaboration from the onset of the project -- i.e. design for collaboration and invite institutions and individual to participate
  • Develop concept paper


  • Add objectives for this phase


  • Add objectives for this phase


  • Add objectives for this phase


  • Add objectives for this phase


  • Add objectives for this phase

Brainstorm list

In no order of preference, project participants have raised the following thoughts and ideas. Feel free to add to the brainstorm list below:

  1. Why? How does this fit into the career path of professional support staff and how do we recognise the tapestry of existing professional skills?
  2. Customer service is likely to be a core focus (i.e. how to serve our clients, front line staff, needs of international students etc.)
  3. The concept of "effective communication skills" covers many of the requirements of professional support staff
  4. How do we map to existing staff development strategies? (eg Otago Polytechnics' four areas of capability)
  5. Start with a blank slate -- What skills does a good administrator need?
  6. How do we identify professional staff who would benefit from this kind of professional development?
  7. What are the incentives for signing up for a course like this?
  8. The qualification should use an attractive title -- encouraging staff to take a further look and consider registering.
  9. How do we map "informal" on-the-job, just-in-time PD opportunities to the formal qualification. Eg the completion of an "informal" online workshop (with assessment) may qualify for a component of the qualification.
  10. How do we integrate/implement recognition of prior learning? (e.g. CAPL)
  11. How would this qualification map to components of other existing qualifications? (eg Certificate in Business Administration)
  12. How do we cater for the unique institutional requirements across the sector?
  13. Collect generic job descriptions from different service areas to help identify skills requirements for qualifications
  14. Design and development should focus on applied learning -- how do we achieve this?
  15. Are there existing workshop materials which could be incorporated? (Eg Student services workshops, digital literacy initiative, international WikiEducator workshops etc.)
  16. Modular course design to accommodate diversity of needs and flexibility of the programme.
  17. The focus on building capability for professional staff to support learning, and to help achieve better outcomes for our learners is breaking new ground - will require creativity and application of contemporary HR for modern organisations.
  18. What do CAPL currently offer that might be of assistance

Action list

Action Phase Who? Status
Set up portal page in WikiEducator Phase 1: Establish project Wayne Mackintosh Complete
Set up dedicated discussion forum on Google Groups, embedd RSS feed on home page and invite team to subscribe
Phase 1: Establish project Wayne Mackintosh Complete
Develop concept paper for TANZ
Phase 1: Establish project Wayne Mackintosh
In progress
Source generic job descriptions of key support areas and upload in the wiki
Phase 2: Analysis All
In progress
Invite colleagues from the ITP sector to join and participate in the project Phase 2: Establish project Terry Marler, Wayne Mackintosh, others? BoP invited
Develop graduate profile for the qualifications Phase 2: Analysis All In progress
Develop high level course outlines Phase 3: Design All Not Started
Identify existing materials, resources and/or courses which could map to the proposed course outlines Phase 2: Analysis All In progress

Draft Concept Paper

1. All participants in such a course would be actively involved in the workplace; experiential learning would therefore be the ideal model, with learning design and activities based around what is actually taking place in the day-to-day workplace functions. Credit will thus be given for learning skills as part of the job, documenting this learning, and reflecting on it.

2. A thorough training needs analysis will need to be conducted, as the required skills of administrators may have moved on from when previous job descriptions were formulated. This list will have core competencies needed by all allied staff, as well as a range of additional skills which will vary across institutions and departments.

3. Investment will be needed to raise the capabilities of allied staff, some of which will be in the form of time release. This will necessitate a competent and experienced pool of relievers. A cost-benefit analysis will assist this process.

4. All agreed that two levels of qualification should be considered; a. A 40 credit level 4 Certificate which would be compulsory for all new staff within an agreed timeframe of one year after appointment and would incorporate all basic digital skills for OP infrastructure, customer service including dealing with diversity, effective communication skills, understanding the student experience, and team participation. b. A 120 credit level 5 Diploma which could be staged over several years in conjunction with IDP, performance appraisal and salary review processes. This would include aspects of leadership and management skills, mentoring, as well as a deeper understanding of learning and teaching including blended learning. This qualification could include a range of electives of specific application to schools or service areas, and could credit courses from existing qualifications such as the Diploma in Business.

5. The packaging and “selling” of the proposed qualifications was considered to be vitally important in order to achieve buy-in from the target group. An emphasis on evidence collection from normal activity, especially at the Certificate level, would demonstrate the valuing of the individual’s existing and developing skills.

Chronology of main events

  1. Phil Ker relays TANZ request to consider qualification for general staff - 26 April 2010.
  2. Staff from Otago Polytechnic with representatives from the OER Foundation, Education Development Centre, Human Resources, Student Learning Services, Chief Executive Office and Community Learning Centre convene to discuss and brainstorm the concept. -- 26 May 2010.
  3. Terry Marler meets with Administration Staff meeting to discuss potential qualifications and to listen to the views expressed. 10 August 2010
  4. Discussion with Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Academic Director Terry Fulljames 12 August 2010
  5. Meeting at Otago Polytechnic with representatives from Educational Development Centre, Human Resources, Student Services, and Community Learning Centre. 19 August 2010
  6. Discussion with BoPP staff development advisor Linda Campbell - 23 August 2010