29 July 2020

Teaching admin in strange order

We have some two months left and then term starts. And there is so much to prepare! And not just for us; for everybody else too. The Learning Technology team had already had to roll out the new version of Blackboard, the virtual learning environment we use; now they have to roll out a few more bells and whistles as we’ll be needing a lot more virtuality than normal. And timetabling has to get timetables ready, without quite knowing what the Covid-19 situation will be by the time we start teaching. And the ‘gazette’; the online information database for modules, needs to be made. Et cetera! But it means that in the entire university, everyone is preparing for things, and documenting things, before really knowing enough about what exactly we are preparing for. It’s unavoidable! 

I had a busy time; I had requested a ‘demo’ Blackboard site for my dissertation module, and I had to get that ready as as soon as central administration enrols the students onto it, I want it to go live. The module has already started, after all! And I had had to file my timetabling requests. And I had to document what exact shape my modules would take (what sort of teaching, what sort of assessments, what deadlines, etc etc), even though I will need these two months to make that happen. And I had to fill the forms in how the module had been done the previous year, and how I intended to make changes to improve on that year. A lot of work! In an ideal world, you would first have enough time to think the module through, and only then do this kind of admin. But what can I say; we are currently most certainly not living in an ideal world. And we are all going to have to make decisions now, and just work with what we have decided later! I’m sure it will work out...

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