EUNIS2011 – 15th June – Afternoon

Overview of a UK HE shared service for online documentation – Jonathan Dempsey/Digitary. Ever so slightly close to my heart…

…as majors in an articulation of the LJMU-led bid for funding for a ‘Shared Service for the Secure Distribution of Electronic Documents’ – current status = to be funded subject to meeting certain conditions imposed by the JISC. Project ‘DARE’ – Digital Achievement Records Exchange – to develop a shared service, cloud EBS, cloud hosting, interoperating with a range of student record systems: partner institutions = LJMU, Sheffield, De Montfort, Coventry, SOAS, Bath Spa University & Cranfield.

Jonathan: may be a service provided by Digitary via a government agency that institutions can buy into, not certain yet. Related UK initiatives: STEP-F; the Higher Education Data Bank; the Learning Records Service (formerly MIAP).

Final plenaries:

Tim Marshall/JANET-UK: The difficult we do immediately – the impossible takes a little longer. Don’t panic – back to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy then. 5 questions: (1) Do you know your business? Enabling study & research – and? The business is the same, the way it’s done changes. The business of an airline is flying people from A to B – the jobs & how they do it change. (2) Do you know your numbers? – because you have to to get the best out of a more financially constrained situation. (3) Are you trusted? Dunno… (4) Have you empowered the team? When I hear the word empowered, I reach for my revolver. As well as are you trusted, how about, do you trust? (5) Can you see over the horizon? Depends where I am at the time (this is a serious comment) – & as always with Tim, this was a seriously entertaining presentation.

(Just come across email referencing article saying that there are 5 bids in to buy Blackboard, including from Oracle – this has distracted me…)

Christine Sexton/Sheffield: Challenges are what make life interesting. First off, loss of control over digital stuff whilst digital stuff takes over everything, is everywhere. This makes digital literacy even more critical. 56% of Sheffield students have smartphones, the rest soon will have. Emphasised knowing your numbers again, echoing Tim Marshall – maybe sad (or simply boring?) but true. Solutions: use what they’ve already got – mobiles, twitter. Be flexible, be agile. Need to look at common working practices, standard business processes – how many more years? True, but no truer than when I first heard it, which was definitely well in the last century, or first tried it, which was still fin de siecle. Bit random now – me that is, not Chris. Stop doing things! – instead of, not as well as, instead of, not as well as (it needs saying twice).

& nice that the day concludes on two excellent & entertaining sessions.


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