Since the last post we have held our very first user group meeting for the WebPA tool. I am happy to say that the event was more than successfully. It out stripped my expectations of the day, my only wish was that people would talk and interact with each other. Well they all talked, talked and talked some more (causing us to over run on sessions). This makes such a nice change from me doing all the talking about WebPA, and also from event delegates behaving like the students they say never interact.
One of the best statements about the day came from a delegate who said;
This tool has a great future but it needs to move quickly if it doesn’t want to be overtaken by the big boys’ (e.g. Blackboard et al) growing desire to jump on the ‘assessment and feedback’ bandwagon. Congratulations to all those who’ve worked on it so far and I’d like to express my interest in getting involved.Really that statement says it all for me. Not only does this person see how they can implement and support the tool at their institution, but they also want to become involved. I think that we can say that we are now at score 2 (score1 being reached a while ago). And that was really what I wanted to get out of the user group, but believe me we got more... one implementer has talked about creating a ''power link for Blackboard, another suggested they help us work with the Moodle community, the list goes on and on.
In addition to the user group, the Physical Sciences Subject Centre held an assessment event last week and again the feedback has been really positive. The day after I was at an e-learning conference at the University of Ulster. This was yet another interesting event and initial feedback was positive and encouraging. I think that we may have collected more potential adopting institutions. I still think more the merrier, but we are coming to the end of the funding and although they will be good for the sustainability of the project, at the moment it looks like with out further funding many of these potential adopters will be out in the cold and not have the support adopters up till now will have had. Only time will tell though