Hello, Goodbye

29 03 2013

It only feels like yesterday I was saying ‘hello’ and now I am saying ‘goodbye’. Today marks the end of an era as the JISC Course Data stage 2 project officially finishes – so consequently this will be my last official blog post 😦

It has been a very enjoyable 15 months and we have achieved so much during this time. The success of the project has been a testament to the dedication of the CDATA team and equally importantly, the great working relationships established between the members.

We have all been on this journey together – submitting reports, engaging stakeholders, developing a specification for our Programme Management facility and working on our XCRI-CAP feed – and we are delighted to say that during the last week of the project we all went out with a bang! On Monday and Tuesday the team delivered a presentation and a workshop at the AUA Conference (Association of University Administrators) in Edinburgh. Both sessions were very well received, and it was good to get recognition for all of our work. It was also great to see Ruth, Janette and Gemma from JISC there, thanks for all your support and encouragement, not just at the conference, but throughout the entire project.

P.s. Although this is the last blog entry, the work is still very much alive at Brunel. The project gave us the opportunity to work on other areas beyond the scope of the project (such as developing the Programme Management Facility and writing a research paper about our composite methodology) which would inevitably be completed beyond the lifetime of the project. Therefore, I will keep you all updated over the coming weeks with the progress of our work.

The blog started with a song title way back in January 2012 , so it is only appropriate to finish with one!




Actions speak louder than words

18 02 2013

Today has been all about making lists, and lists within lists!  It is at this point I was going to name the title of this blog ‘Making a list, and checking it twice’, but then I realised I REALLY can’t use ANOTHER Christmas reference!  The blog post last week was about advent calendars combined with the fact that we are in February! #OutOfSeason So, I have opted for the idiom: ‘Actions speak louder than words’.  This saying is so true, but to get to the actions you need to know what you have to do.  Therefore, today I decided to create some lists, in fact a total of 11 lists (yes 11!  I checked it twice!).  We have 39 days left (this includes weekends as it sounds better than saying 29 working days!) and we really need to focus on getting all our outputs/deliverables completed, JISC report finished (and including all comments that the team has said along the way ‘oh we could include that in the final report’), finalising our XCRI-CAP feed, project board papers, spec-ing meetings, preparation for the AUA conference to name just a few!  Oh and handover, so that everything is archived and all passwords are known on my departure 😦 Actually, I know I might seem quite negative with my 11 lists, implying we have tonnes to do, but in all seriousness, breaking it down and actually seeing what we have got to do before 29th March doesn’t seem quite so daunting, we have achieved so much already, and our draft report was very well received – so all in all, I think we are on target #WellDoneUs


25 days to go!

13 02 2013

We have the equivalent of a whole advent calendar (minus the chocolate) until our JISC final report is due for submission.  Last Monday we were really pleased to receive feedback on our draft final report (submitted 28th January) from our JISC mentor, Geoff Ramshaw.  So much so, we feel much more confident about it now.  I initially opened the document and approached the first track change with trepidation, however, there was no need to stress!  Geoff gave us lots of positive comments, which was great – for example, our report was very clear to comprehend (especially for readers with no prior knowledge); we had included well illustrated and helpful diagrams and Geoff has also given up some very constructive feedback and suggestions to include in the revised version.  Following on from this, I too have a suggestion, perhaps we could factor chocolate into our ‘JISC advent calendar’ countdown, it could only help the process!  Obviously it would all be in the name of research 😉 #brainfood


The day we went to Birmingham

30 01 2013

Yesterday we attended the JISC ‘Show and Tell’ event in Birmingham which brought together all the Course Data Stage 2 projects (63 in total).  Having seen lots of names bouncing around during the JISC online meetings and on the mailing list emails over the past year or so, it was also a great opportunity to finally put faces to names.

Prior to attending, we were all required to design a poster of our work which would be displayed on the day for all to see (ours can be downloaded here – Brunel University CDATA Project Poster).  It was really interesting seeing the other 62 posters yesterday – some were really imaginative and creative (for example, Bath Spa and the Lego concept!  We liked!).  We have all come along way since the start of the project and it was really quite inspiring seeing everyone’s work.  We also found it especially useful sharing experiences and seeing overlaps between our project and other projects – it was a great idea having various presentations from various institutions.

As you can see from the photo below, we have proudly stuck our poster on the CDATA project wall, complete with the post-it note showing how many ‘likes’ we got on the day!


Website stats

3 01 2013

We have just received a report from WordPress showing us lots of really interesting statistics about our website – without us having to do anything!  What was particularly interesting to learn was where our website visitors reside.  According to the stats, our visitors came from 52 countries from around the World, including United States, India, Mongolia, New Zealand, Russia, Kenya, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Europe, Australia, Uganda, Iceland, Peru and Canada to name just a few!  WordPress is an absolutely brilliant open source CMS, and if anyone is thinking of starting a website or a blog, then WordPress definitely gets the thumbs up from us!

Geographical distribution

Happy New Year!

2 01 2013

Today sees the CDATA team back to work after the Christmas holiday.  According to our timeline this project has 86 days left (63 days excluding weekends!).  We have a busy time ahead of us and the phrase ‘oh that can wait until next year’ has now become void!  Wishing all our readers a very happy 2013 🙂

Happy New Year

Christmas wishes from the CDATA team!

21 12 2012

It only feels like five minutes ago since we discovered that we had successfully received the JISC funding!  We would just like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been involved in the project so far, we couldn’t have done it without you.  It has been a really successful year and we look forward to continuing our work in 2013.  Merry Christmas to all our readers!

Santa Waving Through a Circle