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SIP Evaluation ReportDate: 20/05/2013Focus: RSC Wales OverviewSummary:This report draws from an overview document provided by Peter Scott of RSC Wales aboutthe organisation’s activities in support of TEL for the regional institutions. It summarises theservices provided and comments on their scope and degree of engagement. It concludeswith some thoughts about how the various initiatives and services might enhance TELdevelopments at Swansea Metropolitan/TSD.1. Social Media and Online EventsRSC Wales tweets regularly on Twitter with information about their various services andevents. The twitter feed also alerts followers to other events and services, particularly thoseprovided by the Welsh Government, HEA and Jisc Advance Services such as Jisc InfoNet andJisc TechDis. It provides an up to date commentary on what is going on in Wales by way ofonline and f2f webinars and conferences, various government and Jisc initiatives, andprovides useful links to relevant websites. Following @rscwales is a good way to receive aregular feed of information about TEL activity in the region.The RSC hosts a series of Webinars about topical TEL issues in its ‘Jisc RSC Wales LunchtimeByte’ series. These follow general TEL themes, the theme for Spring-Summer 2013 being the‘Open Educational Landscape’. Expert contributors from Jisc and the broader TELcommunity of practice are brought in as facilitators in the 1 hour webinars deliveredthrough Blackboard Collaborate. Other webinars are also provided including, during 2013,coverage of the WBL TRaCIO Soft Skills Toolkit for the Welsh Government and an onlineevent for the first day of the Jisc Wales summer conference ‘Encouraging Innovation’.A further online resource is the RSC Wales blog which has recently been running a series ofpostings on the ‘Acquisition, management, promotion and creation of ebooks’. The series isa very useful resource for teachers and learners looking to use open educational resources.2. The RSC Wales MoodleThe RSC Wales Moodle is a central source for TEL resources and staff developmentmaterials. It includes a wide range of learning and skills modules including teaching toolkits,accessibility, e-safety and getting to know Moodle, amongst others. It provides small grantopportunities for TEL innovation, as well as technical communications support and strategicsupport, including the Estyn Common Inspection Framework.The website also provides access to the RSC Wales monthly Bulletins. These are circulatedwidely across the region by email and contains the latest information about RSC Walesevents as well as information about events and news coming from the Welsh institutions,relevant initiatives across the UK and also events and resources from the other regionalRSCs.3. RSC Wales Engagement with the SectorRSC Wales staff actively engage with most major TEL initiatives in Wales, typically as a resultof being invited to join project management groups as expert advisors. It has its own
calendar of conferences and webinars, as well as frequently contributing to similar eventsorganised regionally and nationally by institutions, organisations such as the HEA andgovernment bodies. RSC Wales is part of Jisc Advance and offers a direct link to theresources, initiatives and events of all the advisory services provided. A key role is keepinginstitutions up to date with current TEL innovations and alerting them to new developmentand funding opportunities.In 2013 engagement with the community of practice includes the Encouraging InnovationConference and the RSC Wales Technical Conference.4. Jisc Advance Advisory ServicesThe Jisc Advisory Services are well established sources of specialist expertise in aspects ofTEL available for use by the sector:Jisc infoNetJisc infoNet has developed a wide range of ‘infoKits’ that provide rich advice and guidanceon aspects of TEL development and delivery. It also offers a range of practical developmenttools and staff development opportunities through a programme of workshops.Jisc NetskillsStaff development is also provided by Netskills which aims to help individuals andorganisations make effective use of innovative technology. F2F workshops, online deliveryand the provision of practical training materials are offered.Jisc Digital MediaJisc Digital Media services include finding, creating and managing media for trainingmaterials development. It covers professional production techniques, good practice, designfor web delivery and provides training workshops and courses.Jisc LegalJisc Legal provides legal guidance for ICT use in education, particularly with regard to onlinecourse delivery. All aspects of IPR are covered, including the use of third party resources andcopyright law. Advice is provided on legal obligations, liability and risk for institutions.Jisc TechDisTechDis promotes inclusive practice in the design and delivery of online learning. It providesguidance on the accessibility obligations of institutions for learners with disabilities,including sight, hearing and mobility impairment. It advises on supportive technologies.JiscMailJiscMail is a service that facilitates academic collaboration through email groups anddistribution lists. It allows group creation, list management, secure communications and theability to link through social network sites.Jisc ProcurewebProcureweb is a Jisc Advance service that provides procurement support for the HE and FEsectors. The aim is to assist institutions get best value for money and it provides tools,information and support to anyone who participates in the procurement process.
5. Conclusions and PlanningJisc Advance and Jisc RSC Wales clearly represent a rich resource for institutions planninginnovative TEL developments. They draw on the very substantial legacy of Jisc innovativeresearch and development in e-learning, as well as having their own track record ofsuccessful support across the sector.The merger of Swansea Metropolitan with UW Trinity Saint David has resulted, of course, ina root and branch re-examination of all institutional strategies, policies and operationalsystems. The use of TEL in that mix is a current consideration and a new e-learning strategyand operational plan will emerge in due course.This paper is intended as the first contribution from the SIP project to help inform thatprocess. It summarises the services and resources currently available and provides links toeach of them.The project will continue with a more detailed examination of the Jisc Advance initiativesand will report further on information, services and resources that are likely to be of use tothe institution in its e-learning planning. The outcome will be a complete picture of leadingedge developments in the sector that will be of use to all involved in development.The fact that the work of RSC Wales and Jisc Advance is ongoing means that all the links inthis document will lead to resources that are dynamic and being continuously updated. Thisdocument will be made available on the SIP project blog which will be used as a repositoryand dissemination tool for the project.