The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (the entity guiding and funding techno-pedagogic innovation in the Irish HE sector) commissioned Paul Bacsich to chair a Task Force set up to provide Terms of Reference for “A Systematic Review of Technical Infrastructure in Irish Higher Education with a view to Building Digital Capacity”. This was to cover all public HEIs, both universities and Institutes of Technology.
Following a preliminary meeting in March with key stakeholders, invitations were issued to senior people in relevant associations (IUA, IOTI etc), institutions and organisations (HEAnet, QQI etc) to attend three meetings of the Task Force. These were at different but relevant venues in Dublin in April, May and June. A small number of visits, side-meetings and telephone calls were required also.
Semester timescales and HE politics provided significant constraints on the duration of the study and the locations and number of meetings; and necessitated a very non-prescriptive approach to meeting dynamics and minuting. The first meeting was deliberately a free-running discussion, with the minutes aiming to capture this under a “tag cloud” of relevant headings that emerged. From this basis the minutes for the next two meetings serendipitously developed into a two-part structure, the first being conventional minutes and the second an evolving structure of “Draft Terms of Reference”. This made it much easier to prepare the Final Report.
In line with standard procedures in the National Forum, the Final Report is publicly available – http://www.teachingandlearning.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Infrastructure-Review-Data-Collection-rubric-and-methodology-1.pdf
For an overview of Paul’s other work for the National Forum see http://www.teachingandlearning.ie/digital-enhancement-funding/international-panel/