SHEEN Sharing

A Project of the Scottish Employability Co-ordinators' Network

Weekly drop-in webinar clinics/feedback sessions now booked on FlashMeeting

As we decided at the SHEEN Sharing Development Group meeting on April 6th, I got myself a “meeting booker” account on the Open University’s free webinar service, FlashMeeting.  Thanks to Tony Hirst, Chris Valentine and Pete Cannell at the OU for their help.

What is FlashMeeting and why are we using it?

We’ll be using FlashMeeting for weekly webinar sessions that you can drop into as you feel the need.  They can be used for support and help with the Web2.0 tools you will be trialling.  We will also use them to gather formative feedback on how the project trials are going.

FlashMeeting is easy to use in your web browser, as long as you have Adobe Flash 8 or later installed as a plugin.  It is “low-data” friendly, so you don’t need a massively high-spec machine or super-fast Internet connection to use it (although I probably wouldn’t recommend dial-up).  And it records our meetings so we can go back and look at them later, or share them with others in the ECN if they couldn’t come.

There is a brief introduction and feature list for FlashMeeting here:  You can participate with webcam and microphone so we can see and hear each other.  If you don’t have these, you can still see and hear everyone else if you have sound; if you don’t have sound, you can participate via live text chat during the meeting.  In this last case, I will make sure you can read live notes about what is being discussed as it happens.  There is also a whiteboard facility, and the ability to show slides and link to websites live.

When will we meet on FlashMeeting for our clinics and project updates?

I will be available on FlashMeeting every Wednesday morning from 9:00-12:00.  You can pop in at any time during that period.  You can log into the meeting as a guest user, or create an account for yourself in FlashMeeting, which gives you access to more of the functionality in FlashMeeting.

First SHEEN Sharing FlashMeeting

The first FlashMeeting will be this Wednesday, 29 April 2009.  I will send out the URL for the meeting using the ECN JISCMail list, as the recording of the meeting will also be available at that URL, and for privacy’s sake it’s best if I don’t make it public on this Website.

No need to tell me beforehand that you will be logging in, however, if a bunch of you decide to come along because of a trials group issue, a bit of forewarning might help as I have booked the meetings for a certain number of users, and if it looks like we will have more than that number, I will need to increase the booking.

If you know in advance that you have a specific topic you wish to cover, it will likely save us both time if you let me know beforehand also.  I’m keen at this stage not to set topics for the meetings myself, but if people come up with stuff in advance I will certainly let everyone know.  So, for instance, if someone wants to discuss the use of hashtags on Twitter and lets me know beforehand, I can email the JISCmail list and anyone else who is interested can show up too.

Getting Adobe Flash 8 installed if you don’t have it

To check what version of Adobe Flash 8 you have installed in your web browser, simply go to this URL and you will see a report about what version of Flash you currently have:

If you don’t have Adobe Flash 8 or later, you will need to install the most recent version of Flash from the Adobe website.  I understand from our initial meetings that some folk may have to request permission from their IT departments to do this, or even get someone from there to do it.  If you do have this problem, please let Cherie Woolmer and I know: we want to be able to support you and also report back to the Scottish Funding Council about un-necessary barriers in some institutions.

Getting started on FlashMeeting

You will only need to follow the meeting URL I send out, and click to accept the terms and conditions to enter the meeting.  However, if you want to check beforehand that everything is working as it should for you (Adobe Flash 8, webcam and sound), the folks at the OU have provided a VERY easy to follow checking tool, explained here:

Guest user or getting a FlashMeeting sign-in account?

You may indeed be perfectly comfortable as a guest user and wish to join in that way at least to start with; you can access most of the basic functionality as a guest.  However, just FYI, if you are a guest user, you can’t use the whiteboard facility, upload files for others to see, use concept maps, or send private chat messages to other participants.  You also can’t access the SHEEN Sharing group page and save the events you are interested in.  For a full list of features available to different login levels look here.  If you want to use all the available features, go here to sign in:  Make sure you read the terms and conditions first.

SHEEN Sharing Group on FlashMeeting

I’ve created a SHEEN Sharing Group within FlashMeeting, whereby you can access all of the group’s meetings, and download dates/times for all of them immediately into your calendar.  You need to be a registered user of FlashMeeting to be a member of the Group (again this helps with privacy).  To join the SHEEN Sharing Group, go to My Groups, then search “sheen” with “All groups” selected.  It should be the only group to come up; use the little people icon in the right-hand column to join the group.  I will need to confirm your membership.

April 27, 2009 Posted by | SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, Webconferencing | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Planning SHEEN Sharing Trials Reprise: All the Info for Those Attending

SHEEN Sharing Tools Trials Planning Meeting at St Andrews University on Monday 6th April

This post contains all the relevant information about the meeting venue, plus some ideas about the agenda. If anyone would like to come and hasn’t yet let me know, please do, just so I can check catering numbers and also know when everyone has arrived on the day. My thanks to Pam Andrew and Pamela Small at St Andrews University for their excellent help in getting this organised.

Date: Monday 6th April 2009

10:30-11:00 Arrival, registration and tea/coffee/biscuits to refresh you after your journey (we’ll get started as soon as everyone arrives).
Lunch will be provided: let me know ASAP if you have any special dietary requirements (vegetarians have already been catered for).
Finish between 15:30-16:00 depending on how much time we need to finish all the work that needs doing.

Venue: St Andrews University
Lochnagar Room, Mansefield Building (Chaplaincy), 3 St Mary’s Place, St Andrews KY16 9UY
Please see maps: Map of main roads into St Andrews | Map showing location of meeting venue: Mansefield Building, St Andrews University | Map showing location of free car parks at St Andrews University

– Travelling by rail:
St Andrews University is a 20-25min taxi journey from Dundee Railway Station. Cherie Woolmer and I will be getting the 08:41 train from Glasgow Queen Street which arrives at 09:59 in Dundee. We’ll then get a taxi to St Andrews. If anyone would like to share this taxi, let us know, and please give us your estimated arrival time at the station, and a mobile number if possible.

– Travelling by car:
There is no car parking available immediately adjacent to the venue, and street parking there is for a maximum of 2 hours (and you can’t just run out and add another parking ticket apparently). However, there is a free car park at the entrance to the town (Petherum Bridge Car Park). From there it’s only about 5 minutes on foot through the Bus Station to the St Andrews University Careers Centre. Please see map showing location of free car parks at St Andrews University.

At this meeting the SHEEN Sharing Development Group and other interested ECN folk will catch up on the project outcomes so far, namely: the requirements gathering and benchmarking exercise (introductory meetings and survey); and the Web 2.0 review (tools, review of literature and projects, expert advice). We will use this information to make decisions about how to conduct the trials period of the project from April to August 2009. Issues will include:

– Trial groups based around interests / projects / goals (what groups; who should be in them; what are particular needs of each group; should each group have a named “champion” from the Development Group?).
– How can training and support best be achieved? Initial training groups / ongoing Webinar clinics / materials?
– How will we evaluate the trials (formative and summative?). How and when will we record evaluations? What facets need to be evaluated (e.g. efficacy of our communities of practice; engagement of academics; pushing resources out to appropriate places; sustainability of solutions selected; are trialled tools sufficient or should we look at others, etc.?).
– Should we be engaging non-ECN stakeholders in some groups (e.g. academics, students, other support staff)?
– Picking up on key issues around technical barriers and IPR issues.

We’d like to invite participants to come with ideas about interest groups and projects they may like to be involved with or organise, and resources that can constitute examples of what they might like to share. Examples of Web2.0-type tools and resources folk have been involved with before may also prove useful, if you have them. But most important is to bring yourself so we can get stuff happening!

Oh, and I threw those agenda ideas together just to get you started thinking- I will come up with a more organised plan before Monday, so if you have any ideas about the day, let us know via Comments here!

March 31, 2009 Posted by | SHEEN Project Events & Meetings | , , , | Leave a comment

Planning our trials of Web 2.0 tools

The SHEEN Sharing Development Group is having a one-day workshop to plan the SHEEN Sharing trials of Web 2.0 tools. We now have a date and venue:

St Andrews University, April 6th 2009.

Many thanks to Pam Andrew for organising this so quickly. I’ll have more details about exact venue, directions, maps etc. soon: watch this space.

Re transport: anyone who is coming by train can meet Cherie and I at Dundee Station and we’ll share a taxi to St Andrews. I’d also like to hear from people re what they think is a good start time, so folk can get there easily from all around the country. Just had our ECN Northern Co-ordinators’ Meeting today in Aberdeen and am thus very aware of travel distances and making things easy on folk.

A few further notes:

    Employability Co-ordinators who aren’t formally part of the SHEEN Sharing Development Group are welcome to come: please RSVP to me: sarah.currier [at]
    It would be great if folk could come for the whole day so we have time to really explore the best options for this most important part of the SHEEN Sharing Project. However, you are welcome to attend for only half the day if that’s all you can manage. Again, let me know; it’ll be important for catering lunch if nothing else.

More details to follow. A few ideas that have emerged now that I’ve had three of the four geographical introductory meetings with Coordinators:

    We will probably try to do the training/kickoff sessions for the trials face-to-face again with me travelling to relevant locations, but after that we might like to look at trialling some webinar or webconferencing tool to have regular check-ins, clinics and evaluation meetings throughout the trials. Ideas of favourite tools welcome.
    We will look at appropriate groupings or interests around which to build different trial groups. For instance, I’ll be meeting with Fiona Boyle about using the Volunteering Project as one group to trial some stuff, and talking with Joy Perkins at Aberdeen University about doing the same with the International PDP Project (sorry Joy, don’t have the exact project name to hand!). Any other ideas?
    We could have a look at involving interested people who aren’t formally designated Employability Co-ordinators but who have a keen interest in the work, e.g. James Dunphy at Robert Gordon University has some local academic contacts he think might be interested.

I’ll be reporting back on the results of my Web 2.0 review and requirements gathering work very soon. The final ECN Coordinators’ Introductory Meeting is this Friday in Glasgow, after which I’ll be asking the Coordinators who haven’t managed to make one of the meetings to fill in the survey online.

I’ve also interviewed folk from similar projects around the UK to glean their experience, alongside reading project outputs and things. I’ve had some great ideas from them as well as a lot of validation that our approach is sound. Thanks to George Roberts of the JISC EMERGE project, Richard Hall of the De Montfort University Learning Exchanges project, and Sheila MacNeill of JISC CETIS, a veteran of supporting Web2.0y projects and programmes.

We may get some feedback at the SHEEN Steering Group meeting on Friday as well, where they will be reviewing our Project Plan and progress to date. Busy day for Cherie and I, Friday- bit of running to the train station between meetings! Looking forward to seeing the West of Scotland Coordinators (plus one Edinburgher who couldn’t make the Edinburgh meeting). If anyone else wants to come please let me know.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, SHEEN Sharing Project | , , | Leave a comment

Introductory Meetings: Dates and Venues

I want to meet with all the Scottish employability co-ordinators very soon to get an idea of what you want this project to achieve for you, and for the wider employability scene.  I also want to show you in person some of the tools and ideas the project will be investigating. With such a short project, Cherie and I felt that it would be better for me to hold a series of small meetings rather than try and get out to see all of you one-by-one.

So, we decided on four informal geographical sub-groupings, and I have arranged half-day meetings for each.  You will have been notified by email of the date, time and venue for your relevant geographical group, but I thought I would post them all here so you have a place you can go to double check.

Now, some folk can’t make the date/time of their geographical group.  If this is the case, please consider coming to one of the other group meetings.  Check out their details below; it might be convenient for you, you never know!  Just drop me an email if you want to attend so I can let the hosts know correct numbers.

Edinburgh Group

Tue. 10th March, 13:30-16:00, Edinburgh University
Lunch from 13:30-14:00- discussion will start over lunch.

Attendees: co-ordinators from Edinburgh University, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh College of Art, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University, The Open University.

Central Group

Wed. 11th March, 10:00-12:30, Dundee University.
Lunch provided- discussion will continue over lunch.

Attendees: co-ordinators from University of St Andrews, Dundee University, Abertay University, Stirling University.

Northern Group

Mon. 23rd March, 13:00-16:00, Aberdeen University.
Lunch provided- discussion will start over lunch.

Attendees: co-ordinators from Aberdeen University, Robert Gordon University and UHI Millennium Institute.

West of Scotland Group

Fri. 27th March, 10:00-12:30, University of Strathclyde
Lunch provided- discussion will continue over lunch.

Attendees: co-ordinators from Glasgow Caledonian University, University of the West of Scotland, University of Strathclyde.

My warmest thanks to everyone for tolerating the software glitches that made the whole meeting-organising thing a nightmare for me (thanks Gmail), and also big thanks to those who have offered to host the meetings at their institutions.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | SHEEN Project Admin, SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, SHEEN Sharing Project | | Leave a comment