Just back from three days in Scotland meeting tutors and students. (below: tutor Sarah Fraser with students and Raigmore Life Sciences building)
A big difference this year is that enrolments all happened by post, rather than on the induction day - so this week we were able to sign people into their DMU email accounts, get them up and running on Athens and Blackboard and give them a head start with the programme's distance learning elements.
The Scots are very warm and welcoming - and its just as well because the weather was atrocious! I saw some sunshine on the horizon, very briefly at dawn on the third day.... then it started raining, again! Thank goodness I came home to warmer weather today - I have been chilled to the bone.
Next week Linda and Kerry are off to Aberdeen to repeat the exercise with students from Grampion, then I am back in Edinburgh and Glasgow the following week.....I will be taking my winter coat and a pair of wellies this time.
For me, as I mostly only ever get to talk to students on the phone, blackboard or by email, its great to meet some of our distance learning students face to face.
Research on e-learning points to the importance of having some sort of face to face event to kick things off - and this is equally true of virtual teams.