Tuesday, 18 June 2013

#ocTEL Week 9 Risk Management

This week's activity is called"Cheating Murphy's Law". I was about to embark on the first activity - reviewing a previous project and saying where it had gone wrong, what I would do differently etc when real life intervened and I was suddenly confronted with a possibly very risky turn in the development of the Scale Up project.

It may not seem like a big deal, but the IS people have decided they want to get Mac Books for the new classroom.

Now admittedly, some staff in certain specialist areas do use Macs with their students. And some students may well be au fait with the operating system and key board in the Mac environment, but the vast majority of my students are not. I can immediately see a big risk of students being turned off, anxious and frankly perplexed - especially when all of the computers they are able to access in the University's public spaces (such as the library) are Windows based PCs. And let's not even start on staff reactions! Apart from that handful of Art and Design lecturers involved in the project, the majority are Windows PC users: that's the kit we have on our desks at work (and usually at home). It is hard enough getting staff to engage with technology without adding a further obstacle.

Of course IS have reassured us that the Mac Book has "dual boot" (OK so long as we know how to do that) but it doesn't have a dual keyboard...... Is it just me or does this seem a bit daft?

So: Murphy's Law - what can go wrong, will (and especially if the decisions affecting teaching and learning are left to people who don't actually teach or interact with learners). My Risk Log is embedded below -

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jane

    If the Mac has been set up to boot with Windows as well then you simply hold down the ALT key on the keyboard while starting it to get that option. Or if you buy extra third party software, you can "fast switch" from one operating system to the other without restarting using a key combination. A notice above the computer should suffice...

    Hope this reduces your anxiety. It might be worth investigating further before assigning risk eg why not get the "IS people" to demonstrate the Macbook to you and explain why they want to use it?