The INTEGRATE project, along with the three other JISC projects in our CAMEL cluster – e-biolabs, Making Assessment Count and The ESCAPE Project – presented at the annual Greenwich e-learning conference ‘Future Learningscapes’ on Wednesday 7th July. The two sessions, called ‘Synergy in Action : Getting more than we anticipated’ were designed as a way of drawing together the collaborative learning experiences of those working on the projects. Having talked about the findings of our projects and the key lessons we are each learning in the first session Mark Clements from the University of Westminster led discussions around some of the themes emerging from our work. Dominic Bygate and Mark Russell from Hertfordshire facilitated the second session with discussions around the benefits and fears of collaboration. They then drew together the common threads of our experience.
The teams from all four universities get on well and it seems as if everyone has learned a huge amount from their own work, but also benefitted greatly from being part of a well facilitated cluster.
The benefits of the CAMEL process have been:
– Getting away from the day-to-day
– Finding others in the same boat
– Meeting with openness and honesty
– Sharing thinking, airing challenges
– Gaining fresh perspectives
– Building a shared experience
– Sustaining energy, confidence, focus
The process of working together as a cluster has been a really good one, and given how incedibly busy everyone involved in the JISC projects has been over the past few months, we have done brilliantly to draw this together. Two key things about working together well, that were articulated during our discussions on Wednesday are that:
- The first meeting of the cluster organised by Gus Cameron in Bristol was really important for the group and set the tone for future meetings
- Skilled facilitation has been absolutely vital to this process – thank you to our critical friend Malcolm Ryan
The INTEGRATE team are looking forward to welcoming everyone in our cluster to Exeter for our final celebratory CAMEL meeting in September.