Here’s what I’m looking forward to this year:
- We have a record high proportion of PR students out on year placements. As well as visiting several and keeping in contact with others, I’ll be helping to ensure that this work experience is equitably assessed as it now counts towards the final degree classification.
- Welcoming new students and attempting to enthuse and inspire them. I attempt this each year and am learning to moderate my expectations. For many first year students, the big novelty is leaving home and settling into university; the course is secondary.
- We’re piloting electronic and online portfolios this year. Students will do the same mix of practical work experience, but present it on screen rather than on paper. This raises questions of content, confidentiality and copyright that it will be interesting to work through and resolve.
- In once of those happy Dance to the Music of Time coincidences, my wife is starting a course by distance learning (also at this university). So the boundaries between teaching and studying, earning and learning are blurred. That’s as it should be (and as it will be for all members of The Empty Raincoat generation).
- I’ve taken on a some new management responsibilities. The details aren’t of public interest, but it’s time for some new challenges. That’s also as it should be.