We had a useful (and pleasurable) meeting with our colleagues from Macedonia on May 1, and we were able to make some good progress with the project.
School director Zaneta Trajkoska and senior lecturer Snezana Trpevska came over for a short visit, and they filled in a lot of the blanks for us.
We’re connected on Facebook and on Twitter, which might help the process – though I think we all want to run this project by the book and make sure everything is copied into university systems for the record. We have email accounts on their network, which is a great help for this.
Zaneta and Snezana were very helpful on the technical issues, and gave us a short briefing on the students.
We’ll have 19 students on the team, and they’re all journalists with varying experience.
- They’re aged between 26 and 40;
- Most have journalism degrees, but the team will also incude business, marketing and literature graduates.
- They come from a range of backgrounds, so we should have representatives from all (or most) of the communities in Macedonia.
As a first step, we need to find out more about our students. We’re asking them to do a short survey about their background and experience to get an idea of how much technical support they’ll need. We also want to get to know them as much as we can in a short time. It’s important to try to get as close as we can to the same relationship we have with our Lincoln students.
Tech issues: computer says … yes
These are just about solved. We’re going with the system in Skopje. We’ve all been given accounts to access their intranet, and we’re using WizIq to deliver the course.
We’ve excellent ICT support from both sides. A test run on May 9 was a bit rough at the edges, but everyone was confident it would be much smoother on the night. We’ve arranged another test for May 16, so more to follow on this.
We’ve run along fairly smoothly, but it’s obviously a bit ad hoc, given that it’s a first for us, and that the schedule is very tight.
For future reference, we might think about a clearer split between technical, curriculum and admin tasks. UNESCO is involved in funding the project, so there is some fairly onerous bureaucracy, and we’ll have to look at how the workload panned out.
We also need to think about balancing email overload with making sure everyone knows everything they need to know.
All that having been said, I quite like the overlaps. It isn’t that confusing; and it does mean you get oversight of your task, and input from colleagues.
We tend to break up into small teams for particular tasks anyway, and we’ve been able to support each other as needed. I’d much prefer to stay at this end of the formality spectrum. It seems more in line with this type of project.