Boy, it has been a long time since the blog has published any new content. I can tell you why — real life. Work has been more than insane the last three weeks and the personal life (you know the one that really matters) has been over the top busy as well. A little travel thrown in last week and major preparation on the new Digital Commons project we are starting up at PSU this summer has put a major dent in my ability to write, read, or even think about anything other than work and family. But with that said, those new iPhone ads rock …
At any rate, this post is about engagement … not the kind that leads to marriage — by the way that is another thing that is part of the insanity, my sister is getting married in a month and we seem to be a big part of the planning process. I am talking about the Engagement Initiative we maintain here at ETS. This whole thing came out of my interest in us thinking more strategically about the kinds of ways we work with faculty and drive adoption of the things we are thinking about and working on. Last year at one of our ETS Leadership retreats I sketched out a process that we are now using to take ideas through to projects … the rain cycle, as many people around my office call it, is designed to help us be agile about starting new things but also be very cautious about what we take towards University service. Getting to the University service level is a dangerous thing — supporting 100,000+ users is not to be taken lightly. What this process gives us is the ability to engage faculty in the use of emerging technologies in a rapid fashion while giving us the time to assess the value and cost of implementation. I wrote about this quite some time ago. At any rate, here is the process map I created:
Click to See
The process starts with the Hot Team concept and follows a series of opportunities for collaboration and assessment all the way around. What is nice is this articulates that it is cool to try something and see if it works … if it doesn’t then we get out. It articulates that a bad idea is OK as long as we know why it is bad.
Fast forward to this week and the fact that NMC Conference is going on. I have several staff there and one of them, Brett Bixler decided to submit a poster that shares the Engage Process Map. He worked with Dave Stong to create a stylized version of it … Brett is all about serious games, as a matter of fact he runs our serious games project and manages our Virtual World blog. He and Dave redesigned the process map to be a game board … just blew me out of the water! I love it … take a peek:
I hope you all like as much as I do. As an aside, the Engage Initiative is working. We have been able to take a dozen or so projects ideas into the cycle and produce not only white papers about them, but we’ve been able to work directly with some great faculty to help us understand where we should be taking this stuff. I wonder how other people get faculty engaged on their campuses?
BTW, you have to read about the process Brett and Dave took in creating their award winning poster.
Update: I just found out the poster won the Judge’s Choice award at the NMC Summer Conference!