One more year gone by. Can you believe it?!
This is also a time for reflection and planning for future activities.
I must say this was an amazing year in many aspects. We gave our website a new look, enhanced the research training programme with new sessions and workshop, welcomed the largest cohort of Graduate Teaching Assistants, and have been working on new ways of communicating and engaging with the postgraduate community.
The Virtual Doctoral School (VDS) is starting to take shape slowly, thanks to its members. Early in the new year, in partnership with Anna Higson, editor in chief of our Research Magazine (RISE), we will be collecting new research stories to feature both in RISE and in the VDS.
In collaboration with our colleagues Fiona Christie and Tahira Mojohti, who are our “pro-bloggers”, we have now also a presence on twitter, vimeo, slideshare, flickr and diigo. Victoria and Sonja have also keept us updated through our newly online newsletter.
We have also been invited to present our work at different venues and collaborated with people within and outside the University. Examples of this is the workshop Fiona, Tahira and Victoria ran at the VITAE annual conference, the presentation I did for one of the VITAE Northwest events, and the informal partnership we have now been able to establish with the University of Manchester in the running of Social Media for Research workshops, just to mention a few.
As part of the networking activities, I was also very happy to accept the invitations of the University of OPorto, Portugal (link), University of Southampton, UK, (link) and the Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to share our perspective of the use of Social Media for teaching, learning and research. It is also great to connect to other institutions and researchers.
Later in the year, we have also welcomed the presence and collaboration of Dr. Ilene Alexander as a guest Professor at the University of Salford. We all agree it has been incredible to work with her, and we hope the collaborative link continues beyond her stay in the UK. She has already started contributing to this blog. Hopefully this will just be the start of many other collaborative ventures.
We look forward to the New Year and the challenges and possibilities it might bring. Above all, we hope work and collaborate with you in and beyond the University.
To better understand how we can improve what we already do, we have put a small survey together which we would kindly ask you to fill out. Alternatively, you can use the comment box. We would love to hear from you: what you think about what we have developed so far, what else should we be working on, how could we support and communicate with you better… Of course we would also love to hear about what has worked well. Any general thoughts are also welcome. It would be nice to have a feeling regarding who reads this blog! 😉
We are now preparing to go on Christmas leave. Independently of whether you celebrate this season or not, we would like to wish a wonderful break. Enjoy the days away from the University routine and make the best of it. Don’t forget Ilene’s advice either.;-)
We will ‘see’ you in January.
Until then, have a great time! 😉