Rule 1: Change is changing; which essentially means that change is becoming more frequent and the previously believed models of how change occurs amongst people are outdated.
Rule 2: Real change is internal not external; I agree with this point - a 'real' change is not going to fully take place until all the individuals involved complete a transition process and become willingly accepting of the change.
Rule 3: Slow down; don't dissolve into panic at a time of change but control the process and manage the change instead of allowing it to manage you.
Rule 4: We can all change the way we see the world
Rule 5: We can all learn how to change more effectively; view change as a positive force rather than allowing it to have a negative impact on your outlook which can, in turn, endanger your views on other areas of your life.
Rule 6: No one can make you change; but, despite putting up a fight, over time, you often come round to accepting the change anyway. I see it in my colleagues and I know I'm guilty of it, much to the frustration of my fiance!
Rule 7: Sometimes it's smart to resist
Rule 8: Use the brainpower of those around you; work together and change will be more effective!
Further discussion about these rules of change can be found in Bill's book: rEvolution: how to thrive in crazy times.
I think as an LRC team we manage change pretty well. However, within the organisation I have seen instances of sudden reaction to change rather than taking the time of effectively manage the change process. I would not like to be in the shoes of our senior management team - trying to calmly and effectively manage change across an organisation of our size must be very daunting!
My first workshop of the day was led by our Director of Student Services and was called Motivational dialogue and target setting. Aimed at teaching staff he facilitated a group discussion about how to get more out of their one-to-one sessions with students and how to improve the likelihood of the student reaching their targets. A large part of the session, however, was given over to discussing study skills: what skills to our students need, whose job is it to teach them those skills and when should they be taught? It was very interesting to hear the views of our teaching staff. For example, the assumption that students come to us having learnt these skills at school, whereas in reality this is often not the case. A lot of the tutors feel that study skills is a whole subject in itself and that they don't have the time within the syllabus to teach it. Some tutors, for example those who teach A level, feel that it isn't their responsibility when the students have their own group (form) tutor. I can understand this argument - as an A level or GCSE student you wouldn't want to be taught the same study skill by each subject tutor as it would be confusing. It would be better to be taught centrally within your form.
Whose role is it then? Is it the LRC's? We go so far as creating online interactive guides using Xerte on a range of study skills. They are designed for students to use independently or tutors can recommend them as ways of helping achieve targets, such as improve personal organisation. I was lucky enough to have an opportunity at the end of the workshop to demonstrate our Xerte guides and they went down well with the tutors - most likely because they helped take the onus off of them. To create them we read advice on particular study skills from books and sites of other colleges and universities. Does that now make us qualified to teach study skills? We need to reach a whole-College decision about how study skills are taught - does it happen during induction or at regular times throughout the course and who is responsible for delivering them?
My second workshop on UCAS did not end up having the focus we thought it would. Therefore, the only thing I came away with was an amazement at how inconsistent the application process is between the different faculties and the way in which certain parts happen so inefficiently (such as printing out the electronic form at one stage to pass on only for it to become electronic again at the final submission!) just because it's always been done like that. (The purpose of the session, as it turned out, was to devise a logical timeline to be adopted by the whole College that governs when each stage of the process happens, how it happens and by whom.)
My third workshop looked at the way that KC Online (our internal site created using Microsoft Sharepoint) is going to go forward. It was basically a feedback session to find out what works, what doesn't and what we'd like to see happen. The one shining point was that our LRC blog on KC Online was used as an example of good practise of sharing information :)
On Tuesday 20th we had divisional training comprising of a workshop on behaviour management led by my colleague Catherine Taylor. We discussed the student behaviour guidelines and, in groups, came up with ten reasons why we roam. My group came up with the following:
- to provide a safe environment
- to provide assistance to students
- to encourage enquiries
- to maintain a quiet environment for study
- to keep the LRC tidy
- to ensure LRC rules are adhered to
- to build a rapport with students
- to support the help desk
- to look approachable
- to ensure efficient use of resources
After all that training, what's the only thing that could happen next? ... ...Christmas party!