Twelve months ago, at the 4th ITSS Conference, it was announced that the bid for funding for an ITSS Training and Development Officer had been turned down. In September 1999, OUCS released me to work half time on ITSS training issues. Due to staff changes, I was unable to devote much time to it until January 2000. This report covers the work done since my appointment and will become a regular feature of the Conference.
Various initiatives have been tried, some with more success than others. Information flow is enhanced with the Calendar and ITSS Seminar Web pages. The ITSS Web information generally has been greatly improved with special thanks to Sue Brooks, Jane Brown and Andrew Slater. Links have been forged with commercial training providers for technical courses, weekly seminars continue and special events are run as and when. A pilot project to investigate the usefulness of CBT in training is nearing completion. Investigations into BCS membership and Professional Development Scheme have been carried out. Induction courses have been set up and proved highly successful and social events have started to take a place in the ITSS year.
CPD schemes show a personal commitment to improvement, career progression and professionalism. They reward the participant, inspire colleagues and prompt managers to take notice of what we do.
For the future, Oxford is working on producing their own CPD scheme. This will be based on the BCS scheme with the points multiplied by 4 to avoid fractions. Logging sheets will be produced and a stamp which can be used to verify participation in a CPD event. Signatures of a manager or colleague can also be used to confirm activities. Each year, participants may submit their logging sheets for assessment and awards will be given for achievement in a variety of classes. To start the scheme, everyone taking part in the ITSS Conference will be given a certificate of attendance showing the number of CPD points earned today. Full details are still being finalised.
Technical courses will continue. Advanced Solaris Administration and Advanced NT Administration are planned for September. It is proving harder to find training partners for Novell and Security courses at a reasonable price.
The pilot CBT scheme has proved popular with the participants. However, the use of the CDs has been sporadic with other demands and commitments necessarily taking priority. To be really useful, a site licence for all the material, and more (to cover Unix, for example), is needed. It is unlikely that the funding for this would be forthcoming.
Many new things have been attempted in the last 12 months. Trying any thing new is more time consuming that doing it a second time, and the time has taken its toll. Fortunately for ITSS, the toll has been on end user courses! However, to attempt to address the balance, I will be taking time off from ITSS training work from mid July to mid September to focus just on end user courses.
Before then, I intend to set up the next round of Solaris and NT courses, to find suitable Novell and Security courses and to set up the CPD scheme. I also hope to be able to complete the statistics on who has attended past ITSS events, write a paper on the CBT pilot scheme and attempt to automate some of the ITSS events Web pages with Perl scripts.
Organising training courses and events means sending a lot of emails and providing a lot of information on the Web. A proportion of my workload has been due to sending individual responses to queries. To reduce this, I will be endeavouring to keep the Calendar as complete and up to date as possible, including where to look things up and what I don't know. The new [http://www.ox.ac.uk/it/support/] Information for IT Support Staff, OUCS Information for IT Support Staff and the revamped IT Support Staff Group Web pages provide a vital information source. I will be promoting the use of these pages and hope that all ITSS use these pages as a matter of course.
ITSS social events are to be expanded to provide a year round calendar of events. These will include a Christmas party in mid December, a black tie dinner in the March, the ITSS Conference and reception in late June, a July barbecue and a skittles evening and buffet in September. A CPD awards ceremony may be included in one of these or be a separate event. The events will be organised by ITSSG.
I would like to thank OUCS for releasing me from duties to work on ITSS training, in particular thanks to Carol Bateman and Sue Brooks. I appreciate the support given by all members of the ITSSG and the enthusiasm and encouragement of ITSS throughout the University. Together I hope we can look forward to the challenges and opportunities of the next 12 months.
|University Information for IT Support Staff||http://www.ox.ac.uk/it/support/|
|OUCS Information for IT Support Staff||http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ITS3/|
|IT Support Staff Group Official Pages||http://www.ict.ox.ac.uk/oxford/groups/itssg/|
|IT Support Staff Group Home Page||http://www.itssg.ox.ac.uk|