This week I attended the PMI Global Congress in Istanbul. It was the first conference I have been to since I became an avid user of the social networking site Twitter and it struck me that with continuous wifi access to Twitter by smartphone, tablet or lap-top you are in effect attending two conferences simultaneously – the live face- to-face conference track and the virtual social media enabled one. This richness of experience brings benefits and presents a number of challenges for both speakers and attendees: Continue reading Parallel Tracks: First reflections on the use of twitter at conferences
I have been teaching part-time masters students in project management for a number of years now and have always been impressed by the dedication that delegates have to the course and the associated challenges of completing assignments whilst holding down a full time demanding professional role as a project manager. To date however this has been admiration from afar, with no real conception of the reality of life as a part-time student. I have been fortunate in that all my academic studies to date both undergraduate and masters level, have been of the full-time variety, completed at a time of my life before real responsibility in the form of husband and children arrived. Continue reading The challenges of the part-time student
There has been much talk recently of the flipped classroom, sometimes referred to as the flipped lecture or the inverted classroom. Flipped classrooms are about replacing the traditional lecture, where students listen attentively (or not) to a lecturer imparting knowledge, to a more interactive, discussion based session at which the teacher is available to help students understand the concepts that the students have been asked to study prior to the lecture. The blogger knewton describes the flipped classroom as a move from the teacher as “Sage on the Stage” to “Guide on the Side.”
Imagine for a moment a safety-critical project – the building of a new nuclear power plant, the safe disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste, the design and commissioning of a new gas turbine aircraft engine. These are all examples of projects that must be delivered predictably and safely. Yet these are complicated, multi-million pound endeavours which span several years and require the skilled efforts of many different professionals working across disparate organisations. The uncertainties inherent in these projects are legion and non-trivial. For example, what state will the radioactive waste that has been securely held in a storage canister really be in when we open it up for the first time in 40 years, or how do we design a submarine nuclear propulsion system that must be operational for 30 years with the bare minimum of maintenance access. The challenge facing individuals involved in these projects is to identify, make sense of, assess and act in the face of these uncertainties in a manner that minimises the impact on the delivery of the project. This is the scope of my PhD research, which I started in 2011 and aim to complete before the end of 2016. My goal is to shed light on how individuals – including but not limited to project managers – identify and make sense of these project uncertainties.
You can read about my research as it evolves under the My Publications tab in this blog
Thanks for reading
The assessment for a large taught postgraduate unit was changed from traditional essays to group based wikis with the aim of promoting collaborative learning. This video shows what we did…