Monthly Archives: December 2010

A Stuffed Brummy Camel

Birmingham City University CAMEL Meeting

28th – 29th September 2010

Day 1

On day one of our CAMEL meeting, we welcomed Cluster B* to our rather scenic City South Campus, where our Faculty of Health is based, set in the leafy outer suburbs of the city centre in Edgbaston.

We had a quick catch up and an introduction to David Lloyd, the new project manager of the PALET project from Cardiff University and then got down to the project updates. It was good to hear how the projects were progressing, as it had been 6 months since our last CAMEL meeting, although we have tried to stay in touch through Twitter, email and the odd programme meeting.

After our obligatory ‘Calzon quitao’ discussion, (which roughly translates to ‘with pants down’ but is used in this instance more as ‘The naked truth’) we had a session to consider our reflections at this mid way point. A few people spoke about how things had changed a lot since first starting out on the project, but that was not necessarily a bad thing as so much had been learned from these experiences.

After a break we then split into 3 discussion groups and went on to identify a number of common themes emerging from our projects using mind mapping software XMind. It was quite a valuable session as it put into perspective a lot of the outcomes that we are experiencing that would not have been obvious from the start of the project.

After quite an intensive day reflecting on where we are and how far we have come, we had a nice relaxing time strolling around the beautiful botanical gardens with a drinks and canapés reception. We even met a few parrots on the way.  Unfortunately managed to over order on the canapés so this ended up as our starter rather than a pre-starter! So the Birmingham Camel meeting will forever go down in history as the ‘Stuffed Brummy Camel!’

Day 2

On the second day we wanted to introduce the rest of the cluster to the work that our department, the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) has been doing around the learning community. For a while now we have been exploring the concept of students as equal collaborators and partners rather than as consumers and that was the basis for the creation of the Student Academic Partners scheme (SAP).

Beccy presented an introduction to the scheme and how it fits in with T-SPARC to the rest of the cluster. We hope that through the SAP scheme we can encourage students to become more engaged in curriculum design. Since this CAMEL meeting the SAP scheme has won the Times Higher Education award for ‘outstanding support for students’ so it is a project that we are all very proud of. You can find out more information on the SAP scheme in our blog post.

During this session we also introduced the cluster to one of our students, Tom, who is currently taking part in a SAP project with Oliver. They’re working together with various technologies to log student experience throughout the induction period.

Whilst this discussion was going on, Paul worked on the mind maps the three groups had created from day one and merged them all to create a huge cluster B mind map of emerging themes.

We are looking forward to seeing Cluster B again soon.

*City University London, University of Greenwich, Cardiff University and Cambridge University