Calling all sportspeople…

I’m currently working with Sport England to help the organisation to review the effectiveness of its ‘Clubmark’ sports club accreditation scheme and to explore options for its future operation.

We’re keen to know what sports clubs and activities think about the scheme and how they feel it could better support them. To this end, we’ve developed a short online survey for all sports clubs and activities, regardless of whether or not they have engaged with Clubmark.

If you’re part of a sports club or activity, or know someone who is, please make sure your club completes the survey. It’ll take less than ten minutes and will help Sport England to provide your club and your sport with the support it needs.

You can find the survey here.

Learn how academic workload modelling can work for you

Academic workload modelling is an approach to understanding how members of academic staff spend their time when they are at work, from teaching and research to management, administration, academic citizenship and other activities.

It’s one of those things that universities and other higher education institutions and providers frequently feel that they should be doing, without really being sure why. And when they have a model, they’re not always entirely sure what to do with it.

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This is why I’ve written the Sockmonkey Guide to Academic Workload Modelling.

This how-to guide seeks to lift the lid on the workload modelling process, to consider what a workload model can – and cannot – achieve and to explore how an effective workload model can be developed in practice.

It also, critically, looks at how institutions can use their workload models to improve what they do, to be more efficient in how they work and to bring about positive change for their people.

The guide is free to download in PDF form.

I’ve also developed a basic workload model template in Microsoft Excel format, which institutions can use to get a feel for how a model might work. You can download the template here.

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I’ve released it under a Creative Commons license, so you can also play around with it and tailor it to your own needs.

And I’ve developed a suite of support packages for individual academic departments, faculties or institutions, too, which help them to design, develop and implement robust workload models. You can read about these packages and how they could help you in this brochure.

Please do let me know if you find the guide and/or the template useful. And if you’d like to discuss workload modelling in more detail, or to share your own experiences, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Decision time

We make thousands of decisions each day. Some are fairly trivial, but others have signficant and far-reaching consequences for us, for our organisations and for the people around us. Which is why it is vital that we make decisions in an informed way. Even if we have only seconds to do so. Continue reading

Evidence, evidence, evidence

I’m a big fan of evidence-based decisions. But the number of people who feel the same way I do appears to be on the wane. Whether it’s fake news, dubious think tank reports or unsubstantiated political claims, the idea of being able to support what we say and do with actual facts seems to have lost its appeal. Well, that’s not how we roll here at Sockmonkey HQ. And here’s what I’m doing about it. Continue reading

Time to talk about money

The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has just published a report looking at how universities spend student tuition fees and how well they communicate to students what they get in return for their money. It shows that, despite continued exhortations to do more in this area, progress has been slow. And that universities across the sector need to do something about it now. Continue reading