Monday, June 25, 2007

June mentoring meeting

Karen and I met up for what is due to be one of our last meetings. We looked at:
  1. Strategies for making the most of my evidence for the portfolio and the best way to present it (e.g. attended Thesaurus course last week, attending K&CUK and Umbrella conferences next week)
  2. Strategies for making the most of planned activities (in PPDP) that aren’t going to happen before I plan to submit (marketing course, writing a website strategy – though there’s still a chance for this one, conducting e-newsletter subscriber survey)
  3. Strategies for effective/efficient use of the evaluative statement
  4. Update to dates on the project plan in light of holidays in May, July, and September
It was, as usual, a good meeting and we managed to cover each of these items. Better still, Karen had some good suggestions!

1. Strategies for making the most of my evidence

This was a relatively quick one. We agreed that the best way to capture the learning and present it as evidence was to write about it in the blog. As a result, our conversation focussed mainly on what aspects to emphasise when writing things up. For example, I attended the CILIP thesaurus course a couple of weeks ago and found it really interesting and very useful but probably not for the reasons that were intended. I still need to write this one up, and will put a link here to it when I do, but basically, I think that what we need in the short term are a series of subject headings and that only in the long-term would we want to look at creating a thesaurus.

Action D: Write about decision to go with subject headings instead of a thesaurus

2. Strategies for making the most of planned activites (in the PPDP) that aren’t going to happen

This was a more meaty one. There are a few things that I planned to do in my PPDP that I submitted but it’s now looking like I won’t do them before September when I want to submit my application. Oops.

For example, I had planned to conduct a survey of our e-newsletter subscribers. Nothing too fancy, just something to help me evaluate the value that is being delivered to our subscribers, gather feedback on some of the changes that I have introduced since I took it over last October, and a mechanism to generate some ideas for improving it. I need to write this situation up as a separate entry (see below) so for now, it will suffice to say that I’m looking at doing the survey a month or so after I hope to submit.

Karen’s suggestion for managing this ‘forced omission’ is to write it up in the blog (as mentioned) and then submit this entry along with a project plan for the delivery of the survey as evidence. We have agreed that it isn’t as good as having done the survey but I will also include an invitation to contact me regarding the project if that would help my application. Form what I understand, the evaluation process can take some time and I may have actually carried out the survey and analysed the returns by the time they are looking through my application.

Action D: Write about survey delay
Action D: create project plan for survey delivery

3. Strategies for effective/efficient use of the evaluative statement

1000 words isn’t very long. As you can see from my entries, I tend to exceed word limits. This part of the submission is going to cause me some real problems. Karen’s first suggestion was to try to make as much use of the detailed CV as possible (given the assessors are expecting something pretty comprehensive and probably a lot longer than the evaluative statement). She provided me with a copy of hers from her Fellowship application back when we were first setting up the mentoring relationship and has suggested that I look at it for guidance. Her second suggestion was to produce a covering page for each item of evidence and to use that space to describe things like the context, the execution and the outcome associated with the piece of evidence. Doing so will free up some valuable space in the evaluative statement and enable me to use a couple of sentences of introduction and reference.

Action D: schedule creation of evidence cover pages

4. Update dates on the project plan

This last item was a reasonably quick one. I went over the changes that I had made to the project plan and talked a bit about why I had moved them around. The main point coming out of this agenda item was that I was no longer looking at submitting on 6 September as I’m going to be on leave that week. As I can’t submit it any earlier (because a year won’t have elapsed since I started) and because I had planned on using that week (i.e. it won’t be ready any earlier), it looks like my new target submission date is going to be 18 September.

That’s pretty much it. It was also encouraging that Karen commented on the fact that it looked like I had everything that I needed and really it was just a matter of finishing a few things off and then getting it all organised and pulled together. I suspect that I will find that bit just as much work, if not more!

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