Thursday, December 21, 2006

Finishing Grassroots 2

Yesterday we had the final meeting with most of the projectmanagers who were involved in the Grassroots projects 2006. In the past year we coached 348 (!) small, innovative projects in the context of Higher Education. The general conclusion is that most projects have delivered quite satisfying results. Instructors were positively surprised by the possibilities that ICT can provide for their subject. Moreover, most of the students reacted positively towards the ICT improvements that were made. Last but not least, most instructors appreciated the personal incentive they received after finishing a sucessful project. At the University of Twente the experience is somewhat different: the personal incentive is not the key motivator. Providing extra time (e.g. by hiring a student-assistent for specific tasks) has much more value.
Grassroots can also be considered as a small taste of an extensive world of possibilities. The risk is that projects will not continue once Grassroots is formally finished (and it will be in a few days). It's good to see, however, that about half of the participating organisations have adopted the Grassroots concept and incorporated it in their plans for 2007 and further. Interesting ideas include:
  • The set up of a so-called buddy system: colleagues who have achieved some experience with ICT can help and motivate a colleague.
  • Creating a pool of ICT student-assistents: students who can help instructors with pratical problems like setting up a beamer, network issues. These students should be able to handle 90% of frequently occurring problems, otherwise educate them.
More information about Grassroots in Higher Education in the Netherlands? Take a look at (in Dutch) and search for projects within Higher Education.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Stanley,

Interesting and also logical to use students as the 'experts' on IT related issues. IMHO they can even be a buddy when it comes to didactical issues.

A few years ago I also used students as a practical help for teachers and after some feelings of shame (from the point of view of the teachers) it works great!