It has been a rather hectic few months and a lot has happened. First, since 1 January 2020, I have taken up the role of Programme Director for our new Master of Business. The ink is more or less dry on the paperwork to bring the programme into existence, but it will not be dry until sometime in July. The approval process is multi-layered. Departments (MIB and GSM) have to approve it, then the Faculty needs to approve it (that happened in December). Next the VCDD (Vice-chancellor, Deputies and Deans) need to approve it (January), before it goes to Academic Programmes Committee (February), and thence to Senate (March), the University’s Council, and then in April it goes to Universities New Zealand for consideration by the other NZ universities. It is all about trying to ensure quality.
Secondly, as a result my CLeaR Fellowship, and the concomitant SEED grant have seen something of a pivot. They are no-longer about capstone courses; I do not have time to do that. Instead their focus has been changed to “blended learning”. Why, you might ask? Well, the new Master of Business targets ‘working professionals anywhere in New Zealand’. That last bit—anywhere in New Zealand—can only really be done if the programme is either on-line or blended (also know as a flexible model of teaching). I rapidly need to get to grips with what that means, as the University does not have any real policies that specifically address or consider blended learning.