Collaborative sprints make writing CMALT portfolios easier #cmalt

ZOE_0007An earlier post outlined how we are applying a different approach to completing our CMALT applications. In the past, I have adopted an individual approach. However, this tends to result in long periods of little progress because other things get in the way. The problem arises of low levels of enthusiam 😦 So, this time we’ve adapted a “development sprint” approach. Whereby, we’ll spend three days working on it, and completing a few of the sections. After which, we’ll continue working on it as individuals, but share with people for formative feedback. Finally, we’ll have a two day sprint to complete the applications and submit them 🙂

So, as a team leader … is it working and will it scale?

I’d suggest it is working, people’s portfolios are progressing really well. We’ve spent time collectively (as a team) in trying to understand what we think it means, what is required, the balance of evidence and reflection, appropriate exemplars of practice, and thinking about the intended audience. I’ve also spent time with them as individuals, talking through their portfolios, what they’ve written, and getting them to articulate to what extent its illustrate the core values and principles of CMALT. I’d suggest they have come along way, and they’ll finish up with excellent applications which can be used within other contexts at our institution. I am thinking a little bit of reading for our Director 🙂

I would recommend this approach as it starts the process really well, it builds a momentum, quick rewards and I feel I might give better advice and ask better questions because I’m immersed in CMALT terminology and interpretation. My questions might be slightly less effective if I kept having to come back to it over a long period of time.

I also sense the team have been able to more effectively support each other. I’ve heard lots of  “you have done that !!! remember, you did xxx and would that be a really good example for yyy”. Also, the team approach brings a range of different perspectives resulting in  more questions are asked, and more clarity being required.

The scale question is really interesting. It will scale, but the team leader needs to be responsive to questions at short notice. The other crucial point is to view this as a long term process (say two to three years in the making). This sprint has progressed well because over the last few years I’ve encouraged people to blog experiences, capture evidence, evaluate and reflect. This makes the pulling together of the portfolio much easier.

So if you thinking how might you get your team through the CMALT process – think intensive, development sprint 🙂




    • andyoutandabout

      Hi David – we parked it after a week, due to resources and priorities. However, we’ll be picking it up again in early 2015 to finish it off. The team responded well to the group / collaborative, intensive writing approach. Reflecting on how I’ve tried to support others (individual model) I think this has real legs 🙂 Chat soon …

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