Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Road trip, and learning from others

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking part on a Review Panel at another College in Cork. This involved an early start on a cold morning. I had planned to take the train, but idiotically set the alarm for the wrong time and had no choice but to ride down to Cork dressed like the Michelin Man with several layers of clothing to keep out the cold. For the main part this worked, though my feet did suffer a bit from the cold (reminder to self - buy woolly socks to wear on the bike).

Riding to Cork is a very pleasant experience on the M50,  M7, and M8 motorways. Lots of room to speed up and I made good time getting to Cork from Dublin in 2.5 hours. The problem with this route is the lack of service stations. My bike has a petrol tank capacity of 18 litres, this was enough yesterday for 157 miles before switching to the 10% reserve tank. The only service station is at Junction 14 Mayfield, but this is very close to Dublin. Tourists must be very annoyed at this. The distance I had to travel was 168 miles. Before arriving at my destination I had to search for petrol and inevitably I got lost in South Cork and arrived late for my meeting. Coming home I made it as far as Goffs near Naas before stopping for petrol again. Another Service Station on the M8 is badly needed.

I enjoy learning how other Colleges do things like develop new programmes. The programme team works hard to ensure that a balanced course is developed that is attractive to both students and employers. Documentation, process, procedure, and of course the skills of the development team are all different from College to College. Being on a Review Panel you get a unique insight into the thought processes behind each new programme. Hopefully I can put this to good use the next time I am on the other side of the table in front of a Review Panel.

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