We get asked the strangest things….

Bubble wrap by Free photos and art from https://www.flickr.com/photos/79818573@N04/8241295547/ CC-BY 2.0
Bubble wrap by Free photos and art from https://www.flickr.com/photos/79818573@N04/8241295547/ CC-BY 2.0

It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride, this project.

We are working with all three faculties here at Newcastle University to produce one course each for delivery on the FutureLearn platform.

All three are now in various stages of production, and our picture research, propping and copyright skills are being tested fairly regularly. For the first time in a long time I am bringing all my experience from all of my career history into use in one delightful and slightly mad course development, production and delivery whirlwind.

All of us are bringing our varied experiences to bear in the team – we are very lucky to have serial MOOCer Nuala working with us with her accessibility experience, and Mike’s calm and measured approach to applying online and distance pedagogy to MOOC development is keeping us all grounded.

Our hybrid project management approach seems to be working, though perceived by some to be slightly unorthodox, we all think we have the right checks and balances in place.

I thought it might be fun to share some of the unusual requests that have come through our office in the last couple of weeks, without (yet) giving away what it is we are actually working on…. public course announcements come a bit later.

So far, we have been asked to:

  • find a human skeleton (easy, I used to work in the medical school)
  • find a primate skeleton
  • buy a very large roll of bubble wrap and a lot of clear parcel tape
  • employ two compliant actors
  • source a magic embroidery machine (and operator)
  • engage a local leatherworker
  • get packed lunches for 20
  • mind a large lump of reproduction silver
  • encourage academics to challenge everything they know about learning and teaching
  • carry a set of Roman tools around campus, several times
  • get permission to use a digital reproduction of Raphael’s Transfiguration from the Vatican
  • think carefully about Game of Thrones and the indyref
  • arrange a shed on a beach

the list is endless….

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