Program for 2003 - July 3rd - July 5th at University of Hertfordshire
We met up in the Psychology department on Thursday evening to be met by Malcolm Green and his team of technical staff before going to have an informal dinner at the nearby Ramada Jarvis Hotel. Friday contained morning and afternoon session including a talk from Dr Sarah Morley Wilkins (University of Hertfordshire) entitled "Pictures at your fingertips" - Tactile graphics for blind people. This was an extremely informative talk concerning visually impaired students and how best to understand and serve their needs. After coffee, Neil Carter (Swansea) - explained the use of a special operating system to perform time-critical Psychological testing. Lunch was taken and followed by Professor Wiseman (University of Hertfordshire) entitled "Mind Games" Psychology of the Unusual, which included some of the unusual research work he has done with ghost hunting, walking on hot coals, and why some people suffer bad/good luck. This was followed by Noel Taylor (University of Hertfordshire) giving a demonstration of 'Testbed' (Response Test Generator Software) and how to construct programs for its use. After tea Sue Mayhew (University of Hertfordshire, Management Development Officer) gave a talk on the effectiveness of technical training with group participation using four learning styles (activist, reflector, theorist and pragmatist ) and how we can change them. Friday evening we had a conference dinner in the Comet One Suite at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel followed by a little late night drinking of Jamesons Whiskey which a few were able to enjoy.
Saturday we had the AGM and the main ATSiP officers were elected (same as last year at Waterford) and a presentation of the accounts was given. This year's conference was seen as a success and have attracted new members from South-West, London, and the North West of the country. The final talks were presented by Peter Beaman (Loughborough University) on the changing role and future of technical staff in Higher Education (HE) concentrating on areas like evolution of the hybrid/multi role technician, lack of continuous professional development models in HE, changes to the grading structure due to HERA, HAY and other schemes and the awareness of training opportunities both internal and externally. Finally Patrick Holahan (Trinity College Dublin) commented on the future of the ATSiP and felt we have established a good basis since the Waterford Conference last year with the revamping of the ATSiP Website now at Hatfield, the recruitment of new members, and the availability of technical help through the list server which keeps members informed of issues and questions that other technicians need answering.
We shall meet up next year at Royal Holloway University of London a date at which will be set in the near future.
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