Wednesday, 20 May 2009

What Is The Real Risk?

I've had a new experience today - using Dimdim to deliver a presentation to an online web conference. The session I was delivering was a one-hour session on Risk Management for JISC Regional Support Centre (RSC) in the West Midlands.

And whilst the delegates were dispersed all over the West Midlands, I could see a list of who was logged in at any point and we could communicate via a chat window, so I could pose simple questions and I had an audio link so delegates could hear me speaking to the PowerPoint slides.

A quick look at the chat window shows that there was a mix of comments and questions, some of which I answered verbally and some examples of delegates giving examples for points I had made. Anne D's "Like snow in May in the UK" was in response to me saying, "no matter how small the probability, a risk might still happen." I wonder what the risk of Anne D having an interesting weather day was this morning...!

The RSC backed up the session in their Moodle Virtual Learning Environment and I stayed online for an hour afterwards to pick up questions and answer them, or pose further questions and counter viewpoints.

There were even a few tweets on Twitter (You can find me there as JohnBurke1).

Alison from the RSC posed an interesting question after the session in the Moodle discussion: "I have encountered a problem with Learning Providers who are slow to respond to the Disability Equality Duty. This is now more about making the Learning Provider Proactive and reducing the risk to them and producing a more resilient environment. However it's getting over the importance of this as AI issues isn’t at the top of everyone’s agenda. Any ideas?"

My answer was, "This is I suspect, a case of organisations only looking at the obvious risks and not all of them. The obvious risk is that of being sued against the Act if they don't comply and someone takes issue. Probability very small indeed and impact is an easily affordable fine.

However, you may need to help them identify other associated risks - loss to reputation from someone who has enrolled but had continued problems who might go to the press, affecting reputation, people with disabilities becoming aware of the approach and avoiding the organisation en masse.

Either of these are affected by other external factors. For instance if your local MP had fiddled his expenses to the tune of £100 would you have cared ordinarily? But at the moment, given all the national publicity...

Also if they didn't sue under the act but claimed compensation for having failed their course due to lack of accessibility - could be a huge case!

So if disability was to become topical then news of this type of shortcoming would suddenly be much more in the Public Interest and likely to do more damage to reputation.

So the day has provided me with a good experience of delivering a session using e-Learning and from the comments I received has stimulated a bit of interest fr a full one-day session on Risk Management in the West Midlands region, but most importantly of all, it has made the delegates think about risks and Risk Management in a way that may not have occurred to them before!

Thanks go to Jason Curtis and colleagues at the RSC West Midlands for the invite to speak, to Chrissie Turkington of RSC Northwest for technical support during the session and to the delegates for interacting with me over the Internet!


Character Education said...

Very nice post buddy. Thanks a lot for sharing such an interesting post.

flash said...

interesting post...

Very nice write up. Easy to understand and straight to the point.

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