Have I succeeded?

So as the final left overs of the nut roast are being scraped into the bin, I suddenly realised that this was the last waffle before the new year. As it is customary (for me at least) I knew it was time to look back on the targets I set myself to see if I have managed to achieve them or at least make some progress towards them. So grab that last mince pie and let’s get to it!

If you want to read the original post about the targets it is here. Before we get to the bit when I suddenly realise that I haven’t achieved anything, I wanted to quickly just waffle about what I have learnt this year about targets – yes you are right – avoidance tactics! Targets should always be measurable and achievable. One other criteria that I have come to recognise is that they need to not rely on others. What I mean by this is that if my target relies on some other person/people doing something then there is a high chance that I will not achieve it since it is probably not their own personal target. I have learnt this throughout the year and I will certainly be keeping it in mind when I write my targets for next year. Anyway, enough avoidance waffle – on with the results! So have I succeeded?

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  • Interaction with my blog – As previously stated, this was established from the onset as an outcome, but I have been reading a range of articles and blog posts about it in order to provide more opportunity for interaction throughout the year. As well as continuing with the opportunity for commenting on each waffle I introduced a forum which I have been posting to on a range of topics including teaching ideas, new technologies and the monthly discussion topic. Although I do not have any registered posters to the forum, I further expanded this to provide an anonymous option for posting and commenting. This appears to be going well. Some topics appear to be more popular than others but most get at least a couple of comments. I have also invested in using HootSuite more in an attempt publicise more blog to twitter-sphere! I did mention, in the original target setting waffle, about a Youtube type show. This has morphed into Wilson Waffling Live! Although I am up to episode 27 (I have taken a break for Christmas) I am still not sure of the regular format of this. However it does have a couple of regular watchers! Thanks to both of you!

  • Increased YouTube subscribers– I am going to say I have achieved this target right from the start! Although I have not reached the dizzy heights of thousands of subscribers I currently have 27 subscribers! That’s an increase of more than ten! I mentioned in the original target waffle that I need to create a reason for subscribing to the channel and I have not achieved this. All the videos are available from my website and from either UStream or TwitchTV so there is no real need to subscribe. Maybe in the future I will be able to post a regular YouTube only show which might have supported the completion of this target. Any suggestions? I do fancy trying to do an online radio show at some point :).

  • Research and being published – oops! Ok, I admit it. I have failed with this one. Unfortunately Wilson Waffling is not recognised as either academic or research so this target remains unachieved. I really need to get on with this one. I have delivered a presentation as a guest speaker at an event this year on the use of social media in higher education teaching. I really enjoyed it although I am not sure of the impact of this presentation on people’s practice. I think I might have tried and put too much into it – maybe making it too daunting. On the positive side for this target, I have had some of my technology posts appear in the Technology Enhanced Learning blog at university and I was asked and wrote a waffle (oops post) for the LGBT blog and appeared in this month’s copy of York Talk. Again not official classed as research, but can I count it?

  • Continue to improve my teaching – This is one of those targets that I am not sure if I can actually claim that I have achieved it. I have enjoyed teaching this year and writing my retirement speech really allowed me to focus on the what I hope the learners got from my sessions and interaction. I did receive a student awarded #yeguin in the last week of the term before Christmas so this should provide some evidence of achievement. One thing that I will say at this point, is that I have really recognised an increase in the teaching and content of the student led sessions which I have watched this semester. Maybe, just maybe, one small part of this could be effective modelling from my own sessions – can you see why I am not that good at research now!

  • So that’s it! Those were my targets from the start of 2014. Generally I feel that I have gone in the right direction, although I have not managed to achieve most of them. This does, however, continue to be a learning process for me and I will be reflecting and evaluating what I have achieved this year and the content of the targets before setting the new ones for 2015. You will be able to read these in next week’s waffle. If you have any suggestions then please let me know in the comments below or send them to me via Twitter(@iwilsonysj), Facebook, email.

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    Have fun, engage and I’ll catch you later