August 2014 | ISSUE 13
A day in the life of the London Office

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By Angela Rochester,
Personal Assistant & Administrative Assistant

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The view from the London Office

With its panoramic views of the London skyline, LKCMedicine’s London Office is the perfect place for a leisurely traditional English cuppa. But this is a luxury our 16-member core team rarely gets to indulge in. From first thing in the morning till the end of the day, we are a beehive of activity. We are responsible for managing and delivering Imperial College London’s responsibilities to the School, which include developing content for the curriculum. So we have clinicians and academics from across Imperial coming in and out on a daily basis.

Here’s a typical Monday in the London Office:

The week starts bright and early at 8am for Senior Vice-Dean Professor Jenny Higham, Vice-Dean for Education Associate Professor Naomi Low-Beer and Deputy Director of Education Management at Imperial Paul Ratcliffe who have their weekly joint business videoconference with the senior leadership at LKCMedicine in Singapore to discuss high level issues affecting the School and to ensure that all deliverables are on track.

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London Office team meeting with Senior Vice-Dean Prof Jenny Higham, Vice-Dean for Education Assoc Prof Naomi Low-Beer and Imperial Education Management Deputy Director Paul Ratcliffe

At 9am, Mr Ratcliffe and Assoc Prof Low- Beer catch up on issues such as the progress of the curriculum development and staffing matters.

After that, we have our fortnightly Curriculum Planning Meeting. This videoconference encompasses a detailed look at the curriculum and the progress made by both the London and Singapore teams. Members of the curriculum team and relevant colleagues working on the curriculum in Singapore discuss materials that are being developed, deadlines and any issues regarding materials.

Around mid-morning, Assoc Prof Low-Beer and I meet to discuss the diary, meetings to be arranged, paperwork and any travel arrangements for upcoming visits to Singapore. Before lunch, the core curriculum team, led by Curriculum Development Lead Dr James Stratford-Martin, meets to comprehensively review the progress of the curriculum. This meeting is particularly important as the team, which includes Assoc Prof Low-Beer, the clinical education fellows and support staff, is involved in and oversees a large volume of work. On the agenda are matters such as questions for Team-Based Learning (TBL). For example, every TBL question goes through a review process where it is checked against the preparation material and for educational quality by the education fellows. For Year One, 1,086 independent and team readiness assessment questions have been written and, at the time of writing, 864 for Year Two. Year One questions have also been rewritten to better align them with summative examination questions.

The curriculum team also oversees what the contributors prepare. In the last six months, the curriculum team has used 63 external contributors and 56 Imperial contributors, bringing the cumulative total to almost 300 contributors!

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Collaboration Officer Catherine Robinson talking to Curriculum Develop Fellow Dr Sunita Sharma (left); a typical day at the London Office (right)

After lunch, the whole London Office team gathers for our weekly team meeting. We discuss the project’s Gantt chart, which is updated according to the progress of curriculum areas. We share updates on the latest matters affecting the team, policy and curriculum development. Then we have a quick update from around to the table to hear what everyone else is up to.

In the afternoon, we usually undertake the voice recording for a lecture. For Year One, 181 Voice-Over PowerPoints have been written and recorded and 144 for Year Two so far. The narrations are only recorded once the slides have been reviewed by the curriculum team and the relevant Singapore leads, and amended by the author. Once they are recorded, they are edited to improve the sound and quality.

Later in the afternoon, we often have one-to-one meetings with our line managers to discuss upcoming work or projects, before everyone ties up any loose ends for the day. There may even be time for a quick cup of tea!

I hope that this has given you an insight into the London Office. Imperial is incredibly proud to be part of LKCMedicine and we enjoy seeing the school grow from strength to strength.