Friday, 13 September 2013

Networking - What could NATA potentially offer your higher education network?

We would like to explore ways in which NATA and NATA related activities might be able to work with and support different OLT funded networks. We have reviewed our current activities and foci and distilled the following key points which we feel might be of interest and potential value to other such networks.

NATA research into network leadership

We have now finished the data collection as phase of the NATA Research into network leadership within established Australasian tertiary education associations and have begun analysing the data. This research explores three different research questions:
  1. What network leadership strategies support good practice in leading networks to foster engagement of members in established Australasian Tertiary Education Associations?
  2. What communication strategies, technologies, and approaches support good practice to foster engagement of members in established Australasian Tertiary Education Associations?
  3. What common ground exists between organisations that could provide a basis for collaboration into the future?

Whilst these questions are focused on leadership within Australasian Tertiary Education Associations, the first two questions offer potential insights into successful leadership strategies, communication strategies and the effective use of technology in networks which may be applicable to other higher education networks, regardless of their specific focus. The findings and relevant publications from the research will be highlighted on the NATA blog as they are developed.

The research will also inform the content of a HERDSA Green Guide being developed as part of the NATA project. This will be a practical guide about leading academic networks and will include such topics as:
  • The role of the network leader
  • Leading strategically
  • The political landscape
  • Communicating with your stakeholders
  • Assessing your leadership effectiveness; and
  • Finishing your term as network leader.

NATA Partner Projects

The NATA has approved and supported ascilite, ODLAA, HERDSA and ACODE to develop their own small-scale projects which support not only the needs of their own associations, but are also aligned with the NATA Key Objectives as well as offering value back to other NATA partners. The projects cover a range of topics, however, promise to deliver:
  • Design and development of communication architecture for ODLAA as a contemporary and future proofed and forward looking/gazing professional organization. The results of which will be extrapolated to include the development of an architecture that would be attractive to related professional organizations and reported in the briefing document/report.
  • A Guide that promotes best practice in the engagement of members of professional associations and networks.  The Guide will outline design principles and engagement strategies for the use of web based resources (including social media) to support and advance community engagement in professional associations and networks (ascilite).
  • Description and documentation of the process to engage networks in a contemporary issue of general concern including a simple how-to document and template for generating a briefing document.  Development of case study on Media Management (ACODE).
  • HERDSA Green Guide on leading academic networks (as discussed above).
Thus, we feel that many of these outcomes and resources developed will have applicability to other higher education networks and we will encourage you to engage with them as they come to fruition - at the end of 2013 and into early 2014.

OLT/ALTC Good Practice Report eResources

As part of the NATA we are promoting the 11 OLT/ALTC Good Practice Reports. Our dissemination strategy includes the development of short eResource videos (voice over slides) which highlight these reports and the potential value they afford the sector. We have now completed some and hope to launch them in the upcoming months. Once these resources have been published we would encourage those of you who are interested to promote them through your own communication channels, especially those of most relevance to your networks.

Lastly, if you have any questions, feedback or would like to utilise the NATA blog to disseminate your network's activities please be in touch ( or

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