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Word Count for a TMA

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It is taken me nearly four hours to reduce 1780 words to 1070 words for one part of a 2000 word TMA.

  • It is worth reflecting on this exercise.
  • This is where lasting learning occurs.
  • The intellectual demands and effort means that some of this will stick.
  • I had to prioritise ruthlessly.
  • And then edit like I was writing a Tweet.
  • And as my confidence grew in what I had to say my tone became more precise and decissive.

Now the problem is the other half of the 2000 word TMA.

It now looks, by comparison, somewhat moth-eaten. If I edit with the same approach the word count will come down to 700 or less - so understandably a different kind of effort will be required to identify what I have missed out.

Onwards.

I need it out of the way so that I can get on with my very last EMA.

Which makes this my last TMA.

All the more reason to make it a good one then.

Never understimate how much time should be devoted to 'getting it right' even when you think you've got there with an earlier draft.

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What a noggin ...

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 9 Oct 2012, 11:56

Bronze%2520SNIP.JPG

Fig. 1. Benzi, after Gianlorenzo Bernini. 'Damned Soul', 1705-07

It has taken me 33 months, my fifth module and x assignments ... 12-16 ? and for the first time three things have happened:

  • The first draft is written with two days to go.
  • The word count is only 100 or so over the limit.
  • I stuck to the treatment.
  • Its a tad journalistic at this stage, but I enjoyed it.

On top of the MA the OU has given me the tools and confidence, and in this case, the knowledge, to write.

Thanks OU!

Off to London for the day.

RA this afternoon for the 'Bronzes' Exhibition, then a presentation in the evening - me talking, 'Use of video in e-learning' at an IVCA meeting.


Permalink 5 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 9 Oct 2012, 21:06)
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This is the tea party of blog platforms, the Wild West is long gone.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 May 2014, 08:38

Going for 250,000 views before graduation. At 1000 views a week and my final module coming up why not. But why? It is'nt a qualitative thing. And I'm never about to post completed assignments. I am, as we alll become online, very aware of the context. This is no different to what we do anywhere, we behave accordingly. 12 years ago online was the Wild West.

 

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Joyce Rae, Saturday, 30 Jun 2012, 18:10)
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This is the e-century, the 21st century things are different, very different indeed.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 8 Jul 2012, 08:06

This is the e-century, the 21st century things are different, very different indeed.It has taken me a decade to get round to thinking this.

In 1999 one of my very first blogs was also the basis of a workshop I gave to ABB Communications Managers on 'How to write for the web.'

My title was, 'There's nothing's New about New Media.'

In one respect I was right, writing comes in many forms and writing online needs to tailor itself less to the online experience than to the space, time, audience, purpose, just as you would write each of the following in a different way:

• Letter to your mum.

• Christmas Shopping list.

• Footnote to a speech a colleague is giving.

• To camera presenter.

• Voice over presenter.

• Technical 'how to'.

• Writer's journal.

• Stream of consciousness on the state of your relationship.

• Dream analysis.

• Geography essay.

• Aggitated response to the local planning department who are knocking down the houses opposite to widen the road into a dual-carriageway.

• Threaded discussion on a popstars dress-sense.

• Notes to a lawyer regarding your step-mother's cliam on your late father's estate.

  • Notes from a report you've read.
  • The first draft of an essay your are writing.
  • The transcript of a council meeting.
  • A short story.
  • An obituary.
  • A commercial selling yoghurt drinks
  • A campaign message from a politician

Keep adding.

Parameters help.

is a writer's trick. Twitter shouldn't be the only place to deny the freedom to pontificate in this way without any intention of editing.

Though I've slipped up occasionally my rule in OU Land has been 250 words for a threaded discussion, 500 words in the blog and anything more either break the blog up into seperate entries, offer it as an attachment or link away to a different site.

1000 words min per entry was a rule some of use early bloggers agreed to in 2002 to cut out those who would put in a line, twenty times a day, to get their page numbers up.

My longest single entry ran to over 10,000 words, written as I travelled 800 miles by train and ferry across Southern England, the English Channel and France sad

Guaranteed to stop any reader on the second paragraph.

Though it works broken into 30 pages with illustrations.

So in this respect it worked, all I posted was an early draft. Had I been a co-author I would not have needed to do anything else. And my notes would have been better off in a wiki.

Put everything that has been written, and everything that is going to be written, or expressed in the spoken or written word and put it in the e-blender. This is the web for the first decade. Now add photos and music. This is the last decade. Now add everything else, all moving images, video, every film, every corporate training film, anything and everything anyone ever records, or films, or has transferred or will transfer from film, or tape to a digital format.

Put it in this blender and leave the lid off. If you've ever blended the partially cooked ingredients for leek and potatoe soup you know what is going to happen.

Now look around your kitchen.

This is the web for the insider's point of view. There'll be some tastey bits - stuck to the ceiling, if you can reach them.

Now do the same with a vast blender in the middle of the Albert Hall.

Splat

Or should I be kinder, and imagine the 21st web to be like visiting the Planetarium armed with my own laser so that I can interact.

The mind boggles; mine does, relentlessly.

 

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TMA03, Reflective Writing and e-learning (or not).

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 16 Mar 2014, 06:14

I understood from the heading for TMA03 in H807 that 'it is permissible to use an extract from a very long message.' I therefore deleted the 900+ additional words that on two occasions occurred in a forum message.

At one stage I had in an earlier draft all messages including the Tutor's introduction, my full response and even a previous pertinent message from another contributor. This for 'context' and making marking easier might have been better than all the html links that I added PER MESSAGE. I checked these anchors/links and there was a graphic in the Blog message too - clearly something in the uploading/submission process fangled these up.
 
The links/titling were absolutely as clear as anyone could wish them to be. A message per page.

My understanding of what makes 'reflective' writing is perfectly valid. It is open ended, not prescriptive - it is after all my mind that is coming up with these ideas, which is the entire point of it, to develop my personal understanding. I am trying to enhance my way of thinking, not adopt someonelse's.

In relation to my continued dislike of the term 'e-learning,' it isn't difficult to refer to plenty of current articles, including JISC that agree that the term is not universally agreed or accepted. Salmon referring to 'e-lapsed' time for an 'E-tivity' is palpably ridiculous. Academic os this ludicrous desire to 'coin a word or phrase and a cliched attitude regarding e-learning that anything with 'e' attached gains the 'e-' branded values. Balderdash.
 
'The first decade of the 21st century is already on the wane and we stand at an interesting point as regards the use of technology to support and enhance learning and teaching. The fact that we still refer to much of this enhancement as e.learning (and still disagree about what the term actually means) signals that the relationship between technology and learning is not as yet an entirely comfortable one.' JISC 2007 (Introduction)

The lesson I have learnt is that it is vital to meet face-to-face, even to speak to someone through. Elluminate or on the phone where all kinds of important cues and nuances to understanding come into play: tone of voice, pauses, choice of words ... and then facial expressions and body language when face-to-face. As occurred at an ASA workshop the other week, I simply couldn't get my head around what the tutor was trying to say about Some aspect of Nutrition,I eventually left it, but a fellow student could see by my expression that I was just fed up of asking the same question and getting a numpty response that made no sense - this student made a far better job of explaining to me the point the tutor could not.
 
Two decades of sailing and I could tie and adequate Bolen knot with a struggle having been shown how to do it a hundred times - only when an instructor used the term 'it's a gripping knot' did I understand WHY the knot worked and WHY it was important. My father didn't permit the word 'why?' His favourite line was 'don't ask why, ask how high.' Whatever that means!?
 
I must know why.
 
My quest is to discover why. Why is my nemis. Get me asking questions and I become driven to find answers, my asnwers.

If I keep asking 'why?' regarding the ECA, it will be because I haven't had this 'Bolen knot' moment - I genuinely thought with TMA03, as occurred on about the 7th draft of TMA02, that this moment had occurred.
Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Sara P, Thursday, 10 Jun 2010, 21:06)
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H807 TMA01 The Word Count

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 28 Jan 2012, 14:44

TMA01 in its current draft/s is stubbornly refusing to accommodate all the requirements and get close to the required word count.

They say 1300 words, I'm forever at 1800 or more sad

Some edits then get close but appear so spartan I feel I'm looking into an empty basin.

My process might get the word count down to five - a title.Or just a single word.

e.yes.

I feel like Jack Nicholson's character from the Stanley Kubrick film of Stephen King's novel 'Shining.'

I feel stuck in a loop and beg for what my school and undergraduate years prepared me for - an exam. And in this case one essay of six to be written in the space of three hours. From six to eight point plan. Wherein I see my solution - I do just this.

Or not.

On verra.

How are you guys doing?

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