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Deep in EneMyA Territory!

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The EMA accounts for 60% of the final grade for H818 and I am right in the middle of 'it gets worse before it (hopefully!) gets better' stage.

I have three documents (parts 1, 2 and 3) open, I have six Firefox windows open and a total of 30 tabs open.

Each of my three documents is already over the word count. And none of them is close to being complete (in terms of satisfying the brief) or decent (in terms of academic language, referencing or coherence).

Experience should be telling me that I am always like this a week before a deadline and (thus far!) I have always submitted something complete, decent and which received a good mark.

Sadly - experience is telling me no such thing! Paranoia, with her irritatingly loud and strident voice, is telling me that I can't keep getting away with it! I clearly do not belong on this course at this level and this time they will notice and call me out!

So on the battle goes! I will continue to fight the word count, the library, the search function of Open Studio and my own imposter syndrome!

Send provisions please!

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Vicky Crewe, Thursday, 12 Mar 2020, 15:02)
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Sustained or Scattergun?

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If I could go back to October 2019 I would tell past-Anna this one thing about H818 - I'd say identify a couple of people who engage a lot with the course and comment on every single thing they post. Search out their blogs, twitter accounts and any other platform they frequent and comment there too! Don't stop doing this after TMA02 is done and dusted. If they stop posting stuff then hound them until they do!

My issue with part 2 of the EMA is that it requires 'sustained' engagement with two other projects. I have made dozens and dozens of comments in Open Studio and have generally been in the upper quartile of 'engagers' with H818 (I think) but I am struggling to find anyone who I would class as having been the recipient of my sustained involvement in their project as it developed.

I emailed Simon (the tutor!) in the hope that he might have an innovative and inclusive definition of 'sustained' which I could implement (see what I did!) but sadly his bar is even higher than my own. He says that even if I have only commented a couple of times on the poster development, and a couple of times on the abstract development, and a couple of times on the conference development, and a couple of other occasions then that would be fine! So - as long as I have engaged 8 times.... hmmmm.

And even the people with whom I have engaged the most - (typically 4 or 5 comments) - there is a problem. A lot of my 'engagement' is little more than 'I really like this' or 'you spelled survey wrong in paragraph 2'.

I know that we were told this nearer the start but I content we were told and not told! I am going to search out new H818 starters in April to give them the heads up I needed and didn't get! How's that for good networking practice?!

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Sarah Alcock, Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020, 20:17)
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EMA - a game of three halves!

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Now the H818 conference is done and dusted it's time to turn our attentions to the EMA. Unlike my previous MAODE modules this counts for 60% - not 50% - of the final grade of the module.

It's an unusual EMA because it's far more reflective than academic. This is not in my comfort zone even though it should, in theory, be no harder.

  • Part 1: I must evaluate my own project from a critically reflective perspective. Manageable...
  • Part 2: I must evaluate my own project in comparison to the projects of two of my course mates and demonstrate sustained engagement with the development of their artefacts and presentation. More or less impossible.....
  • Part 3: I must evaluate my own journey as a networked practitioner referring to relevant theory. Manageable...

My problem with part two is that I have commented widely - but not deeply. I have breadth rather than depth.

That said - I am not sure any of us can demonstrate 'sustained engagement' with the projects of other students. What exactly is 'sustained engagement'?

My plan at the moment is to get great marks on parts 1 and 3! Based on my module averages I can get 60% without even doing part 2!

So - what could I have done differently or, maybe more pertinently, what could have been done differently?

I could have been more engaged. But - I was pretty engaged. I probably wasn't the top engager but I think I was in the top quartile. I could have been more strategic and decided early on which projects would be my 'top two' and consciously engaged with those students about those projects. This would, however, have been to the detriment of my networking with the other students and possibly to their projects.

Or - the university could have grouped us into smaller groups of 5 or so students. The module Open Studio page quickly became very crowded and hard to navigate. Had we been in smaller groups we would have been able to keep track of a smaller number of projects and been able to see them progress and make meaningful suggestions and comments. This was achieved to some extent by the fact that a smaller group of us have an active WhatsApp group. I felt more inclined to see how Anna, or Bindi, or Allyson, or Robert's projects were progressing because we had a relationship through this group. (There are other members too!), Had this smaller group been slight facilitated by the OU (maybe based on project type?) then maybe this could have been more easily achieved within the VLE as well as outside of it.

Anyway - I am sure you all recognise procrastination when you see it....




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A final note on H817

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I completed my EMA about social learning analytics with full weeks to spare. (2 of them to be precise!). It came together gratifyingly nicely and I enjoyed it. Of course it's possible that my tutor will disagree and give me a dreadful mark (not due until December!).

But I had mere weeks off from studies and have now begun H818 - The Networked Practitioner. I want to get MAODE done and dusted by the end of 2020 so can't afford to rest on my laurels!

Watch this space for my H818 adventures!

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Multiple Choice

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The multiple choice question is nothing new. It's always been an easy way to test knowledge as questions are necessarily straightforward and unambiguous. Learners have traditionally enjoyed them as they're perceived to be easy as sometimes the process of elimination, or sheer guess work, can get you a mark when your knowledge was shaky. 

In the age of the computer a multiple choice question becomes even more attractive - the questions can be presented on a screen and answered with a click. The computer can present questions in response to previous answers given and the computer can both mark each paper but also analyse the answers of a whole cohort to identify weak areas of knowledge (or even weak questions). Important exams now take place using this method. 

The ease of the MCQ exam though should not be the only consideration. Imagine this question:

"Describe the process of making an omelet"

If a learner had to use a few lines to answer in their own words they may well learn more effectively than if the question was as follows:

"Which of the following describes the process of making an omelet"

A. Break eggs, add milk, heat butter in a pan and then add the eggs. Stir for a few minutes until cooked. 

B. Break eggs and whisk. Melt butter in the microwave then add eggs and microwave for 2 minutes"

C. Separate eggs into yolk and white. Whisk whites until stiff then fold in yolks gently. Bake in a low oven for an hour"

D. Break and whisk eggs with milk. Heat butter in a frying pan. Add eggs, allow to cook before flipping. 

E. Break eggs carefully into a pan of boiling water. Leave to simmer for one minute then leave in hot water for 5 more."

Even someone who didn't know what an omelet was, but did know what scrambled eggs, poached eggs and meringue was, could guess the correct answer. 

In my EMA I want t investigate ways in which the benefits of the multiple choice question can be utilized whilst not sacrificing deep and broad learning. 

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Simon Reed, Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018, 21:25)
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Collaboration

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Edited by Anna Greathead, Thursday, 7 Jun 2018, 23:15

We are gearing up for TMA03 which is basically the plan for our EMA which is the big one. 

The final question we are the address in this short assessment is:

What is your current response (possibly very tentative at this stage) to the question: ‘To what extent do you find the concepts of “individual” and “collaborative” learning useful in understanding your experience of learning this year – whether on H800 or elsewhere?’

I knew that H800 (and MAODE more generally) would be a mostly solo exercise and I was happy with that. I am a full on extrovert but I have lots of outlets for this personality trait so I figured that a few hours alone at a laptop wouldn't hurt me at all!

In some ways I was right - I am finding that working at my own pace is very pleasing and that being able to investigate interesting tangents is satisfying (albeit time consuming!). What I hadn't banked on was the constant niggling question of 'Am I doing it right?' This need for affirmation can easily be satisfied by being in a peer group. 

The exchange of ideas and insights is valuable and collaboration in research vital. And I have missed that. I love the forums but they're not quite the same (especially as we are quite directed in our activity there).

I have found Adobe Connect frustrating generally. It's not quite similar enough to being around a coffee table; but tonight eight people from our tutor group met for over an hour to discuss TMA03, EMA and the course in general. It was so much fun and SO helpful. 

We also have a WhatsApp group and a Facebook group. People have started to follow each other on Twitter. I feel we are building really useful and productive relationships. I know I can learn a lot from these people and hopefully can offer them something as well. 
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