OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

Applying for Research and Development Funding in relation to the use of digital tools in Further Education

Visible to anyone in the world

Steps required to prepare a research question

This from FutureLearn @OpenLearn 

Between giving presentations to staff and tutors on the opportunities presented by the educational video platform Planet E-Stream I am also applying for funding to develop the relationship between students and teachers (tutors). This is made easier because of a pool of projects that are bubbling up across the various different faculties and workshops where I act as a 'Learning Technologist'.

This is no academic post that might be reflected by my having an MA in Open & Distance Education, rather it is somewhere between being a Librarian, IT Person and Learning Support. I am confident that this is a role that will either be absorbed by teachers during teacher training or through practice, or it will blossom, depending on the institution into something more akin to a consultant or adviser. I am having to draw on raw technical skills to use new and popular platforms, but also to integrate digital into a course as an Instructional Designer would do.

The timing of putting in our application comes right at the moment when I complete two FutureLearn MOOCs from Open Learn at the Open University: The Online Educator and Blended Learning Essentials. 

With my inability to let go of academic study, research and writing up papers seems a sensible way forward. This may be combined with completing an MEd with the OU if they can be convinced to allow me 60 credits from the two additional modules I took having completed the MA ODE in 2013. This would still require me to take a further 120 units, to two hefty and possibly one substantial and two shorter modules. I feel I am now where I needed to be in 2010 - working in the front line in education, an intermediary between students, teaching and other staff, moving through multiple departments across a number of sites - I even have a toe in mark.

Preferring a busy life, apparently, over the next four weeks I will be assessed to qualify with the Institute of Swimming as a Swimming Coach. I have been teaching for 16 years and coaching for 10, so this is a case of providing evidence of my knowledge rather than having to take part in formal class or poolside learning. Being who I am, I have of course kept a learning journal, or career journal as a swimming teacher and coach which is called simply 'Swim Coach Blog'. 

 

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

I am the Ghost in the Machine

Visible to anyone in the world

Working with a Richoh Thetga SC 360 camera I am finding that I keep ending up in the picture. Inadvertently I may have set the self-timer. I take the picture then re-emerge from my hiding place and end up in the picture. Nor have I got the electronic settings right. AUTO clearly has too low a shutter speed in order to allow the maximum light into the 'frame'.

On the one hand I am enjoying the novelty and the experimentation. On the other hand I am constantly questioning their use and value in education. A 360 image is just one of many kinds of image, and framing that could be used. The question should not be 'how do we use this technology' and shoe-horn it into a piece of learning, but rather what is the desired learning outcome and what tools would be best suited to achieve this.

Colleges are only just beginning to have the resources to have a Learning Technologist on board, however we also need Learning Design.

My aim will be to import both Learning Design and Communications skills to the tasks at hand. As a 'communicator" i will start to introduce the 'Creative Brief' in order to help establish the context in which a piece of work will be delivered. I will also start to think about the learning design, Of course all of this should be done with the 'subject matter expert' - the tutor. 

On a scale of tutor involvement we can go from a classroom or tutorial where the students are expected to hang on the educator's every word. At the other end of the scale the tutor, and subject team, involvement is hidden in the design and content as a piece of self-directed learning. In between we have blended learning where a class are monitored and guided by a human presence - ostensibly they have work to get on with, but someone is there to get them started, to direct them and keep them focused.

So much to do! So much to learn! So much to achieve!

Any of the coures content I am working on could of course be used with many thousands of students, and be repeated each year (so long as the syllabus remains the same). With scale there ought to be a better budget too.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Learning with the OU compared to other MA courses

Visible to anyone in the world

Had I known and experienced what I have now learnt and put up with as an MA postgraduate student first with one university, and then two years later having transferred, with another, then I would never, ever have considered alternatives to the OU.

The online support, even, or especially where it has been heralded as 'blended learning' has been atrocious, laughable and quite frankly scandalous both for the platform itself and the ignorance the academics who were meant to support it - they were clueless, blundered along, contributed nothing, got in the way and simply refused to learn what is best practise in a student forum.

Added to which, my subject, with slightly different titles depending on the institution, though the First World War, should have been, I now see, studied in the much broader context in which the OU treats the subject.

I don't expect to be studying an MA in History with the OU in a year's time - to add to what would be my fourth MA. The time is long overdue either to find the strength and sense of purpose to undertake a PhD - or to fret about other things in life.

Politics.

Never much bothered me before, but the last year has allowed me to understand exactly where I stand - bang in the middle.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Why some e-learning is evil

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 16 Jun 2014, 11:31

 Fig.1 Student marginal notes in a second hand book

A couple of weeks ago it started to dawn on me that in some respects e-learning is evil; I lost the thought a couple of times a) because I was driving my daughter to her last A' Level exam at the time and b) starting to compose the ideas my wife felt the need to share with me some pressing thought and I did her the courtesy of holding everything to listen - not just to look as if I was listening (a man things?), but actually take it in to offer a response (another man thing?) The thought was lost.

Rummaging through boxes of text books in the hope that I will find a plug for an imminent trip to Paris by wife and daughter (a post exams and 18th birthday treat), I stumbled upon a book on 'The Causes of War' by Michael Howard and the thought returned:

E-learning is evil because it negates a student 'learning how to learn'.

This matters as most graduates don't apply WHAT they learn at university, but rather the process of learning itself; that application, thought, time, discovery for yourself, seeking out your own meaning, interpretation, sharing, nervous first attempts at constructing an opinion or stance, building on this through mistakes, correction and further reading, attending lectures, seminars, and tutorials. It is NOT a case of consuming within tight confines content that has been specifically constructed for you to follow, to the letter, without little expectation, or desire for you to wander off on any tangents of your own. This has been my too frequent experience of modules in the Master of Arts: Open and Distance Education as with few exceptions the module is written and presented to you like a huge stack of packed lunches for you to eat your way through, without deviation, pretty much day by day for a period of weeks and months.

This is a convenience that suits the nature of distance learning - to hook you into a diet of these set-meals that can collectively building into a degree. The tough reality and self-evident experience of learning is that few students are ready to be assessed until a year, if not two years into their subject. Otherwise the pattern of grades is surely likely to be a gradual step by step, incremental improvement from the 40s, to 50s, to 60s ... and hopefully 70s and even 80s. 

I would far prefer to master my subject first and then be assessed and in so doing get 70s and 80s across the board, once the cumulative effect of sustained learning over many months has had the opportunity to mature. 

There is probably therefore a lesson to be learnt here for the reasons why Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) fail - they fail because they promise a trick that in learning never works - there is no short cut, the brain doesn't allow it, thoughts and ideas take time to mature. Which brings me to the fallacy of so much e-learning that tries to suggest that a revolution in learning is occurring, that there is a quick fix through gamification, having Google and Wikipedia at your fingertips and worst of all by reading condensed books, or courses that hand you all the answers on a plate in a ready-meal, or drive-in take-away manner that may satisfy at the time, but fails to deliver in the long term. 

Six of sixteen MA students doing a Master's degree with the Open University have recently completed degrees with the Open University; we often compare thoughts. We're universally derogatory of both approaches! Learning is a pain in whatever form it comes, but the answer would be a developed blend of both worlds and approaches.

Books, the printed form, certainly have a place. It is a pain to read a book, to identify salient points with notes into a book, or with PostIt notes, and to filter these into a format where they can be preserved and then later applied in an essay or presentation. It is this pain, and the time and effort it takes to condense books, to gather your own thoughts on the ideas of others, and then to construct your individual take, with support from your faculty (tutor, chair, fellow students) that builds your confidence so that you write what you think, not what the you are required to express, in a format that can be marked by an autonomon. 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

B is for Blogging

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 12 May 2014, 07:12
  • Blogging

  • Helen Beetham

  • BBC (BBC education, BBC Bitesize, BBC iPlayer)

  • 'Birds of a Feather' (not the TV sitcom, but the research concept of like-minds connected online)

  • Blended Learning

I pick out blogging as the most important 'B' in an A to Z of e-learning as I've come to feel that the act of blogging, as a shared learning journal, meets many learning criteria: constructing meaning and connectedness. You share what you do, even if comments are few. This ties into 'bird of a feather' - the title of a paper that shows how people with common interests or beliefs will associate with each other, share and support. Personally this was particularly apparent in the early days of blogging, say 1999-2003 when the numbers online was manageable and less gamified. It'll take me a while to edit, collate and write on blogging from the 400+ posts I have made on blogging over the last decade. I've made a start.

The BBC is a magnificent resource: inspirational programmes and for schools the magic of bitesize for revision.

While Helen Beetham is an academic and author you ought to be reading often.

B is also for:

  • Back Channels
  • Martin Bean
  • Behaviourism
  • John Seely Brown
  • Doug Belshaw
  • Boud
  • Boyer
  • Bruner
  • Tony Benn
  • Boyer
  • The Brain
  • Books

REFERENCE

Birds of a Feather: How personality influences blog writing and reading. (2010) Jami Li and Mark Chignell. Science Direct. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 68 (2010) 589-602.

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

Rethinking education in MOOCs

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:15

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/rethinking-online-community-moocs-used-blended-learning

This is fascinating and important. It was brought to my attention by a fellow student on H818:The Networked Practitioner. The differences between how a person spends their time when learning is spent whether online, say on a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), 'tradionally' and in blended forms. 

Having ways to present data in an informative and engaging way is vital. Here at a glance you can see how behaviours differ. I'm eager to read further papers on this to see how the research was undertaken and how therefore I might apply it as 'how we learn now' is of particular interest to me. The Educause article this came from offers ample further reading.

I thought these were DNA patterns. I'd like to see these charts as animations annotating and illustrating examples so that we can see and are therefore be reminded of the context. Simply put blended learning increases the time a student spends on a subject - that's as good as it needs to be from my point of view as with more and varied ways of engagement comes a developong interest, improved motivation and lasting learning formation. I rather think we blend learning anyway - once it comes off the screen 'it' interacts with the contents if your brain and is invariably shared in some form or another too.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H809: Behaviourism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, Connectivism, Humanism and design based learning

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 20 Oct 2014, 11:23

Fig.1. The Contents of my brain

If I include 'Humanism' are congnitivism and constructivism subsets?

If I add 'Design Based Learning' as a learning theory is it a subset of 'constructivism'?


Fig. 2. Grabbed from Edudemic - A Simple Guide to Four Complex Learning Theories

Fig.1. draws on Fig.2 from the Edudemic website. It is school situated, so primary and secondary rather than tertiary and beyond into the workplace. Isn't 'connectivism' a process rather than a theory that links everything between the behaviourist, cognitivist and constructivist sets? On balance can we not help be get a 'blend' wherever we learn given that we are social beasts with brains.

 

Can something be simplified too far?

 

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

Should we call it e-learning anymore?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 7 Oct 2012, 06:18

IMG_1089.jpg

It is learning whether you prefix with an 'e', 'm' or 'b' as in - electronic, mobile or blended.

Increasingly the opportunities, particularly with learning on a hand-held computer - 20th century terms for the 21st century smart phone or table - are for 'a' or 's' learning - standing for applied or 'action learning' that is 'situated'.

For example, I use a combination of an iPad or Kindle when coaching swimmers - not just for registers, but to show images from a swim drills book.

I am waiting for the wrist or lapel badge computer - an iPad the size of a Nano or ring. Will these come to be known as 'w' learning or 'r' learning or has 'e-learning' become generic? The Google display will be one to watch.😳

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 6 Oct 2012, 15:42)
Share post
Design Museum

Wembley Arena, Gamesmaker Training!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 19 Feb 2012, 08:55

The most massive blended learning experience ever.

IMG_1137.JPG

A gamesmaker pack, the website and however many thousands (6,000) are in Wembley Arena this afternoon for the next three hours. Training as a rock concert? Sounds cheesy but as I got on the train this morning I thought to myself 'doing my bit for the Nation'. Not just e-learning, but mega-learning, enormous and extraordinary learning.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Hospitalised

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 6 Sep 2011, 03:58

Being offline for seven hours was the least of the unpleasantness.

Being put straight into one of those back-to-front gowns wasn't encouraging, though it has its compensations, I was seen with two minutes of arriving. The experience of the A & E was fine, it was the need to endure in considerable pain for six hours until the matter could be resolved.

I had the iPad but had no desire to do anything (not permitted in any case).

Behind the curtain I listen in as a distraction, it was the first day for at least two members of staff. (I could name them and run through the symptoms of several of the morning's intake too).

As another distraction I thought about efforts to introduce hand held devices to hospitals in 2000, various case studies from PDAs in 2005 (total failure) as well as Yrjo Engestrom's 'activity systems' studies of hospitals in Helsinki.

Engestroms%252520Triangle%252520Fig%2525202%252520%252520GRAB.JPG

I was politely asked by the Consultant if I could be discussed with his student doctor once she had seen me and come to a diagnosis, so they talked about me, not as if a I wasn't there but the way we parents can talk about our children even when they're sitting in the back of the car. I was humoured politely when I said what fascinated me was the expert/learner relationship and the nature of the conversation (I heard both what they discussed within earshot AND what was said around the hub - everyone was eager to learn and share today).

I desired taking a picture of the poster that shows how to identify staff; I got the all, from the staff assistant, through nurse, matron, doctor and consultant.

In due course I'll reflect on where I came within the activity system, surely as I was mostly the 'subject' or a mediating artefact? NHS Direct website, then a phone call first to them and my GP confirmed my self-diagnosis. Plenty of checks in case of other possibilities were confirmed at hospital. Between being seen by the staff matron and a doctor there was a three hour delay that almost reduced me to tears. Once diagnosed there was another hour.

The procedure itself took half an hour, the hideousness of it endured by concentrating on something else - I relived a gap year of 30 years ago during which I came to know every piste and off-piste ski run at Val d'Isere / Tignes.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H800: 47 H800 Week 8/9 Activity 7 Cloudworks 'Swim lanes' for learning design,

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014, 14:23

It is one thing to contribute to a flash debate, it is quite another to embrace the Cloudworks platform.

There is only one way to test the water, and that is to get in. We talk of 'swim lanes' for learning design, I like every platform, every social network, business network or here, educational network, to be a visit to another pool, a lido, indoor or out, leisure pool or training pool.

They need to know who you are, you have to sign in. Then you have to change, get in, and give it a go.

So I am for the umpteenth time adding a profile picture and a profile, tagging, finding favourites debates and linking to people.

It all takes time.

Online you control time. Intensive engagement might move things along ... on the other hand, it may irritate those who've been here a while.

It should take time.

Find the rhymn of the place, observe when and where there is a buzz. Identifiy the 'champions,' come in on the periphery, pick up a thread, join in tentatively, give it a go here and there.

I make a contribution to a Flash Debate on the futre and threats to universities

Universities will flourish as they become part of the mainstream and engaged with the world, rather than distinct from it. Relationships with governments, industries, schools (for future students) and alumni (for past student) will develop and become continual, rather than passing. Student cohorts may look the same on the ground, but in the virtual world will be broader and deeper, technology and systems allowing a greater diversity. Not all institutions will have the ability, whether through lack of financing, the burden of their past and costs, to be flexible and change. The overall impact will be of an evolutionary change, though for some it will be a fight for survival.

BRANDING

Established, motivated, well-supported and well known colleges and institutions, where there is strength as a brand, as well as financially, in their governing body and from alumni will thrive. They can afford to exploit the changing circumstances (and they can’t afford not to). Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Bristol, UCL and the OU are not about to go under. On the other hand, new, complacent, poorly supported, little known educational institutions where the sources of income and grants may be narrow or uncertain, with weak leadership and ill-established (or disloyal) alumni will fail.

BUSINESS

The opportunities to flourish are extraordinary; the global demand for tertiary education with tens of millions of people from Asia, for example, seeking higher education over the next decade means that there is a growing and hungry market if you have the right ‘product.’ Education is a business, whether the model is that students are educated for free or pay part of the fees, cash flow matters. Retailing has been in constant flux, from the high street to out of town shopping, with national and international brands dominating, and then online shopping cornering certain markets, from books to electronic goods. Retailers have had to change the mix, where they locate and what they sell. Universities are less agile and less prone to the vicissitudes of short-term purchasing decisions, but the impact on them of new technologies is no less profound. Negotiating their way through this will require skill, the most vulnerable institutions will fail.

QUALIFICATIONS

Letters after your name differentiate you from other candidates for a job or promotion. Where there are many applicants for the same position where you studied, indeed, who you studied with, will matter. It helps to study under the best in your field. It depends entirely on where you wish or plan to go afterwards, where and if a position or job requires a certain qualification, and if a qualification from one or another institution has greater perceived or actual value. However, as those with experience of the job market will tell you, it is how what you have been taught is applied and how you relate to other people, that will determine your success.

CAMPUS BASED vs DISTANCE LEARNING

Technology is blending the two: increasingly students are opting for this, to be campus-based, but to take advantage of the technology to better manage their time or support their learning. Far from being the death-knell of the traditional university, new technologies will assist in their finding ways to develop and support a broader and deeper student body. Participation and collaboration, socialising away from the screen, is a vital component of the university experience for those coming out of secondary education – the demands and expectations of a mature student are very different. How people get on, how they work together, is a vital lesson that a campus based university offers. Whilst increasingly our online experiences are as ‘real’ as everything else we do, it is how and if we can work as a team that will decide how we progress. The student experiencing this will better know themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, and suitability for different career paths.

CHANGE

Like retailers, manufacturers, broadcasters, publishers and the post office, we are in a period of significant change, new technology was already having an impact, the economic down turn has aggravated this, obliging some forcing other institutions to act. How this change is managed will decide who survives and who struggles on. There is a fine line to tread between innovating early, or too late, changing wholesale or piecemeal. The wise institution not only spreads its risk, but also casts its opportunism just as wide as spreading your bets covers you in a world where nobody knows what will work or not. Libraries, one of the draws to a campus-based university, cannot be as influential as hundreds of millions of texts become instantly available in digital form. Senior lecturers and researchers should be employed for their ability to communicate, support and rally students around them, not simply because of the paper they are working on. Students will demand more if they feel it is the cash in their pocket that is buying what the institutions offers. Errors, failings and shortcomings of a person, a module or course, can be spread through online reviews and will decide their fate. New blends of courses will invent themselves where a student feels able, supported through e-learning, to cherry pick, even to study simultaneously quite different subjects. Cohorts, if on the ground still that 17-23 year old age group, will become far more diverse, with groupings formed by mutual interest in a subject. Life-long learning, already apparent in some professions, will become more common place as people recognise the need to refresh their understanding of some topics, while gaining new skills and additional insights.

Am I responding to a thread, or like the second or third speaker at an Oxford Union Debating Society getting up to say my piece?

And if I sit on the fence, what kind of debate is that?

We should be obliged to take sides, THAT would be a debate, otherwise it is a conversation, another online tutorial.

Thus far Cloudworks is like a new swimming pool, refreshing and full of opportunity. To thrive, let alone survive, it needs people coming down to swim, to jump in, to train, to meet ...

And once you have your regulars, keep them coming back.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

SCA 2.0 The best of both worlds - located and 'E'

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 14:29

These are the guys to watch

SCA%202.0%20GRAB.JPG

The model for learning is compulsive. It has everything that is great about e-learning and the use of technology, indeed, it is part of this genre and world ... but it is also a school, or college, in the old sense, with a physical presence where people meet to share ideas, grow and participate collaboratively in their development.

Where does studying and work end?

It doesn't. There are no boundaries, nor should there be.

Were that the 115 year old Vygotsky (1926) was here to experiene it ...

'The future world where 'classes' and 'learning' takes place at home and in the workplace as PART of the world, rather than distinct from it'.

'Ultimately, only life educates, and the deeper that life, the real world, burrows into the school, the more dynamic and the more robust will be the educational process. Education is just as meaningless outside the real world as is a fire without oxygen, or as is breathing in a vacuum'.

'Only he who exerts a creative role in real life can aspire to a creative role in pedagogics. It is just for this reason that, in the future, the educator will also be an active participant in society'.

'In the school of the future, these window will be opened as wide as can be, and the teacher will not only lok out, but also actively participate in the ‘duties of life.’


REFERENCE

Vygostsky L.S. (1926) Educational Psychology. (Translated 1997) CRC Press.

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H800: 20 Wk2 Activity 9 Blended Learning in Brazil

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 1 Jul 2012, 18:01

We are asked to consider the life of a Brazilian Mum, working in a Law office, doing an undergraduate course

Belo%20Hirozante%20GRAB.JPG

She opts for blended learning and needs to juggle family life (husband, two children) with her job and studies. Through a combination of face-to-face elements and TV or going online she is able to meet a tight weekly schedule, within a time course time table.

We are asked to reflect on this fictional student and her circumstances, how the institution puts in place enough to make her stdying possible, and to meet various benchmarks so that she is taught and assessed at the correct level.

H800%20Wk2%20Bello%20Horizontante%20GRAB.JPG

A quick Google search and we should think of this is a city like Barcelona or Birmingham; these are modern solutions to a common dilemma, how to have two people in full-time employment, with family commitments, while trying to gain further qualifications in order to improve their career prospects.

I believe the institution has put everything in place in terms of the schedule, the support, the infrastructure, technology and resources. To succeed the candidate will need not only to juggle many balls, but at times to face off brickwalls and barries. Life happens as a parents ... husband made redundant, children sick, elderly relatives ... it is far easier to get this part of your education dealt with while there is less going on! Does she have the motivation and will she get the support from siblings, husband, her work ... even her friends? Is their a mirror network of support and new friends where she is studying.

What is meant by conventional?

When has there been a period of stability in education? And compared to the context where? We fairly recently mixed up universities and polytechnics, only in this generation have we been pushing for 50%^+ attendance in Tertiary education. Only recently has the school leaving age been increased.

My parent’s generation (they happened to be at Durham University) lived at home … one generation on, and we’re back to this pattern with university being a natural step on from Secondary School rather than a leap across the country onto a campus. This has always been fluid, as they should to reflect changing demands in the economy and changing possibilities.

Each generation makes the most of what is possible and available

It strikes me that this is suitably resourceful way to gain qualifications and experience while juggling everything else, in the case, a woman has to do an implication being here that perhaps a man would have excused himself from any household chores were he to consider taking a degree, while a woman has to do it all. I speak from the basis of a househusband doing part-time and freelance work, alongside family responsibilities (kids now at secondary school, having seen them through nursery and primary school).

I don’t consider what she is doing to be unusual at all, indeed I think it is the norm.

I have certainly seen plenty in my generation retrain as their previous careers/jobs have alternated out of recognition or disappeared … or become so ‘cheap’ that they aren’t sustainable.

The best learning is driven by the motivation of the individual to learn; they will push against any brick wall, or through any barrier to achieve this end. The state, as here, cannot spoon feed or dictate, just offer as best as is reasonable, a flexible system that can be accommodated. It is not surprising how much can be done if people give p 3 hours + television viewing every day, for example.

In relation to ‘face to face, the very best learning, if we take it back hundreds of years, is one to one, governess and tutor.

A compromise might be an equally privilege Oxbridge kind of tutorial system, in a college with a small cohort of students meeting weekly in groups of one, two or three.

The experience of 50+ students in a lecture hall several times a week can never have suited the majority

Indeed, on a developmental point of view it favoured the ‘freaks’ those with exceptional or rather narrow skills at being able to take something from these experiences … and then to memorise it all for an exam.

Because of the fluidity/flexibility of this non ‘traditional’ approach the institution must feel, necessarily, that one way or another the candidate is meeting all the criteria to meet the learning outcomes, that a combination of attendance, contributions, assessments and so on will bring them up to a standard that is common to any student at this level.

Whilst the institution can be prescriptive, the candidate has to make the time, make the space, organise their lives all the better in order to accommodate their work

Depending on their circumstances they become dependent on the contribution being made by a partner, but will always be faced with other hurdles, such as being made redundant in the middle of it all, or a child being sick (or a relative), or the partner being made redundant. All manner of problems can arise that might not be the lot of the typical, full time, undergraduate student who is fed and sheltered, may even have a grant, and just has to get out of bed on time for lectures!

A support network of tutors, assistants and technical staff

Support infrastructure to provide resources and to facilitate meetings, discussions and interaction. i.e. the institution needs to be a host, to be supportive.

The division of course work into discrete time periods based on modules, units within these and dates for assignments. I.e. highly structured to ensure, despite what else is going on in this person’s life, there are clear markers/deadlines/guide lines regarding what is required/expected of them.

Whilst it is the student who has to juggle, in some respects the institution is the ring master.

The student requires the institution to be a presence, both real and virtual, to provide the venues and platforms … even the skills to juggle and the items to juggle!

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 5334599