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Zoe Cairns and her social media message

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014, 06:14

Three years ago I attended a day long course on social media advertising in higher education run by Zoe Cairns. She is a former PR/marketing person from Warwick Business School - I was representing the OU Business School. Those attending included LSE,  Bath, Imperial College ... LBS? And several others (blog post someone in here I should think). Zoe has just launched an self-managed e-learning version of the same. Having gone from 120 delegates or so a month she may now globally reach 1,200 a month? All this for the cost of investing in a web design and platform and approach that looks reassuringly familiar. I did a bit of something like this with Manchester Metropolitian a couple of years ago. 

Three things strike me:

1) Her plausible transition from facilitator to online brand hoping to reap the rewards of having more participants. This is the hardback book of the past. The 'how to ...' of e-learning in an inviting an saleable package.

2) The prospect, as I see it, of the subject champion, not the institution becoming the educator we seek out in a 'who's who' of learning. You feel, whether it is the case or not, that a big name of the subject is 'teaching you' - Niall Ferguson on history, Martin Weller on e-learning, Richard Dawkins on ... what is his thing? Atheasism? Biology? Zoology?

3) The value of repeating, refreshing or repeating a topic until you feel like you are starting to master it - practice for want of a word: continual professional development for the technical term. I take the view that a qualification is no more, nor better than a motorway sign - do you pull over at the first service station on passing it, or press on? And imagine this motorway on a hill: if you stop you can only roll backwards.

P.S. Over the last 24 hours this blog has received over 2,000 views. I have no way at all of knowing why, or who is reading this stuff! Do say 'hi!'

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Design Museum

How to study - if you haven't yet worked out how!

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 27 Feb 2013, 15:09

DSC01354.JPG

I bought this in 2000 when I was thinking about an OU course.

In February 2001 I signed up for the Masters in Open and Distance Learning. We used First Class, it was loaded from a disk I think. Using a Mac might have been a problem, I was rarely online to follow the independent, spasmodic asynchronous threads.

Anyway, a decade later I am heading towards the finish line.

2001 wasn't a good year for many of us ... I did the first TMAs but was made redundant a couple of months before the EMA would have been due and had by then decided that doing less for a couple of years rather than more would be a good idea.

Anyway ... despite having successfully negotiated two modules and six-eight TMAs and a couple of ECAs I find myself turning to Chapter 10 of the above.

'Writing essays and assignments'

I love the way the book is laid out. I reads like is was designed to be web friendly with short sentences and paragraphs and bullet points galore.

We may be floating around in cyberspace 12 years on from the last edition of this book (first edition 1970), but is remains relevant, not just for preparing for an ECA, but for writing at all.

I like lines like this,' After we've read, heard and talked about a topic, our minds are awash with ideas, impressions and chunks of information. But we never really get to grips with this experience until we try to write down our own version of it. Making notes is of some help, of course. But there is nothing like the writing of an essay to make us question our ideas, weigh up our impressions, sort out what information is relevant adn what is not - and, above all, come up with a reasoned viewpoint on the topic that we can feel it our own'. (Rowntree. 1999:170)

  • I will be probing
  • I will develop a critical argument
  • I will start tonight and write 500 words a night over six nights, then revist/redraft and pull it all together.
  • I will have the evidence
  • I will have the references in place
  • I will plan, weigh up and select from the work that I have done (and that has been done in my tutor group)
  • These will back up whatever themes or viewpoints or arguments I am putting forward
  • I WILL write and outline and stick to it
  • I will not become bling to better approaches that suggest themselves (which happened for one ECA and had me heading towards a 40 mark)
  • And I will 'write like I talk' (which is what I've always done)

(62435)

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