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Blogging here for four years

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 6 Feb 2014, 08:26

A year ago OU Computer Services undid my hard work and the tagging of some 2000 posts here was lost - all attempts to get an explanation, or apology or a fix have failed. This is what I find the OU can do - silence when it suits them. No one will answer because to apologise would be to admit fault. Having invested so much time in what is a record, learning journal and eportfolio it is galling. At least I was well down the line of cutting and pasting it all into an external blog, but this still does not change the fact that I was using the blog to aggregate themes and ideas which they destroyed. A blog that we are encouraged to use and we have access to for three further years beyond graduation. I am a student first, but also a customer who had no forked out £x,000 to be here. If I press hard enough I will get some legalease that will point out that the OU can do as they please.

So much for the power of the digital - I should have hand written it all into notebooks.

Four years ago I decided to complete a learning journey I started in 2001 - redundancy and the loss of a parent tripped me up that time. Over the last four years I have lost a second parent, a mother in law and changed jobs twice, though I am yet to fulfil the promise that I thought eLearning offered. There is no doubt that graduating in 2003 rather than 2013 would have made me stand out whereas now I am just one of many. Then to have the MAODE still requires a subject specialism ...

There is a risk that my being here could continue as MSc and PhD look attractive as does Higher Education rather than L&D. I will blog, on my terms, in WordPress and keep a presence here as long as I am doing an OU module - which currently stretches to my seventh.

Something I never contemplated and will challenge me for another five months is to find myself a masters student of three universities - Open, Birmingham and Brookes. You could say that I have caught this learning bug, or am reverting to type - an insatiable curiosity that no book or TV programme alone can satisfy. There is an urge to do a further MA in Environmental Change when an MA in First World War studies ends in 2015. To what end? The intention has always been to apply my learning rather than to wallow in it, for the experience to be a catalyst for output.

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I don't keep anything of any importance in 'external' electronic wizardry such as these blogs. I did attempt to use MyStuff for collating bits & bobs and that all vanished in the ether during some kind of update.

I am a dreadful hoarder of stuff that I think might come in handy later, so I'm disinclined to start keeping things I'm unlikely to look at again. The only bits I keep are my books & any downloaded research papers....

'Tis a total pain though to lose a record that you though was safe. It ought to be as surely the OU has a duty of care?

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I used, though struggled with MyStuff and when the warning came that it would cease I migrated content over here ... and tagged it religiously. Sensing that any make-over might cause problems I did my best to copy and paste everything I thought of interest and value to my WordPress blog so all was certainly not lost. What did go however were every aggregation of blog posts, many hidden, that I repeatedly created for TMAs and EMAs - as I still do. Thus, until a year ago I could click on say H807TMA2 and immediately pull up those notes I'd tagged for that assignment. Whilst I am not retaking old modules I still had expected to use this as a smart aide-memoir to return to and refresh ideas as they begin to stick. Repetition is my way to learn ... and it takes several years. Another reason I believe in the three year undergraduate programme with internal assessment only until a final exam so giving you a chance to master the subject. At least one thing is self-apparent ... my TMA and especially EMA grades have gone from 50s, to 60s, to 70s and 80s (even a 93) over the four year period. Actually these are the year 1, 2, 3, and 4 scores - with a couple of 40 +s too. It is surely in my head thought according to Martin Weller it'll take another six years before I may be seen by others as a 'scholar'.