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Anna Greathead

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?!

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Sunny Cleethorpes

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Yeah I've had a lot of moments of wishing for time-travel in this module! Although I read the EMA etc in advance I think I focused way too much on the project and assessed work to be properly aware of the "networked practice" things I needed to be doing from the start and all the way through.

On the other hand look how much you've engaged compared to those other quartiles. To my knowledge those in those lower quartiles don't fail each year, so there must be something else to it.

I work on the basis that this level of engagement is an ideal, and the value is in the critical reflection on why that happened or why not, what use it was, what you've learned, whether this has changed how you will work in future - such as reaching out to new starters! What you've written above all feels like the basis for the EMA to me thoughtful


(engaging in networked practice as a way of avoiding writing the EMA)

Anna Greathead

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Thank you so much Stephen!

All the best with your EMA! If only there were points for procrastination eh?!

Helen Darlaston

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Great idea Anna, if you manage to go back in time could you please tell me the same thing?


Sarah Jane Alcock

A comment from the future...

Not quite the time travel you were hoping for Anna, but your post has just been linked to from the first tutorial of H818, October 2020 presentation so lots of us newbies are here reading your blog. 

Present me, who will be past me in a flash I'm sure, as these courses go by so quickly, says thank you very much, future me is very grateful to you for taking the time to write it!

strong girls club!

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another comment from the future...

I credit this blog post with the effort I made to comment in a sustained way for selected projects,... and also for the fact that I posted over 200 replies in OpenStudio. I didn't know how to check my own post numbers until a couple of months ago. When I did I was shocked to see over 150 comments. I was expecting it to be 50 or something.