OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

They've been at it again

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 26 Aug 2012, 08:44

The virtual swing-doors on my final OU module opened today.

Some time next year I will graduate with a Masters in Open and Distance Education - and unlike my undergraduate degree of many years ago I will feel that I have worked for it, earned it and want the thing - I'll even dress up for my first graduation ceremony.

I have been outside the course system for all of four months so it was with delight though suprise to find thst our virtual learning environment (VLE) has changed yet again. I will have screen grabs somewhere of what it looked like in 2010 and 2011 - I believe I even have seen a screen grab of when I was doing this in 2001.

On the one hand we are getting some 3D shading to lift the 'Learning Schedule' off the page, but we also have a plethora of minute and meaningless icons. I can't figure out what some of them are supposed to represent. Instead of going with recognisable images The OU appear to have tried to go one better but gone one worse - there is no point in replacing or even complementing a title or sub-heading with something that is incomprehensible nor recognised.

A load of stuff has migrated over to the left hand side of the screen - I know that research has long shown that this is where the eye first looks and expects this content to be.

The rest of it I'll discover and re-discover in due course. I prefer the minimalist approach - if it isn't vital don't show it, rather offer options to vall up extras instead of having them on the page regardless. Too many of these links I will NEVER use, except as an exercise in the first week. It's too like entering a grand house knowing that it has far more rooms than you will ever enter and where you risk getting lost.

Less is more.

I am however starting to think that I'll be able to do this almost entirely on an iPad (I don't have my own laptop or desktop and this is cheaper).

An APP for writing on this platform would help - like I have writing in Wordpress.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post



New comment


Well done! Go to that graduation ceremony, you deserve it.

Now let me tell you why you were so important to my journey...

You wrote a post, to which I reacted to without thought, and in a nasty fashion. I do that. You took the trouble to mail me, you even said that I had a point. Which I didn't.

Some thought later I realized that being 'funny/clever' was not what was wanted. I wanted others to see my pain/glory, I wanted to support others when they were down, as we all sometimes will be, I wanted to revel in their successes.

I finally saw what the blogs are meant to be...for us to be a family.

These OU blogs are always supportive, and much of that is down to you Jon.

You should get a PhD for that! Don't desert us.



Design Museum

New comment

You're right, it is a family. The OU had thoughts of changing this platform a year ago - I hope they don't. If offered WordPress for example we'd all end up in our cubby-holes whereas here it is less a blog, and more a bulletin board, blog-like if you want, but also something of a portfolio or open tutor forum. And OU students across the subjects from undergrad to postgrad mix here which gives it the eclectic mix and wonderous variety. I hope I'm less bumptious then I was 30 months ago. There is value in both reading and commenting on other people, particularly encouraging newcomers as we once were to give this a shot and try to make it a regular thing. What I find truly 22nd century is when a couple of us meet and find we get along as if we had known each other for a long time - you forget how much detail of your life you can share. On the other hand a close friend who I met the other week suprised me by saying he read my other blog often and enjoyed the updates - stats suggest that of your readers 95% read, but never comment - 4% read and comment while only 1% get regularly involved and write their own blog.