OCTEL check in

I was looking forward to Octel as I missed the last run, but although the course site looks clear it’s actually quite hard to figure out how to join in. So this is a test to see if this post gets picked up in the course reader


First post for LD5D

Hello – Im one of the LD5D team so thought I should probably have a go at blogging myself. In response to the reflective framework:
Key skills:I didnt actually set up this blog specially, as it already existed – created by accident when I first  set up a village website with WordPress  several years ago and registered my own username w/o realising i could choose not to generate a new blog. I dusted it off a few months ago to join a MOOC so decided to keep it for LD5D. As far as I remember the process was pretty easy, though I had benefit of very helpful guide to using WP for community websites so just followed the instructions. Since then Ive found lots of help and videos on the WordPress support site, and for anything else I usually find Google turns up the answer as there are so many users out there, someone will have published the answer. Ive since used WP to set up and run several websites for different projects but never so far as a personal blog.
Online identity etc very unoriginal – I now always use my full name on social media sites as I just forget anything else. I dont post personal stuff and only use facebook to follow family and friends, so think its not a problem, though can see there might be times when its unwise (and interesting recent discussion on twitter about this to which Ill add the link when I can go back to it). Im haphazard about answering requests on Linked in, so my connections dont necessarily reflect people Im closest to but how busy/what mood I was in when I received them Hoping this programme will help me to be more systematic…

H817 week 1 Activity 4: Identifying priorities for research

“Imagine you are advising a funding organisation that wishes to promote activity and research in the area of open education. Set out the three main priorities they should address, explaining each one and providing a justification for your list…”

Almost two weeks late with this task as I’ve been away, though have been reading other people’s suggestions as they came through. Quite a few chose sustainability as a theme, though not really in the sense I’m used to, which would include all three domains of sustainable development, ie social and environmental as well as financial. These other dimensions are highly relevant to open education, though would need to be broken down further for meaningful research, and I dont have sufficient time here to do this aspect justice. So for now,  my three priorities would be:

  1. How MOOCs might improve access to education and professional development for individuals and groups unable or unwilling to access these through traditional routes. This aspect would need to explore  issues around availability and cost of equipment/ broadband as well as actual content and management of courses.
  2. Effective course design for MOOCs. Normally I would pair this with online teaching strategies, but where you have a really massive course, the role of the tutor once the course has started seems likely to be quite minimal. Without the chance to respond spontaneously to all student contributions and interactions,  the underlying architecture of the course has to be really carefully thought through in advance.  It may be true that ‘the community is the curriculum’ (Cormier?) but to maximise that potential requires subtle scaffolding from a distance.
  3. Accreditation or evaluation of learning and achievement. I am working with colleagues to develop online professional development courses (miniMOOCs) which will be free to members of the learning development community. There is no resource for staffing such a course, but we have a tradition of self help and peer support, so the work will be carried out on a voluntary basis which wont allow us to assess course work in any formal way. I am intrigued by the possibility of using badges to recognise people’s achievement instead.

Screen casting


Visual notetaking apps etc

http://ninmah.be/2010/08/02/ipad-visual-movie/ http://ldglobalevents.com/2012/11/09/visual-note-taking-at-devlearn-by-susan-stewart/ http://www.slideshare.net/ninmah/visual-notetaking-on-the-ipad http://www.visualnotetaking.net/category/graphic-recording

Visual representation (and reflections on week 1)

Well I’ve been inspired, engaged and impressed by other people’s representations, and they’ve prompted me to think about openness in lots of different ways, as have all the discussions. But as my concept of ‘open’ has become more complex, and the digital options have multiplied, its just got harder to decide which way to go. And now I’ve run out of time (yes, there is a lesson in there somewhere – I should take the advice I give to students…) as I’m heading off to Plymouth tomorrow for the ALDinHE conference and need to finalise my presentation for that.

So instead here is one image that for me embodies lots of positive ideas about openness and creativity – freedom, movement, looseness, joy, a glimpse of new possibilities in the distance – but also practical and legal constraints on that freedom (tight image copyright restrictions mean I couldn’t use it in a MOOC about the history of 20th century art, for instance)


Open Window, Collioure by Henri Matisse, 1905.
Oil on canvas, 55.25 x 46.04 cm, 21 3/4 x 18 1/8 in.
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney

Image accessed from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Matisse-Open-Window.jpg, which includes the following warning:
“This image is in the public domain in the United States because it was first published outside the United States prior to January 1, 1923. Other jurisdictions have other rules…This file might not be in the public domain outside the United States and should not be transferred to Wikimedia Commons unless it can be verified to be in the public domain in its country of first publication, as Commons requires that images be free in the source country and in the United States….”

H817 Week 1 Activity 1

I’ve joined this MOOC as an independent learner, to find out more about how MOOCs can work from a student perspctive – and because I kept seeing intriguing tweets from people taking the Digital Cultures one and wishing Id enrolled in time.  So when I heard about the new OU one,  I jumped straight in – then sat back for a week and felt overwhelmed by all the notifications of posts and responses that came flooding in even before the course officially started.  (I’m used to being ahead of the game educationally and here I was being left behind – so some useful insights gained from reflecting on what that feels like).

My background: originally trained as a designer then art historian, and taught the history of visual culture for many years until shifting sideways into educational development.  Enthusiastic amateur as regards learning technologies, but run several websites and am currently exploring different ways to use online resources to support informal professional development among academics and learning developers. So I hope this MOOC will give me some practical ideas, make me reflect more critically on my current default preference for openness   – and oh yes,  get my first badges!