Saturday, 25 July 2009

Highlights from the 2009 H809 blogs

Once the course is in presentation, my habit has been to setup a blog aggregator here, so that H809 bloggers' voices take centre-stage. I then have to remove to aggregator at the end of the course, because those blogs might well be used for future courses or for professional reflections, or discontinued. So this post is to highlight some posts from the 2009 blogs that I found particularly valuable:

In which Jan reflects on the role of the tutor in virtual learning communities, noting the importance of trust and relationships. "When teaching algebra, I often take a rather Zen approach, asking students to imagine that they are the letter x. I am beginning to feel that the same is true of web 2.0..."

Which considers how learning theories might relate to researching game-based learning.

About the idea of wikis as stigmergic collaboration, and noting some interesting undercurrents of social norms in relation to editing etiquette.

Which considers, among other matters, where one should choose to locate one's research: "Do you take a very local micro-ethnographic approach or try to look at things more holistically taking wider society into account?" Some great visitor comments there too.

Which concludes with "Trying to take a social constructivist approach in an exam-based culture is like trying to walk across a ceiling. "

Which notes that lifelong learning can sometimes feel like a love-hate relationship. "But as with all relationships, they’re only as good as you make them!"

Thanks to all H809 bloggers for their thoughtful and interesting posts.

Well done to 2009 H809'ers

I've posted this message in the forums:
Well done on getting to the end of the course!

Through the forums, blogs and assignments I've been finding it really interesting discovering your various research interests, in many countries and in diverse settings.

Many thanks if you completed the end-of-course survey. We'll be updating the course for next year's presentation, and I'm sure this survey (once analysed!) will be of great help. We'll be refreshing the readings, and we'll also be giving some thought about why the level of participation in forums was lower than last year, and what we might be able to do about it.

It's been a bitter-sweet presentation for us. It's been wonderful seeing so many H809'ers progress in their thinking. But those of us working in the Institute of Educational Technology felt the death of Professor Robin Mason very sharply. Her obituary in the Guardian newspaper sums up her huge contribution to the OU and the wider online education world.

Whether you're going on to further postgraduate studies or applying new ideas to your practice, all best wishes for the future. In time, I hope to read more of your work in leading research journals!

Results are expected towards the end of September. The course website and forums are available until 19 December.


Dr James Aczel
H809 Course Team Chair