Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

MOOCs & the Real Challenge

October 21, 2014 1 comment

Report from the Westminster HE Forum: MOOCs and technology‐enhanced learning: next steps and challenges (PDF) on Tuesday 21st October.

Towards the end of this event the conversation moved off MOOCs and onto online learning more generally which was most welcome. But let’s deal with MOOCs briefly before moving on to some challenges ahead.

Despite the passage of time (18-months), which includes the launch of Future Learn, this morning it didn’t feel like the conversation around MOOCs had changed much since I blogged my report (7 things about MOOCs & UK HE) from a UUK May 2013 event. OK, that’s a bit unfair, the hype has certainly died down.

Photo of Glaziers Hall

Event held at Glaziers Hall – Credit: View from London Bridge by Clive A Brown (CC BY-NC)

The last session of today’s event was where the real challenges ahead were aired. This was the best session with the panelists, in particular @bobharrisonset & @HelenBarefoot, as well as @MarkRussell from the floor, making important points which might be paraphrased as:

  • Online is central in the future of education
  • MOOCs may be one small part of that but they shouldn’t be the focus of our discussion or actions now.
  • We need to focus on both capacity- and capability-building to ensure our institutions are in a position to deliver online education (whatever off-campus / on-campus blend that may be).
  • Three key area to address are staff digital and online teaching skills, student digital and online learning skills and our institutional processes (which are generally set-up for campus-based, single entry, fixed period courses rather than online provision).
  • This will require strong governance and leadership.
  • It is a big cultural not technological challenge.

And Finally

A couple more things from today:

  1. Amara‘s Law – highlighted by @urbangenie “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run”
  2. HEA’s Flexible Pedagogies reports highlighted by @AlisonLeCornu

Coursera under fire in MOOCs licensing row (Republished)

July 3, 2013 1 comment

The following post was originally published at The Conversation under a Creative Commons Attribution/No derivatives licence. See their Republishing Guidelines for further information.

It’s a bit fiddly to republish at present as you must manually insert their logo and link to them. The HTML of the article is supplied and it would be great if logo & licence details could be automatically included 🙂

Read the original article.

Coursera under fire in MOOCs licensing row

By Megan Clement, The Conversation

A prominent member of the open education movement, former Open University Vice-Chancellor Sir John Daniel, has criticised online education provider Coursera for not making its materials available under creative commons licensing.

Coursera is one of the largest providers of MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – which allow students to take university courses for free online from anywhere in the world.

MOOCs have been credited with democratising higher education, making it available for those who cannot afford to attend prestigious universities. But providers like Coursera have come under fire in recent months for undermining academic jobs, not providing adequate accreditation, and, in this latest controversy, not adhering closely enough to the “open” part of the MOOC acronym. Read more…

Recording Presentations

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment

My second video blog post is over on my work blog.

It’s a follow-up to a seminar we ran for staff earlier in the week but it should(!) be of wider interest both in terms of the format and the content – it’s about recording presentations.

Photo of Matt at his desk

My second video blog post was recorded at my desk

My First Video Blog Post

January 4, 2013 7 comments

I have decided to experiment with video blog posts.  This is the first.


  1. The Plan  – Reasons Why
  2. Inspired by Carl Gombrich
  3. 8+ years between my first blog post & my first video blog post
  4. Once a week, one take
  5. Experimenting with format & methods


Mentioned in this Video

(Update – links open in new window: Good suggestion @CareersAndrea)

Open Access Journal & Academic Magazines

March 14, 2012 1 comment

Combined post on ALT’s decision to make its journal open access and a collection of academic publishing links I’ve been meaning to share for a while!

ALT’s Open Access Journal

Earlier this year Research in Learning Technology, the journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) switched to open access. I’m a Trustee of ALT and I’ve written a blog post on the LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences blog about why ALT made the switch: By freeing our journal from the ghetto of academic library subscriptions we will foster discussion and impact.

Academic Magazines

It’s been a very long time since I blogged here – over half a year (the shame!). I’ve been meaning to write a post around a bunch of links I’d been gathering since January 2011!

The initial article from a year ago was An academic angle on issues in a periodical for the people in the Times Higher Education which featured The Public Intellectual and started:

Between peer-reviewed journals and popular journalism lies a gap in which “the new knowledge, valuable critical insight, and fresh perspectives that academia produces” can be brought from behind pay walls to the wider readership it deserves.

Since then I’ve come across  a few other similar formats / approaches.

The similarities, seem to be:

  • Blog format but not necessarily recognisable or described as a blog
  • Authors mainly working in academia
  • Multi-author (& beyond a single institution)
  • Reviewing by editorial team
  • WordPress as the publishing platform

Disappointingly most are not licenced under creative commons with notable exceptions of ALT’s Journal, LSE Impact Oxbridge blogs.

As I’ve now switched from the world of Social Sciences to that of Computing, Information Science, Engineering & Maths, I’ll be on the lookout for more examples in that area.

If you’ve any examples of any kind please feel do add them below.

Blogging & Impact

January 28, 2011 1 comment

MegaphonesThe Impact of the Social Sciences Project have made an interesting case for introducing multi-author blogs over single author ones to help universities in “expanding their external impacts (as influence)”

My summary below, see Improving professional communication – starting multi-author blogs for the full argument.

Firstly they suggest that single-author academic blogs will have little impact because the work of an individual is  specialised and will not attract wide readership or broaden the audience.  They also suggest that academics lack the time to post regularly and that many don’t have the expertise to blog well (technical & web writing).

Continue reading Blogging & Impact

Some Plans for 2011

January 21, 2011 1 comment

South Beach, Miami Writing for The Web

Something I revisited last year, running a workshop for Netskills in May, which I’ll be doing again in March. It’s a topic that really interests me and I’ll be looking to build my knowledge further this year. I’ve made a start with Janice Redish’s excellent book: Letting Go of the Words which emphasises the importance of web content being conversational.  I’m also planning to apply the general good practice guidelines to online learning and come up with a “Writing for the VLE” guide.


Last year I co-facilitated a few webinars here at LSE,  some for a Health Economics masters and one with the LSE Careers Service on using Linkedin.  It’s a challenging format and one we will be experimenting with further this year; myself and my colleague Sonja Grussendorf are planning to offer staff a series of lunchtime webinars after Easter.  When planning last year’s LinkedIn one I found the Live Online Learning – a facilitator’s Guide from Onlignment really useful.

Continue reading Some plans for 2011