Tag Archives: weeknotes

Weeknotes 26062015

This has been a week of knuckling down at getting stuff done – but I also squeezed in one day off as the last day available before the schools break for summer (schools in Scotland start the holidays at the end of June but return mid-August which still feels so wrong to me). What I did this week:

attended a briefing session on the University’s process for academic promotion (lots of paperwork and pretty tough criteria)
had numerous dissertation supervision sessions on Skype
progress on my PhD writing an overview of research in to Twitter and the dominant approaches based on quantitative methods of statistical analysis and Social Network Analysis or studies based on conversation analysis. The comparative lack of qualitative research is a notable omission especially in considering the affective dimensions of online ‘communities’

A couple of links of interest from this week:
No, Sesame Street Was Not The First MOOC from Audrey Watters is a great post on open education, the history of MOOCs, the insurgency of venture capital in EdTech and the importance of theory and research in education (and some good pics of Bert & Ernie).

Mark Carrigan’s post on using a blog as a research journal is a useful overview of the purpose of a research journal as well as the benefits of working out loud.

Weeknotes 21062015

It has been a more hectic couple of weeks in some ways with

more exam boards as its that time of year
continuing planning course staffing for next year so my head was buried in spread sheets for a while
researching literature on communities on Twitter and how might the affective aspects of communities distinguish them from networks
meetings, lots or meetings …
assessing applications to be part of an exciting new initiative to launch in the New Year
reading up on Open Badges for possible inclusion in a new course launching in January 2016
attending the ReCon conference on open data and open publishing at Edinburgh University Business School . My notes on the conference can be found here
supervising a number of super dissertations which is great!

Weeknotes 29052015

I would like to develop the habit of daily notes. In part so I don’t loose track of what has been done each day but also to support a return to blogging starting with summarising those daily notes in to weekly notes. What I need is to spend some serious time on forming and maintaining habits as discussed here, in particular as behaviour chains, process plans and perhaps far fewer “oh screw its” .

So this week I have been:

  • attending meetings and listing tasks as I have a new academic management role.
  •  lots of marking and moderating marks and exam boards.
  •  meetings with students on Skype and Spreed
  •  reading and writing on the concept of communities on Twitter.
  •  presented at the #mscde  on the supervision process that students can look forward to as part of the programme dissertation festival in Second Life. A video of my presentation is available hereDissertation festival_001 and others will become available at the MSc in Digital Education programme YouTube Channel soon.
  • attended an excellent presentation by Dragan Gasevic on learning analytics and the importance of context in making sense of such analytics. The presentation emphasised the importance of data literacy among students, teaching staff and institutional leadership *if* learning analytics are to make an effective contribution to improving education.

weeknotes [20102014]

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been

further working through my research involving discourse analysis along with network and other sociomaterial methods for my PhD. I think I’m developing a stronger understanding of of the method “in action” and Technology Enhanced Learning.

I’m also continuing to enjoy the teaching on two courses: Digital Environments for Learning; and Course Design for Digital Environments.

I’m also continuing to contribute to the development of two initiatives which I’ll hopefully write about sometime soon.

weeknotes [03082014]

I’m back from holiday and getting back in to work mode (which will be easier when the kids go back to school next week – bah humbug). Over the last week, I’ve mainly been:

Reading and reviewing dissertation draft chapters from students and meeting those students.

Some further work on developing ideas on new course structures.

Starting discourse analysis work for my PhD.

Next week will see more focus on preparing for the next academic year and, in particular, teaching on  Digital Environments for Learning; Course Design for Digital Environments and Managing Organisational Learning & Knowledge (MOLK).


weeknotes [11072014]

I’m just getting ready for for two weeks holiday starting today. Over the last couple of weeks, my time has been spent on:

supervising Masters students on the dissertations with most aiming to complete by the end of this summer
working with three part-time students as they’re just about to start their dissertations
developing ideas on a new course involving what is, I think, an innovative structure. More to follow on this after the summer
reading up on discourse analysis for my PhD studies.

Once I’m back from my holiday, in addition to these activities, I’ll also be concentrating on preparations for teaching on courses on two online courses: Digital Environments for Learning; and Course Design for Digital Environments. I’ll also be redesigning a course for a different programme on Managing Organisational Learning & Knowledge (MOLK).


So, back in two weeks feeling fresh and energetic (I hope)

weeknotes [27062014]

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been:

– Attending a seminar by Geoge Veletsianos on educational agents
– facilitated a workshop discussion on the internationalisation of higher education following a talk from Alison Phipps. This was a challenging talk on the dominant discourses found in university internationalisation strategies in general that reflected a broadly colonial sensibility presenting the educational institution as filling in a blank ‘other’. As a response, Alison suggested a consciously co-generative and collaborative approach to education with a focus on the quote “nothing about us without us is for us”. So the challenges seemed to be about breaking down the boundaries of the institution as a place where learning is delivered to learners in a form decided on by the institution but rather about developing practices of learning that “attend to” a multiplicity of voices and languages, race, inequality, oppression and expression. How such approaches can develop in the context of a university and its attendance to processes, standards and quality is the key question. The discussion component of the day was fairly brief but focused largely on internationalisation as an organisational culture issue with progress perhaps to come from *100 small changes* of habit and practice.
– related to this seminar, was another internal seminar labeled as learning from review and focused on developing the academic literacies of students as they transition in to (UK) higher education, between different stages of their education and onward as lifelong learners
– presented on some aspects of my research here
– contributing to the development of a couple of project ideas on course design and on professional learning but early days on both of these
– my main area of teaching and learning is in Masters’ dissertation supervision

weeknotes [23042014]


OK, I’m not long back from holidays over Easter so this is looking back over a few weeks (ooops). I have been:

  • continuing to work on my research on professional learning in open online environments. I really need to blog more on that to conduct “data analysis out loud”. The image in this post is one of the sociograms from part of the study
  • had an article published here
  • finally submitted (and paid for) recognition through the Higher Education Academy
  • ongoing supervision of various Masters’ dissertations
  • completed a review of a paper for an academic journal
  • contributed to a ‘blue skies’ thinking group to inform the emerging School strategy
  • attended a seminar on social network analysis and digital data and another seminar on innovative and collaborative approaches to online assessment
  • attended the hugely enjoyable Network Learning Conference in Edinburgh and see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for my notes on the conference
  • attending internal meetings on CPD and credit rating.

All in all, a pretty good few weeks.


WeekNotes [07032014]

A bit of a delay in posting this but last week I:

Attended seminars on ethnographic network analysis and on visual presentation in business decision-making. Both were interesting presentations of research projects at different stages: the former at a fairly early stage and the latter with the fieldwork completed and a good deal of the analysis completed.

I was interviewed for a small-scale research project.

Edited the methodology section of a draft paper on managers’ perceptions of their roles in facilitating workplace learning.

Further developed my largely quantitative analysis of two Twitter communities.


Weeknotes [16112013]

Reflecting on what I’ve been doing and learning at work for another week:

– I’ve been mainly preparing the final report on the Lang2Tech project of which I’ve been project managing for the last year of so. So i’m having to overcome my reluctance to grapple with mundane details (cross referencing budget details with supporting documents etc… ) not to mention spelling and punctuation. Not helped as I though I had plenty of time but have been called to Jury service so cutting my timescale in half.

– I’ve been really enjoying online teaching on MSc in Digital EducationE-Learning, Strategy & Policy and Introduction to Digital Environments for Learning. Both have been the best sort of teaching where I’ve had my thinking challenged by the students and so learned lots myself.

.. and that has pretty much been my week. I’m hoping for a little bit more variety next week.