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Dec 31 2012

2012: MOOCs, swivel-eyed loons and graduation ceremonies

This year rather than simply publish a list of the most viewed posts of 2012, I’ve decided to pick the ones I like most from each month instead.(*)

JanuarySimon Hughes: Young people have not been put off university … but it appeared that mature students had been. It doesn’t look like the missing students are opting for part-time study either. Skimming through the OU senate and council minutes this morning suggests that they’re expecting to see (by the time transitional arrangements work their way through the system in 2017) a 20% fall in student numbers (minute 5.9) but (thank goodness) expect to remain viable. What OU ELQ (equivalent or lower qualification) students have long suspected has also been confirmed: “… it should expect to lose students that had to pay their own way, such as those who already have an equivalent or lower qualification (ELQ) …” (minute 4.3).

February… and another thing! My scepticism about online only learning reaches a crescendo … immediately before I decide to go and see what all the fuss is about by enrolling on my first MOOC (massively open online course) at MITx.

March – MITx 6.002x circuits and electronics gets underway – and I’m in good company as this post recalls.

AprilLet’s abolish ALL bank holidays! – in which I refer to an organisation other than UKIP as consisting of “swivel-eyed loons”.

MayBeen there, done that, got the t-shirt – graduation ceremony 1 and it’s mine!

June - Evidence, Michael? – One thing I hope all politicians will resolve to do in 2013 is to use evidence to back up their policies in public, rather than “thinks that” or “feels that” appeals. I suspect that may be a vain hope however.

July - Floella’s Flying Circus – graduation ceremony 2 sees my eldest daughter receive her degree from Lib Dem peer and ex-Playschool presenter Floella Benjamin … and I’m still just a little bit jealous of all the hugs she was giving out!

AugustThe Cliff End Hotel, Bournemouth – a personal post that had seen only a small number of readers until a couple of days ago, when sadly the old hotel appears to have been hit by lightning.

SeptemberStill suffering withdrawal symptoms nearly a year after completing my OU psychology degree, I notice a sharp spike of interest in my revision notes again and wish current students all the best with their exams! (**)

October – Starting out on my second MOOC of the year – this time, edX 6.00x, on computer science and programming in Python. A bit of a busman’s holiday, but early niggles with the course presentation eventually turn into a full-blown rant in December. And it’s not getting any better as I write – more missed deadlines by the course team coupled with a general lack of information and leadership are still painfully evident.

November – In which I’m alone in calling for the resignation of Adam Crozier for his role in tempting the publicity shy MP for Mid-Bedfordshire away from her constituents.

December – If you missed seeing April in Exeter earlier on this month, you’ll be glad to know that for one night only (22nd January) it will be on again at the Bike Shed Theatre – you can book your tickets here!

That’s all – and I hope to see you again in 2013.

(*) If, however, for some inexplicable reason you’re desperate to know about my stats, there have been 103,676 page views recorded (so far) this year, making it the most “successful” I’ve had since I started in 2008. Go me!

(**) Revision note stats for 2012: 17,448 downloads of ED209 notes; 10,773 for DD303; 9,021 for DD307 and 2,322 for DSE212.

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