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There’s a battle going on in the states.  The telecom companies are scrabbling to gain control of the internet.

Here’s an informative video which relates what’s currently happening to the establishment of corporate control over previous media channels.  It’s worth a look.


I’ve been having a good time with Survey Monkey – Thanks Leigh. 🙂
Monkey picture comes courtesy of S.A.M. Licensed under CC-BY.

Survey Monkey

I just set up my online experience survey on the web this morning, and am already getting the kind of information I need. The questions are

  1. Which of the learning modules have you started and which have you completed?
    The Study Skills course (which is what I’m assessing at present) is composed of a series of learning modules which have been built on the WikiEducator platform (still a work in progress) .
  2. How would you rate the difficulty of your online learning experience so far?
  3. What if anything are you finding difficult about studying online?
  4. What if anything are you finding enjoyable about studying online?

I’ve just checked in & 10 students have replied. 10/23 – I’m almost happy to treat that as a representative sample. I’m very happy with the class progress so far, and the quality of the information.

It’s funny – I’ve had the impression that much of the class was struggling, and I see now that it’s only because most of the class have been able to get on with it without needing to talk with me much. There is always a risk that the students who are less familiar with computer use will be lagging the others getting to the survey, I might need to touch base with them over the next couple of days to check.

I’m hoping to use this type of surveying as a type of action research, but I’ll need to go through the ethical approval process before embarking on it.

For now, it’s functional. I’m planning to run through an Introduction to Sustainability module soon. Before they get to the module they must be able to search effectively for information on the internet, and to communicate effectively online (as each group will include a distance student). Luckily it looks like most of them are already there. 🙂

Last week I did a presentation for the new DFLP students, outlining what I’m doing with what I’ve learnt over the last year or so. The sound quality is pretty poor, but it provides a basic overview along with questions & answers.

We’re through the second practical block, which has been another period of intense work. The task of getting assessments ready for three of the the four courses which have just started, led me to work until after 1pm two nights last week. Getting up at my usual 6am left me feeling like the Living Dead on Friday.

But I got there, and after a bit of a sleep in on Saturday, am feeling a bit better.

I get the sense that online delivery will be a bit like this – work peaks and troughs, as defined by the timing of practical blocks. I’m now through what I think will be the most intense period of the year for me. I’m about to launch into teaching Fundamentals of Massage as well as Study skills, and focussing a bit more on the second year students (it’s case-study season, and I need to get into developing the Business Studies course for them). I think I’m starting to get into some kind of rhythm instead of the frantic scrabbling to get everything sorted that has characterised my last month or so.

I haven’t managed to get the survey instrument out to the students yet, so I’m not sure exactly where the class is as a whole, but from a small survey of the students it seems that most of them have been doing far less than the amount of work they really should have been doing so far. To some degree it’s their cake that they’ll now need to eat (with four other courses starting up the demands on their time will increase quite dramatically), and the Study Skills programme has been designed to be self-paced, so it’s not the end of the world, but I am a little concerned. I’m going to send out the first survey on Monday, so I’ll get a bit more of a sense of where the class is at.