Greece stumbles between disaster and catastrophe this weekend; no one knows how it will turn out, no one is even clear on what they are voting on. We may never be clear on what is or has happened, but it seems to me that there are some things we can start to develop some perspective on. Continue reading The Obligatory Greek Crisis Blog Post
I find there is a serious flaw in academics strait-laced pursuit of “objective truth” as a holy grail, not only in the humanities but even in the ‘hard’ sciences. No one start out with a cold research question, and anyone who claims to do so is wrong. Continue reading Curiosity to Objectivity
Students who come to my courses often get a bit of a shock – I try very hard to not lecture. My classes are flipped, blended and discussion based. Often students are not aware of what they are getting into when the join my options, so this is a utility blog post to explain how I work, at the moment. (next week I may change things!) Continue reading A reading cycle
if you love your students, you’ll kill those course reading lists – they do no good and can do great harm. The full course reading list is a crutch for mediocrity which I no longer provide. Continue reading Kill the Course Reading List
Over four days in April, we hosted almost 200 Transition Year students for four days of workshops in Digital Humanities at UCC. Each day we introduced a fresh batch of young learners to aspects of our DH practice here in UCC in a brisk run through digital learning, text markup and making with Arduinos Continue reading TYdays at UCC – #dhty
I don’t think think is fair or useful to satirise someone who has been dead for 1400 years. Free speech, which is the cornerstone of freedom and dignity, allows people the right to do that, and I agree with that right, but I also gives me the freedom to assert that cartoonists who satirise dead prophets are being childish. Continue reading Small People make Small Gods and Small Prophets
Portfolio based assessments are a staple in my classes: I design courses so that students build material over the whole course for collection and submission at the end. I should probably use a ePortfolio tool to support that, but not even Mahara, easily the best of them, is good enough. Why? it lacks three key features – group export, export to pdf and capturing bibliographic metadata. Continue reading Mahara: No longer good enough
Digitally archiving most of your learning activity is now possible, which means you can share it later, out of context. As an example of how this might be problematic, suppose you present in an interview a short video clip of a classroom discussion on a controversial topic in which you demonstrate excellence and I appear to be incompetent or immoral – and I happen to be the next candidate facing that interview board.
This is now a plausible scenario, whereas a decade ago it was impossible. The transformation in digital media over the past decade has radically changed things which we formerly took for granted. I’m discussing this in my paper at PLEConf14 next week, but I wanted to bring out the central assumption here – that learners can create Persistent Personal Learning Archives. Continue reading Persistent Personal Learning Archives
The enormous financial repercussions of the leaking of a recording of Donald Sterling, made by mutual agreement by his archivist, Vanessa Stiviano brings the issue of archiving and privacy to the headlines again. The idea that someone might have a personal archivist might seem odd to most of us, but Sterling would not be the first billionaire with a long and controversial past who felt it was time to start gather a record of his life. Continue reading Stiviano, Sterling, and personal archivists in the digital age
Burning plagiarising students at the stake seems to be a major focus of the academic world these days, and I written about that elsewhere previously on this blog. In passing, I said I would discuss how I create assessments which are mostly proof against plagiarism.
Creating assessments based on learning outcomes is a mugs game – all you are assessing is the outcome, but not the process, and students will find a way to shortcut to the outcome. Academics assume that an essay or paper of a specific length, with proper references based on assigned readings is a good measure of student learning. Continue reading Why I never set essays anymore