The new normal in the arms of the old

Diversity of working practices must be one way of improving diversity of participation. It may become a factor in survival. In the first week of the Covid19 distancing, on a departmental coffee break in one of the popular meeting applications, colleagues maybe uncomfortable with distributed collaboration and diverse working patterns asked what they had to … Continue reading The new normal in the arms of the old

Making money off the misery of others

Among the things I got from my father is a phrase he used to guide the way he engaged with the world. You don't make money off the misery of others. This was usually applied by him to to the provision and practice of socialised medicine. But, it extended beyond the health of individuals with a … Continue reading Making money off the misery of others

Reflection in action: professional development study visits

How close to the moment can you get? "Be here now,"  urges 1960s psychologist Richard Alpert. A mythical Google aspires to a perfect concurrent rendering of this reality: in real-time, in software. How much rewinding can we do before anyone notices the pause for thought? Reflection in action often has the effect of: "Oops! Don't … Continue reading Reflection in action: professional development study visits

Beginning of term

Systems or people? We can model learning in order to develop ways for our machines to acquire, store, process and apply data: information gathered from the world around. Although I put it as a vague question of preference at the start of this essay, it has many ramifications. Are people not just quite complex systems? … Continue reading Beginning of term

One notebook warning

One notebook I write. Not as much or as well as I should. But I write. Two very broad forms interest me: poetry and philosophy of learning, knowledge, theory. What is true and good? Do these concepts mean anything? I believe they do. My job, and much of this writing, here, has to do with … Continue reading One notebook warning

How much of what kind of assessment?

Chris Rust and Mandy Jack initiated an exchange about assessment volume, kind and equivalence on the SEDA maillist. Hours are most easily countable (and even that is not easy). There are also the number of assessment points and the "weight" given to each assessed point. Chris asserted that: the only meaningful comparison is student hours … Continue reading How much of what kind of assessment?

Shaping an Identity: hacking the human?

Higher education shapes identity on many levels. We can readily identify three: the individual student/academic; the institutional characteristics of the higher education sector; and wider transnational cultural-historical activity. This slicing into comprehensible tranches is characteristic of my pragmatic approach to knowing, characterised by a logic of effectiveness in the present: sure, it is a continuum, … Continue reading Shaping an Identity: hacking the human?