Posted by: MandyS | January 9, 2011

The last of the core activities

How good does it feel to know that you have completed everything? Well nearly everything because of course, I still have the ECA to contend with.

Tonight I have completed CA 10.1 about the Wikis. I really enjoyed researching this as I see huge potential for their use on my own course (I may have said that already so forgive me if I am repeating myself). A bit like this course ( and I am sure most others) the students complete their units via Activities. Unfortunately, the nature of the course is such that they do so individually and don’t have the option to post their ‘answers’ to a forum for consideration and/or discussion with others. I always thought this was a bit of a shame, hence why I have spent the last couple of years trying to drum up enthusiasm for the forum so that they could do just that. Constitutional law is not the easiest of subjects to master (I struggle sometimes with some of the concepts) and I would imagine that one of the biggest reasons for the students disliking the subject so much is that they have to do so alone. It has of course occurred to me that if they won’t use the forum, they won’t use a Wiki. This will remain to be seen but I just hope that they see contributing to a Wiki far less threatening than contributing to a forum. The course material arrived the other day and some parts of the course have been rejigged and some got rid of altogether. I also note that the attached guidance suggests that the tutors encourage the students to engage more with the Course Website. The biggest problem is that the course is run in conjunction with the College of Law and so the course website is an external link. I know from experience that the students simply don’t access it because it is not there in front of them and they have to jump through hoops to get into it (I know I do). There is a link on the desktop but, having had sight of the makeup of studenthome, my curiosity as to why one of my students last year should go the whole year without noticing it, has been satisfied. It is a shame because there are podcasts and iTutorials on there which would be of use. I know that there is a Wiki available but I don’t think it has ever been used so I will start making some enquiries about that. I thought just starting off with compiling a simple glossary may light a spark. We shall see.

I also had to catch up with CA 8.3 tonight, as I had not had chance to listen to the professional podcasts. I would like to have listened to more but as ever, time is not on my side. The ones I did listen to were very different. I think others had listened to at least one of them; the one with the noisy door. Unfortunately, my sentiments are the same as Keith’s; a tad boring for me. It is good to listen to how others do theirs though and in a way, I am glad I didn’t listen before doing mine otherwise I would have been really worried!! Being boring was my greatest fear but I had no need to worry, all the reviews have been extremely positive. I’m not sure about where I stand in relation to the usefulness of podcasts. I can see their benefits, but as I said in my forum post, what happens if the listener doesn’t engage, like myself; what is the learning benefit of it then? I suppose one could work on the basis that it may transgress the subconscious but I think that would be stretching the point. I think I might do a mini survey with my students next year and kill two birds; get them to listen to the podcasts and see how they respond.

And next, the ECA. I cannot believe the course is at an end. I have enjoyed every minute, after the initial shock, but feel I need to go over the whole thing again as I am not sure at the moment exactly what I have learned. That is not good from a reflection point of view for the ECA but hopefully by the end of next week I will find I know more than I think; the essence of time focusing the mind and all that! I have decided to do the essay first and get that out-of-the-way. Essay’s and me just don’t seem to gel. I’m not sure either about the evidence. My colleagues seem to be talking about compilations and stuff they have made etc, etc which is beginning to scare me as I thought it was similar to the reflective writing part of TMA01. Obviously not, so I will have to look at that in a bit more detail.

Anyway, Nick is fed up typing now. Lets hope this week brings back my arm.



  1. Regarding links to the resources in the College of Law … I have found that once signed into the OU I can google journals and have access as my OU sign in is recognised even if the gateway has been Google, not the OU library. This I find is as far easier way to get to the materials. The College of Law msut have a ‘gateway’ too, so all that is required is the algorithm for student to be recognised through their browser.

    All of course will be easier when Google have digitised eery book ever published and give the content away for free … with advertising 😦 !!!

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