Master's Degree

E-learning and my studies by Alison C. Board

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You may or may not know that I am currently studying for a Master's Degree in Online & Distance Education via the Open University. It is a great course and I'm really enjoying it, it's not going to be easily achieved, mainly due to juggling it with my workload but I will get there...eventually.

Over the next couple of months, I'm going to need your help, if it's not too much to ask? I'm working towards my end of year research paper and I need to gather quite a bit of information about how you lovely people out there see the future of e-learning or to put it another way, learning via a computer and the internet.

Now, I don't want it to become too dry and put you off taking part, so alongside some of this research, you will get the chance to shape how any future e-learning is delivered from me. For example, on my  OU course, we have been considering Personal Learning Environments (PLEs for short), in this context, they are the types of technology and ways of delivering learning that you interact with most often. Take me as an example. You may have found me via social media and now follow what I do via this blog, my website and YouTube - those types of environments.

So my question is this; if I was to construct an online course, how would you like to see it delivered? Would it be via downloadable instructions? A video? A forum to ask questions? Have you attended online courses before and if so, how have they worked for you? I am also keen to offer feedback at the end of every course by way of a participant sending me images of their finished work and me commenting on it. Do you think this would be useful?

Also, and perhaps more importantly, what issues and problems can you foresee happening with this style of learning?

Thanks in advance folks, if you have any thoughts, please comment below, much appreciated.

Learning about learners, and then learning about art! by Alison C. Board

Earlier in the year, I successfully enrolled on an Open University course with a view to gaining my Master’s Degree in Online and Distance Education. Yes, I can hear you asking ‘Why not art?’ but there are many facets to that question, the main answer being that I was eager to become a better educator and to do that, I needed to really push myself beyond my specialist subject.

I’m currently ten weeks into the course and finding it challenging on numerous levels, mostly concerning fitting it into a life that is already packed up to the eyeballs, but I am LOVING it. It has already made me think very differently about what I do and how I do it, plus I am studying in a community of such diverse knowledge that I’m struggling to see any negative points about it.

Yes, it’s incredibly hard work and I’ve already had to pull a couple of ‘all-nighters’ to get things achieved, but somebody once said that nothing worth doing ever comes easy and I remind myself of this every time it’s a challenge.

So, why am I blogging about it? Simply because we have got to the part of my course that I was desperate to get to – understanding how blogging can work in online education and how I can make mine work more effectively. Therefore, I’m going to ask you all a huge favour, would you be kind enough to comment below on one or more of the following questions:
1. What makes you visit a blog? Not necessarily an art related site, what attracts you to blogs and entices you in?
2. What would you like to see here?
3. What ideas do you have for making this blog more interactive? In other words, I’d love for it to become a space where we share ideas and experiences, how would you like to see that happen?

Thanks in advance for your time and I look forward to reading your comments and chatting with you further, Ali.