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Showing posts from July, 2010

A momentary commentary on marking

Just finished off some marking I have done for the Open University T155 Linux: an introduction course. Whilst it would be imprudent to share the marks given or the quality of the work submitted by students. One subject I can comment on is the range of applications selected by students.

For half the marks, students have to select either two applications or a GUI improvement, the choices presented have been wide, varied, interesting and diverse. Admittedly I am aware of the manifold applications freely available for Linux, but unleashing 400+ students on a mission to make a personal choice and find an application (or two) that has not been covered on the course and install them has been refreshing.

The cunning plan behind the assessment is to guide the students learning on the course to a life post-study, having installed Linux, installed applications (solo, without guidance) and used the CLI. They are at least proficient users (and abusers) of the operating system.

Personally may blag…

This is for the social media spam bots

Seeing a RT from Cory Doctorow, lets see if the spam bots RT my mention of Social Media?

Linux a go go .......

Well, twelve weeks, 467 students start, 457 students complete, 340 students submit final assessments (75%). In Open University course terms is a very good course for recruitment and retention on a first, or that fact any presentation.

The course team ... See http://twitpic.com/25js3k had a little celebration, the one without the Ubuntu tshirt was given one and forget to bring it.

From left to right we have ...

Kevin Large : course external technical consultant and author
Andrew Smith : course chair and author
Nicky Moss : critical reader
Deirdre Bethune : course manager, herder of course chair and authors
Ian Cameron : course internal technical consultant and author

Looking forward to doing the marking co-ordination and marking over the next couple of weeks, then onto the next presentation in October.





Momentary thought

Seeing how some people you and I know have to grip onto ideas, with vigor and zeal, I share this thought from a greater mind ...

   It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it
    Aristotle

Nothing wrong with considering a possibility that may not be a reality.

Enjoy.

Its all flapdoodle, panic and oh dear, the sky appears to be falling in ...

Watching panic on two different educational fronts in the last fortnight, I have not come to any solid conclusions about the cause, but I have some interesting ideas.

In an educational process, where change is inevitable, you would expect that the educators have become used to this. Qualifications have a validated lifespan, after which they must be (ahem), revalidated. Normally when revalidation takes place, improvements are made, old material is removed, new material added.

THIS IS NORMAL.

Yet, with this September coming and the fact everyone has been made aware that the new qualification and credit framework has been on the horizon for at least three years (as far as I recall), you would think that they are prepared.

Some are, others not.

I tend not to get queries from those who are prepared, they have read the information, approached the situation in a calm manner and taken the time to consider their options.

Then there are those who have left it to the last minute, either because …

Getting the vendor units into the BTEC IT

I am sure some who read this will immediately add critique, why not unit x, or you should have included unit y, fair comment, until they take the time to make the voluntary contribution to get these units into the UK Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) National Database of Accredited Qualifications (NDAQ), we will enjoy the benefit of those we have.

The challenge of keeping vendor units in the QCF is a matter of timing, in the intervening period from agreed to inclusion to actual inclusion, some vendors have already changed their certification. Overcoming this will never be perfect, national qualifications have five year shelf lives, academic centres tend to plan their delivery in one year cycles and the vendors are driven by commercial objectives that in all cases are international in their nature and heed not the educational system of the UK (or any other nation).

This is compounded by the need for all vendor units to be awarding body neutral (this is another painful conversati…