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March 29, 2009

Public or Public Facing? #jiscri

March 29, 2009

I've been chatting to Joss Winn on Twitter about his JISCRI bid, WriteToReply: Supporting Document Based Public Consultations on the Web. The conversation arose from my failure to grasp the purpose of the JISCRI BuddyPress site, (see Writing in Public Spaces).It's hard to make an intellectual case against open access these days, but open access is concerned ...

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March 26, 2009

PedR Superstar?

March 26, 2009

Following on from Tuesday's Pedagogic Research in the Biosciences event, yesterday I left a drive-by comment on Jo's blog about the connection (or rather, disconnect) between teaching and pedagogic research.Clearly, you don't need to teach to do PedR, and I can think of a few PedR superstars who have never taught. But if you do teach, and ...

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March 23, 2009

The way forward

March 23, 2009

After the wonderful input from all the contributors to last week's posts about my final year virology course (Groupthink, Groupthink update), I spent the weekend pondering the comments and I now have a plan for next year.The trick, of course, is to separate learning from assessment. The question was raised, why do you need to assess students? ...

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March 19, 2009

Groupthink

March 19, 2009

AJCann Sigh, Just had a really depressing final session with year 3 virology class.AJCann They've been writing blog posts since January, complaining bitterly "too hard".AJCann Do they read others posts? "No". Should I use a wiki instead? "No, it's not 'fair' ". Sigh. Give up?psychemedia @AJCann writing blog posts is hard if it's not what you just do ...

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An Unpost About Uncourses

March 19, 2009

This week, I've been thinking about uncourses, so in the accustomed manner when I want to reflect on something, here's the obligatory blog post. Unlike the traditional structure of beginning (grab their attention), middle (state the case), and end (request information or set up the discussion) narrative structure I normally use for posts, being an unpost, we're ...

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March 12, 2009

Bimodal

March 12, 2009

An increasing tendency we seem to be seeing here in successive undergraduate cohorts is a bimodal mark distribution. Although I don't have any formal evidence, I have strong hunch that there is a correlation with disengagement in the lower part of the distribution. The question, as ever with correlations, is one of cause or effect. Are these ...

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March 11, 2009

Scaffolding reflection

March 11, 2009

As our class of approximately 200 first year biological science students continue to develop their ePortfolios, I've been documenting the process here. If you've read the earlier posts you'll know that the rationale behind this experiment is to promote personal development by enhancing reflection rather than to produce a document of record which would be directly ...

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March 06, 2009

Time for change

March 06, 2009

Like most UK higher education institutions, we are proud that we use criterion referenced marking in our assessments. We sneer at American universities which mark on the curve.And all was well. Until the 1980s when GCSEs moved from norm-based to criterion-based. Followed by A levels. And then government policy became for 50% of the UK population to go ...

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February 27, 2009

Should I stay or should I go?

February 27, 2009

When I started blogging, I was worried I might run out of things to write about. Now I'm worried I may run out of things not to write about.I sometimes get emails from people offering to buy one of my blogs. I've always assumed that these were either from bankers looking to blow a few billion, or ...

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February 26, 2009

Lies, damned lies and frustration

February 26, 2009

This term I will be mostly teaching statistics. To nearly 300 students split between first and second year. In two hours a week, which is where the problem lies.How can I say this diplomatically? As a population (SPSS has rotted my brain), biologists are not the most numerate of scientists. And yet - most think that statistics ...

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