Posted by: Clive | May 18, 2008

Progress update

I’ve spent a good part of this last week reading independent study projects from this year’s level three students. I’ve enjoyed most of the reading and been really excited by some of the work. Of course I chart the journey of those students I supervise throughout the year so mostly I know what’s coming. Yet to see the bits come together is always satisfying and the whole invariably comes to more than aggregated bits. I think that’s one of the secrets: creating a ‘something’ which is a whole, which sustains an argument and which is not simply 3 or 4 pieces of work stitched together. Those students who do less well are often those who realise this too late to do anything about it. There has to be a eureka moment early enough so that you can take advantage of it to produce something really, really interesting. I’ll report some of the feedback I’ve been writing for these students later next term so that you can learn something from it.

I’ve also been pleased with the progress you’ve been making in developing the blogs. Not everyone is convinced of the power of blogging for the independent study unit. I certainly am and that’s why, at this stage, I am making it an essential part of the unit.

Last week I led a session at the Faculty Learning and Teaching Conference on the use of blogs. I introduced the work that we’re all doing in this unit to around 20 lecturers in the Faculty. They were really enthusiastic and you’ll probably have some new readers as a result. Publicise your blogs – get people reading them. Family, friends, other students, potential supervisors – all these people will comment giving ideas and suggestions. The more you garner a reading public the more you will benefit beyond having a platform for yourself and your supervisor.

I’ll be doing some more online tutorials to explore with you other tools you can employ on your blog.


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