What’s next? The series finale…

Helen Cooke is a Senior Manager in the Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation team in PVC Students and responsible for the day-to-day running of the Open Programme. She is a Senior Fellow of AdvanceHE, based on her work supporting multidisciplinary students in an online environment.

Way back at the end of March (remember those pre-lockdown days…?), our eminent Director of the Open Programme, Professor Martin Weller, sensibly suggested that we should run a weekly drop-in session for students in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19. Less sensible, we thought, was his suggestion that the focus of the conversation could be on toilet roll hoarding and stockpiling pasta… Continue reading

Pods, Blogs & Vlogs!

The session on 14th July was led by Jay Rixon, Senior Manager in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation alongside our guest, Finlay Games.  Finn is an LGBTQ+ Youtuber, blogger, and Motivational Speaker and is currently studying Psychology and Creative Writing with The Open University. 

One of the blessings during lockdown is access to a wealth of information online. Blogs, vlogs, and podcasts can help us to feel connected to others, to find information and support, and are a way to spend our time. My name is Finlay Games and on the 14th July I joined Jay Rixon for an Open Programme student/staff drop-in session, to chat all things vlogs, blogs, and podcasts.

The session began with a discussion about what everyone was watching, reading, and listening to. People also spoke about how they discovered content, with some following specific people and others following particular topics. Continue reading

Four Famous Poems- A Reflective Discussion

Jay Rixon is a Senior Manager in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation and responsible for the MA or MSc Open qualification. In this post, Jay reflects on a staff-student online drop-in session titled ‘Four Famous Poems – a literary discussion’ held on Tuesday 30th June 2020.

In the session, Jay was joined by Dr John Butcher, Director of Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation who led the discussion.

 

 

Our drop-in sessions were created as a response to going into lockdown.  They were intended to be an antidote to the challenging news at the time and an opportunity to explore and wallow in well-known topics and enjoy a community of people who value learning across a range of subjects. We have explored many topics in these online sessions, from music, film, books, TV and art among many others. For this occasion, the topic of poetry was selected, and four poems were chosen to be delved into, explored and examined. Continue reading

Four Famous Artworks- a creative discussion

Jay Rixon is a Senior Manager in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation and responsible for the MA or MSc Open qualification. In this post, Jay reflects on a staff-student online drop-in session titled ‘Four Famous Artworks – a creative discussion’ session held on Tuesday 16th June 2020. 

 

In our student and staff Open Programme drop-in sessions we have covered many a key topic such as music, books, films, TV, travel, pastimes/hobbies and food among other themes, and for this week’s session our spotlight landed on the world of art.

We chose to spend our Adobe Connect session focusing on four famous artworks: exploring the paintings, the artists who created them, and delving into the back story behind each piece.

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Lockdown Likes: Creative Initiatives we have enjoyed

Jay Rixon is a Senior Manager in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation and responsible for the MA or MSc Open qualification. In this post, Jay reflects on a staff-student online drop-in session titled ‘Lockdown Likes’ which was held on Tuesday 2nd June 2020. 

This period of lockdown has been punctuated with welcome initiatives that have been local, national and international. For this student and staff Open Programme drop-in session, we explored some of these initiatives that have seen a creative use of ideas, collaborative approach, technology, social media and entrepreneurial spirit. For this session we use Adobe Connect, where we can verbally exchange ideas and capture comments in a chat box making full use of this technology to connect in our Open Programme community. We opened the session discussing the different lockdown initiatives we have been exploring.

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Time for an Open Programme quiz? Let’s play Trivial Pursuit

Jay Rixon is a Senior Manager in Access, Open and Cross-curricular Innovation and responsible for the MA or MSc Open qualification. In this post, Jay reflects on a staff-student online drop-in session titled ‘the Open Programme quiz’ held on Tuesday 12th May 2020. 

During this season of lockdown, quizzes seem to have had a resurgence or suddenly become cool again. I’ve heard of families spending more time together who started getting boardgames out of cupboards, brushing the dust off them and playing the type of games normally only saved for post-Christmas dinner. The rise of the online quiz has also been hugely popular during this current period, with online technology saving the day: clever interactive programmes or apps enabling a community of people who can virtually gather together to play or meeting virtually by using software like Zoom, Facetime or MS Teams. I’ve played games where everyone has written a round of questions or someone has played the role of quiz master for a group of friends or a wider community.

These re-imagined quiz nights seemed like just the right thing for this period. A chance to spend virtual time with friends and family when we could not be together, but to also have a laugh, have a bit of escapist fun and for those who have the tendency to be a little bit competitive – get your game on!

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