Archive for November, 2012

Seminar: The University, the Scholar and the Student

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012


Thinking the present with Max Weber

A series of seminar-workshops to be organised by the Max Weber Study Group of the British Sociological Association  

Seminar-workshop 1: Co-organised with the University of Salford and UCU Salford 

The University, the Scholar and the Student 

7 December 2012 – University of Salford (Manchester) 


CFP: Students in Twentieth Century Europe

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Submission deadline: Thursday, January 31 2013

Conference date: Thursday, July 18 2013

Conference Venue: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, University of Portsmouth
Portsmouth, United Kingdom (more…)

Massive online lectures?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The world of online free teaching materials, Massive Open Online Courses and Udacity has been much discussed over recent months. The OU is rarely seen as a precusor to these attempts to democratise education and other developments in this field. There is a history of MOOCs and the OU yet to be written. However, here Shirky  (who popularised the term ‘cognitive surplus’ when describing the potential uses of the web) calls makes a connection and calls the OU ‘remarkable and interesting’. See Clay Shirky, Cognitive surplus: creativity and generosity in a connected age, Penguin, New York, 2010. According to this report Udacity appears to aim to upload lecture theatre talks. This is not the technique favoured by the OU which has developed ideas about online collaborative learning and has popularised student engagement. One of the OU’s lecturers in educaitonal technology discusses the implications here.

Unobservant journalism

Monday, November 12th, 2012

 Writing on 11th November journalist Carole Cadwalladr argued

When the Open University was launched in 1969, it was both radical and democratic. It came about because of improvements in technology – television – and it’s been at the forefront of educational innovation ever since. It has free content – on OpenLearn and iTunesU. But at its heart, it’s no longer radically democratic. From this year, fees are £5,000.

Her analysis of how the OU has supposedly lost its’ way is supported by personal testimony (more…)

Former AL notes significance of OU

Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South and Shadow Minister for Further Education, Skills and Regional Growth is a former Editor of History Today and a former Open University tutor. He mentioned the OU in a recent speech, made to mark the re-opening of Ruskin College, which recently moved to a new location in Oxford. Below is an extract: (more…)