#ocTEL Final Week

Well this is going to be a very short post. Not because I am not interested in the final topic on evaluation, but because I am busy preparing two conference presentations I am giving in just over a week. I hope to catch up though on week ten materials, because I am particularly interested in evaluation. My background is in developing randomised controlled trials for health care interventions, and I am encouraged to find some RCTs evaluating technology enhanced learning interventions. So I will be reading some of the materials in this week.

And a big thanks to the ocTEL team – I’ve submitted comments about the MOOC overall. The main things I found was that it was too much for too long. I’d love to have had the time but I don’t. In future, perhaps it would be helpful to break the course down into sections, so that one would study for a few weeks then have a break. But I have certainly learnt some very helpful things overall. Whether I will be able to introduce those into my work remains to be seen.

Thanks too for those who commented on my blog and other postings, and to other students who presented postings for me to read and comment on aswell.




"a technophobic in recovery" . Hello - I'm a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester, England. My subject area is Public Health. I spend most of my time teaching postgraduate students on a fully online distance learning programme in public health and primary care. I have come from a research background in public health and primary in the UK National Health Service. My main research & public health interests include the evaluation and impact assessment of public health interventions. I have published papers on randomised controlled trials, cross sectional studies and systematic reviews. My teaching and learning interests, more recently pursued, include pedagogy for vocational postgraduate students in an international context; the use of web-based technology for learning; Open Learning and MOOCs and the development of critical thinking skills and research training.

Posted in OcTEL
2 comments on “#ocTEL Final Week
  1. David Jennings says:

    Hi Roger,

    Thank you for this. I’m interested to follow up your “too much for too long” comment, and see what might be “about the right amount for about the right time”.

    In this run we divided the course into three “modules”: 4 weeks, then 3 weeks, then another 3.

    How about if we made each module 2 ‘units’ long, and a ‘reading week’ between each module. So instead of 10 weeks we’d have 9 structured as follows:
    1. Module 1, Unit a
    2. Module 1, Unit b
    3. Module 1 reading week
    4. Module 2, Unit a
    5. Module 2, Unit b
    6. Module 2 reading week
    7. Module 3, Unit a
    8. Module 3, Unit b
    9. Module 3 reading week, wrap up and evaluation


    all the best, and thanks for all your contributions throughout the course,

    • Hi David and thanks for following this up. My thoughts would be to run three separate courses. Your suggest of reading weeks etc still makes it quite time intensive. But, my having separate courses that focused on the different modules would be more preferable for me I think. I suppose, much depends overall on what the expectations are in terms of how much learning course providers and participants are aiming for. I’d like a course which focused specifically on student interaction/participation. I know some of this was covered in the existing course, but, I was a bit disappointed at how some of the important issues around that were not covered fully for me. I would also liked to have seen more pedagogical evidence presented – the question that I often hear is “but what is the evidence for these methods” – a good question to ask. I know some of the evidence but would like to find out more about what evidence there is when a particular subject comes up, and also, what gaps there are.

      I’m fairly new to the actual TEL part of online learning, but have been running an online distance learning course for about 7 years now. I am interested in looking at how or what can be improved, and what challenges that presents. Our students are all over the world and brings in specific questions at times about synchronous working, connection, software, etc etc.

      I’ve learnt loads from taking this MOOC, I just started to get worn out after a few weeks especially as work started to become very busy. It did make me realise as well that perhaps signing up to do another formal course that would run over a longer period time is not right for me now. So that’s why MOOCs or just free courses like this are so important. So thanks for all your hard work too – I’m sure it’s been a very big undertaking.



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