E-moderating: Reflection

In the third week of the supporting virtual communities module, we were given a range of scenarios, and asked to outline what our response to the scenario would be. It was a very interesting and engaging activity, and through posting my own thoughts, reading others and reading replies to mine, a lot of issues got teased out during the week. The Lurker The first scenario asked us to compose a brief message that we would send to a student who had not yet made a contribution to the discussion board. My response is posted below. Some points I tried to…

VLEs: Are they dead or not?

In our first week of our Trends in E-Learning module, we’ve been looking at the VLE is dead debate. The seed for discussion was Martin Weller’s blog post (now over two years old) which makes the valid point that there are several independent third party (free) applications out there that address most if not all of the needs a VLE does, and do it a lot better because each individual application is that company’s core business. I’ve been thinking about my own relationship with VLEs as a practising lecturer, and a student, and as someone who has, if I may…

Maths for Chemistry Resources

Published 11th themed resource (along with a few sub resources from these not given below) on my site Maths for Chemistry today. Five more on basic chemistry calculations on the way! It’s amazing how much I’ve learned about Articulate in doing these, and interesting to track my own development ability (slowly improving 🙂 ) 11. Titration calculations 10. Basic Statistical Analysis 9. Paired t-test 8. One-sample t-test 7. Mass-mole calculations 6. Completing an F-test 5. Student’s t-test 4. Functions and Calibration Plots 3. Raoult’s Law 2. Logs in chemistry 1. Simultaneous Equations in Chemistry

Periodic Table of Videos

This is a really wonderful resource from the University of Nottingham. There is a video for each element showing its reactivity (or not), with demonstrations and insight into the underlying chemistry. The real star of the show is the wonderful Prof Martyn Poliakoff, below. He offers in his unique way, insight into each of the elements, and now into a host of other issues about chemistry. His easy style makes the videos addictive viewing. There is a twitter stream and a Facebook page too. I’ve embedded one of my favourite videos below, and the others can be viewed on the…

Interacting Online – problems arising out of discussion boards

I wanted to post some thoughts on the use of discussion boards in VLEs – both from the perspective as a learner and as a tutor. My impetus is that if online learning is to be truly beneficial in place of in-class learning, interactivity is the core driver. Discussion boards are fantastic in this regard, but I have come across some problems in recent usage. Discussion boards architecture Discussion boards are a useful locus for interaction between peers and between tutor and learners. In my role as tutor, I feel I have used them well in terms of providing students…

Chemistry: A Volatile History

Congratulations to all concerned in the production of the recent BBC series “Chemistry: A Volatile History”.  This series reminds me of Bill Bryson’s book, “A Short History of Nearly Everything“, in the way that the lives of the scientists involved in the chemical discoveries are discussed to give a rich context for their discoveries and innovation. I plan to return to this subject but for the moment I have linked below the three episodes, which are available on YouTube to all of us non-UK based-non-BBC-iPlayer people. Episode 1: Discovering the Elements Episode 2: The Order of the Elements Episode 3:…

Adding Articulate Presentation to WordPress.org

Since coming across Articulate a few months ago, I’ve made quite a few presentations and loaded them onto our VLE. But a new project on developing open access resources meant that I needed to host the videos myself. This entry explains how I took my Articulate presentation and loaded it up onto a site I set up. In particular (it took me two days to do what should have been a 5 minute job!), I highlight the pitfalls I came across and how I got around them. The good news is that once you have everything set up, it should…