I did four modules to earn two master’s degrees with the Open University in the UK. The most recent module was H817 Openness and Innovation in E-learning.
Below are the first three modules I completed :
H800 Technology-Enhanced Learning
I started a course, called Technology-Enhanced Learning, and this page is a record of what I’m learning, or perhaps I should say, what I’m metaphorically-acquiring, or AM-ing. Oh yeah. If that sounds odd, welcome to academia. I might be AM-ing one minute and PM-ing (a metaphor for learning by participation) the next. This is quite ironic for me – I’m doing a course with a fair amount of jargon to learn but I’ve been teaching Plain English for years. Anyway, this page’ll be continually updated. Well, that’s the plan…. and you know how plans go right ?
WEEK1 Gregor Kennedy and the NET generation.
WEEK2 John Seely Brown and group learning.
WEEK3 Anna Sfard and the metaphors of learning.
WEEK4 Brown and Situated Cognition; Engelstrom and Expansive Learning at Work
WEEK5 Salomon, McLuhan and Wesch; media and technology and the connections to learning.
WEEK7 Triumph of the Nerds and Multiple Perspectives.
WEEK8&9 Designing for Learning
WEEK10 To Blog or Not to Blog – that is reflection.
And after 10 weeks of blogging, I decided not to blog.
E854 Investigating Language in Action
Part 1 is about the theories that underpin applied linguistics. I’m a teacher so I think it’s results, in the classroom, that should drive theory and decisions about pedagogics (teaching methods).
Sadly, it seems there are many who think it is the other way round and applied linguists especially seem to think it is research that should drive theory and this should determine pedagogics,with the exception being the practical approach adopted in corpus linguistics.
So it is little wonder that education flip flops from one idea to the next. This BBC article is a good example of yet another change forced on everyone because, “research shows overwhelmingly that….” when it never does any such thing unless it’s biased by the researcher or is blindingly obvious to everyone, even a government minister.
Part 4 looks at using Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics to examine texts and this section is really the focus of the course because it is what must be used in the final course assessment and I’ll be using it in my EMA too. It’s a laborious and exhausting way to classify and examine language, but it is useful and the course should have focused on this much more I think.
The last two parts look at Critical Discourse Analysis (the political side of applied linguistics) and Ethnography (simplistic analysis of people’s opinions). However, since they don’t form any part of the assessment system, and don’t look useful to an apolitical person with too little time to worry about the deeper cultural implications of learning, I skimmed them.
E854 was interesting because I’m an English teacher, but disappointing because apart from SFL, it wasn’t practical enough.
E891 Educational Enquiry
Part 1 is about the diversity of educational research and the factors influencing its development. I say factors but really there is only one – funding. It also gives an insight into the baggage that educational research carries – its roots in psychology.
Part 2 is looking at the philosophies that have come to dictate how and why research is carried out. It’s a jargon storm of epistemological proportions.
Part 3 is finally something semi-useful – designing a research project. Only semi – just talk, not action
Part 4 is about looking at data, but it doesn’t give enough meat about instrument design to be useful
Part 5 is criticising others research. I don’t need encouragement eh.
And, that’s it. MA in Education done. By the numbers it’s almost 3 years, 45,000 words and £5,400.
To get a second MA, I only need to do one more module – H817. See above.