Anticipating new open courses and conferences

Next week sees the official end of the summer break for many people, particularly those working in education. The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in, but the autumn fruits are still ripening (here in the UK).

In my career in education, these coming months up until the December break have always been very busy. The renewed energy and enthusiasm that emanates from people as they start again after the summer break is almost palpable and, I find, motivating.

There seem, at this time, to be many open courses on offer and conferences of interest. It’s impossible to follow them all, but those that I will be keeping an eye on are:

ALTC website

ALTC 2015: 1st to 3rd September. Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave #altc

I cannot attend this in person, but there are a number of live streamed presentations which I am hoping to listen to. ALTC is usually a stimulating conference.

Connected Courses. Active Co-Learning in Higher Ed. Sept 2nd to Dec 14th 

This has caught my attention because of the number of well-known names involved in the course design.

Modern and Contemporary American Poetry Coursera MOOC. Sept 6th to Nov 15th.

I completed this course last year, but there is plenty more to learn and it was so good last year that I am looking forward to joining it again. I know very little about poetry, but this does not seem to be a barrier to enjoyment. Last year I didn’t join the discussion forums. They are somewhat overwhelming and move too fast for me. I might give them a try this year, but I think I am once again more likely to watch the videos and do the close readings. Also, having already completed the course once, I will be selective, this year, about the parts of the course that I follow.

Networked Scholars Oct 20th – Nov 16th.

An open, free course being offered by George Veletsianos. I think/hope this course will be relevant to my own research. If it is then I hope to be fully engaged.

8th Eden Research Workshop. Challenges for Research into Open and Distance Learning; Doing Things Better – Doing Better Thing

I would like to go to this conference. I particularly like the look of the programme structure which seems to focus on discussion rather than presentations.

I think this is the limit of what I could possibly hope to keep up with. Usually I only manage to focus on one course at a time.

It’ll be interesting to see whether I manage all this in the coming months, on top of other commitments, and if not, then which topics/courses will claim most of my time!

3 thoughts on “Anticipating new open courses and conferences

  1. Glenyan September 2, 2014 / 12:54 am

    Wow, this looks like a full course load, Jenny, some good looking courses though. These days I’m hesitant to even commit to one course, as it will often cut into my own reading/studying. This fall i’m only in one Video Game course at UofAlberta. I’m curious, though, and I think what you’re saying at the end of this post is that you sign up for more courses that you know you can handle, then stick with the ones that you like & have time for? If so, I think it’s a great way to approach online classes…heh, and kind of debunks any myths about open course drop-out rates

  2. jennymackness September 2, 2014 / 11:32 am

    Hi Glen – yes it will be too much – but I couldn’t decide which to prioritise, so I thought, as I have done in the past, that I would keep and eye on them and see how it goes. Then I’ll probably settle down and focus on one. In the past I have only ever managed to fully engage in one course at a time.

    I am also aware that if I sign up (however informal that process might be), then the resources of the course are available to me, sometimes for quite a time after the end of the course. So sometimes I sign up just to gain access to the resources.

    I agree with you that there is a balance to be sought in allowing enough time for other work/reading/study, which might not be online and for me, it’s sometimes difficult to find that balance. Because of my research interests, I feel I need to at least have an overview of what is going on ‘out there’, but then I have to decide how deep to dig in and where to dig in. It’s that breadth/depth issue again!

    Thanks for you visit 🙂

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