Tag Archives: PGCert

Customise me

Don’t give it to me unless I can customise it

My first car was a 1993 Rover Mini Cooper 1.3i, in British Racing Green (obviously). I bought it second hand in ’97 from John Cooper Garages (JCG) in West Sussex, and the legendary John Cooper himself handed my the keys (and made my mum a cup of tea while I did the paperwork).

Like so many people who own a Mini it didn’t stay ‘standard’ for very long, as I read through the Mini magazines on the kinds of things I could do to personalise the car. I went to Mini events, like the London-to-Brighton Mini Run and the 40th anniversary party at Silverstone, and looked over the show cars and private cars that were parked up, as well as the stands and auto-jumble traders. I bought the whole set of JCG brushed aluminium door furniture (window winders, door pulls, etc.) and chrome accessories (bling!), as well as doing more mechanical upgrades like vented discs and four-pot calliper for both front and read brakes, and a full-length straight-through (manifold to rear ‘box) DTM-style exhaust system (ooh, that was awesome!).

This was the start of my love affair with tinkering and messing with anything that’s standard to make it personal for what and how I like it.  Continue reading

Open Badges: Doug Belshaw

Open Badges: Badges for Learning?

I have only taken one certified or official course since I completed my undergraduate degree in 1996, and that was the PG Cert in 2010. Everything else I have done I have done on my own because I (a) wanted to, (b) needed to. But I have nothing to show for it other then the knowledge and experience it has helped me achieve – but how can I show colleagues or employers this knowledge? Why, ‘Open Badges’ is how!

I wonder how many badges I could be displaying about now if Open Badges were around when I started? I bet there are a few!

It wasn’t until I worked through Doug’s presentation below (given to the eAssessment Conference 2012 last week) that I realised just how clever these badges are: they’re images with metadata hard-coded into them including name, description, and details of the issuer (date, origin, name, organisation, etc) as well as the recipient (so you can’t nick someone else’s and pass it off as your own achievement!) and expiry date (!).

Open Badges are (adapted from Doug’s presentation above):
  • visual representations of achievements, learning, skills, interests, competencies – anything you want the badge to represent,
  • a complement to traditional education ‘certification’,
  • capable of accommodating formal or informal pathway for learning,
  • representative of hard & soft skills, peer assessment, and ‘stakable lifelong learning’,
  • snapshots of learning wherever or however it occurred,
  • ‘stealth assessment’!

I like Doug’s work and agree that (on slide 17/18 above) open badges are not an “either/or” decision when considering degrees, certificates, or diplomas, but “both/and”.

Open Badges: Doug Belshaw

If you’re at all interested on how we “get there” (“there” is the open badges displayed, for example, on a LinkedIn profile – above) then check out slide 23 for an excellent graphical representation of the ‘open badge infrastructure’.

I for one would love to be able to show my learning experiences in this way, and will be keeping an active eye on the developments of Open Badges (

What is a MOOC? #edtech

A MOOC is a ‘Massive Open Online Course’ and, as the video from Dave Cormier below introduces it as a

“response to the challenges faced by organisations and distributed disciplines at a time of information overload.”

A MOOC is not for credit, it’s for (networked) learning. You participate in a MOOC because you want to learn about a particular topic or subject. A MOOC is an alternative (attractive?) mode of learning in a flat, technologically interconnected world  and supports life-long networked learning.

A MOOC is similar to the traditional courses that we think about when looking at learning and education: it has facilitators, students, resources, start and end date, etc, but it’s about connecting and collaborating.

Watch the video and have David explain better, and fully.

“It used to be that if you wanted to know about something you could do a few things: you could ask someone, you could buy a book, you could try to figure it out for yourself, or you could call a school.  If that school offered that course in that thing you were trying to figure out, you could go there and take it. You could get access.”

Other resources you ought to look into, when thinking about this kind of learning, include the “Explore a New Learning Frontier” post from Learning Solutions Magazine, “Is it or is it not a MOOC?” from Rebecca Hogue, and “”Change MOOC” from Doug Belshaw.

Does the idea of a MOOC work (for you)? Have you participated in one, or have you organised one even? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below. At the moment I am interested in furthering my experience and qualifications (see my posts on CMALT and PG Certificate) but I would certainly participate in a MOOC … in fact, I already am – the Codecademy, even if I haven’t started yet!


Postgraduate Certificate #bugraduation

Excellent, it’s official – yesterday I graduated from Bournemouth University with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Practice, with Merit. W’hoo! It was 8 months of hard work and well worth the effort, but I got there through the three Units and assignments.

Next up … CMALT, and who mentioned a PhD?

Toonlet - eLearning

Resource: Creating cartoons for your eLearning (@toonlet) #eLearning #Cartoon

Every now and then I come across something that gives me that ‘Eureka!’ moment, and when I found Toonlet.com I had one.

Instead of my usual introduction and walk-through on what the tool can do, why not let it speak for itself? Here is a Toonlet ‘toon …

Click to view large version

I am also planning on using toons created here to illustrate a guide I am writing as part of my PG Cert course … stick around and you’ll see it here first when I get my marks back!

What is also amazing is that (with a little digging and trial and error, as well as reading their ‘toonup’ guides) you can find a link to a high resolution version of the cartoon strip, which makes embedding in posters, presentation, etc even better – and if you wanted to use in a printed document it’s good for that too (or a coffee mug for Father’s Day!).

I would like to thank Flea Palmer for showing me Toonlet through her brilliant cartoon called “Facing the consequences… a social networking horror story!

Induction Activities: Some good examples using video …

As some of you may know I am working towards a post-graduate certificate qualification in Education Practice at Bournemouth University. I’ve spent most of my Christmas break (when the family and kids allowed) working on my first assignment for the ‘Introduction to Education Practice’ unit. I am basing this on my work in developing and delivering the Induction Programme for the fully-online International Business and Management under-graduate degree, and how it can be improved/updated to suit the possible changing student profile in the anticipated future economic climate.

While searching and researching the various methods of induction for students I cam across these videos and explanations on the IMU eLearning blog, a few I’ll show here, but please view the original post to view them all.

  • What happens next?

Ask the students to watch the video below and be prepared to discuss a ‘what happens next’ situation. Play the video and pause it when the cat reaches the fishbowl, then ask your students to discuss what happens next. Most likely you will stimulate their minds to think creatively about what happens next in a competitive but enjoyable way. Did you guess what happened next … ?

  • Awareness test

Tell the students you are looking for them to be observant, and to count how many passes of the ball the White team makes. Play the video below and pause it when the teams have stopped passing the ball between them. Ask for the answers … and then ask them if anyone saw the moonwalking bear? When they’ve stopped gasping or laughing continue the video.

  • Language Skills

This is a good example of the importance of language skills, which can often be a sensitive subject for some students who have poor english – use this light-hearted example to break the barrier and raise a laugh or two.

Do you use any video clips in your induction? If so please share with us all and leave a comment.

PS. I used the Smart YouTube WordPress plugin to embed these YouTube videos, try it out on your own WordPress blog too, it’s so very easy!