SAS Blogs | Supporting world-class research in the humanities

Are MOOC’s the future or a dead end?

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 MOOC poster April 4, 2013 by Mathieu Plourde licensed CC-BY on Flickr

MOOC poster April 4, 2013 by Mathieu Plourde licensed CC-BY on Flickr

Are MOOC’s the answer to the problems facing Higher Education or are they a threat that will damage learning at degree level? In this blog post we take a quick look at some of the prevailing issues.

Massive Open Online courses (MOOC’s) have major issues to overcome.  This was the view put forward by Ormond Simpson at last year’s Research and Innovation in Distance Education and e-learning (RIDE) conference. Those creating the courses need to solve the problem that not everyone joining a course will be at the same level of education or have a similar skill set to one another.  Course creators need to adapt their materials to a variety of learner types and provide a workable apparatus for helping students who fall behind the others. Continue reading →

#PoTW – BBC2: Origins; Influence; Audiences: A 50th Anniversary Conference

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Hullaballoo and Custard © BBC

Hullaballoo and Custard © BBC

On the 20th April 1964 the BBC launched its second television channel: BBC2. Although the launch was a flop (due to a major power cut) the station soon became a fixture of UK broadcasting. This conference engages with the example of BBC2 in a contribution to the history of how, as well as what, we access through television.

In the 1960s questions were raised about the increasingly dominant role of television in the home and the part the Pilkington Committee played in preserving middle- and upper-class values in the medium. It was also the first channel in the UK to offer UHF, then colour, television, changing the way that television was produced, broadcast and consumed.
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Training at the BBC Academic – Social Media, Online Learning, and Developing Trends

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Myles Runham (BBC)

Myles Runham (BBC)

Tomorrow we welcome our next speaker to the Social Scholar seminar (see here for details). In anticipation, here is a summary, slides, and video from the March session.

Myles Runham is Head of Online at the BBC Academy. As such it is his job to think about the capabilities and limitations of online learning as part of the BBC’s requirement to offer training to the wider media industry.

Amongst the digital tools that the BBC Academy uses and engages with are those categorised as social media. At the March session of the Social Scholar Myles Runham looked at how social media and other digital tools are transforming what the BBC do to provide training. In doing so he makes a comparison to the Higher Education sector which is similarly being asked to update methods and pedagogy with the digital in mind. In essence we must ask ourselves how we can use social media tools to widen engagement and provide better training, whilst not losing sight of the core of what ‘training’ actually requires. Continue reading →

#PoTW – A State of Our Own: Second Independence, Federalism and the Decolonisation of the State in Africa

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Map showing dates of Decolonisation and Independence in Africa

Map showing dates of Decolonisation and Independence in Africa

The lecture interrogates the intriguing features of statehood and politics in Africa. It argues that the decolonisation process in Africa is incomplete without the liberation of the state which retains its colonial cast and remains the locus and embodiment of colonisation. This process is already underway in different forms and at various stages all over the continent under the banner of second independence movements whose object is the appropriation, realignment and reorientation of states that constituents can genuinely call their own. Briefly stated, second independence aims at decolonisation, something first independence failed to do. Given the primacy of the deep cleavages of ethnicity, regionalism and religion to the political contestations and demands of the second independence ferment to reclaim the state, the lecture makes a case for federalism operationalised as a variety of federal solutions, as the most suitable political framework for decolonising the state.
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Festival in a Box: sharing knowledge on dementia and the arts

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Blooms leaves

 Project Dissemination:

As the Bloomsbury Festival in a Box Project moves towards its dissemination stages, we are opening up the ‘archives of engagement’ that have developed over the course of the project via a number of outlets. The first of these is a knowledge share day at the School of Advanced Study, which will bring together leading practitioners in arts and health and dementia, alongside researchers and artists associated with the Festival in a Box project and representatives from Age UK Camden.  The day aims to provide an environment in which the lessons learned from our project can be contextualized in relation to both established and emerging interventions in this field.

Sharing Knowledge:

The event will be held on Thursday May 1st 2014, Senate House, University of London 10am – 4pm. Alongside members of the project team and associated artists from the Bloomsbury Festival, we will welcome the following guest speakers:

The speakers represent a cross-section of leading projects examining the value of cultural activity broadly, and specifically in relation to those living with dementia.

Please join us:

The event is free and open to all, and a lunch and refreshments will be included. Whilst all are welcome, however, there is limited capacity for this event. For further details, and to book a place, please contact michael.eades@sas.ac.uk.

 

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