climbing begins

climbing begins

There I thought I wouldn’t find anybody to participate in the little online PBL trial and now suddenly I am receiving loads and loads of responses, even from far far away and as far as Singapur. Very impressive. Mailing lists do work! At least the SEDA one! So, hopefully, by the end of this month, I should have the 6 participants I need. I am already thinking of increasing the number of the groups but am not sure if I should do it. It is hard to turn people away, especially if they are so keen to participate. I think I might add 1 participant per group, so that we have 4 max in each group, but no more. Larger groups can be problematic in online settings. I have personal (bad) experience and learnt from it. Of course, it doesn’t mean that it would never work… anyway.

My initial idea was to run the trial with people who are starting a new PgCert or have already started a programme last academic year. Should I open it up to other groups, for example individuals who already completed the PgCert? But then the focus of the research project would shift. Perhaps this could be done in the future… think, think, think.

It would be really nice to trial it with different groups. However, at the moment, I need to focus on the group I picked. Why did I pick PgCert participants? Well, I would like to explore if this approach could be used within the PgCert and at some point move beyond the trial and use it with a whole cohort. I am sure changes will need to be done. But first of all I need to investigate how it will work this time. Will it work? We will see. Again, looking ahead, I am thinking that perhaps a whole module could be delivered using a PBL format. I wouldn’t go for the whole programme. Variety is the spice of life!

It is getting exciting now! The PBL tutors are already working hard on the scenario and everything should be ready for the 6th of September. It is happening now… well almost ;o)


no shortcuts!

no shortcuts to get to the top!!!

I have made good progress with my online PBL research project. I am positive that the literature review will be ready by the end of August. Well, the draft is there already and more.

Do I enjoy literature reviews? I know Adam does, he told me the other day! I think I enjoy reading what other people have to say and find out about their studies and experiments. Many times it confirms my own findings and that is really fascinating. Sometimes, however, you read something and think, that can’t be right, no way. But that is ok too. Wouldn’t it be boring if we would all agree. I am getting side tracked here… do I enjoy composing literature reviews? I actually don’t know, if I do, or if I don’t. I have to admit that I find it challenging and always the hardest bit is to make a start and organising materials. Many times I find myself re-arranging things and it feels like moving furniture around. Then of course, some things, end up on the skip too and usually there is too many pieces of furniture… like in real life. The process of writing a literature review is like climbing a huge mountain. My legs get tired as soon as I go upwards on this mountain. Downwards, I feel much lighter and happier, all the hard work has been done.

… I don’t know why I wrote the above. It wasn’t my intension when I started typing this evening. I guess, I needed it out of my system. Maybe it is Adam’s fault who told me that he loves literature reviews and that made me think.

Anyway, what I do enjoy is the experimenting part and recording raw findings. This is the bit that fascinates me most. I am really looking forward to the trial and hope to find my 6 participants. Nobody yet… unfortunately. Just the PBL facilitators and that is great! I know it is summer now and many are on a beach somewhere… but I have to find them soon. The idea and plan was to start the trial in September… this year.

Will send the email again and contact a few people I know within other HE institutions. Looking back, I am thinking that it was probably not a good idea to try and recruit PgCert participants for this trial… I could have opened it up to a wider audience… but, but, but… and there are a few of them. It was important for me that it was for PgCert people. Maybe I should have designed it in a different way and discussed the trial with my manager so that it could perhaps be linked to an assessed task on our programme. Was I too ambitious? Will it be too hard to find 6 PgCert participants from 6 different programmes? I understand that everybody will be busy with the programme when it starts in Sep/Oct and I really would get only enthusiasts who would be willing to spend a few hours a week on the trial. This is the thing! Time! Will I find people who will make the time to participate??? I have to come up with an alternative strategy, just in case I don’t get anybody! While I am writing this now, I start making connections and this might hopefully lead to an idea. We will see.

So, more thinking for me ;o)

Biggest surprise so far? How little I have found about PBL within Academic Development!

free and locked



This probably doesn’t make sense to anybody else…

Just didn’t make it to the blog in the last few weeks… yes, we have finally moved now and our stuff, well most of it, is in storage. We hope temporarily but it might take a bit longer to find a new home. All kinds of things happened before, during and after the move and it was as dramatic as you could get it!

I have to admit it was a strange feeling leaving the place that was our home for the last 10 years. We are gone now and a new chapter in our lives has just began. We have taken sweet memories with us and left all the bad ones behind… I wouldn’t like them to follow us… we are starting fresh in the North-West now.

What I am missing? Our friends! Nothing else! But I am sure we will see them again ;o)

Will we get the house we are in the process of getting? No idea at the moment. It is now up to the solicitors. I have to say it is really exhausting selling and buying and some of the processes seem long winded. But this is the process, I guess. In the meantime, until we are sure that we will get this one, we are looking again… but this time just in the same area, not around the whole North-West. We will see.