Keep moving (and skipping, if necessary)

26/04/2013 in Course information

At this stage of the course most of you will have felt at some point that you are “behind” in some way because you have not done all the scheduled activities.

There is no such thing as “behind” on ocTEL. Let us remind you of the advice we gave at the very beginning of the course.

One of the features of this kind of course design is to present you… with a range of options that can seem over-stimulating at first… Always remember that these are options: you don’t have to do them all.

This is a professional development course, and its designers trust you, as a professional, to make your own judgements about what learning activities are useful to you and which you can skip. The reason there are so many options and alternative ways of spending your time is precisely to give you choice and control over selecting a path that feels right for you.

We recommend that you pace yourself through the course. Don’t worry if, for reasons within or beyond your control, you miss a week. Resist any feelings of guilt or envy when you read about other participants’ interesting activities that you weren’t part of. Try and make time for looking away from the screen and out of the window, letting your mind freewheel on some of the ideas, because that can be a very valuable part of the learning experience.

Some other tips for dealing with the “behind” problem:

  • only do one thing — each week we identify an activity that you should do “if you only do one thing” during this week, and if you’ve only got one hour to spend this is how we recommend you spend it;
  • do nothing and skip a week (or two) — over the course of ten or eleven weeks, there will be some times when you’re struggling to keep your head above water with your everyday work, let alone course activities. If you have to miss part of the course, do it, and don’t fret about it. The course is sequenced with an order and logic in mind. It is not, however, so linear that you will not be able to learn from a later week if you’ve skipped an earlier one.

[Update, 26 April: This post came about via a discussion with Sue Folly, volunteer tutor-about-town, and Nicola Whitton, lead tutor for Week 3. I should have spotted that Sue had already posted her own excellent set of advice on the same question.]

4 responses to Keep moving (and skipping, if necessary)

  1. Hi Ted, I was given some advise about how to manage Twitter and I think it has relevance for your current place – treat it like the conversation when you enter the room, just go forward, do not back-track. I had a real F2F with Sue Foley (how last century of us) on this very subject yesterday. We decided that the questionnaires are easy-wins and there is lots of discussion around it so should be easy to pick up on some of that. I would also recommend you watch the Rheingold video recommended at the very end of the course ‘to-do’ list for week. Hope you will be jogging along again soon.

  2. Just to clarify, I’ve checked with Jo (jrconlon95) and her comment is a reply to the tweet that I embedded in my post from Ted (@gotanda). This shows the hazards of embedding tweets without making clear what you’re doing: I included Ted’s tweet and my reply as an illustration of the point in my post; Jo thought it was a comment on my post… Sorry for any confusion caused.

    To indulge this tangent for a moment, and taking Jo’s point of twitter being like going into a room and picking up a conversation already in mid flow, I’ve also heard twitter compared to a pub. There’s always a few jokers and miscreants in there, whatever the hour. Go there when you want to have a chat, and catch up on miscellaneous topics. Beware that sometimes you may stay longer than you meant to, and longer than is good for you.

    • Thanks for the clarification, David. Discovered this as I came up to breathe from an extremely busy week offline to get back into ocTEL. Actually a certain alignment as I decided to just get on with it by doing a bit of reading and responding this evening in gmt+9. Off on my own one path of the many through this banquet.

      And, spent a weekend in meatspace talking about moocs with people from California, Japan, Canada, Sweden, and elsewhere. Told them all to drop by ocTEL.

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