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Sounds of the Bazaar 14

November 14th, 2007 by Graham Attwell

This edition of Sounds of the Bazaar came out a couple of weeks ago. But it was just before we launched this web site. So I am republishing it now, for those of you who may have missed the original on the Bazaar site.  And, don’t forget, Sounds of Bazaar can also be obtained from the iTunes store.

Welcome to the second of our special series of autumn shows. This series is being produced in conjunction with Online Educa Berlin. Each edition we feature some of the themes and speakers form this years Online Educa conference, being held at the end of November in Berlin.

In this show we feature two contributors to Educa. Ruth Rominger is Director of Learning Design at Monterey Institute. Ruth talks to us about the development of Open Educational resources, social authoring, sustainability models and much more.

Steve Wheeler will also be at Online Educa. He is part of a panel looking at the potential of Multi User Virtual Environments, including Second Life, for learning. In the interview Steve talks about the development of a project on sexual health in Second Life.

Web site of the month is “not School, not Home , but Schome.”

We present the second part of our interview with Stephen Downes.

And I talk about the forthcoming Bazaar conference.

The musical mix which holds it all together is the work of Dirk Stieglitz. As a good tradition the music comes again from the great music site Jamendo.com and is published under a Creative Commons licences. In this volume you listen to the band Killing Jazz and their album “2nd Round“.

We hope you will enjoy the show.

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    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


    Teenagers online in the USA

    According to Pew Internet 95% of teenagers in the USA now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fueling more-persistent online activities: 45% of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.

    Roughly half (51%) of 13 to 17 year olds say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

    The survey also finds there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today. Minorities of teens describe that effect as mostly positive (31%) or mostly negative (24%), but the largest share (45%) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative.


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