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Sounds of the Bazaar (edition 15)

November 7th, 2007 by Graham Attwell

Another great edition of Sounds of the Bazaar – brought to you in conjunction with online-Educa Berlin.

First up is my introduction to the show, where I tell you about the fabulous up coming Bazaar conference.

This is followed by Graham Attwell’s periodic rant. This months rant is about the tyranny of assessment and I look at alternatives based on Assessment for learning as opposed to the assessment of learning. If you enjoy this and would like to hear more you can watch my video on E-learning 2.0 and Quality.

Our interview is with Jay Cross who talks about informal learning. Jay’s web site describes him as a “champion of informal learning, web 2.0, and systems thinking. He puts breakthrough business results ahead of business as usual. His calling is to change the world by helping people improve their performance on the job and satisfaction in life.” In the interview he talks about what he means by informal learning, the difference between training and learning, what organisations can do to promote informal learning and how education systems might change in the future.

Ulf Daniel Ehlers tells us about his idea for Science without Borders. Ulf is an Assistant Professor of Business Information Systems, at the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany. He is Coordinator of the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning and coordinator of the European Quality Observatory.

One of his main research interests is education for sustainable development and in this interview he talks about how we can facilitate researchers from different countries working together

Blog site features Ismael Pena Lopez’s brilliant ICTlogy blog. Talking about his blog he says:

  • this site serves my purposes of keeping all my knowledge under control
  • having all content open, it helps interesting people coming by
  • having all content open makes me findable not by myself, by thanks to the content gathered around me
  • interesting people leave their tracks behind them, tracks I can explore and find them, their institutions, their resources
  • the more you know, and share it, the more these issues repeat along time… and the more you can reach new people to learn more and more.

Claire Belisle talks about her research on information and digital media. Claire Bélisle est ingénieure de recherche CNRS en sciences humaines et sociales. Elle a un doctorat en psychologie cognitive, et un diplôme en formation en ligne. Ces centres d’intérêt en recherche sont la navigation et les méta-compétences des formateurs, enseignants et chercheurs dans l’intégration des technologies de l’information et de la communication en éducation et en recherche. Elle pilote actuellement des travaux sur le livre électronique et sur les corpus numériques, en se focalisant sur la navigation dans les hypermédias, le travail collaboratif et la lecture numérique.

But don’t worry if your French isn’t too good – the interview is in English!

Finally I talk us out of this issue. Phew – that is a lot. I know the full edition is long. But the music is just brilliant. As ever many thanks to Dirk Stieglitz who produced this issue.


  1. […] article featured in the Sounds of the Bazaar: Online Educa Podcast Magazine #15 (also accessible at Pontydysgu), by Graham Attwell. Thank you, that was really […]

  2. […] To a large extent it is a question of trust – the very issue I talked with Jay Cross about in an interview a few weeks ago. Informal learning is the most powerful route to competence development and […]

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    News Bites

    Digital Literacy

    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

    A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

    Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

    See here for more information

    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.”

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