The Discussion Forum is Dead
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 17, 2013.
"Instead of providing fertile ground for brilliant and lively conversation, discussion forums are allowed to go to seed. They become over-cultivated factory farms, in which nothing unexpected or original is permitted to flourish. Students post because they have to, not because they enjoy doing so. And teachers respond (if they respond at all) because they too have become complacent to the bizarre rules that govern the forum....
The most terrifying thing about all of this is that, more and more, learning management systems offer pre-set rubrics and auto-grading to assess these sterilized interactions. The discussion forum becomes a shackle, an assessed, graded component of a student’s performance. It defeats its own purpose."
The Discussion Forum is Dead; Long Live the Discussion Forum
I was Panoptoed
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 16, 2013.I'm still not entirely sure what I think about lecture capture. I can see many uses but I also fear misuse and I am unconvinced by most of the reasons driving adoption. Yesterday a talk I gave was captured using Panopto, so if you're interested, you may want to check it out:
A talk of two halves
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 15, 2013.I'm in Bristol today where I shall be attempting the impossible task of giving two talks in one :-)
The first half is about academic use of social media and the second half is about recent findings from my current HEA-funded audio feedback project. Here are the slides:
Sorry, now audio for these yet, but the first half is rather similar to this:
and I'll try to put up a commentary for the feedback section soon.
Remind me again how OERs/MOOCs are the future of education
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 14, 2013.
Knox, J. (2013). Five critiques of the Open Educational Resources movement. Teaching in Higher Education, 1-12
Abstract: This paper will review existing literature on Open Educational Resources (OER). It is intended to examine and critique the theories which underpin the promotion of OER in higher education, not provide guidance on their implementation. (1) I will introduce the concepts of positive and negative liberty to suggest an under-theorisation of the term ‘open’. (2) OER literature will be shown to endorse a two-tiered system, in which the institution is both maintained and disaggregated. (3) I will highlight a diminishing of the role of pedagogy within the OER vision and the promotion of a learner-centred model for education. (4) This stance will be aligned with humanistic assumptions of unproblematic self- direction and autonomy. (5) I will discuss the extent to which the OER movement aligns itself with economically orientated models of the university. I offer these critiques as a framework for the OER movement to develop as a theoretically rigorous area of scholarship.
An under-theorisation of the notions of ‘openness’ and ‘freedom’
The implication appears to be that learning is something that is possible with, perhaps even enhanced by, the absence of organisation and structure.
The rejection and privileging of institutional structure
The promotion of OER appears to advocate two different educational models. I will suggest here that these cannot coexist without the creation of a two-tiered education system.
No place for pedagogy
In proposing that institutional involvement can be reduced to the roles of assessment and accreditation, prominent voices within the OER movement appear to reject the pedagogical functions of the university and the place of the teacher.
Humanistic assumptions of autonomy and self-direction
Advocates of self-directed OER learning frequently predict outcomes comparable to those achieved with institutional guidance.
Alignment with the needs of capital
Second-class OER provision is aimed at learners who lack the means to attended established institutions.
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 13, 2013.Let's face it - we all need all the help we can get with writing. So I'm trying out Ommwriter (the free version).
It's early days. Right now, I do feel quite relaxed, and used sparingly, I can see how Ommwriter could be a useful tool. Will it stand the test of time, or be able to complete with my venerable writing Swiss Army knife, BBEdit?
Ask me in six months time.
Crouching Nouns, Hidden Verbs: my search for a great iPad writing tool
The Child That Books Built
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 12, 2013.The Child That Books Built is a book about books.
It is the second best book about books that I have ever read. If that sounds like faint praise, on a scale of one to ten, that would be an eleven.
Teaching as a Subversive Activity
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 10, 2013.I read this after a recommendation by Martyn Poliakoff at HEASTEM13.
Very disappointed, very dated, not at all relevant to now. If you want to read a truly subversive book, read Deschooling Society.
Is there a gene for oversimplistic analysis?
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on May 09, 2013.Earlier today I had the privilege of attending* the annual Sluckin Memorial Lecture given by eminent Oxford neuroscientist and academic blogger Professor Dorothy Bishop. Dorothy’s theme was ‘Developmental dyslexia and other neurodevelopmental disorders: Distinct syndromes or part of normal variation?‘. There was much in the talk worthy of blogging here, but since I’ve got a stack of final […]
A large-scale study of students’ learning in response to different programme assessment patterns
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 08, 2013.One of the main consequences of the structure of the UK’s modular degree system has been to emphasise summative assessment at the cost of formative assessment designed to shape students’ learning. Semester-long modules with an average of two assessment events are unlikely to provide the learning architecture for cycles of continuous reflection. Taking a programme level approach clarifies the interconnectedness of units of study, emphasising that an undergraduate degree is subject to a curriculum design process where the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Programmatic strategies attend to the sequence, timing, proportions and variety of assessment tasks across modules in fostering conditions for student learning from assessment. Similarly, the consistency, range and types of feedback and feed-forward students experience are more meaningful when seen as a linked series of learning opportunities across the whole programme. Without the benefit of evidence which gives a whole programme view of assessment, these structural elements may be invisible to lecturers on a programme.
Which is fine, except .... programme level approaches further disenfranchise the poor bloody infantry in the trenches who actually teach.
"The underlying contextual factors which explain differentials in feedback timing are mainly related to resources, large class sizes and the timing of assessments, rather than disciplinary differences. Given that undergraduate student numbers have increased from about 2 million in 2000 to almost 2.5 million in 2009 (O’Prey 2011), while staff to student ratios have decreased, variations in return times are not surprising. But, resource issues raise important questions about whether the current model of tutor-dominated feedback, with an emphasis on summative assessment, is sustainable, particularly if it prevents students from getting feedback when it matters most for their learning."
Tansy Jessop, Yassein El Hakim and Graham Gibbs. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: a large-scale study of students’ learning in response to different programme assessment patterns. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 2013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2013.792108
Audits of 23 degree programmes in eight universities showed wide variations in assessment patterns and feedback. Scores from Assessment Experience Questionnaire returns revealed consistent relationships between characteristics of assessment and student learning responses, including a strong relationship between quantity and quality of feedback and a clear sense of goals and standards, and between both these scales and students’ overall satisfaction. Focus group data helped to explain students’ learning responses but also identified ambivalent responses to the use of formative-only assessment, particularly when it was optional. Frequently, students were unclear about goals and standards, and found feedback unhelpful when assessment demands differed across modules, and when marking standards and approaches varied widely, making it difficult for feedback to feed forwards. The methodology underpinning the Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment study described here has been used in more than 20 universities worldwide and is helping teachers to redesign assessment regimes, so that teachers’ efforts support learning better.
Individual as Institution
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 07, 2013.
"As more academic and academic related staff adopt the ‘individual as institution’ approach, institutions must reflect on their response. Readers familiar with Twitter may be familiar with the phrase “The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the views of my employer”. This is an often cited phrase designed as a response to risk averse “social media policies”, which have the effect of further distancing the individual and individual thought from host institutions.
Post-digital institutions may be characterised by their recognition that technology can be a vehicle to express motivation and practice. Understanding that individuals are chaotic, responding to small changes that may drive them in different directions and lead to new knowledge, learning and outcomes. Rather than setting strategic directions and objectives for technology practice (in either research or teaching) it is important to recognise that the practice is linked to behaviour, and that practices become the foci for investment of resource and energy.
Where academic practice is now played out on an increasingly digital canvas, organisations need to recognise when individuals are becoming institutions and work to support them, providing an environment that allows them to thrive. Strategic plans, objectives and directions will only succeed if they are flexible enough to accommodate the emerging technology and practices that are being exploited by these individuals."
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 05, 2013.
I recently finished my Regeneration project, reading the trilogy plus Rawlinson's critique.
I'm blown away and still digesting these books, but I don't feel the need to read any other of Pat Barker's books.
How do we fix this mess? This much I know.
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 05, 2013.
This much I know:
Things are never as black or white as they seem at the time.
Still, Peston's analysis of the next few decades is depressing.
Two-stage online testing for big classes
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 03, 2013.I had a timetable malfunction at HEA STEM13 and missed Susanne's talk which I had intended to go to. Fortunately she has now published her work so everyone can see it. It's not easy to do studies of this sort and I'm very impressed by the rigour of the statistical treatment of these findings. My frustration with this sort of work is that despite continual calls for evidence-based education, when someone puts strong research such as this into the public sphere .... we still don't use it :-(
This project aimed to improve student learning by introducing online tests, which were meant to engage students, increase the time they spend out of class on educationally meaningful activities, and to provide opportunities for self-assessment and feedback. The results suggest that increasing the time on task alone (by forcing them to spend time on online tests) did not improve student learning. Only when students were guided towards a meaningful interaction with the material, learning (as measured by exam performance) improved. The prompt, specific feedback after the formative part of the online tests enabled the students to see exactly what they needed to do in order to improve their performance. Students need to make sense of what they have learned before they are ready to move on. Giving feedback to incorrect answers and confirming correct answers contributed towards empowering students to take responsibility for their own learning.
Susanne Voelkel. Combining the formative with the summative: the development of a two-stage online test to encourage engagement and provide personal feedback in large classes. (2013) Research in Learning Technology 21: 19153 http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21i0.19153
The aim of this action research project was to improve student learning by encouraging more “time on task” and to improve self-assessment and feedback through the introduction of weekly online tests in a Year 2 lecture module in biological sciences. Initially voluntary online tests were offered to students and those who participated achieved higher exam marks than those who did not, but completion rate was low. Making the tests compulsory led to high completion rates, but class performance decreased, indicating that using the same assessment for formative and for summative purposes is not always beneficial for learning. Finally, these problems were resolved by introducing a two-stage approach: the first stage of each test was formative and provided prompt feedback. However, students had to achieve 80% to progress to the second summative stage of the test. The two-stage online tests led to significantly improved class performance. This novel test design ensures that students go through at least two attempts and therefore fully benefit from the learning opportunities presented by the formative stage. Two-stage online tests present the opportunity to provide regular feedback in large classes and to improve performance not only of good but also of “weak” students.
Probing the Mysteries of GradeMark
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 02, 2013.Recently I was talking to a colleague at a conference about seeming differences in the behavior of Turnitinin GradeMark in different implementations. This morning I emailed him to follow up and ask how personal tutors and markers know if students have viewed their feedback. The answer to the first question is straightforward:
The form of tutor notification that students have seen their feedback is when they telephone to thank or complain about their score.
The second one is a little more complex. A notification icon appears in the "Response" column of the instructor inbox [that's Course Tools: TurnitinUK Assignments to you mere mortals]. Hovering on the icon will display a message that the student has viewed the paper and when the latest 30+ second viewing took place:
Of course, what they were doing in that 30 seconds is anyone's guess....
What *is* digital literacy?
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on May 02, 2013.
"Digital literacy, a term coined a mere 15 years ago, continues to defy a clear definition in part due to the fast-changing social and technical reality, where the products and services most popular today may not exist a decade hence. Glister (1997) wrote about digital literacy before Google, before Facebook, before YouTube; yet, these online tools and their associated practices – online inquiry, social networking, e-learning – are integral to the way we think about living, learning and working in our digital society. The rise of ‘casual learning’ and communities of interest online showcase the rapid movement toward informal learning contexts, where individual agency, sociality and temporal fluidity change the nature of how people see themselves as knowledge builders and experts. This issue arrives at a point in our digital evolution where we are questioning many of the assumptions about how and where learning works. The barriers that constrained digital literacy, including access to technology, expertise and social support, are becoming a thing of the past, but new questions and challenges are emerging, including: how do we understand, assess and value new digital literacies?"
Meyers, E. M., Erickson, I., & Small, R. V. (2013). Digital literacy and informal learning environments: an introduction. Learning, Media and Technology, 1-13
New technologies and developments in media are transforming the way that individuals, groups and societies communicate, learn, work and govern. This new socio-technical reality requires participants to possess not only skills and abilities related to the use of technological tools, but also knowledge regarding the norms and practices of appropriate usage. To be ‘digitally literate’ in this way encompasses issues of cognitive authority, safety and privacy, creative, ethical, and responsible use and reuse of digital media, among other topics. A lack of digital literacy increasingly implicates one's full potential of being a competent student, an empowered employee or an engaged citizen. Digital literacy is often considered a school-based competency, but it is introduced and developed in informal learning contexts such as libraries, museums, social groups, affinity spaces online, not to mention the home environment. This article recognizes and connects the ways and places we might conceptualize and realize an expanded view of digital literacy that fits today's changing reality.
And the winner is… (part 2)
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Apr 30, 2013.As many readers of the Journal of Left-Handed Biochemist will know, I was shortlisted for the UK Bioscience Tutor of the Year in 2012. Due to ill health I was unable to complete the second phase of the application that year and the organisers generously rolled over my application to 2013. In the end I […]
Chipping away at the establishment
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 29, 2013.I continue to have conversations with publishers in various fields, and the outcome is always the same "it's not as bad as you say it is". So I have no doubt that they will be able to ignore this latest piece of evidence in much the same way they have pretended to ignore all the previous evidence, while continuing to rearrange the deck chairs.
Are elite journals declining? Why, yes they are. So if you're not an elite journal ... come in number 42, your time is up.
Are elite journals declining? arXiv:1304.6460
Previous work indicates that over the past 20 years, the highest quality work have been published in an increasingly diverse and larger group of journals. In this paper we examine whether this diversification has also affected the handful of elite journals that are traditionally considered to be the best. We examine citation patterns over the past 40 years of 7 long-standing traditionally elite journals and 6 journals that have been increasing in importance over the past 20 years. To be among the top 5% or 1% cited papers, papers now need about twice as many citations as they did 40 years ago. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s elite journals have been publishing a decreasing proportion of these top cited papers. This also applies to the two journals that are typically considered as the top venues and often used as bibliometric indicators of "excellence", Science and Nature. On the other hand, several new and established journals are publishing an increasing proportion of most cited papers. These changes bring new challenges and opportunities for all parties. Journals can enact policies to increase or maintain their relative position in the journal hierarchy. Researchers now have the option to publish in more diverse venues knowing that their work can still reach the same audiences. Finally, evaluators and administrators need to know that although there will always be a certain prestige associated with publishing in "elite" journals, journal hierarchies are in constant flux so inclusion of journals into this group is not permanent.
Action Learning Sets: Improving projects with a little help from your friends
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Apr 27, 2013.I’m just staggering over the finishing line at the end of a marathon round of residential education conferences in which a nine-day burst saw me attending the Higher Education Academy STEM conference (#HEASTEM2013), the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on Tools for Evaluating Teaching (#SEBTET13) and the Heads of University BioSciences Spring Meeting (#HUBSSM2013). It […]
And the winner is… (part 1)
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Apr 24, 2013.Our video The Power of Comparative Genomics was shortlisted for an in-house production award at the National Learning on Screen Awards, which took place on the 18th April. The awards “celebrate and reward excellence in the use of moving image and related media in learning, teaching and research”. Nominees in other categories included productions for the […]
Assessment feedback only on demand: Supporting the few not supplying the many
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 24, 2013.I was banging on about this to anyone who would listen at the HEA STEM conference last week. Unfortunately, I hadn't seen this paper at the time, but it's always good to have your
There are many pressures on academics to ‘satisfy’ students’ needs for feedback, not least the inclusion of questions about feedback. Many have commentated on the lack of student engagement with summative feedback while most believe that feedback is necessary to improve individual student performance. Several have looked at a range of reasons why students do not collect their feedback, but investigated in this article is how many students collected summative feedback and why they did so. This article outlines an action research–based intervention that involved offering feedback ‘on demand’ to undergraduate students and utilised access statistics data from the virtual learning environment to identify the actual rate of feedback collection by students. Investigated is whether or not there is a discernible preference for seeking feedback where there is a difference between the expected grade and the actual grade. Student survey and the virtual learning environment access data were used to indicate whether students are satisfied with a few short comments and a marking grid, if the mark is similar to their expectations. The resource efficiency and effectiveness for academic staff in terms of providing detailed individual feedback to all students are discussed.
Assessment feedback only on demand: Supporting the few not supplying the many. Active Learning in Higher Education April 15 2013
Education versus Entertainment: Informal Learning on YouTube
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 23, 2013.
The focus of this paper is a project conducted in 2011, exploring the use of YouTube in the classroom. The project conducted a number of focus groups for which highlighted a number of issues surrounding independent informal learning environments. The questions posed by this research are concerned with what constitutes learning in these spaces; how valid this is perceived to be by the students and how they engage with materials in this space. A question also posed was how cognisant the students are of their learning in these spaces and how they perceive the efficacy of the materials to support and enhance their learning. The research uncovered how the students interacted with each other in these informal spaces and the role that YouTube video content plays in community formation and supporting informal peer learning. The nature of informal learning spaces being that their focus being not solely of education, but also of entertainment leads to a variation in quality, reliability and suitability of content. The research also explored the students’ digital literacy, uncovering the strategies used to first navigate in these spaces and then critically engage, analyse and assess materials that they may find.
Informal learning on YouTube: exploring digital literacy in independent online learning. Learning, Media and Technology, 2013
Google Docs Voice Comments
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 23, 2013.Google Docs (Drive) can add voice comments to documents. Well, sort of. It requires the addition of an extra web app to do this. How stable is this, will it go away or stop working at some point? It's also Flash-based which rules out use on mobile devices. For these reasons, as well as workflow issues, I don't think this is the answer to giving audio feedback to students, but it is an interesting development.
Make Some Noise
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 22, 2013.After the HEA STEM conference in Birmingham last week (at which I did my usual practice of impressionistic live blogging/note taking via Tumblr) a number of people stayed on for a satellite meeting organized by the Society for Experimental Biology on The new teaching challenge: Quantifying the impact of Biosciences teaching. The meeting discussed four questions:
- What are examples are there of robust, recognisable evidence of teaching excellence?
- What criteria should be used to get promoted using teaching?
- How do we make Universities care about teaching excellence?
- How should we resource and support staff learning communities?
I'm not a "formal" member of SEB* and it was good to meet some new people, even though their names were already familiar. The nature of the discussions was very encouraging - including the fact that we didn't all agree on everything. I don't, for example, entirely agree with some approaches to key questions (I would like to see more emphasis on championing and protecting individuals), but this meeting was an important development in promoting the issues around SOTL. One viewpoint which caused some controversy was the need to take laboratory researchers with us rather than allowing walls to develop between "scientific" and "knowledge" workers. It was Friday afternoon and I suspect we were all tired, but this touched a raw nerve and is clearly something we will need to pay careful attention to.
I hope we will able to make practical progress on supporting pedagogic researchers. The meeting made me realize how lucky we are in Leicester with our PedR Group. Hopefully more people will be able to count on that type of support as we look ahead.
Assessing and rewarding excellent academic teachers for the benefit of an organization. (2013) European Journal of Higher Education: 1-22
*Formal in the sense that I don't pay membership fees, but I do talk to SEB members frequently, mostly via social media. Where does organizational membership stop and the individual begin, particularly in an age of social media-fostered disintermediation?
Engaging by Talking: Audio Feedback #HEASTEM13
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 17, 2013.For the next few days I will be at the HEA STEM: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2013, where I have a poster about my recent work on audio feedback. Posters are fine if you get to talk face to face, but for those who can't be there, here's the "live" version:
Bloom's Taxonomy Visualized
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 16, 2013.This post has an interesting collection of visualizations of Bloom's taxonomy, still the most important educational concept of the last 50 years in my opinion.
It's interesting to see the circular bezels creeping in - I'm still a classic pyramid man myself. But different people need different stimuli, and as long as folks think about the underlying ideas, that's OK with me.
Making Movies - PowerPoint Slide Shows
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 15, 2013.
Steve phoned me last week and asked about options for making online PowerPoint presentations more engaging. I had been meaning to write about this for a while so this was a good prompt for me to get on with it.
Slideshare is a widely used choice for online slideshow, as well as sharing documents in a range of formats. It is simple to use - make your PowerPoint presentation and upload it to the site. If you want to add an audio narration, record this as an mp3 file (using Audacity, Garageband or your favourite audio capture software) and sync this to the presentation. Presentations can then be embedded in web pages or Blackboard documents, etc.
All content uploaded to Slideshare is public unless you pay for a subscription, so if you don't want to share our presentation publicly, this is not for you.
2. PowerPoint Slide Shows
In current versions of PowerPoint it is possible to record an audio narration to a slide show:
There are some differences between Windows and Macintosh versions of PowerPoint, e.g. there is no "laser pointer" option on Macintosh, so you'll have to figure out the details from the PowerPoint Help files.
Slide shows have large file sizes so you quickly exceed your Blackboard quota. It is possible to save a slide show as a video (File: Save as Movie) - but doesn't save sound or animations, mouse movements, etc.
There is no autoplay setting (that I can find) so you'll need to put instructions on how to play on the first slide.
Accessibility may be a concern when using video files for screencasts. A solution is to make use of the Presenter Notes field in PowerPoint to add the extra detail that the voiceover provides and upload the original, non-narrated PowerPoint file separately.
3. Screen Capture Video
Use screen capture sofware such as Camtasia, Captivate or Snapz Pro X to record a presentation as a video. You can then upload the video to YouTube (save it as an unlisted file if you don't want it to be public), and embed in Blackboard or wherever you want.
You'll need the screen capture software.
Employability versus Biology
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 12, 2013.When I first read this paper, my instant reaction was to take the piss out of it and add it to my lol file. Then I thought about it a bit and decided the implications are quite profound. So here's the summary:
55% of the variance in the tendency to engage in self-employment is due to genetic effects, with higher heritability for males (67%) than for females (40%).
Although self-employment is a multi-faceted, heavily environmentally influenced, and biologically distal trait, our results are similar to those for other genetically complex and biologically more proximate outcomes, such as height, intelligence, personality, and several diseases.
So how long before we start taking cheek swabs from students?
The Molecular Genetic Architecture of Self-Employment. (2013) PLoS ONE 8(4): e60542. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060542
Economic variables such as income, education, and occupation are known to affect mortality and morbidity, such as cardiovascular disease, and have also been shown to be partly heritable. However, very little is known about which genes influence economic variables, although these genes may have both a direct and an indirect effect on health. We report results from the first large-scale collaboration that studies the molecular genetic architecture of an economic variable–entrepreneurship–that was operationalized using self-employment, a widely-available proxy. Our results suggest that common SNPs when considered jointly explain about half of the narrow-sense heritability of self-employment estimated in twin data (σg2/σP2 = 25%, h2 = 55%). However, a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies across sixteen studies comprising 50,627 participants did not identify genome-wide significant SNPs. 58 SNPs with p<10−5 were tested in a replication sample (n = 3,271), but none replicated. Furthermore, a gene-based test shows that none of the genes that were previously suggested in the literature to influence entrepreneurship reveal significant associations. Finally, SNP-based genetic scores that use results from the meta-analysis capture less than 0.2% of the variance in self-employment in an independent sample (p≥0.039). Our results are consistent with a highly polygenic molecular genetic architecture of self-employment, with many genetic variants of small effect. Although self-employment is a multi-faceted, heavily environmentally influenced, and biologically distal trait, our results are similar to those for other genetically complex and biologically more proximate outcomes, such as height, intelligence, personality, and several diseases.
By email@example.com (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 12, 2013.At the HEA STEM workshop Developing Techniques for Pedagogical Research in the Biosciences yesterday, talk turned to ways of supporting writing for publication. I would like to propose three possible models for consideration:
1. Pairwise Critique/Mentoring
The simplest model, two people agree to comment on drafts of each others manuscript(s). This could be either a peer relationship or a mentor-mentee relationship (but see Sustainability below). Similarly, it could be either a one off arrangement or a reiterated Prisoner's Dilemma. Might require some administrative support to establish pairings.
2. Writing Boot Camp/Book Sprint
A physical event (presumably funded by HEA? ;-) where aspiring authors gather to support and encourage each other to produce a finished manuscript. If conducted over a period of time, this would follow the boot camp model, if compressed, it would be more like a book sprint.
3. A Writing Group
A (presumably online) group where aspiring authors could turn for support, advice and encouragement, including literature surveys, data analysis, textual criticism and publication tips such as choosing the right journal and dealing with referees comments.
All of these are possible and easy to do. My main concern with a venture of this sort is that while it is very easy to set them up, sustaining activity over a period of time is difficult. My answer to this problem is to ensure that everyone involved gets something out of the transaction (which tends to rule out the mentor-mentee relationship). The PeerJ model is worth considering - not so much paying a small subscription to join (although that might help defray any costs and people do tend to value what they've paid for more highly), but the part about having to review other people's work in order to get your own reviewed, i.e. having to remain in credit, thus ensuring mutuality.
Suggestions welcome (especially if based on experience!)
Today I will mostly be at:
By firstname.lastname@example.org (AJ Cann) from Science of the Invisible. Published on Apr 11, 2013.
Bioscientists are typically very well acquainted with quantitative approaches to research through their subject-based experience. Pedagogical research, however, employs both quantitative and qualitative techniques and the latter often represent unfamiliar territory for researchers in the biosciences, both in terms of utilising the techniques and appreciating the research literature based on these approaches. The aim of this workshop is to provide guidance on using some of the key qualitative techniques. The workshop will take the form of two plenary sessions from researchers with a qualitative background exploring approaches to using these techniques followed by some short case studies from the Biosciences to provide the subject context. There will also be a session to allow colleagues to engage in discussion about developing potential research projects with guided support from the presenters.
10:00 – 10:20 Registration and Coffee
10:20 – 10:30 Welcome – Jon Scott
10:30 – 11:20 Mark Lemon (DMU) Research in a complex world - towards an integrative approach.
11:20 – 11:50 Neil Morris (Leeds) Bioscientists and educational research - what are we trying to prove?
12:00 – 13:00 Case Studies:
- Anne Tierney (Glasgow) Combining Theory and Practice in Course Design.
- Nick Freestone (Kingston) Semi-structured interviews as a qualitative research method in PedR.
- Helen MacKenzie (Leicester) The use of vignettes in the qualitative interview to visualise the student experience.
- Julian Park (Reading) Interviews as conversations: reflections on fieldwork research
13:00 – 13:40 Lunch and Networking.
13:40 – 14:40 Case Studies:
- Jon Scott (Leicester) Video diaries as an insight into the student experience.
- Hazel Corradi (Bath) Focus groups versus questionnaires for learning resource evaluation.
- Viv Rolfe (DMU) Title to be confirmed.
- Alan Cann (Leicester) An analytical framework for student use of social media.
14:40 – 15:30 Project Discussions.
15:30 – 16:00 Tea and Feedback.
Leicester University PGCE ICT conference 2013 #lupgceict2013
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Apr 08, 2013.Today I’m speaking at the Leicester University PGCE ICT conference instead of being back with my year 4 class for the beginning of the summer term. As a 2012 Leicester University PGCE graduate, two-thirds of my way through my NQT year, the opportunity to share how I am using ICT in my classroom was a [...]
Leicester university PGCE ICT day 2013
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Apr 08, 2013.As I was speaking at the Leicester University PGCE ICT day today, I took advantage of the free CPD on offer by sitting in on all the other talks and workshops during the day. These are just my notes and jottings to remind me of a really great day. It was lovely to see tutors [...]
Guide for Citing Audiovisual Materials
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Mar 27, 2013.During the past couple of years I’ve been part of a working group set up by the British Universities Film and Video Council to draw up guidelines for the correct citation of Audiovisual. The fruits of our labours are published today. In an era when increasing emphasis is being place on multimedia, it seems almost […]
Teaching a lesson twice
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Mar 09, 2013.Whilst on my second teaching practice as a student my mentor and I used to joke about me wanting to teach every lesson I did twice. I always felt that I had learned so much from the children that I could see that teaching the lesson again it would be easier to see more quickly [...]
Using Scoopit and Pinterest to collect resources cc @tricias
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Jan 13, 2013.I have used Scoopit as a quick way of putting a page of links for children to use for research before. Here are two examples for years 3/4: Vikings : Vicious Vikings (used last term for our Invaders and settlers theme) Tudors: Terrible tudors (this formed the basis of my ICT research project during my PGCE) I [...]
Beginning my second NQT term
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Jan 12, 2013.Yawning koala bear by National Media Museum No known copyright restrictions I’m not going to apologise for the lack of posts over the last two months, my first term as an NQT has been pretty overwhelming. The TES New Teachers supplement this week struck a resounding chord this morning. Phil Beadle has one of the best [...]
More on “Headline Bioethics Commentaries”
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Jan 11, 2013.Following on from last week’s post about our Headline Bioethics project, here is a poster about the assignment and repurposing which I presented at the University of Leicester Learning and Teaching conference on January 10th. The poster is shown here, with a pdf version avialable via this link.
Headline Bioethics Commentaries
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Jan 04, 2013.Over at our sister site BioethicsBytes I’ve started to release a new series of articles under the title Headline Bioethics Commentaries. The first couple are already up, and I’ll be adding some more over the next few days. I mention this here because I wanted to expand a bit on the pedagogic thinking behind this […]
Fundamental flaws in (cancer) research
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Dec 28, 2012.Watching a TED talk by Ben Goldacre recently, my attention was drawn to an excellent Nature article on fundamental flaws in cancer research. The Comment Raise standards for preclinical cancer research (subscription required), by Glenn Begley and Lee Ellis, discusses some systematic weaknesses in basic biomedical research and proposes some solutions that would resolve some of these problems. […]
How DO you cite audiovisual materials correctly?
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Dec 13, 2012.Most of us feel reasonably comfortable with the conventions for citing books, journal articles and so on. There may be certain variability between journals regarding formatting (it has been argued that there are as many versions of Harvard as there are journals using “Harvard” for example), nevertheless there is fairly standard agreement about the core […]
What’s Good on TV? Understanding Ethics Through TV
By Chris Willmott from Journal of the left-handed biochemist. Published on Dec 05, 2012.I have recently completed a review of What’s Good on TV? for the BUFVC magazine Viewfinder. As the subtitle of the book implies, it is intended to be a guide to understanding ethics using television-based examples in place of the classic “An out of control train is rushing down the tracks towards a group of […]
One iPad, 36 children and a wireless connection to one whiteboard
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Oct 29, 2012.I read a great post about how to make the most out of using one iPad with a whole class of children. I have 36 year 4 children and my own iPad, so I wanted to make the best use of it that I can. I started by introducing it in guided reading, and this [...]
Playing with strip designer app
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Oct 23, 2012.I saw the Strip Designer App (£1.99 on app store) on the iPad used in a post I was reading by Mr Andrews this morning. I was keen to try it out, thinking that some of my less willing writers may be able to use it when we write newspaper reports next half term. It [...]
reflection on using a writing stimulus
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Oct 22, 2012.I used an ‘alien invasion’ scenario with my children towards the end of our literacy unit on newspapers, to give them an event to report on. It seemed to make a big impact on them at the time and I was interested to see how this was reflected in their writing. We had made a [...]
Using my iPad in the classroom
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Oct 13, 2012.My iPad2 was my constant companion throughout my PGCE course, much to the amusement of my peers. I found it a great way to take notes an pictures, and of course to use social media to keep up with colleagues and news. I spoke to my Head Teacher and she was happy for me to [...]
Google Teacher Academy 6 month reflection #GTAUK
By jobadge from DrBadgr. Published on Oct 09, 2012.I can’t believe that only 6 months have passed since I attend the Google Teacher Academy in London in April earlier this year. Since then, I have visited Slovakia on a European Teacher Trainee exchange, qualified as a primary school teacher and started my first teaching position with a class of 36 energetic and inspiring [...]