Assignment Title: Developing a Community of Practice in Blended Learning at the University of Winchester: Theory, Practice & Reflection
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This report shows just how much effort you have put into the BL Fellow post over the last year. There have been all kinds of activities both of the social and technical kind. I can see that you have met many people across the university on many occasions and that you have made a great number of attempts to spread the word by electronic means, going far beyond the BL pages in the LN with which you started. This all comes through in the report. It is evidenced by the large number of references you have included, many of which are to postings of your own on various sites.
The report starts by setting the background at a mature level, recognising the issues that confront both the institution at the level of policy and individual academics who are faced with a rapidly changing environment in which to deliver their teaching. It then goes on to detail how you set about building a BL COP within the university, drawing upon the various approaches that have been described within the literature. There is a good account of some of the barriers that hinder the take-up of this kind of technology in the ‘Staff attitudes to IT change’ section.
I think a comment I made on the draft you sent me has lead you to remove ‘I’ from the document and referring to yourself always by name. That reads a bit oddly. But more importantly, at a deeper level, it may reflect an uncertainty about the methodology that you (and in the past I) have employed and how this relates to the report. This is not I think a conventional investigation in which, say, a particular technique or technology is tried out and the results are assessed, perhaps by interview or perhaps by change in student performance. It’s more an account of action research, in which the use of ‘I’ would have been acceptable. So what I am saying is that, perhaps inevitably, you haven’t included an account of a methodology. At the end you have attempted to assess the effectiveness of what has been done. There is some recognition that this is difficult to and you do give some evidence that there has been an impact from your efforts. But I think it would have been helpful to sketch out how a more detailed evaluation might have been completed if there had been the resources for it.
A minor point about presentation: I think a Table of Contents for a document like this is very helpful and worth including, especially as it is so easy to do.
Finally I want to reiterate what an enormous amount of work you have put into the BL Fellowship and how it seems, as far as one can tell, that this has been very successful. I think you have achieved as much as could possibly have been achieved, given the limited resources available to you. So all in all you can feel very pleased with the report
This is a very good report, well written and very well referenced. In a sense its academic contribution is to show the development of Blended learning at the University of Winchester within the context of academic and real world changes, which is an important report to make. I think your own voice and opinions could have come through more strongly, especially in the conclusion, which I thought could have been more like a synthesis and an overview, followed by your own ideas and projections for the future. If you had done that then I think your marks would have gone much higher
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.