E-learning and Digital Cultures has been…

…a 12-week course element of the fully-online University of Edinburgh MSc in E-learning. The course finished in December 2010.

It was designed as an open-access, disaggregated learning environment which pulled together content, readings, tweets, blog postings and other social media in an attempt to explore what is most interesting not only about theories of digital culture, but also about the forms and practices of contemporary e-learning.

The site will stay up indefinitely, as will the 2009 instance. Access to students’ blogs and lifestreams, to all course content, to the visual and ethnographic artefacts created during this course, and the final assignments, are all available from here (see the right hand column for links). Only copyright-protected readings are protected by passwords.

For more information about what we’ve been doing on this course, contact the tutors – Sian Bayne and Jen Ross, School of Education, University of Edinburgh.


EDC feedback and marks now out

Feedback and mark sheets have been uploaded into WebCT – well done everyone!

We’ll make a page of ‘All assignments’ in the next few weeks – please just let us know if you would rather yours wasn’t on there.

Merry Christmas EDC!

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We couldn’t possibly summarise and wind up EDC in one post, so we  made a video. All images courtesy of the blogs.

Thanks everyone for a brilliant semester, best of luck with the assignments, and the best of merry christmasses!

if you experience any lifestream glitches…

Just a note that a few people are experiencing some last-minute lifestream glitches with various feeds. There seem to have been more of these sorts of glitches this semester than we experienced last year, and some are just coming to light now that you are checking through your lifestreams for submission.

It’s too late to go digging around to try to fix things before tomorrow’s submission date, so what we recommend is that if you notice anything strange in your lifestream when you’re checking through, just leave a note in your blog to let us know what it is (please note: we’re aware already of blipfoto and youtube links not working properly), and we’ll be sure to look for alternative methods of seeing that content when we’re marking. We won’t be penalising anyone for technical glitches, so please don’t worry.

Apologies for the last minute hassles – we’ll be looking at this in detail before the next iteration of the course. We think it’s related to the version of the lifestream plugin we’re using this year – it appears to be less stable than the previous one. Go figure!

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week 12 – our last week of semester

hi all, and welcome to week 12, our final week of the course. The buzz around the final assignments continues to build, and Sian and I are really looking forward to experiencing the finished products! Let me just say again how very much we have enjoyed being on this journey with you – you’ve impressed, provoked, delighted, entertained and surprised us at every turn. You should all be extremely proud of what you’ve created together.

A couple of reminders about submission dates and processes for the lifestream and final assignment:

1. Lifestream – due this Sunday (12 December) by midnight. I’ve made a brief screencast that shows you how to edit your lifestream to prepare it for submission. All the instructions for submitting the lifestream are on the lifestream submission page.

2. Assignment – due Sunday 9 January by midnight. All the relevant information about assessment criteria and submission process is on the final assignment page. The expectation is that you will submit a document or web link in WebCT that points to the location of your digital assignment.

There was some discussion last week about keeping in touch after the end of the semester. Some possible ways of doing so are to follow each other on Twitter, and to make friendship links in the Hub. Also, this site will continue to exist (though it will probably be much less frequently visited), as will the #ededc hashtag, and the EDC Hub group (where we had our ethnography discussions in block 2).

Finally, the fantastic Noreen has organised a Second Life festive/end of semester party for the whole MSc in E-learning programme, which will be happening next Monday (13 December) from 7-8pm (UK time). Hope to see you there!

All our warmest wishes and congratulations again on a wonderful semester,

Jen and Sian

weeks 11 and 12

We’re getting to the end of this course now, and with the final posthuman pedagogy tasks coming in, we’re now starting on the final period of assignment preparation.

There are no structured tasks for the next two weeks – rather, this is time to get ideas in place for your final assignment and to get feedback and input from the group in doing so, if it’s useful to you. Jen and I have been in touch with everyone about their assignment plans, so please continue to use us as sounding boards too, if helpful.

As well as continuing to think about the assignment (due 9 January), you’ll need to take a bit of time next week to review and edit your lifestream before 12 December. The detail of what to do for this is up on the ‘lifestream submission’ page.

I know a few people are still working on the ‘posthuman pedagogy’ idea, so some are still to come in. Those that already have are up on the ‘all the ideas in one place’ page – if we’ve missed any please let us know.

It’s been a really exceptional semester on this course – strange now to be entering the home straight. However, it’s not over yet, and I suspect there’s still going to be a lot of action in here as everyone gets the assignments underway. Can’t wait to see what you all do with these – an exciting few weeks ahead.

week 10 welcome

Good morning/afternoon/evening to you all, and welcome to our final week of structured content for the course. Thank you all once again for your amazing energy, creativity and insight throughout the semester. You’ve built a wonderfully supportive community (yes, I’ve said it!) in this space, and we hope it’s been as fascinating and excellent for you as it has been for us to be part of its unfolding.

This week’s readings make explicit links between learning and teaching, and the cyborg and posthuman theory we’ve been discussing over the past few weeks. Along with the readings, we’d like you to complete a small ‘posthuman pedagogy’ task – please post a link to your idea or example on the task instructions page, which we’ll collate in one place as the week progresses.

Also this week – if you haven’t yet discussed and confirmed your final assignment topic and medium with your tutor (either directly by email, or in your blog), please do so ASAP – we’d like to have communicated with everyone by the end of this week. Weeks 11 and 12 are assignment preparation weeks, so you will want to know going into them what your topic and planned medium will be. Please also consult your tutor about any additional assessment criteria you wish to nominate.

Finally, a reminder that your lifestream is due for submission on Sunday 12 December. The last item in the lifestream should be a 500 word summary, posted in your blog. All the information and instructions about how to prepare and submit your lifestream is on the lifestream assignment page. Let us know if you have any questions.

Have a great week!

week 9: continuing to trouble

This week continues the reading and thinking on cyborgs, posthumans, binaries and other troublesomeness – building to next week when we begin applying some of this to the challenge of pedagogy and learning design. The blog posts on these themes have been really great – in particular it’s so exciting to see multimodal ‘writing’ and peer support becoming an established norm in the culture of this course.

You might want to think ahead – and some are doing this in the blogs already – to your final assignment. As you know, this has to be in digital form, and the topic and some of the assessment criteria are entirely up to you to define. The deadline isn’t until midnight on the 9 January, but now is a good time to start getting input from Jen and I and from the group if that would help you with your emergent ideas. Post to your blog, or email Jen or I if you’d rather have a one to one.

Looking forward to more troubling, blogging and tweeting. In making this post and finding this image I’ve been thinking about the devil as a posthuman figure – an animal/human hybrid chosen by mythology to represent the antithesis of human morality – an interesting precursor to the devilish human/machinic amalgam of the cyborg!

It’s week 8, and block 3!

Welcome, everyone, to Block 3, our final block of the course!

The micro-ethnographies you have created show a tremendous amount of effort, skill, and creative and critical thinking – we are extremely impressed. We suggest spending a few more days commenting on ones you may not have had a chance to see or discuss yet (Sian and I certainly will be), alongside getting to grips with this week’s activities.

Block 3 is where we turn to consider critical perspectives on gender, race, subjectivity and power as mediated through the digital. To do this, and to set us up for exploring posthuman pedagogy in week 10, we’ll be looking at some influential examples of cyborg and posthuman theory over weeks 8 and 9. This week’s core readings are very challenging, and may be quite different from academic texts you’ve read so far on this programme, so we recommend giving yourself a fair amount of time to engage with these, and to blog your thoughts and your responses to some of the week’s discussion questions. Please post a tweet when you have a blog post to share with the group, using the hashtag #ededc.

When you’re ready, post your contribution(s) to our collaborative story of being posthuman in Wallwisher – you can do this anytime this week or next.

Please also feel free to invite a friend or colleague to class this week and next – if you know someone who would be interested in the material we’re covering over this fortnight, why not invite them to blog their own responses and tweet along with the class? Let us know who’s joining us in the comments on the ‘bring a friend to class‘ page.

Finally, remember to keep feeding your lifestream, and to write your weekly lifestream summaries.

Have a great week!

week 7: ethnography week

It’s clear from the blogs that everyone’s working really hard on the ethnography, and the ideas coming through are stunning. This week, aim to post your ethnography as soon as you can to allow some good time for commenting.

If you can post a comment to the Building your ethnography page to say where your ethnography is, that’d be great, as I have a hunch they are going to be spread across quite a few corners of the web! Tweeting it too would be good. Jen and I will then collate them all into the new All the ethnograpies page.

Martin’s already got us started with his Mac-rumours micro study, nice one Martin.

We’re really looking forward to seeing these pieces of work as they start to roll off the ‘press’. Enjoy week 7 – it promises to be a great one!