Chris' notes: week 1

Working with people remotely poses all kinds of interesting challenges. I began doing that in 1984 at Deakin. In those days the teleconference was the interactive part of teaching remotely. In those days students had a library service which paid for books to be sent to and from their homes.

The central beginning concern of students back then and up to now is: what do they want me to do in order to get through this course? The question about the options this week underlines that primal concern. I thought I had read all of the profile, carefully. Nope!

It's always a risk to have students work with new media. The alternative of working on a legacy platform that is clunky and counter intuitive most of the time would have been painful.. for twelve weeks. We enjoyed some of its limitations in that 1st lecture. I had forgotten how dodgy the Internet can be point to point. So from now on it will be voice only with directions to view info at each local site.

It's clear that the constraints of the course will mean that most if not all students will end up doing a systematic review paper. When you look at the structure of such reviews, it is pretty straightforward. The first tricky bit is getting to a good, tight question or problem that can be addressed that way.

The little feedback I have had about notebooks has been good so far. It's odd that for some students this far into a Masters course found it a novel idea! Ouch.

I never cease to be impressed with the experiences and history each student brings to a course like this. And, so far, most of the topics look good/useful and worth doing well. A long way to go to get to having them buttoned down. Small steps… the aggregation of marginal gains :)

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