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David Gwyn Jones

David Gwyn Jones

Tutor in Computer Science/ICT, Mathematics & (ESOL) English
DBA Candidate

Location Bulgaria



  • Well, I suppose we are all "strange" in our own way. :-)

    I did throw a smiley face at the end of my initial comment, so I had intended it to be seen as a quite tongue-in-cheek contribution.

    Personally, I was something of a marketeer in my past career, so, as a copywriter and Google AdWords expert, I am rather fond of marketing in general, and direct...

  • Sorry to hear of your news, I imagine it is quite a challenging time for you. I wish you luck with the "new beginnings". I personally found doing FL courses was an interesting distraction during the Covid Crisis.

    So, 150 certificates later, I'm a bit of an FL wizz... but it's probably time that I should be looking at getting my teaching job back! :-) I...

  • 5.

    This Economist article "The disposable academic" is even more discouraging, and is even subtitled "Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time"!

    It's paywalled, but it's worth finding/reading:

    "One thing many PhD students have in common is dissatisfaction. Some describe...

  • 4.

    I looked online for "average time to complete PhD", which came up with this link, and these shocking stats: 8.2 years! And only 57% of students get their PhD within 10 years of starting!

    This article is even more depressing (but better written) than my posts, so I think could be useful reading for the PhD optimists among us!...

  • 3.

    Now, I'm a member of Mensa, and I have 3 master's degrees, so it grieves me greatly to say that I suck too bad to get a PhD. :-)

    But, as I learned from my Oxford experience, many of us have an overly rosy view of the PhD journey, and the rewards at the end of it.

    The above Dean wouldn't be a Dean without it. But the rest of us... mehh, not so...

  • 2.

    So, specifically... I made one great friend while at Oxford. Got a 1st from LSE, had genuine academic potential. But he then took nearly 10 years to finish his PhD, and, maybe, published a couple of times based on it. It was a good thesis... and he did a little contract work ("Associate Lecturer")... but he never got "proper" university offers (due to...

  • 1.
    Afff... 80,000 words? Doesn't the thought of that make you want to curl up in a ball and watch Netflix? I know I always get a horrible sinking feeling when I think about writing 300 pages... of something that isn't a best-selling novel. :-)

    Apart from that, the reality is that your PhD will typically take far longer than the "3 years" headline time,...

  • Oh, indeed, I agree. That's a very decent summary of a business plan!

  • Greetings to The Left Bank Gang!

    Are you checking in?

    Have you figured out why certificates are not being issued for any of the four courses listed?

  • Just FYI... the module certificates are not being issued automatically upon completion.

  • Plenty of info, well done!

    Good effort for your first FutureLearn courses.

    But... transcripts lack formatting... no quiz at end of 4th course... no assessment ("test" in FL-speak) for any course... and I did not receive any of the 4 individual course certificates ("Certificate of Achievement" in FL-speak).

  • “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” This was in the bad old days before digital marketing. Now, you're doing something wrong if you're wasting money.

  • "Formerly" not "formally".

  • Another horrible transcript, please use some formatting!

  • "Spider Charts" are quite a nice way of visually comparing your product and your competition in terms of key characteristics.

  • My client asks me to change the objective to increase online orders by 500% over next six months...

    Me: "500%?! Are you on drugs?!"

  • That is a horrible transcript... maybe some formatting might help?

  • Conversation between Alice and The Cheshire Cat...

    A: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?

    TCC: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.

    A: I don't much care where.

    TCC: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.

  • No assessment... and no certificates!

  • Or: "Everyday Low Pricing" (EDLP).

  • 7 Eleven coffee strategy: "loss leader" to generate "footfall" from a popular product and hence additional sales of more profitable products.

  • The "Lean Startup" is quite interesting on this area, and describes it as validating "problem-solution fit" and "market-solution fit".

  • No certificates! Something is broken!

  • What is it with you guys and the train tracks?

  • Who is ever ready for a "conversation" with a sales rep? :-)

  • A course without assessment is like... well, Australia without prawns and barbies.

  • PS We should not be encouraging people to walk on the railway tracks.

  • David Gwyn Jones made a comment

    Alibaba group (NYSE: BABA) runs complementary sites Alibaba (B2B focus) and AliExpress (B2C).

  • What, no PPC? Are you *sure*? Especially as search engines are the "highest converting marketing channels". (And the "Social Media Marketing" options imply some PPC.) I think it deserves some love on a shortlist.

  • "Data" and "ubiquitous" are useful words (which may, indeed, get used while discussing marketing), but it's a stretch to call them "marketing terms".

  • The "dot-com bubble bursts" because of a DDoS attack? And Australians have internet? Wow, you learn something new every day.

  • Marketing = selling more stuff to people who don't want it. :-)

  • That's very interesting, Mr. Bond.

  • Well... unless this dinky little business was started by Sheikh Mansour's niece, and he gave her $10m of his pocket change as seed funding.

  • Huh? This makes no sense. Such a start-up would have almost zero chance of bagging any of these candidates, let alone having the luxury of choosing between them.

  • Business plan? Do people still do those? :-)

    I think these days, a lot of business folks would tend to prefer going straight for a website, a few YouTube videos, a funky PowerPoint, a viral social-media campaign, and a KickStarter page. :-)

  • The "Lean Canvas" boils it down to "problem-solution fit" and "market-solution fit". The former evidences that there is a meaningful issue to address, and the latter evidences that your concept creates value in addressing it.

  • Let's talk about Amazon...

    Used? Yes, often (and Amazon Prime member).

    Why? Price, convenience, very large range.

    Value? Typically lower prices, so usually good value.

    Fair Price? See above.

    Others customers? A few. :-)

    Successful? I think it has most likely exceeded its founder's expectations.

    Key factors? Price, convenience, early...

  • I'm DGJ in Bulgaria, greetings to all...

  • Good job, thank you!

  • Q5. Holding cost $20? 1600 vs 500?

    800/160 = 5 and 5 * $100 = $500
    800 * $20 = $16,000

    $500 < $16,000

  • DGJ checkin' in for Course #2...

  • The dimensions of service quality were adequate.

  • Greetings from DGJ in Bulgaria!

  • 2017, pre-Brexit. Might be enlightening to see the post-Brexit situation...

  • More generally, I don't think it's easy to demonstrate that online discussion is particularly valuable. I don't want to sound overly negative, because, of course, I can see the value in constructive discussions.

    However, you can spend a lot of time on an FL (or any other) course adding comments, and joining in with discussions. The danger is that online...

  • Yes, there are quite a few FL courses where the course owners/facilitators take a very hands off approach, and try to rely on the learners getting the discussion going. Sometimes it happens, of course, but often there are pages which are a dead zone.

  • @ClausBjoernMadsen There's also the risk that some will give lousy feedback through laziness or antipathy.

  • @CatherineL Yay! It's the 16th, and both certificates just popped into my inbox!

  • @MichaelWalker Indeed, well said!

  • @CatherineL Thank you for the reply. I'll find out for sure on the 14th, but I'm pretty sure the issue is on the course admin side: I am guessing that you've set the course up to NOT issue certificates until the official course finish date. In my experience, 99% of FL courses issue the certificate whenever the learner finishes the course, regardless of the...

  • Welcome to the XYZ Stakeholder Analysis Tool (SAT) which can help you:
    - Map out your stakeholders and their locations
    - Identify the key stakeholders to focus on

  • @MartijnKlabbers Actually, I admire your initiative, it's the first time I've spotted a course being live prototyped. First week was good, hopefully the rest is too. I'll go check it out now...

  • @froyosteiner It sucks when we do all the work and then don't get our Gold Stars. :-)

  • To make it more concrete, let me (I hope) show how this 98% figure was arrived at to begin with...

    Here's an example normal distribution of IQ.

    In this case, they give the values of: 100 is the "mean", and 15 is the "Standard Deviation".

    Hence 130 falls at exactly 2...

  • @LouisYork Well... I think maybe that's not quite right...

    - "IQ of 130 is at the 98th percentile"
    Yes (but this typically includes other values).

    - "98% of the population lies below an IQ of 130"
    As per the inclusive/exclusive definition, you can treat the 98th percentile as higher than 97% or 98%. So, yes.

    - "and 2% of the population lies...

  • @JazzCole The issue of Spanish in the USA is possibly tied with immigration, which is a hot button political issue. There is a perception (among some) that Spanish speakers are likely immigrants (and probably illegal ones) from Mexico and further south.

    My brother-in-law (and his parents) speak fluent Spanish (and they are legal immigrants). But my nephew...

  • @PatrickConway This is quite a long time ago, in South Wales. I think these days the school experience is rather different with Welsh actively encouraged.

  • Greetings from Bulgaria to all y'all.

    I have been teaching mathematics and computer science and EFL English in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

    I also teach math and English online with learners in China, UK, USA.

  • Hmmm... you decided that your MVP was 1 week of a 5 week course? :-)

  • Greetings Course Team!

    I've finished the course! Progress shows 100% of steps complete.

    But no certificate is being issued (I'm FL Unlimited).

    Are your certificates broken? Or there's some hidden assessment to complete? Or...?

  • Greetings Course Team!

    I've finished the course! Progress shows 100% of steps complete.

    But no certificate is being issued (I'm FL Unlimited).

    Are your certificates broken? Or there's some hidden assessment to complete? Or...?

  • Hmmm... interesting point, it seems you can have an inclusive or exclusive definition of the distribution.

    So, depending on which definition you're using, the 98th percentile can be higher than 97% or higher than 98%.

    But... if it's higher than 98% it is lower than 1% (98+1+1 = 100). If it's higher than 97% it's...

  • Interesting question... and Dr. Google, as always, has the answer. :-)

    If we have European customers, we must comply with the EU GDPR.

    For UK customers, then we comply with the UK's DPA (Data Protection Act). But that now includes pretty much the same terms as the EU GDPR = UK GDPR.

    It seems unlikely the UK would change the DPA back to a less onerous...

  • Where's my certificate, eh? This is my 2nd Bristol University course, and neither is sending me the cert when I hit 90% complete.

  • I have a UK passport, but I have residence permits in Panama, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Spain. I will qualify for an EU Long Term Residence Permit (i.e. permanent residence) next year, and this has rights of freedom of movement (within the EU) pretty much equivalent to an EU citizen.

    I don't think I can get a Bulgarian passport as they have a pretty strict...

  • Like Basque and Catalan in Franco's time, Welsh was definitely frowned upon as a minority language. Now it's much more supported and encouraged, and, as a result, more widely spoken in Wales. I grew up as a monolingual Welsh speaker and remember being horribly bullied (along with my classmates) in a mixed (English/Welsh streams) primary school. This was a big...

  • I'm far from a linguist purist, and I think all (living) languages change over time. The recent rise of digital/internet has seen a host of terms added to all languages (many, but not all of them, from the English).

    I have a teeny problem with seeing/hearing "whilst", as it's pretty much dead as a dodo in the USA, and (IMHO) makes its (British) speaker...

  • I quite like saying that I'm Welsh, rather than British. But otherwise, I have no feelings of nationalism at all. In fact, I'm a bit dismissive of the Brits and their small island Brexit guff, and their rose-tinted retrospective on their days of Imperial Power. I grabbed a BG residence permit to preserve some of my access to Europe, and I think it's most...

  • “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.”

    This has to be a statement of intent, rather than a true goal. Surely? But I think that rather devalues the point of having goals if you know they can't be achieved!

    My first instinct is a...

  • "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding"
    - Nick Lowe / Elvis Costello

  • (1) While it's a tiny village, I have fiber broadband to my house - my wifi speedtest is 83.53 mbps this morning! I can surf news and content from all over the world and watch IPTV with a thousand channels. I'm studying FL courses and my DBA online. It's great for Zoom, so I tutor American kids on high school math and the SAT, and teach English to young...

  • I'm Welsh, and grew up in the UK. I got kicked out of high school at 17, but lucked into an awesome job at 18. They gave me assignments all over Europe, Asia and Latin America, before sending me to Australia and then USA to be based at our newly opened subsidiaries.

    Having got the travel bug early, I kept moving... and I've been fantastically lucky to live...

  • I'm DGJ sayin' hello from the Valley of the Thracian Kings. I'm currently in Bulgaria, but I've visited about 60 countries, and lived and worked all over the world.

  • “The best way to increase wolves in America, rabbits in Australia, and snakes in India, is to pay a bounty on their scalps. Then every patriot goes to raising them.”
    - Mark Twain

  • Greetings from the Valley of the Thracian Kings...

  • @TerriRees Ah... yes... a number of courses do have assignments that are peer assessed, but not for a mark as part of the overall course assessment score (where 70% is required to get the certificate).

    I agree with you that the peer assessment can sometimes be helpful, but I personally have a pet hate: doing work that doesn't count towards my grade. :-)

  • As of today, I reckon I've done 155 courses, and I have my certificates for all of them (thank you Unlimited, it was a pretty sweet deal).

    However, a big percentage have no (summative) assessment (a "Test" in FL-speak) at all, so you just have to complete (i.e. look at) 90% of the course to get the certificate!

    Many have one end-of-course assessment Test...

  • Andrew Wakefield - The discredited doctor hailed by the anti-vaccine movement

  • I may not be a Logic Master, but it seems that I am a Truth Table Ninja. :-)

  • I hope your headache is better. :-)

  • I think we're gonna find out that Covid and its repercussions has done far more damage to the UK university sector than technology!

  • I did my PGCE and two master's at traditional universities (including Oxford), plus a master's degree online. I'm currently doing my DBA online. I've also done 100+ FL courses.

    Even in the traditional universities it seems there has been a significant change. It's over 15 years since I had to do a "high-stakes" exam-based assessment, all my recent...

  • I'm DGJ in Bulgaria, I teach some Math.

  • The later report's statistics focuses on a raft of specific diseases (various cancers, COPD, cardiovascular) rather than overall mortality rates as per the early report.

    Where there are overall ("all-cause") mortality rates they are divided by age group, unlike the earlier report.

    While the earlier report included some relatively minor variations in...

  • The actual report is this one, from 1964, and refers to data collected from 1959 onwards. It is almost 60 years old!

    Even within this report there are mentions of statistical issues related to the selection of the populations, especially as they didn't include the...

  • "There are lies, damned lies... and multiple regression analyses."
    - Mark Twain

  • α --- β --- δ -- ~β -- (α & ~β) -- ~(α & ~β) -- ~(α & ~β) & δ -- ~(~(α & ~β) & δ )
    F --- F --- F --- T ------- F ------------ T ---------------- F -------------------- T
    F --- F --- T --- T ------- F ------------ T ---------------- T -------------------- F
    T --- F --- F --- T ------- T ------------ F ---------------- F -------------------- T
    T --- F ---...

  • is (A & ~B) the same as (~A & ~B)?

    α --- β ---- ~α ----- ~β ---- (α & ~β) --- (~α & ~β)
    F --- F ---- T -------- T -------- F ------------- T
    T --- F ---- F -------- T -------- T ------------- F
    F --- T ---- T -------- F -------- F ------------- F
    T --- T ---- F -------- F -------- F -------------...

  • is ~(A & B) same as (~A & B)?

    ----------------------------------------?? ----------- ??
    α --- β ---- ~α --- (α & β) ---- ~(α & β) --- (~α & β)
    F --- F ---- T -------- F -------------- T ----------- F
    T --- F ---- F -------- F -------------- T ----------- F
    F --- T ---- T -------- F -------------- T ----------- T
    T --- T ---- F -------- T --------------...

  • is ((A & B) & C) the same as (A & B & C)?

    ------------------------------------------?? ----------------??
    α --- β ---- δ --- (α & β) ---- ((α & β) & δ) --- (α & β & δ)
    F --- F ---- F -------- F ---------------- F ---------------- F
    F --- F ---- T -------- F ---------------- F ---------------- F
    T --- F ---- F -------- F ---------------- F...

  • ((A & B) & C) = (A & B & C)
    you got lucky
    ~(A & B) ~= (~A & B)
    (A & ~B) ~= (~A & ~B)
    definitely not, you can see by the extra ~ that it can't be the same

    to be definitive, you'd have to make the truth table and see.

    or, use this calculator (with logical notation) and enter the expression.

  • and the truth table will confirm...

    α --- β ---- (α & β) ---- ~(α & β)
    F --- F -------- F ------------- T
    F --- T -------- F ------------- T
    T --- F -------- F ------------- T
    T --- T -------- T ------------- F

    α --- β ---- ~α --- ~β ---- (~α & ~β)
    F --- F ------ T ---- T --------- T
    F --- T ------ T ---- F --------- F
    T --- F ------ F ---- T...

  • (~A&~B) is a different expression

  • defo ~(A&B)

  • It's really bugging me that they keep writing out ~α as two values!

    α has a value, and ~α has another value. That's a truth table with 2 values, not 3.

    α ---- ~α
    T ---- F
    F ---- T

  • Can you think of or find a short snippet of conversation in which sentence-meaning and occasion-meaning (speaker-meaning) are different?

    Wow, what a great course this is.

  • Well... I like Truth Tables... but these guys are doing their best to make them extra confusing.

  • Not legal gobbledygook... logical gobbledygook.