Marcus O'Donnell

Marcus O'Donnell

Director, Cloud Learning Futures at Deakin. He has worked in the media & health industries, & his research includes digital learning, contemplative pedagogies, & student resilience.

Location Deakin University Melbourne, Australia


  • These are good examples @LindseyFrew of how different circumstances or the different "ecologies" we live in will influence us. I noticed in the last step you talked about "role-modeling" that's another example of an ecology that you create to inspire your selves and each other. In talking about "resilience towards gossip/jealousy" did you mean that we take...

  • I love that phrase you used @JenniferWilson "controlled, stealthy resilience" do you have any more thoughts on what that might mean...?

  • Thats a great example @LEIZELQUITE what is interesting for me here is that this not only helped you reframe the current situation, but if I hear you correctly it is contributing to a larger reframing about the ways learning can take place!

  • Thanks for sharing this @AmandaLeaS and @JonathanAina I think this fear of public speaking or fear of sharing our real thoughts in a group is very common. I'm interested to hear from you about what happened next. After you learned that you could speak in public and gradually came to be a little more at ease with that, did it have a wider effect on your...

  • Thanks @PatriciaBenvenuti the balance of finding resilience through our own inner resources and finding resilience with others is something we will cover later in the I appreciate how difficult it must be going through the pandemic in Italy right now away from family and friends. I'm very interested in your comment about exposing yourself...

  • Thanks @VibekeP and @IsabelM the phrase "willing to accept" is an interesting one isn't it? Willing has the sense of effort/decision/action, while accept has the sense of openness/surrender.

  • Unflustered is a lovely word isn't it? It has the ring of simplicity. Thanks for sharing @JohnLateano

  • Thanks @MaryAkinyemi I'm interested in the way you have linked tenacity and self-care. What does "tenacious self-care" look like for you?

  • Hi everyone - it's great to be with you all here in this course. Every time we run the course I am amazed at the stories that emerge and the many different ways people find to build resilience in their life. So I am particularly thankful that we can share and support one another in this stressful time. As we navigate this pandemic where one of the main ways we...

  • Thanks @ZaraRubenstein really appreciated your perspective from Zimbabwe

  • That's a great question @MurdinaCampbell I know many people really enjoy the Monash Mindfulness courses - also here on FutureLearn

  • That's a wonderful tip @AnnalisaRivoli

  • Thanks for sharing your story @ZaraRubenstein it's fantastic to have you with us on the course from Zimbabwe. Your story here hits many of the notes that we will be touching on in the course but what struck me was the connection you drew between your self-confidence and your love of learning. What is it about that learning-loving process that renewed your...

  • Thanks @Ashley glad to see you returning for another course with us. It definitely makes a difference when learners engage and "pay it forward" - as we will discuss later resilience is very much something we do with others so engaging with one another here is a great place to start. Anyone else have 'tips' to add?

  • Thanks @LyndaB interesting parallels with your professional life and your personal life do you find any differences in the way your react as a nurse or as a partner/friend?

  • Thanks @RoseGardener that's a great summary of the different approaches that are being talked abut in the comments from other learners - we will look at mindfulness later in the course

  • Great question @TündeHerda choice is an interesting part of the resilience puzzle. Certainly the traditional notion of resilience is that it happens as a response to a major adverse event. Such events whether they are big single events or some sense of ongoing trauma over time can leave us with a feeling of "no-choice". But psychological theories like...

  • That's a great question @IanChambers - we will look at how community and resilience come together as we move through the course. What are your thoughts on this?

  • @DharaJoshi That's a really important point - we all have different and developing capacity and I think part of compassion is "self-compassion" which we will talk about next week. Being self compassionate allows us to focus our capacity in a gentle way. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  • Welcome everyone - great to see so much discussion on day one. I love seeing the many different perspectives emerge as people talk through their ideas. Looking forward to engaging with you all over the next few weeks

  • Thanks everyone for your comments and stories there seems to be a common theme here: about fear and lack of confidence. Some learners have mentioned how weighing things up - trying to see all aspects of the problem - helps confirm their instincts and gives them more confidence, for others this endless rationalising can be a way of avoiding a final jump. I'm...

  • thanks for sharing this @YvonneSimpson

  • I think that's very true @FionaForrest resilience over the long-term is often harder than resilience over the shortchanged-term. Thinking back on the experience you mentioned can you see now something that might have helped that insight to grow at the time?

  • That's a great thing to focus on @MichaelaW and it brings in a lot of the other points learners have raised as points of focus such as self care and better communication. What kind of support or resources do you think you need to do this?

  • I love the idea that resilience has a lot of different "moving parts" - thanks for that comment @SandraO'Hara

  • Thanks @EllieCrouch @MlamliKentane I think you are absolutely right "resilience" has often been co-opted in a corporate context but I am encouraged by more and more big companies who are taking a very sophisticated and employee centred approach. Good luck with your journey.

  • Thanks Peter. Good luck on your next life experiment - perhaps you can come back on our next run and update us!

  • Thanks for the comment @RitsukoTAMADA I do hope that you find some practical ways of using some of the techniques and that this helps you in dealing with your depression. Very best

  • That's a great insight and a very practical way of putting it into practice @EmmaCampolucci

  • @ParveenMann you will retain access for the next two weeks and we tend to have new students beginning all the time so please feel free to dip back into areas you found helpful

  • Marcus O'Donnell replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Thanks @robinbanks - I think you are right it is often hard to gain that sense of real connection online, but hopefully you will begin to have some conversations with other learners in this course

  • Glad you are back with us @JN and glad you have such find memories

  • Thanks @PaulineGirling - "intuitive" is an interesting word in terms of resilience - can you share more about why you chose that word - I think it does open up an interesting point of view on resilience.

  • Great summary of a lot of the themes we will be exploring! Thanks for sharing

  • That's a really interesting perspective @IreneWyndham - one of the things we will talk about is getting that balance right and the way we involve or draw upon others in our resilience journey. Can you imagine ways others might help you build that internal resolute focus?

  • Glad first impressions are good @KarenVidler

  • Hi Everyone I'm looking forward to working through the course with you and to hear everyone's thoughts and experience. Each time we run this course it is really exciting to listen to the diverse range of ideas and people's reflections on their own story. So I would really encourage everyone to jump in and share.

  • Thanks @LauraJorgensen and @RajGill-Harrison for raising the complex cycle of nurturing relationships. I am also touched that you mention "Gratitude" @RajGill-Harrison even in what seems to have been a very difficult time. How do you think we carry "gratitude" when we are in a difficult place?

  • Thanks @MaxineThomas that's an interesting definition from Rick Hansen. It starts with the standard "cope with adversity" through a "push" or "bounce" but then adds "in pursuit of opportunities" - which adds a sense of forward focus and perhaps optimism or hope. Is hope the lever of resilience? What do you think?

  • You have raised an important point @HenriettaCoker - resilience is about our own internal process, but it is also something we navigate in public. I'm interested in other people's thoughts on how these internal and public journeys intersect with each other....

  • That's definitely a challenge @AlisonTeague. What are your first thoughts on strategies for this?

  • This is an interesting example @BethanDye thanks for sharing - it is often easy to do the "bounce" the first time but when we have a reoccurring challenge the 'bounce' perhaps has to be a little more deliberate or focused. Does bringing this extra energy to bear, help us to understand resilience, in a deeper way, do you think?

  • Thanks @KellyG and @CarolL - I love your comment @CarolL "There are hearts behind whatever is tabled here" - a beautiful way of remembering the richness people bring to their comments here.