Alicia McConnell

Alicia McConnell


  • I work at a UK HEI where we offer a SAIL module (supported assessed Independent Learning). During this module students are supported to diagnose a a 'gap' of expertise by undertaking a personal development planning exercise. They then choose and participate in a MOOC to address this gap. The module is assessed both through their online presentation of what...

  • I'm quite interested in the ways that students themselves view their relationship with the university. More and more frequently I am hearing UK campus based students describe (in general when they are unhappy) themselves as customers and use market terminology like value and service .
    I am personally a graduate of the OU so although my degree was not...

  • Really interesting points being made here. It's easy to think of online delivery or flipped and blended opportunities being democratizing and progressive as they support personalisaton of pace, freedom of location etc. The challenges resulting from unequal provision of digital literacy skills and internet access is easier to overlook from the context of a UK HEI.

  • I work at a large university in England and can see the concepts discussed here being very relevant to us.
    Like many educators on this MOOC- my main interest is in how unbundled university services would support or (or undermine) a democratisation of education

  • Positive: being able to share experiences with younger people and help them to take a longer perspective on their life, being able to have more time for family, hobbies, holidays and leisure, being less prone to hormonal and emotional influences.
    Negative: Losing people that I love, being less physically strong, being less independent.

  • This sounds like a great compromise. I really hate horror films but maybe just a pair of headphones and a book? This never occurred to me but it sounds like something that really needs to be discussed before hiring. Life must be much easier if PA and client share the same kinds of cultural tastes?

  • Interesting questions! Actually i don't really think of myself as especially laid back (which was my main response) mine is just the pragmatic response to very rarely getting my own way at home with 4 children and an Aged P

  • I think if I was a PA I would like t be thought of as a paid friend. But maybe if I was a disabled person or client I might prefer something a bit more professional.

  • Its really interesting to hear you say that the PA relationship might change with time. Maybe start off as profession and then move onto something more like friends later.

  • Advantage of staff is that it might be quite easy to ask them to do something for me. Disadvantage though is that it might result in them sticking quite strictly to working hours and not be able to stay late if I need it.

  • I am sure that the role and responsibilities of the PA and the centrality of the relationship to and with the employer must make it one of the hardest jobs ever! However the possibilities if and when it is successful and the impact on individual lives is so great must make is very rewarding. I am so glad this research is happening and that a space has been...

  • I was actually quite surprised to think about my lifestyle like this. As I am not disabled it made me realise how much of my life style I take totally for granted - not really thinking about how it would be impacted if I had a PA.

  • Gosh I am immediately struck by how different the idea of personal assistance is from some of the lived experiences of disabled people on this courses.

  • Julie that sounds so tricky. I really hope this course helps. Tom's research is exactly about this kind of thing as far as I know. Even if you get a small change out of it - it will be something.

  • This course sounds just right for you. Really hope it helps

  • Dear Rose,
    Wow - you are going to have some fabulous insights - can't wait to hear (how do we follow people?)

  • Hi Mary, I'm also really interested to hear more of your experiences. I can really empathise with how hard it is as a mum to encourage any child to be more assertive. I've got four children and it is almost as though the act of suggesting they need to be more assertive might itself reduce their confidence. Another one of those lovely double-binds reserved...

  • Hiya, I'm Alicia and I'm taking this course because my father has COPD and may need a personal assistant in the near future. I have read through a few of these brilliant introductions and am just hoping I guess to hear some stories about how having a PA can help to improve peoples lives. I'm also looking forward to the input because I suspect that some of it...