Martin Weller

Martin Weller

I am Professor of Educational Technology at the OU. My interests are in digital scholarship, open education, OER and MOOCs.

Location Cardiff


  • Yes, the prompts are useful for example what pastoral support around time management is required which might not seem obvious

  • yes padlet can be pretty useful (I think there are some accessibility issues so it may depend on your students).

  • Diana's tip above is very important - at the Open University the study calendar is the most important resource we give students. Knowing what is coming up, so they can organise their studies is essential

  • There can often be a kind of negative transfer of behaviour for young people who use the internet very well for many other social functions, but for example, conducting in depth research or focusing on one task is often contrary to how they conduct other activities

  • One of the things that is difficult to appreciate as an educator when students study at home compared with at school or on campus, is just how much that physical space of the school organises a student's learning. Being in a lecture/class at a certain time, going to a library for resources, etc. At home these elements can be more segregated and there is an...

  • Yes Claire, you're right, you'd want more than one persona usually when creating a course and then that range ensures that you take different perspectives into account.

  • That's a good question Jelena! We used personas, I should see if we still have them and how much they match the reality. That is probably an area we don't do - closing the circle as it were.

  • True Mathew - personas are also useful if you're creating as a team as they can help bring to the surface different ideas people have about who the course is aimed at.

  • Yes, you're quite right Anne-Marie. We usually try to come up with 4 or so very different ones and then at least your course is encompassing a range of needs.

  • Yes, AR might be a more advantageous step in term of education. I think VR is getting there in terms of technology (certainly a lot more robust than it was in 2009), but some of the cultural/social/educational reservations remain

  • The story of most people's SL experience I feel :)

  • I don't think most of us knew what we were doing in SL back in 2009 to be honest :)

  • Using VR to lay off people sounds horrendous! I agree with some of your reservations about SL, it ended up just recreating things we did anyway (like lectures in SL). But I wonder if VR is now more robust and people are used to it more through games whether it'll see a comeback in very applicable situations

  • I've got lots of them :)

  • Very true Anne - I often note that the solution from software billionaires to the 'problem' of education is never "pay teachers more" or "recruit more teachers"

  • @DavidMcKay ha, I often play "disruption" bingo at conferences :)

  • always right to be wary of those bold statements without evidence Wendy!

  • This is an important point Anne - I think it varies from person to person, and from time, context etc. There is some evidence that undergrad students who form social bonds tend to persist (ie go on with their studies and not drop out) more.

  • I guess it depends on what you mean by 'learn online' - it might not be totally online, but I would agree with you that nearly all forms of education will have some online element (even if it's just accessing resources).

  • Good point Mathew - I study with the OU as well as working there, and I've come to realise, I really need those deadlines to work to.