Shamefully, I haven’t done any posting since August. This is partly laziness and partly because the authors of this year’s OU module (TD223 International Development: Making Sense of a Changing World) are very keen on forum participation and learning journals and my brain is tired. I’ve been analysing my ‘learning process’ as much as I’ve been analysing the textbook these past few weeks and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. On the one hand, having to think long and hard about my studies is useful in engaging with the material. On the other hand, the forums are descending into scary territory already, with about half a dozen bright souls having a seemingly endless stream of revelations and making me feel somewhat thick. Using them is also compulsory, with a small percentage of the score for TMA01 resting on making a forum comment and getting a reply. I suspect my main problem comes from a mix of laziness and lack of confidence. Will have to see how it all plays out.

In addition, the old spectre of procrastination is rearing its ugly head again. This cannot be helped by the fact I’ve signed up for another course. Not an OU one this time, but a Coursera one – Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society. For anyone who’s not heard of Coursera, it is essentially a collection of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provided for free by over 30 top world universities. For a better explanation see this TED talk:

and this link:

I’ve got Computer Science 101, Energy 101, and some maths classes in my sights if this one works out.

The aim of the exercise is twofold. 1. As an experiment to see if I can study the equivelent of 90 credits simultaneously for any period of time  ( TD223 asks for 12-14 hrs/week basic study , the design course requires 5-10 hours/week for  the next 8 weeks) without having to cut my hours at work as I plan to overlap OU courses at some point in the future if I can. 2. To use the free Coursera classes to help me to decide between options for the 60 credits of free choice for my BSc Environmental Studies – do I a) go for 60 credits of level 2 design, thus having 120 credits of pure design focus, or b)diversify and go for  30 credits of  level 2 energy and 30 of level 1 engineering or c) take a risk and go for Environmental Science at level 2 despite having no level 1 science experience and not having studied either science or maths since GCSEs in 2003, meaning Id need to do an unholy amount of cramming to prepare.

Inbetween experiments I’m going to try to restart my illustration Friday efforts, if only once or twice a month to keep my creativity alive and my sanity simmering.

TMA01 due next week. Down, Procrastination! Down!


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