Archive for July, 2010

LUCie Unit 3 - Summary

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Unit 3 provides an introduction on the presentation and visualization of data. We also looked at the structure of paragraphs. The comments in this blog equal the attendance - I just provide the bare minimum.

Some of the Videos & Websites used:

The Academic Word List  (website)

Describing Bar Charts (website)

Four Types of Charts (video)

Parts of a paragraph (website)

Parts of a paragraph (video)

dot conf at NCI

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Tomorrow I’ll attend the dot conf  at the National College of Ireland, in the middle of Dublin’s IFSC. It happens to be the college where I did my MSc by Research - it’s always nice to go back and say hello to everybody .

The first remarkable thing definitely is their promotional video. I love it! It’s definitely worth seeing.

Then their line up of speakers sounds very promising; I’ll comment on some of the talks I attend.

I really like their approach to get people involved with the so-called Deep Dives (I signed up for two of them) and a raffle for those people signing up to a Linkedin group.

Communication among attendees before the event is encouraged with more activities in the Linkedin group,  I can’t remember what you can win, but I thought the timing was excellent.

I’m curious to see if this takes some of the speechlessness out of the coffee breaks - unless you know everybody, it can be a bit awkward. I’m sure you know what I mean…

I’m really looking forward to it - see you there?

The transfer reports are killing me!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Most of the LUCie participants are postgraduate students, mostly PhD researchers.

Every PhD candidate at DCU eventually has to submit a transfer report and pass an interview by the end of the 2nd year to continue towards the PhD.

I wrote mine last summer, before I left for a 2 months  research visit in Warwick with Alexandra Cristea’s group. I remember it well; it is always a bit of a panic - there never seems to be enough time.

It seems though that my group of users has been completely taken by surprise. I lost at least 10 people, some thankfully only temporarily, to that process.

I wish everybody the best of luck for their transfer reports and interviews and hope to see more of you back before the end of the testing.

Feedback from the Learners Unit 1 & 2

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

After a total of 4 weeks testing the LUCie users or learners have given quite a bit of feedback.

A few lessons learned:

Although Moodle is used by many in their respective universities, the navigation in the system is a problem for many. That is understandable as it violates a few very basic usability rules; e.g. its completely different navigation in different parts of the system.

One of the most discussed issues was that there is so much writing to do. Some people raced through the pages, reading everything, skipping the exercises. That leaves me a bit clueless - how do you expect to improve your writing other than write? Oh, and then write a bit more.

Peer reviews do not work well. Collaboration was not popular. Participants want “the teacher” to correct their writing.

Many of the participants have not used a wiki before and found it very difficult. Everything new needs a good, simple introduction!

But the internet has a big impact on the way people learn after all: most people find it tiring to work their way through the lessons. They would rather just have activities; they browse, choose, complete and then pick something else.

I can understand that many found FreeMind a bit difficult to use, but everybody liked it in the end. It  requires to understand the concept of mind mapping AND getting to know a new tool at the same time.

I wonder about this Digital Natives hype; the testing so far shows once more that you cannot take anything for granted. Users still shy away from new tools. Most not only require some written introduction, but also ask for some face-to-face tutor support.

LUCie Unit 2 -Summary

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Unit 2 presents the different parts of an academic text and
a short revision on the use of articles.

The Academic Phrasebank provides vocabulary matching the parts of academic texts.
All the components of scientific texts parallel the experimental process. 
These stages can be summarized in a question, capturing the main idea that has to be
covered in that section.
The unit included a revision of how to use articles.

LUCie Unit 3

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Unit 3 starts Monday 12 July and will focus on:

  • process description
  • data description
  • more details on the sections of a text
  • writing exercises with feedback

Monday 12 July, 2-3pm

Wednesday 14 July, 2-3pm


Saturday 17 July, 10am-12pm


Monday 19 July, 2-3pm

Wednesday 21 July, 2-3pm


Saturday 24 July, 10am-12pm