Monthly Archives: June 2014

the thesis introduction

Brilliant advice from Pat Thompson on the Introduction chapter which I intend to follow for my dissertation.


The old adage “first impressions count” really holds true when it comes to thesis introductions. After the title and the abstract, the introduction is the first thing the examiner sees. They/we do form an opinion – sometimes quite a strong one – on what the rest of the text will be like, based on what comes at the start.

But before worrying about how to get the perfect opening sentence, paragraph and section, I find it helpful to think about the WORK that the thesis introduction has to do.

The introduction has to clearly set the WARRANT for the thesis – the mandate, the rationale for doing the research. That is, you need to establish that we don’t know something about a particular topic, and that we need, or it would be interesting and worthwhile, to know it. However, it is not sufficient to simply say that there is a…

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A Tale of Two MOOCs @ Coursera: Divided by Pedagogy

Interesting comparison of pedagogic methods in moocs

Online Learning Insights

The Web as a classroom is transforming how people learn, is driving the need for new pedagogy; two recently launched courses at Cousera highlight what happenswhen pedagogical methods fail to adapt.

iStock_appledividedXSmall Divided pedagogy

I wrote recently about the Fundamentals of Online: Education [FOE] the Coursera course that was suspended after its first week and is now in MOOC hibernation mode. Over thirty thousands students signed up for the course hoping to learn how to develop an online course. It was a technical malfunction when students were directed to sign-up for groups through a Google Doc that shuttered the course, along with hundreds of student complaints about lack of clear instructions, and poor lecture quality. The course was suspended on February 2, and there has been no word yet as to when it will resume :(.

On the other hand there is the e-Learning and Digital Cultures course also offered…

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