Category Archives: Research Assistant

Spare, Spare Time

As my followers on Twitter know I fill most of my daily life being the Senior Producer: Social & Syndication for The Open University and that my doctorate I’m undertaking on a three year programme (which is what this blog is about) in my spare time.  

Well what about my spare, spare time? 

Normally, completely sane people choose to have a hobby or an interest, or just instead stare out of the window. Not me, I’ve never been the sit still, thumb twiddling type – as those that know me can contest, I make for a rubbish patient. 

So when an opportunity came up to work for my Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) as her Doctorate Research Assistant for the ICDE Research and Innovation Taskforce Project I jumped at the chance (and given that I’m 5’10 and wear 4″ heels, that’s pretty high). 

The focus of the R&I Taskforce is to:

  • Initiate a meta-study on the state of research and innovation in open, distance, flexible, and online education, including e-learning
  • Identify the grand challenges of research in open, distance, flexible and online education, including e-learning
  • Encourage cooperation amongst ICDE members on research and innovation (R&I), and
  • Advice the ICDE Executive Committee on R&I issues 

And also it means I will be working with the powerhouse of knowledge that is Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology in IET on campus (he has a penchant for biscuits, of which the producing of may be in my favour…). 

Meanwhile whilst all this was kicking off and I was settling into the my new spare, spare time role I had an email from the Director of International Development and Teacher Education in FELS (Faculty of Education and Language Studies) at the OU who is leading on another ICDE project on student success making enquiries about whether I was able to support him on the development of his survey and evaluation for his project. This is now my new spare, spare, spare time activity and I couldn’t be happier as both relate to my doctorate and also my research will hopefully be able to aid the projects. 

So…as I have successfully achieved filling all my spare time and saved myself from RSI from repeated thumb twiddling, I’ve hired a gardener. To be honest my plants are probably grateful. 

For now, I’m still…

Doctor in Waiting