Landing : Athabascau University

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Recent updates  (latest update: March 21st)

  • Hello, This will be my last post in this blog. I heard back from the board chair of Athabasca University yesterday. Suffice it to say I’ve asked for a full refund from Athabasca University so as to take my doctoral studies to another...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Americans' Trust in Online Higher Ed Rising 19 hours ago
    That's a nice infographic, thanks Hongxin. Without a doubt, an online education can at the very least match one at a face-to-face institution and, on most measurable dimensions, will typically exceed its effectiveness. I still think there are some...
  • Hongxin Yan commented on a bookmark Americans' Trust in Online Higher Ed Rising 23 hours ago
    This article is somehow related: 7 Myths and Facts About Online Learning Infographic http://elearninginfographics.com/7-myths-and-facts-about-online-learning-infographic/#sthash.zOXQkzvy.dpuf  
  • Questions Answered By A Deafening Silence: Is There Even One Party who will Take Responsibility and Take Action Not one of the five persons I emailed questions to have answered, issued any statement, or accepted any responsibility, nor has the...
  • A special issue of JIME on open learning with 5 chapters (full disclaimer: including one by me and Terry Anderson) from a forthcoming book edited by Chris Pegler and Allison Littlejohn, 'Reusing Open Resources: Learning in Open Networks for Work,...
  • Jon Dron bookmarked Americans' Trust in Online Higher Ed Rising April 14, 2014 - 10:07am
    Thanks to Larbi for this one - In the US, it seems that a steadily rising number of people believe in the quality of online education. This is despite the fact that, in the US, online education is all too often equated with somewhat tarnished...
    Comments
    • This article is somehow related:

      7 Myths and Facts About Online Learning Infographic

      http://elearninginfographics.com/7-myths-and-facts-about-online-learning-infographic/#sthash.zOXQkzvy.dpuf

       

      Hongxin Yan 23 hours ago

    • That's a nice infographic, thanks Hongxin. Without a doubt, an online education can at the very least match one at a face-to-face institution and, on most measurable dimensions, will typically exceed its effectiveness. I still think there are some things face-to-face universities tend on average to do better though, none of which have to do with curricula or teaching. The less tangible benefits of being part of a physical learning community such as serendipitous discovery, seeing people learning around you and engaging with others outside your discipline are seldom measured but often significantly contribute in an holistic way to the overall 'graduateness' of graduates. But that's why we have the Landing and why it plays such an important role! As has often been the case in the past, Athabasca leads the way here.

      Jon

      Jon Dron 19 hours ago

  • Hello Graduate Student Voters,Please do NOT Vote.  Please boycott the student council elections until these troubling questions are answered regarding the strange set of cirstances surrounding the determination of the final candidate list for...
    Comments
    • Questions Answered By A Deafening Silence: Is There Even One Party who will Take Responsibility and Take Action

      Not one of the five persons I emailed questions to have answered, issued any statement, or accepted any responsibility, nor has the board chair or AU President communicated to me.  Answers would help dispel the taint of fraud that overhangs this election.  No answers suggest a cover-up, complicity, fear, shame or maybe dismissiveness.  Will even one person step-up, take responsibility and describe their role in this sorry business or the action they will take to make things right?

      Answers/shamancers..Action dances..

      Any of the five parties emailed with questions can come forward now and do their bit to set this situation right.  Actions would speak so much louder than words now.  The AU VPs can rescind the tuition policy and apologize for it.  The CRO can stop the election and declare it fraudulent (I think).  The  AUGSA administrative assistant can step forward and speak out.  The AUGSA President can take responsibility.  The AUGSA student council can stop the election.  Things can change today.  We all have power and responsibility and we shape our institutions.  Sadly, these actions are unlikely to occur although they are possible. 

      Sheri Oberman yesterday

    • Hello,

      This will be my last post in this blog.

      I heard back from the board chair of Athabasca University yesterday.

      Suffice it to say I’ve asked for a full refund from Athabasca University so as to take my doctoral studies to another university.  Maybe I’ll leave doctoral study.

      I feel betrayed by Athabasca University.  I’ve got different values than AU.  I don’t fit here.

      It would be difficult for me to complete my studies with AU with the knowledge I’ve gained in regards to electoral interference in a graduate student council election from on high.

       Even if the board of governors allegedly planned to instill a policy change to keep AU graduate student employees out of elected office in the graduate student association, it is wrong to do so in the midst of an electoral process.  

      The facts still suggest that someone within AUGSA took steps to change the final candidate list for the student council elections.  The board of governors co-operated by making a policy change during the election the effect of which would change the final candidate list.  The AUGSA CRO’s autonomy is suspect.  The campaign period for the election only began when the final candidate list struck the names of AU employee/graduate students.  In my interpretation/opinion that is electoral interference aka election rigging. 

      The irony is that while the board feared the influence/power/different experiences of graduate students who are also employees in a student association so many of the AU employee candidates who nominated themselves for student council were reluctant to nominate themselves due to busy lives and not wanting one more responsibility on their plate.  Maybe the board has a legitimate worry or maybe not with regard to AU employee students participating through elected office in student associations.  Maybe these AU employees, if elected to student council would have wreaked terrible havoc, and needed to be stopped through electoral interference.   

       Attacking the electoral process sends a message far more terrifying than anything that employee members of a graduate student council could accomplish. 

      Be afraid, be really afraid not of the AU graduate student employee who very reluctantly decides to throw their hat into an election to seek remedy through democratic processes from an association which tramplesd on their interests to which they must pay dues. That is how democracy works.

      Be afraid of the administrative officials who deem it appropriate to interfere in a low-stakes election, where very few voters even exercise their franchise.  Be afraid of an official who takes it upon themselves to instigate and collude with interference.  Be afraid of the lack of responsibility to stakeholders by a senior administration that ought to privledge democracy over a mid-election policy change which changes the list of candidates.  Trust in authorities is a real victim of this sorry set of circumstances.

      Man if I had a million dollars, I’d buy me a suite of lawyers.  But I don’t so let me outta here..

      Sheri Oberman

      Who hopes to become a former graduate student of Ahabasca University

      Statements expressed here are my opinion.

      o·pin·ion
      əˈpinyən/
      noun
      noun: opinion; plural noun: opinions
      1. 1.
        a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
        "I'm writing to voice my opinion on an issue of great importance"
        synonyms: belief, judgment, thought(s), (way of) thinking, mind, (point of) view, viewpoint, outlook, attitude, stance, position, perspective, persuasion, standpoint; More
        "she did not share her husband's opinion"
        as I see it, to my mind, (according) to my way of thinking, personally, in my estimation, if you ask me, for my money, in my book
        "in my opinion, the green tiles clash with the yellow walls"
        • the beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing.
          "the changing climate of opinion"
        • an estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something.
          "I had a higher opinion of myself than I deserved"
        • a formal statement of advice by an expert on a professional matter.
          "seeking a second opinion from a specialist"
        • Law
          a formal statement of reasons for a judgment given.
        • Law
          a lawyer's advice on the merits of a case.

      Sheri Oberman 21 minutes ago

  • Indeed - I do have mixed feelings about it. Face to face invigilation is one of the many reasons exams are inherently a bad idea - they are incredibly expensive, given that they not only fail to contribute to learning but, in most cases, make a...
  • While I don't disagree with your main point Jon, that we need accreditation processes that are not anywhere near as dependent on final exams as they are today, I think the criticisms of the off site monitoring are over blown.  We should be...
  • Interesting commentary on privacy concerns using ProctorU, a third-party monitoring service for online exam taking. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand it is indeed highly invasive and suggests some notable privacy concerns, but is not...
    Comments
    • While I don't disagree with your main point Jon, that we need accreditation processes that are not anywhere near as dependent on final exams as they are today, I think the criticisms of the off site monitoring are over blown.  We should be giving students choice and access as meets their unique needs.

      Nobody enjoys writing a high stakes test, driving or bussing to some particular location, nor being herded into a testing room, nor being invigilated, watched and treated as if they were cheating. Yet this is the procedure that 1000's of DE students endure - why because it makes sense for them - given other alternatives.

      Now if we allowed at home invigilation that too creates some inconveniences and the relinquishing of control over your machine, but for some students, this is welcome relieve from the F2F alternative.  If it proves more cost effective and increases access for some, why wouldn't we be interested in providing this service?

      Terry Anderson April 11, 2014 - 8:14am

    • Indeed - I do have mixed feelings about it. Face to face invigilation is one of the many reasons exams are inherently a bad idea - they are incredibly expensive, given that they not only fail to contribute to learning but, in most cases, make a negative contribution to the learning process.  While online invigilation may be a little less stressful for some students than face to face, it has to be done in a way that does not induce more fear. Standards for online privacy must necessarily be higher than those for face-to-face privacy because so much more invasion is possible, so much more of the process is hidden, and data collected are so much more persistent. At the very least, it must be made very clear to all concerned what is being collected and why, which may not have been the case here.

      Jon Dron April 12, 2014 - 3:27am

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