Want to be a part of the Dissertation Festival?

Back due to popular demand – the MSc in E-Learning Dissertation Festival!

What is the Dissertation Festival?

The Dissertation Festival is a chance for students on the MSc in E-Learning programme to share their thoughts on their dissertation in the lead up to their submission date: it’s a place for sharing ideas, issues and inspirations with each other.

The DissFest this year will once again happen in Second Life, from Monday 30 July to Friday 3 August.  (You can check out some pics from last year at http://tinyurl.com/3ap3v32 )

There are several ways you can get involved:


About to submit?

This is a great opportunity for those close to submission to articulate their work in different ways and to get feedback from peers and other tutors (as well as your supervisor).  The dissertation presentations have a synchronous and asynchronous component:

  • *The synchronous event is a 15 minute presentation using slides and voice in Second Life, followed by around 10-15 minutes of chat with other students, tutors and guests about your presentation.
  • *The asynchronous component is a display in Second Life on our Dissertation Island.  It consists of your presentation, poster and haiku alongside a comment board so that those who couldn’t make your presentation can leave feedback for you throughout the week.

We found last year that the multiple articulations of the dissertation (poster, haiku, presentation) really helped students ‘find’ their argument.  And don’t worry if you are not comfortable with Second Life.  Marshall will be taking your materials and mounting them in SL for you (all you need to be able to do is create a powerpoint/prezi) and I will be on hand if you want to do a rehearsal or just test your voice equipment prior to the presentation.  Marshall and I will both be there ‘on the night’ as well, to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Work in progress

If a full on presentation seems too much, you can always present on a ‘Work in progress’.  This is for students who want to discuss their dissertation, but are only part-way through the research process.  It’s a more informal, shorter presentation (around 10 minutes presenting and 10 minutes for chat) which can be accompanied by slides or a single graphic, but could also just be voice.

Just come along

You can also get involved in the Festival by coming along as an audience member, willing to give feedback and ask useful questions for our presenters.  If you can’t make it to the presentations, you can still visit the island in Second Life throughout the whole week and leave comments on presenters’ noteboards in-world.

We will also have an event ‘A dialogue on the dissertation process

This is a two part synchronous voice event. The first part will be about starting the dissertation process, where we are hoping those mid and close to finding the dissertation will share their experiences with those about to kick off their dissertation study.  The second part if for those coming close to completion and is a chance to debrief the write up process and ask all those niggly questions that start to loom alongside the submission deadline.

This event will be proceeded by a champagne viewing of the displays in Second Life.

How to get involved

If you would like to be involved as a presenter, let me know – clara.oshea@ed.ac.uk.  Marshall and I will follow up with you about your topic, times that suit you, requirements for the Festival and whatever tech support you might need.

If you want to come along as an audience member, then just keep an eye out for a programme of events – that’ll be up about a fortnight before the Festival commences


Clara and Marshall

aka Klara and Pancha in Second Life

Burst your bubble

TED talk by Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You

Pariser demonstrates how personalisation algorithms mean that search engines are offering you results which conform to your existing browsing habits and preferences. You think you are seeing the “whole web”, but increasingly you’re being served up a subset of links based on their “relevance” to those you already clicked on.

Is the personalised web becoming a space which shrinks as you explore it?

“Facebook was looking at which links I clicked on, and it was noticing that I was clicking more on my liberal friends’ links than on my conservative friends’ links. And without consulting me about it, it had edited them out. They disappeared.” (Eli Pariser)

Urban Drift — Mobile Summer e-Learning

Cover: uDrift Student Handbook

The uDrift Summer Student Handbook (interactive PDF) is almost ready. It’s a laptop and mobile guide to the concept of urban flânerie/dérive/uDrift (walking or cycling) research. The uDrift-book presents the class using social media and GPS mapping. It includes a small guide to iOS and Android smartphone apps for tracking, drawing, in-phone video editing, TweetDeck messaging, QR Codes, etc. The non-credit class runs 2-22 July and is designed to challenge you for 6 to 8 hours per week with ideas and exercises involving mobile e-learning conducted in an urban or natural setting. It has relationships to work you might do in the MScEL and is a wannabe cousin to IDGBL. We have just expanded enrollment from 10 to 20 — JOIN THE DRIFT

For further details, contact Dennis Dollens at D.L.Dollens@sms.ed.ac.uk

uDfift: app & Google Earth project tracking