Request for Help

We have received the following request for student input from the University’s Online Distance Learning Group.  It would be great if some of you from the MSc E-Learning Programme could contribute your insights.  We hope that you will all respond to the Distance Education Student Barometer survey, and perhaps some would like to respond further, as outlined below.  If so, we would encourage you to contact Amy Woodgate directly.

Improving the ODL Student Experience – students needed!
In Autumn 2012, the Distance Education Student Barometer (DESB) will be sent out to all current ODL students to gain insight into their overall experience of ODL at the University. This is a very useful tool for general trends and we will circulate further information nearer the time.
However, to supplement this information, we are looking to identify a few ODL students who would be willing to talk to us (either via Skype or email) about their individual experience and gain insight into any issues not raised through the DESB.
If you know of any students, from your ODL programmes, who would have time over August to help, please contact Amy (

Life on Mars?

An artist's impression of 'Curiosity' Mars Rover
The 'Curiosity' Mars Rover

With the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory eagerly awaited in the next few days, you might like to be aware of a close link that we have with the project.  One of the Programme alumni, Hugh O’Donnell, who teaches at Dunoon Grammar School on the west of Scotland, has been doing some great work, along with his colleagues, to  stimulate cross-curricular engagement of the pupils around ideas relating to the potential of a human colonisation of the Red Planet.

You can find more about the work on Hugh’s blog.  A particular coupe, and confirmation that there are some nice people out there, has been the response of one of the NASA scientists, Dr Ryan Anderson, to overtures from the school.  Dr Anderson has agreed to act as a resource for the Children’s work; and has received some goodies in return.

Follow the Mars Curiosity Lander on Twitter.

Seeking participants for a research study

We have received a request from a student in Psychology at the University to promote her search for participants to contribute to her research study.  The information follows.
Dear students,

HELLO and welcome to the survey which investigates educational trends in students. The study has been granted an ethical approval. If you are studying towards a degree, diploma or a qualification in Scotland, please feel invited to take part.

To appreciate you time and effort, you will have a chance to take part in a prize draw, in which 10 lucky participants will win a £ 10 voucher of their choice (cinema, theatre or amazon).
The survey should take you no longer than 20 minutes in total. Your participation is much appreciated and you are very welcome to ask for some feedback from the current study, which will be available at a later point this year. You also have a right to withdraw from the study at any point.

More information on the study can be found from the researcher Agnes
Branny at
To access the survey please click on the following link :

Thank you!
Agnes Branny
MSc in Psychology of Individual Differences
The University of Edinburgh

An Approach – “Instructional Designer – Apps for Children”

This may be of interest to some.  We have been approached with the following advertisement of an opportunity.

Exciting small company in Fulham, London, has a vacancy for an instructional designer to work on educational apps for children (see for an example of our work). You will work in-house as part of a close-knit team. Teaching experience, while not essential, would be an advantage. Please apply to by 23rd March, attaching your CV and a small sample of your work.

PG Taught Experience Survey

We have been asked to stimulate, exhort, and otherwise encourage you to complete the survey of student experience on taught postgraduate courses.  I gather that you will have received an individual email to your University-provided email address, providing a personalised link.

You may feel rather “surveyed out” with the course-level exercises that have, or are about to, hit you from us.  But this further response would be appreciated by the College Office and the Dean, and will be used to inform University-wide policy.