Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing

Leave a comment

#OAPS101 Goes Live 5 November: Starting Out

I am posting this blog post on OpenLearning today to welcome participants in the #OAPS101 course, Observing and Analysing Performance.

The course goes live later this morning.

I think we have a remarkable month ahead of us.

Starting Out


Today is the first day of our small open online course, Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.


Thank you for enrolling on the course and being part of an open approach to sharing ideas and practices.

This is going to be a wonderful learning journey for me and I hope for you too.

I have been writing about the ideas that underpin the SOOC in my Clyde Street blog. For the duration of this course I am going to use the OpenLearning blog facility as my primary blog. This way I hope to share updates and summaries with you directly.

I have posted a video welcome here. There is a written welcome here too. … and an audio welcome (using Vocaroo). Video, text and audio will be important characteristics of this course.

The Course

The characteristics of this course are:

  • It is free.
  • It is open.
  • It is self-paced.
  • It is non-linear.
  • It is an introduction to observation and analysis.
  • It shares content from a number of authors.
  • It offers open badges to acknowledge your involvement and engagement in the course.
  • Content is shared under a CC BY 3.0 license unless otherwise indicated (see for example the licenses of the three images used in this post).
  • It will flourish with discussion and sharing.
  • It will change throughout the course.
  • It will remain on the public internet as a resource for discovery and sharing.

This Week: Week 1

We recommend that you:

Look at the Connecting and Sharing resources in the About the Course Module.

Spend some time finding your way around the OpenLearning platform (including the Need Help? page) for this course.

How about …

Visiting the Getting Started Activity.

Looking at the Introduction: Connecting and Sharing.

Then checking out Connectivism.

We realise that this is a personal learning journey for all of us. One of my hopes is that we share these journeys through the open sharing of our personal learning environments. You might find the Personal Learning Environments resource of interest


This course has five modules. All five of them are available today. Other content will be added subsequently and we will let you know about any changes to content.

Our idea is for you to follow your interests.

We have set aside a month to share and discuss ideas.

I am hoping to monitor discussions and deal with any requests for clarification. Please let me know if I can be of help.

To make this a 24 hour a day experience, Darrell Cobner and his colleagues at Cardiff Met will monitor the course whilst Australia sleeps.

We do see enormous opportunities for conversations and exchange. We do not have any formal webinars planned and we are not using Universal Time stamps for our work.

We realise that what we are offering is fallible and that it is constructed by all of us.

We hope you are going to enjoy the course and I am keen to learn if I can be of any service to you as you work your way through the course. I am just an email away either through OpenLearning or at this email address.

The Whisperings Within The Course

It is fascinating to find other locations where the approaches used in the course are explored.

For example, Uberveillance‘s Ethos statement is:

This website provides the general public, the community and those afforded free and unconditional access to the world wide web, access to information regarding the concept and understandings of Uberveillance. This website provides invited Authors an opportunity to directly contribute to the development of the website whilst maintaining an open dialogue with the general public.

Uberveillance’s objective is to provide open comment that is:

  • relevant to the topic – is not selling nor spamming
  • conversational – pictures and addresses the audience
  • coherent – maintains consistency
  • respectful – provides reading enjoyment, challenge and value
  • generative – builds trust and connection


The spirit of this  #OAPS101 course is invitational, voluntary and supportive. It aims to build trust and connections through participation. It seeks to do so through public sharing.

Photo Credits

Dawn Platform (Isuru Senevi, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Road Ahead is Shrouded in Mist (Joysaphine, CC By-NC 2.0)

Share @Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, NYC (o.blaat, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


Writing a SOOC

It is a month until the Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport small open online course (SOOC) commences on the Open Learning platform.

I am delighted that we have assembled a remarkable group of course administrators. Adam Brimo at Open Learning has made the process very easy.

With friends in the United Kingdom we should be able to support the course for the whole month as a 24 hour forum. If not there should be just a very short change over period.

I hope to spend much of the month facilitating the course, which, given its non-linear nature, should be an exciting time. We are still working through some ideas around Open Badges for the course and my own thinking at present is to acknowledge peripheral participation (following the course) and to have a separate badge for engagement in the course. Open Learning has a karma measure that might help with the engagement badge. I am thinking that cooperation will be an important attribute too … and sharing. (Erin Knight provides an excellent insight into these opportunities and David Wiley offers a great example of how it does work).

I will need to look carefully at the Iconic open icon resource.

The people who will help me make these decisions will be the course administrators and Adam Brimo. The administrators are:

Adam Cullinane

Adam Hewitt

Alexis Lebedew

Chris Barnes

Danny Munnerley

Darrell Cobner

Mark Davies

Mark Upton

Matt Bacon

Robert Fitzgerald

Tania Churchll

Together we will be developing a five-part course that comprises:

* Connecting and Sharing

* Observing Performance

* Visualising Data

* Knowledge Discovery

* Augmented Reality

The proposal is that all participants look at the Connecting and Sharing module in the first week to establish a framework for using the Open Learning platform. Thereafter all modules are available for access in whatever order participants think appropriate to their interests and needs.

I have no doubt this will be messy and disruptive. But it is the first SOOC offered at an introductory level that has the potential to develop a polysemic experience.

Photo Credit


Leave a comment

Meeting James and Friends

James Neill is hosting a Wiki Workshop on Friday 14 September (schedule) in the Teaching Commons at the University of Canberra.

He has invited Laura Hale and me to talk briefly about the HoPAu Project.

I thought I would share these slides with the group. (I have a copy on Speaker Deck too.)



Shortly after writing this post, this wiki book appeared about Australia and all the Australian athletes at the Games (90Mb download). Laura Hale has produced a HOPAU at London Paralympics report about the Project too.

Photo Credit

Ghost Detector Workshop -Psychogeophysics

1 Comment

Wikinews and Wikipedia at the London Paralympics

Laura Hale and friends have been very busy at the Paralympic Games with their Wikinews reporting.

The amount of Wikinews and Wikipedia material available to refer to the Games is staggering. All my posts in The Conversation use Wikipedia links.

This is Jacqueline Freney’s profile in recent days:

and for Matt Cowdrey:

A group of dedicated Wikipedians is updating the profiles of athletes each day and including news of medal winners. The time difference in Australia from London means that all profiles are updated at 9 a.m. AEST.


A day after posting this I received an update from Laura Hale:

Complete list of Wikinews articles to date featuring original reporting at London 2012 Paralympics

This is the complete published list to date.  (We have about six articles awaiting review.)  Between them, I think over 75 countries are mentioned.  In some cases, a few countries have new articles that still have not had ten articles published about them since 2007.

They represent a wide swathe of Paralympic sports including athletics, track cycling, wheelchair basketball, shooting, goalball, judo, boccia, table tennis, equestrian, athletics, rowing, 5-a-side football, and 7-a-side football. (We have an article about wheelchair fencing awaiting review.) We have had four interviews published.  (We have one more awaiting review.)  We have covered the press angle, written about some of the behind the scenes things like the gym and equipment repair, and covered two press conference.  One article was picked up by a newspaper in Sierra Leone and printed in paper.

We have about five more days left, but really, really happy with what we havve had so far. A big round of thanks are heartily deserved to everyone who helped make this happen at the APC and Wikinews and Wikimedia Australia. 🙂  This work comes on top of making sure an article exists about every 2012 Australian Paralympian, taking at least 35 of those to the front page of Wikipedia, getting profile pictures donated by the APC for every 2012 Australian Paralympian for use on Wikipedia and Wikinews, creating articles that better explain Paralympic classification with that preparation work being done before the start of the Games.’s_2012_Paralympic_Games_flag-bearer’s_second_ever_Paralympic_Gamesôte_d’Ivoire’s_wheelchair_basketball_team_practices_ahead_of_2012_Summer_Paralympics’s_R2-10m_air_rifle_final’s_national_wheelchair_basketball_teams_play_in_their_2012_Paralympics_opener’s_national_wheelchair_basketball_team_loses_first_game_in_its_2012_Paralympic_campaign’s_national_goalball_team_defeats_Algeria_4-3’s_Powell_loses_to_Germany’s_Matthias_Krieger_in_judo_event_at_2012_Paralympics’s_Cynthia_Paige_Simon_loses_to_Spain_in_women’s_57kg_judo_quarter_finals’s_sitting_volleyball_in_straight_sets_at_2012_Summer_Paralympics’s_R2-10m_air_rifle_final’s_Richard_Csejtey’s_national_wheelchair_basketball_team_gets_its_first_win_of_London_Paralympics’s_Individual_C1-2-3_500m_Time_Trial,_Trischa_Zorn’s_national_goalball_team_loses_0-3_to_United_States_in_pool_play_in_London,_Australian_goalball_player’s_Alena_Kanova_defeats_Sara_Head,_taking_bronze_in_class_3_table_tennis,_Australian_Paralympic_wheelchair_basketball_medallist


Considering Blogging as a Scholarly Activity


A few weeks ago I was invited to blog about blogging.

I have had a number of responses to the post and in this post I want to share points made by a colleague, Scott Fleming.

Three other contributions have prompted this post:

I liked Stephen’s observations about blogging including the point that “blogs have a readership to which you have to be accountable”. He argues that:

Sometimes they (blogs) set the scene, define terms, flesh out detail, and a host of other non-persuasive tasks such that, once the reader hits a blog post intended to persuade, they have some sense of where the author is coming from. And a blog might not even have a point it is trying to make; not everything in the world is about persuading people. Blogging is more complex – far more complex – than the simple persuasive essay, because a blog is not a single blog post, it is a totality of blog posts, with a myriad of purposes, all blended together. (My emphasis)

In their discussion of connected learning, the Digital Media and Research Hub suggest:

Connected learning builds on what we’ve long known about the value and effectiveness of interest-driven, peer-supported, and academically relevant learning; but in addition, connected learning calls on today’s interactive and networked media in an effort to make these forms of learning more effective, better integrated, and broadly accessible. (My emphasis)

The configuration of these ideas provide a context for the sharing of Scott’s ideas below. Before I present them I would like to add a footnote from Alfred Schutz.

In The Phenomenology of the Social World, Schutz writes:

As we have said repeatedly, the structure of the social world is by no means homogenous. Our fellow men and the signs they use can be given to us in different ways. There are different approaches to the sign and to the subjective experience it expresses. Indeed, we do not even need a sign in order to gain access to another person’s mind; a mere indication can offer us the opening. This is what happens, for instance, when we draw inferences from artifacts concerning the experiences of people who lived in the past. (Walsh, G. and Lehnert, F., 1972. The Phenomenology of the Social World. Northwestern University Press, p.132.) (My emphasis)

A Comment on Blogging About Blogging

With Scott’s permission I am posting his comments about Blogging About Blogging here in full. They are:

I am not a blogger, and a bit like the way I use Twitter, I’m a lurker (though that does seem like rather a sinister description). But for those who have the skills blogging is a rich medium – and writing a good blog is every bit as demanding as writing for other purposes.

One of the bloggers I do follow is Tom Watson MP, a friend from my youth. Tom’s blog is interesting in all sorts of ways, not least because of the way that he and it have provoked reaction from other bloggers. One political blogger in particular has explained that the motivation for his blog is to “make mischief at the expense of politicians and for the owner’s self gratification”. Public accountability of the powerful is highly desirable – especially when they are elected representatives. It’s also good fodder for political satire. But how do readers know the status and authority of the blog? How do readers know whether the criticism of Tom and his work is fair and reasonable?

In a clumsy way this example illustrates what I think are thought by many to be the two main objections to blogs and blogging in academic work:
(1) the rigour of the blog is sometimes unclear;
(2) the ways that blogs are used are not quality assured.
Keith’s post from a few weeks ago opens up debate about these (and other) matters.

Here are some further thoughts:
• In keeping with many contemporary debates about active engagement in the generation and sharing of knowledge, blogs are participatory and interactive. There’s an important point here. Podcasts, for example, might be more user-friendly to many technologically sophisticated young (and no-so-young) adults at modern universities, but they are still essentially instruments of information-giving. Blogs, like tweeting and other social networking media do create a real forum for dialogue.
• Blogs are immediate and accessible. In some areas of academic life progress can seem painfully slow. By the time research is in the public domain it’s already out of date or even obsolete. By using a medium that allows instantaneous sharing of information, some work can have influence without delay.
• As in other walks of life, blogs cultivate criticality and accountability about research. There are probably more opportunities for researchers to be held to account through an exchange of views or interrogation using blogs than in the system of so-called ‘blind peer review’ that many academic journals use.
• Within certain parameters they grant a freedom of expression that is fair, democratic and respectful. This doesn’t mean that all views expressed are held in the same regard. Reputations do count. But so too does the opportunity to establish credibility. I noticed recently a blogger being asked to make his credentials clear to provide authority for the opinion expressed in his blog.
• There are codes of conduct (as well as the law of the land) to guide and constrain bloggers, but there are fewer ‘rules’ to follow. There isn’t (yet) a way of blogging that prevents those without the know-how from participating. This is liberating and even emancipating for people with something of value to say who can’t say it using other media.
• Blogs are often personal opinions. As reflective practice gathers momentum in many different contexts (not least for research, learning and teaching), opportunities to share opinions with others are valuable in themselves and also as a stimulus for others.

It’s not all good, of course. As well as the caution about validity and reliability of information shared through the use of blogs, there may be concerns that the medium is deliberately misused. But if we start denying the usefulness of anything to which these criticisms might apply, there would be many other forms of sharing research that would be brought into question.

So here’s my take-home message: blogs can make a useful contribution to academic debate too. (And perhaps I’m now ready to ‘de-lurk’.)

In Response

I am delighted that Scott and I have exchanged thoughts about blogging. I was fortunate to be a colleague at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (now Cardiff Metropolitan University) and have been an admirer of his work for two decades. I think his comments demonstrate an openness that is the hallmark of exceptional scholars.

The points that resonate with my experience in Scott’s comments are:

  • writing a good blog is every bit as demanding as writing for other purposes
  • blogs are participatory and interactive
  • Blogs, like tweeting and other social networking media do create a real forum for dialogue
  • Blogs are immediate and accessible
  • blogs cultivate criticality and accountability about research
  • There are codes of conduct

Unsurprisingly, I liked Scott’s concluding observation that “blogs can make a useful contribution to academic debate”.

Earlier in this post I mentioned Alfred Schutz’s assertion that “There are different approaches to the sign and to the subjective experience it expresses”.

I feel very strongly that the emergence of user friendly blogging platforms transformed the possibilities for scholarly communication. I believe that the freedom these platforms brought has created a very important sense of responsibility and accountability. I think there is an awareness of the fallibility of this enterprise too.

Blog posts are very public statements and the digital memory created by posts is a wonderful exhortation to address the rigour and quality assurance that Scott mentions in his comments. These points made by Scott reminded me about The Scholarly Kitchen’s discussion of Can Article Retractions Correct the Scientific Record?

I think blog posts are a very effective way of sharing scholarly endeavour. One point I am keen to explore with Scott is the ideas of an infinite paper and refining scholarship. My example comes from my research into the life and work of Charles Reep.

I wrote about Charles in February 2011. A year later Neil Lanham asked me to correct the article and I did so with information he shared with me. Last month contributors to a Brentford Football Club forum pointed to some issues about Charles Reep and Brentford. I addressed their points in a specially researched and written post. My original post now has these corrections included with a note about the change. These changes are not marginalia they are text corrections and updates.

The idea of a blog post as an emergent set of ideas and empirical specification is very attractive to me. My own thinking about this was transformed by the appearance of Commentpress from the Institute of the Future of the Book. Their mission statement in part is:

Academic institutes arose in the age of print, which informed the structure and rhythm of their work. The Institute for the Future of the Book was born in the digital era, and so we seek to conduct our work in ways appropriate to the emerging modes of communication and rhythms of the networked world. Freed from the traditional print publishing cycles and hierarchies of authority, the Institute values theory and practice equally, conducting its activities as much as possible in the open and in real time.

My involvement in a wikipedia project in Paralympic sport has encouraged me to think carefully about shared voices in academic discourse. I am very comfortable with the likelihood that Wikipedia articles will change for two very important reasons. Firstly, there are custodians in the Wikipedia community who monitor the quality of articles. Secondly, the articles themselves have very clear logs of contributors and changes made.

I do see blogging as a vibrant commitment to open access to ideas and data. I think we can be vigilant and employ the criticality Scott mentions. We can do so in near real time and without paywall exclusion.

I am heartened that there is a growing community of bloggers that trust each other and through the ensemble of their work exhibit a distinctive blend of ideas and scholarship.

I am immensely grateful to Darrell Cobner for the opportunity to blog about blogging and the Scott for sharing some challenges to the art of blogging. I note that the opinions expressed by me in this post are mine alone except where I have made explicit reference to the work of others.

Thank you for reading the post.

Photo Credit

Scott Fleming