Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing

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Three Weeks at the SOOC

We have completed three weeks in the small open online course (SOOC), Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

It has been a relatively quiet week for online exchanges. It has given me time to reflect on the format of the SOOC and explore ideas with my fellow facilitators.

I have written daily wraps for the course.

We have 477 enrollments for the course. I am hopeful that the asynchronous, non-linear format of the SOOC enables enrollments at any time. I feel that there is nothing to miss and everything to gain through enrollment.

The quiet week has led me to think about peripheral participation and how an invisible community of practice can flourish.

I am clear that we are a SOOC rather than a massive open online course (MOOC). Following Alexis Madrigal’s lead I have been thinking about how SOOCs can mobilise the power of the dark social to grow their connections.

I have been reflecting too on the role of facilitators in SOOCs . I am extremely fortunate to have five colleagues who have shared the workload of the first three weeks of the course. This has made it possible to have a twenty-four hour service should anyone have teachable or sharing moments.

I am keen to extend the SOOC exchanges beyond a single language and during the week have been thinking about the Tower of Babel and an alternative … polylingual diversity … with nodes of sharing. The visitors to the SOOC from eighty countries could make this possible.

Photo Credit

David asks for directions

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#OAPS101: A Sense of Balance

We are into Day 19 of the small open online course (SOOC) Observing and Analysing Performance. Although we are having new enrollments each day, the volume of exchange on the OpenLearning platform has lessened. I do hope that there is peripheral participation going on and that we are exemplifying how a self-organising learning community operates.

The course has given me an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on my practice and my aspirations for education as enlightenment. After writing the Daily Wrap this morning, I followed a Twitter link to the Ernst and Young Report on the University of the Future. Page 6 of the report has a graphic of five megatrends transforming higher education:

I am fascinated to discover that our SOOC seems to be meeting these megatrends head on. I am very conscious that e-activity has a cost (a point made in today’s #Converge12 discussions in Melbourne). A few weeks ago Kent Anderson pointed out in a Scholarly Kitchen post:

Energy costs continue to be a focus of digital dissemination, especially as online becomes the predominant mode of information exchange. As you may recall, a small study we published here found that even running an archive in maintenance mode could cost tens of thousands of dollars per year in energy costs. This didn’t compare the carbon footprints of print to online, but it’s clear that digital publishing has an appreciable carbon footprint as well as significant energy costs.

The Internet was supposed to be magical — a virtual realm, an effortless superhighway of information, elevating us from the mundane into an electronic otherness. But it’s not magical. It’s a set of technologies that require resources, including extensive infrastructure composed of expensive and dangerous elements and metals; plenty of human support and intervention to keep it running; and lots of energy to light it.

Print is a set of technologies. Online is a set of technologies. The digital world is not clean or cheap. It is expensive …

Notwithstanding these issues I do see the SOOC approach we have taken to be a scalable and inclusive way of sharing expertise within and between institutions and industry sectors.

We have not pursued a gamification approach in our SOOC but after hearing Helen Keegan’s account of Rufi Franzen I am thinking that there are some important pedagogical issues to address as we stimulate and connect learners.

Our SOOC has 450 enrollments and we have had visits from 80 countries. We have taken a non-linear approach to content (participants follow their interests) and offered Open Badges.  I am hopeful that many of those enrolled will provide a summative comment about the course to help the next phase of planning and sharing.

I am thinking that a SOOC model can offer adaptive flow to learning experiences. I am hoping too that a SOOC can be personal and connected.

I am keen to learn how to support a course that has developed its own sense of balance. A free open course has time, I think, to ponder these issues.

Photo Credit

Balancing Act (State Library of New South Wales, no known copyright)

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#OAPS101: Two Weeks at the SOOC

We are about to start week three of the small open online course (SOOC) Observing and Analysing Performance.

We started with 279 enrollments on the eve of the course and at the end of Day 14 we had 420 enrolled.

I have been writing daily wraps for the course. They can be found here. I have found it remarkable that for each day’s wrap, by the time I had completed writing we had new enrollments.

My aim has been to provide a summary of activity during the day for very busy performance analysts. I have started to add some additional discussion points too.

My experience of the course has been one of fascination. I have really enjoyed the pathways participants have taken through this non-linear course. I have been delighted that there is a willingness to share and explore ideas.

We have four groups of Module facilitators. Each of whom has engaged with participants during the first two weeks. Information about the facilitators can be found in this Welcome post. All activities have been overseen by Adam Brimo at OpenLearning.

We have had lots of discussions about Observing Performance. There was some exciting discussions about Augmented Reality in the first week.

Our experiment with Open Badges is on-going. I see one of my roles as being an advocate for these badges. Adam Brimo has made Karma Open Badges available. These Karma Badges recognise contributions to discussion forums.

I am looking forward to week three in the course. My colleagues, Darrell Cobner and Adam Cullinane, at Cardiff Met facilitate discussions overnight Australia time. Here in Australia Mark Upton has worked with me during European night time.

Photo Credit

Banksy? (Markus Trapp, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


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Composition and Coaching

On my drive home last night, I had an opportunity to listen to a Radio National Big Ideas program Composition, Modernism and Philosophy.

In it Martin Bresnick talked about his work with Nikolas Kompridis. Martin is a Professor in the Practice of Composition at the Yale School of Music. His teachers have included György Ligeti, John Chowning, and Gottfried von Einem.

I thought it was a fascinating conversation. Martin talked about his development as a composer and a teacher of composition. The podcast of the program can be found here.

I think anyone interested in teaching, learning and coaching can draw important insights from composers, conductors and musicians.  I like Martin’s discussion of how he taught.

He said:

I take my students from where they are to where they want to go, constantly trying to discover from them if where they want to go is only where they want to go or whether there are more places they might want to consider and then … are they going in the best way possible.

Driving down Lark Hill into Bungendore thinking about inviting students to consider alternatives was a perfect end to an exciting, hectic day.

Photo Credit

Seminar 18 Flyer


#OAPS101: A Day in the Life of a Performance Analyst

The Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport course has encouraged me to think about networks and communities of practice. These issues came into focus today with news of the Digital Futures conference held in Citigate in Sydney earlier this week (shared with me by Alan Arnold).

Merilyn Childs was one of the speakers at the conference. Her talk was titled Not business as usual: MOOCs, Badges, OERs & global personal learning activism. Merilyn has a copy of her presentation on SlideShare.

My conversation with Alan about the conference was one of the prompts I received during the day about performance analysis and connected communities.

  • I started the day looking at and writing about what had happened overnight in #OAPS101.
  • I followed up on a conversation about coach development with a colleague from a sports institute.
  • I had the good fortune to participate in the Performance Analysis unit at the University and was able to introduce Alexis Lebedew to the group.
  • Alexis told me about his brother’s Facebook page At Home on the Court and Huy’s  Volleyball Blog and Newsletter
  • I exchanged some ideas about observation with a coach.
  • I met with a colleague from the Australian Paralympic Committee to discuss an open source approach to sharing resources.
  • Ended the day at the University discussing Learning and Teaching in the context of  #OAPS101 and racing over to see the end of a football coaching session to talk with a coach.

The day underscored for me the diversity and delight of being involved in performance analysis.

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#OAPS101: Enhancing Performance


(Vocaroo Summary of this post)

I have really enjoyed Week 1 of the small open online course Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

There have been some fascinating exchanges particularly about Seeing and Observing and Decision Making.

The numbers of participants enrolled in the course has increased this week. Shortly before the course started we had 155 and now it is 374. This means it is still a small open online course. I have discussed the approach taken in the course in a number of Clyde Street posts and in this Day 1 post on OpenLearning.

I have been keen to offer Open Badges for the course.

Conversations in the first week have prompted me to think about:

  • Feedforward
  • Performances of Understanding
  • Personal Learning Environments


Will Oldham’s post Analysts as Educators acted as a catalyst for my thoughts. In a post that synthesises a variety of ideas, Will concludes that:

We must take be confident enough in our skills and abilities that we are able to provide assurance to those who require it that we can add value to established coaching setups and processes, that we’re not in the business of coaching revolutions, but simply the development of athletes and coaches.

I commented on his post and suggest that the value we add is as educational technologists. I should have added that wherever possible bring an interdisciplinary understanding to performance. I think this requires a sensitivity to a narrative of performance that is customised to athletes and coaches.

My three big issues for the first week:


What if performance analysts decide to share the world as it might be?

I think feedfoward gives us the opportunity to do this. In Peter Dowrick’s wordssubjects see themselves not so much as they were but as they might be“.

Performances of Understanding

Last year I wrote about Sam Stosur’s victory in the US Open Tennis. In that post I noted that “I am fascinated by the process by which athletes prepare to perform. I am fascinated too by the realisation of the readiness to perform in actual performance”. My ideas about performances of understanding help me think about this readiness.

A decade ago I followed a Harvard University course online, Teaching for Understanding Using New Technologies. In that course performances of understanding were important indicators. Such performances:

… require students to go beyond the information given to create something new by reshaping, expanding, extrapolating from, applying, and building on what they already know. The best performances of understanding help students both develop demonstrate their understanding.

Personal Learning Environments

I am hopeful that many of the participants in the Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport course will write about their experiences as performance analysts or their interests in performance analysis. There is so much experience to share.

I am keen to find out about personal learning environments. My participation in the CCK08 course opened my eyes to the benefits of sharing openly. I have written about personal learning environments since that course. I see personalisation as one of the ways to offer a service to athletes and coaches.

Into Week 2

I am looking forward to Week 2 of #OAPS101. I am hopeful that this post might stimulate discussion that goes beyond the content of the course and helps address some second order questions about performance analysis.

Photo Credit

I received the photograph in this blog post from a friend. I have been unable to find a source for it. I am keen to learn whether it is a Creative Commons Licensed image.

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Week 1 at #OAPS101

We have had a delightfully busy week in the small open online course, Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport (#OAPS101).

At present we have 356 participants enrolled in the course.

This first week has given me an opportunity to explore the functionality of the OpenLearning platform.

You can find some of the week’s announcements here.

We have some Open Badges on offer and there is an interesting discussion developing about the merit of these badges.

Given the global nature of this course we have had four people on call each day. Mark Upton and myself in Australia. Darrell Cobner and Adam Cullinane in Cardiff.

I have been delighted with the first week and have always viewed OAPS101 as exploratory, fallible, messy … and exciting.

I am hopeful that the open and non-linear nature of the course has something for everyone. I do like the idea that participants are exploring different topics. Augmented Reality is causing quite a stir.

Photo Credit

Managing to Know (Giulia Forsythe, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)