Some short-term R&D plans

And the first day of my transition back into Academia commences. What follows is an initial list of my short-term plans for research and development. I had pondered coming up with some grand vision for my academic career, but I really detest visions and mission statements as ways to enshrine your current limited understanding in such a way as to ignore everything else that happens in the world.

So I’ll stick with a motto that I’ve used before and which pretty much sums up my approach to research, teaching and education.

It’s not how bad you start, but how quickly you get better

Shall be interesting to see how much of this I get done. Suggestions and comments welcome.

Open scholarship – reading, working and connecting

The plan is to blog, tweet etc quite a bit more. Get back into the habit I had a couple of years ago of doing scholarship in the open. When I read a paper, blog a summary and any vague ideas. When I start thinking about papers, break them up into chunks and blog that. Blog the ideas about the papers. Actively search out interesting folk doing interesting work and connect.

It also means that I’m going to avoid IGI Global and similar closed publishers. Open Access journals etc. will be my publishing venues of choice (if they’ll have me). While ERA journal rankings have gone, publishing in journals is still a necessity.

There’s already an interesting potential project around the use of Twitter by pre-service teachers happening because of Twitter connections (@laurnForner @sthcrft @rellypops).

Reading and connecting, especially with folk at USQ and education in general, remains one of my biggest tasks.

BIM 2.0 – quick and dirty

Poor old BIM – the Moodle module for managing individual student blogs – has been my neglected child. The only attention it has gotten recently is from the good folk at Netspot who tidied up some of the uglier, more problematic bits of code. BIM needs porting to Moodle 2.0.

Earlier this year I started an abortive attempt to both port BIM and redesign the code base. A mistake. So the current plan is to do a quick and dirty conversion of BIM to Moodle 2. i.e. ensure that the current functionality works in Moodle 2.

Then next year think about the longer term. Perhaps a redesign of the code base and extension of the functionality with some current ideas.

I’m somewhat interested to see whether BIM is installed at USQ, and if not, what the process/likelihood is of getting it added to USQ’s Moodle setup.

Paper #1 – Indicators journal paper

The first paper I’ll work on is from the Indicators Project. Probably do a refined and expanded version of the 2009 ASCILITE paper. Refine, add more recent data, including data from Moodle, and do the stats.

One of the ideas of this paper was to identify potential future work.

Paper #2 – The story of BIM

In 2010 I presenting BIM at the MoodleMoot’AU. The idea behind that presentation didn’t get covered in the MoodleMoot’AU presentation. Doing a demo of BIM seemed more appropriate. To this day, I think that the story of BIM can be used to identify some of the important limitations of universities that are holding back the quality of learning and teaching. Need to make this argument.

Paper #3 – Something from the PhD

And probably #4 etc. I do need to get some papers out of the PhD

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