University admissions - has there ever been a completely 'fair' system?
Students - How to survive the exam season with your sanity intact...
Issues of power and consent in higher education: as harassment advisor and from the other side
It's that season, yet again. For UK academics, term has ended, and coursework marking has begun. Soon to come: marking dissertations, followed by marking exams. I gave up marking when I moved to The Open University in 2011, as there it's done by the associate lecturers (aka 'tutors'), so all that was left for me… Continue reading The agony of marking
So, subconscious mind, get used to it: I'm still an academic, but I'm not going back to the Day Job, ever!
Yesterday marked a double rite of passage. My first pension payment arrived in my bank account (always a relief to know that this sort of thing works!) and we had lunch with my former department to mark my retirement. Held well away from the office (as in, not in Milton Keynes but in Oxford - distance… Continue reading Rites of passage (1): lunch and visibility
Naked Minotaur, ancient and modern science, and a MOOC - and no REF in sight!
Today I acted as a PhD external examiner for the final time. If you've read discussions of what the responsibilities of a retired academic should be, you'll maybe have seen 'examining PhDs' in there, as part of our supposed duty to the next generation of scholarship. However, having examined more PhDs in the last three… Continue reading PhDs: what are we doing?
After I handed in my notice, I could have let things wind down gradually. The Open University requires a long notice period, six months, but unlike brick universities it doesn't have just a couple of days in each year on which you are allowed to go, so I could pick my time. However, I delayed this… Continue reading Traitor to the cause? Why I wrote a MOOC
Some students love the way you teach: others don't. That's just a fact, and if you're going to survive the end-of-module evaluations, you'd better accept it. I've been thinking again about teaching after an exchange with one of our MA students last week. He was mildly concerned that he wasn't taking many notes from the… Continue reading The times I taught well