Stonking television news report on our online degree graduate
This television report on BBC's regional news programme, Look East, surprised me with how well it summarised some major aspects of our Ultraversity project's degree programme. Here is a transcript and the features which are so cleverly articulated. Well done to the BBC, their reporter John Halford, Jane Day our successful student and to my colleague Malcolm Moss in Ultralab for masterminding the whole thing!
“A Teaching Assistant in Essex has just gained an honours degree after studying entirely over the Internet.”    Quick summary of the whole thing! Identifies workforce, learning outcome, medium.
“She did it in three years without meeting any of her tutors or fellow students.”    Its as quick as a face-to-face degree, no travel necessary.
“Jane Day is 46.”    It fits a life-long learning agenda.
“She left school with just three O-levels.” It has an open admissions policy and thus fits a widening participation agenda.
“Exams weren't her thing.” Innovation in assessment has been a key factor.
“Then, three years ago she saw that Anglia Ruskin University was offering a degree course.” It is a 'kosher' degree from a proper university.
“I wanted to do the degree, because I wanted to do something for myself. Obviously I have looked after my family, over the last twenty-odd years, and I just felt I wanted to do something for myself.” It provides personal fulfilment.
“Jane's course was called Learning, Technology and Research,” The title (not sure about that!) so others can find it.
“…and so that she could carry on working, she did it entirely over the Internet.” It doesn't require you to give up the day job or ask for time off.
“On the computer we had our own filing cabinets where we could submit our work,” It organises an e-portfolio.
“…and it was sent and collected at the other end,” It was a reliable mechanism.
“…it was then marked and sent back to us via the Internet with our marks on.” Assessment for learning.
“Of course there's another distance learning specialist in this region. Is the Open University concerned about a possible rival? No, I don't think we're worried. We may learn something from Anglia Ruskin,but I don't think that we feel threatened by them, we're pleased with what they've done.” The competition rate it.
“Until now, Jane Day has only been able to get to know her fellow students through the computer, but that's about to change. Made quite a few friends, and it's going to be really exciting when we meet up in November for our graduation to put faces to names.”    The social element has not been missing and mutual support is important.
“As a learning support assistant, Jane earns about ten thousand pounds a year.” This degree helps those on lower salaries ...
“With a 2.1 honours degree in the bank,”    ... to get a good degree ...
“she's now thinking about getting a postgraduate teaching qualification.” ... to continue the life-long learning adventure ...
“Her earnings could more than double.” ... and increase earning power and career prospects!
“John Halford, BBC Look East.” Stonking!
Ricardo’s Blagado
Saturday, 23 September 2006