The final curtain closes on #ouscc14

While the curtain may have drawn on the student connections conference 2014, it has left lasting footprints for the delivery of online networking and engagement within the social sciences. The conference has provided an opportunity for both academics and students to come together, both in person and via the internet, to engage in what they love most……the social sciences. If you are anything like me and are already having withdrawal symptoms from engaging in a new way, don’t worry, because it’ll all be back next year. Drawing the conference to a close, associate dean for the social sciences stated in his final address to viewers, ‘there will be a student connections conference in 2015′ HOORAY!!!!!

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Student Connections Conference Day 1-2


What an amazing first two days at the student connections conference.

Both Monday and Tuesday’s programme was back to back with presentations from students and academics in the social science field, all presenting their own ideas to a wide audience, reaching students in Sweden and Germany, amongst others. Take a look at whats coming up today.


I was lucky enough to be at the conference in person for the first two days, so as a viewer it must be pretty incomprehensible just how complicated an online conference is to achieve, especially considering it’s running a nearly seemless live stream for 6-8 hours per day. Ben and Chris have been monitoring every audio and visual moment making sure that any hiccup that comes up is swiftly remedied. It’s quite odd to hear someone count us all in 30 seconds, 15 seconds, 6 seconds and bam another presentation has begun.


The highlight for me each day has been the deans quiz, there has been some fantastic questions in there and its a great opportunity for a giggle at some of the questions. This one has been my favourite so far.

That’s what is so great about this conference you never know what you’re going to learn, I’ll probably remember that bit of knowledge for a very long time :) huge thanks should really go to Alison for organising and managing the smooth running of the deans quiz every day. She does so much behind the scenes work at the conference, organising everyone so that the presentations run smoothly. It’s really encouraging when you’re sitting up there on the panel, to see someone smiling at you making you feel comfortable in an alien environment.

If this is the first you’ve heard about the conference then don’t worry, there is plenty of time to head over here to come and engage with us all, we are all there for the same reason and that’s our interest In the social sciences. Don’t forget to get involved in the forums over on the conference website. Also if you are on twitter follow the official conference hash tag #ouscc14 where Ami Harty will be tweeting live on most days about the days events.

Hope to see you all soon

Do you want to take part in developing student feedback at the OU?

Well students it’s official….our voices were heard by the faculty, 244 student responses and a mountain of data has given students a second slot at the conference (its starting to sound a little like a campaign now…lol), so, what this means is that I will be live on air to discuss developing student feedback with associate dean for the social sciences Mr Ian Fribbance, I am also going to be prying for a response to our very valuable data from the making distance learning more friendly project and questioning him about some key findings from the study such as module forums and the taboo topic of facebook. The best thing about our student survey is that got us noticed, and now, our voice is going to be heard live on air to a potential audience of over one thousand viewers. So firstly, make sure you are registered for your free place at the online conference. Secondly, tune in on Monday 30th June 2014 at 16:30 to see me, Moira Corline and Nicky Strouts discuss your student data from the survey. And last but not least and equally important make sure you tune in on Friday 4th July 2014 at 13:30 to see me discuss developing student feedback, live with Ian Fribbance.

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Online Student Connections Conference….Are You Registered Yet?

The first student connections conference organised by the OU’s social science faculty is now less than two weeks away. On Monday we held our last activate session where we could all come together as presenters to discuss ideas for the conference, so everything is becoming a lot more real now as we enter the final stages. If this is the first you have heard about the online conference then it’s not too late to sign up for your FREE place here, over 700 are registered so far so its looking like a very lively event.

Most of the presentations for the conference are now complete, this includes the making distance learning more friendly project which will be shown on Monday 30th June 2014 at 16:30, but don’t forget, this is not the only presentation worth watching. Head over here to see a full program for the week, there is plenty to see, from Ben Tampins The Nature of my Teacup to Jonquil Lowe’s Why Capitalism Can’t Deliver.

The most important thing about this conference is that it is a clear opportunity to connect with both academics and students from the OU and there will be lots of opportunities for this to take place including live polls, forums and following the conference twitter feed.

Here is the link again, go register for your place, its free and you can attend from the comfort of your own living room.

Don’t forget to tell everyone why the OU is the place to be between 30th June 2014 – 4th July 2014.

To follow the conference via social media please use the details below.

Live Twitter Conference Feed

OU Social Sciences on Twitter

OU Social Sciences on Facebook


Student networking generates over 100 survey responses in 24 hours…..

It’s been a full 24 hours since our distance learning survey was first launched and thanks to it being shared by so many students we have already started to generate an amazing set of responses with some very valuable data.

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Survey link and project overview for making distance learning more friendly: a student exploration

Hello and welcome to our project launch page.

We are three students studying at the Open University and have been working together to create a project that opens up student experiences of distance learning. This isn’t like a student satisfaction survey organised by the Open University, instead it has been created by ordinary students and we want to hear YOUR student voice, talking about your experiences of being a distance learning student. Continue reading