About Doug Clow

I’m an academic. I work at the Open University, UK, as part of the Institute of Educational Technology. But this blog and everything in it is my personal view, not that of the OU, and is definitely not endorsed by them.

I’m interested in new technology in teaching in and around Higher Education. Of course, I’m actually interested in a lot of other things besides, but read the previous sentence in the academic sense of “interested”, i.e. “am trying to make a career out of studying”. I’m forever tempted to stray beyond those boundaries:

  • new This is a particularly fuzzy boundary, with no easy metrics. Vellum scrolls are probably right off the scale, but – as Zhou Enlai said of the French Revolution, I think it’s too early to tell what the impact of the printing press is. [Update: Turns out the Zhou Enlai bit may be an urban legend. Apparently he was talking in the early 1970s, and was not referring to the 1789 events in Paris but the 1968 ones.]
  • technology What counts as technology? And one of my few firm beliefs about my area is that there’s nothing profoundly different about teaching and learning with new technology than with traditional methods (whatever they are). I’d argue that the principles of good teaching apply even more so when you use new technologies.
  • teaching This is a deeply unfashionable thing to be interested in – everyone who’s anyone these days says they’re interested in learning, and the idea that “nothing is taught until something is learned” is now a commonplace. I like to think I played a very small part in this shift in thinking in HE. However, I’d argue that most learning happens without anyone else being directly involved at all. Maybe that sort of learning deserves more research (indeed some of my colleagues are doing it). But the organisation of learning opportunities for others is a vital and valid calling for humanity, and I think we can legitimately call that teaching.
  • Higher Education Again, there’s plenty of interesting and relevant stuff from other areas of education and learning. I’m definitely not interested in compulsory education: on balance I’m against it, and it’s certainly not nearly as much fun for learning or teaching.  I’m very much interested in the boundary between informal learning and higher education.

I’m also interested in management, and particularly in managing knowledge workers. Hmm – already I’ve undermined myself: here I mean “interested” in a slightly weaker academic sense than the former. The reasons for the difference are probably a good idea for a post some time …


3 thoughts on “About Doug Clow”

  1. Hi, I recently came across your blog after checking out the OU’s website.
    I am currently doing my masters in TESOL and I am interested in furthering my understanding of ICT in education. I know that the OU has a PHD course, but I was wondering if there were any other online courses I could do. I am 3 months into my masters course so I would like something that would fit into my free time. I am from the U.K, but living in Malaysia at the moment. Thanks


  2. Hi Simon

    Good to hear from you. (Sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been on holiday.)

    The OU has a whole series of courses at Masters level that you might be interested in, which are part of Online and Distance Education suite. See http://www8.open.ac.uk/iet/main/study-us/online-and-distance-education and http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/qualification/f10.htm for full information.

    As you’ll see from our website, we offer five different modules at the moment – on subjects including innovations in eLearning, accessibility, and practice-based research. You can study them in any order, and build up credit towards a Certificate, Diploma, or full Masters in Online and Distance Education (MA ODE), to suit you. These modules are all available for study online worldwide.

    The OU also offers other postgraduate modules in Education more widely than pure ICT in education. If you’re interested, have a look at this page for more information on these modules and qualifications:

    If you are interested in taking things a little further than Masters level but not as far as a full PhD, we have an EdD, a professional doctorate in education. The idea is that it’s more focused on professional concerns than a PhD: we expect you to have a professional context that you’re working in while doing the EdD. You’d need a solid qualification at Masters level first, though – and our course in practice-based research (H809) would be excellent preparation towards it. See http://www8.open.ac.uk/creet/main/postgraduate/doctorate-education for full details of the EdD.

    All the best in your studies!

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