Open Access Teaching: the ‘Roddy’s Courses’ blog 12 months on ….

Now’s a good time to cast a quick look back over the past twelve months as I’ve used the blog to teach my First Year courses in Sweden (2012 and 2013) and South Africa (2013).  You can see from the statistics that there have been lots of visits (I’m sure some of them are return visits) and, not surprisingly, most of them come from Sweden where the course has been taught twice and South Africa where it has been taught once.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 3.34.35 PMThe total today (since August 2012) is 3381.  So something like 2500 visits since I posted about using the blog in this way in October 2012.  Quite a few of the USA visits are from search engines but then there’s a long tail of visitors from right around the world.

From my viewpoint this is a nice way to make material easily available to anyone who wants to access it – whether they are taking the courses or not.  It’s also easier and quicker to upload into the blog once than into the two different web based learning platforms (Moodle at Rhodes and DisCo at Högskolan Väst).  Perhaps most important is the fact that comments from students taking the classes have all been very positive so far.  Here’s a screenshot of the ClustrMap showing where visits have come from.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 3.59.32 PM

Open Access Teaching: the ‘Roddy’s Courses’ blog

Now my three week introductory module at Högskolan Väst in Sweden is over it is time to have a brief look at using an open access blog (Roddy’s Courses) as the main supporting device for presenting course material.  This was the first time I have used a blog that is open to anyone and it is interesting to see what response it gained from the students taking the course and from those who also visited.

Here’s the table of visitors (from the Clustrmaps widget) and you can see they are overwhelmingly from Sweden – naturally.  Then there are visits from myself (South Africa) and probably from my students here as well.  After that is a tail of 14 other country visitors.  Two of them became followers of the course so it must have been interesting but I haven’t been in touch with them at all, maybe that’s a breach of netiquette?

My Swedish students were a pleasure to teach and interact with in class.  They were very responsive and gave positive feedback about using the course. You can read what they said here.  Perhaps the course went well because the material was easily accessible via the blog and also attractively presented?  In my opinion the course looks inviting in the blog. If you use a conventional web based learning platform, such as Moodle, you tend to end up with something like this screen shot.

It is a similar course that I teach at Rhodes.  Furthermore it is behind a fire wall so no-one else can gain access.