The course environment

A distance learning environment (Drew's attic office)
A distance learning environment (Drew’s attic office)


This course mainly uses this WordPress environment, but there is some stuff on BB9, which as usual, you can access through your Student Portal.

BB9 is used only for coursework submission and for announcements (all of which will arrive in your e-mail). The rest of the stuff is on here under a Creative Commons license (please see below as to the nature of this license).

On-campus students will interact with this site mainly by downloading readings and will therefore find the literature pages the most relevant. If you are an on-campus student, do feel free to review the rest of this page, but bear in mind that what follows is mainly directed towards distance students.

As a distance learner, you really can explore this site as you wish, but for those who demand some guidance, I suggest starting off this way:

  • Check the course timetable. Copy it into your diary! (But watch for announcements in case anything changes for any reason.) Be sure you are looking at the right timetable, as either a distance or an on-campus student.
  • Check the core activities and ensure you are clear, at least at a basic level, what is supposed to be done by what date, and what you are being asked to do. On-campus students – you will complete these activities in taught classes.
  • You will see that two of the activities are recommended to be done fairly early on (they correspond with the first two on-campus classes). Though you are not obliged to complete these activities until the final course deadline, it is a good idea to do these two early on.
  • Start then with the Alexandria Proclamation as a short reading; look at some of the video-based material (do read the notes on each link, as some should be left until slightly later in the course); and then, really, you are free to explore.

an image of twitter bird Some other technologies play a part in the environment.

Distance learners will have two synchronous sessions in Adobe Connect, one in week 4 (w/c 17th Feb 2014), and one around week 8 or 9, mid- to late March. Please keep an eye out for emails about this, as we will need to organise these in advance.

There is a ‘discussion board’ on Blackboard but this is not a discussion-based course as such. However, do feel free to use the board – you can also leave comments on these WordPress pages. Send me emails directly (you know my address I’m sure – I won’t put it on here for risk of provoking more spam).

I also encourage the use of social media. Try tweets, use hashtag #MediaIL (my Twitter ID – DrewWhitworth1 – follow me, follow each other – but no obligation). I tweet sporadically, but there are bursts now and again, particularly if I’m at a conference. As you know, I don’t use Facebook for work, but that also means that should anyone feel like setting up a group “Media & IL” , or “EDUC61712” or whatever, you’ll be able to keep me out of it… There may be other possibilities: why not start your own blog? I welcome creative additions to the environment in any form (though reserve the right to keep their usefulness under review, in consultation with all students on the course).

In short this is a deliberately free and flexible course environment, designed to be one that you can engage with in personalised ways, according to your work and technology preferences and other commitments.

logo of dropboxOne last piece of software you will require is Dropbox. Dropbox is a web based file hosting service that enables users to store and share files and folders with other users across the internet.  After you install Dropbox on your computer, any file saved to the shared Dropbox folder will automatically save to all your computers. You will find in there the offline versions of the Prezicasts and the MP3 of Svein-Arne’s interview.

Marilena will send out invites to the Dropbox folder for the course to all M&IL students.

Please also have a look at the Dropbox help guides that will guide you through the process.

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Creative Commons License
Media and Information Literacy by Andrew Whitworth/University of Manchester is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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