Reflecting on 2011

As 2011 comes to an end I thought it would be nice to reflect back on the year. This has certainly been a year of change for me, look both personally and professionally. I have been involved in lots of fantastic projects; particularly on learning design and Open Educational Resources. The two main achievements for me this year were the submission of my book, physician ‘Designing for learning in an open world’, to Springer and starting my new job as professor of learning innovation at Leicester University.


The Design-Practice project with Cyprus and Greece came to an end in October. It was a great project, transferring the learning design methodology we developed at the OU to teachers in Cyprus and Greece. I am also continuing to be involved in the JISC OULDI project, which has been a great success and very much the foundation for much of my thinking on learning design. I have also been involved in the STELLAR network, LD Grid, and have had some excellent conversations with others passionate about learning design. Closely linked to this was a recent trip to Sydney as part of James Dalziel’s fellowship. For both networks we have lots of good ideas of how to take the area forward. With Tapio Koskinen, from Aalto University, I co-edited a special issue of e-learning papers on learning design; there are some great contributions in the issue.

In terms of OER I was involved in the Olnet initiative at the OU and contributions here include a recently published special issue of EURODL on creativity and OER, as part of Elsebeth Soreson’s Olnet fellowship. I have also been lucky enough to travel the world, literally – including Bali, Sydney and many European countries.

2011 was also the year in which social and participatory media became even more important for me, in both a professional and personal capacity. I continue to be an avid fan of Twitter, but this year has seen my use of Facebook increase dramatically. I am also connected in LinkedIn and Google+ but these tools haven’t, as of yet, really made an impact on my daily practice.

I am looking forward to working with colleagues at Leicester in the New Year and to continuing to build on the existing research work and international collaborations. Where will things be this time next year? I don’t know, but no doubt 2012 will be as busy and interesting as 2011.

Happy New Year and thanks for taking the time to read my blog and to post comments!

2 Responses to “Reflecting on 2011”

  1. David Smith Says:

    Hi Grainne, You continue to give inspiration to people like myself who work in the area of learning. I follow with interest your work on eLearning research as I am convinced that this is the vital cog in the whole question of how to take technology and learning forward across all education sectors. I have been fortunate to work with a number of european universities in the context of EU projects and have started to become more proactive in the development of blended learning design. I have donated time to a small uni in Crete in the development of their VLE by providing a guide for blended learning as well as developing a unit. I also have tried to be more active in the linked in groups and support people in Facebook as they use social media to interact with peers about a range of very interesting issues.
    So Happy New Year to you and your family, thank you for your inspiration and every wish for a successful 2012. Best, David Smith

  2. Gráinne Says:

    Thanks David for the encouraging words! Much appreciated! I feel very privileged working in this are at this time, with so many fantastic people around the world!!!! Have a good new year too!

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