Interview with Terry Anderson in The Voice Magazine – a Publication of the Athabasca University Students Union

The second part of an interview with Terry Anderson (with a link to the first part) talking about his approach to teaching, a bit about his research, a bit about some of his many contributions to AU, and a fair bit about the Landing and its value. Great stuff!

Terry voices his impatience with the slow uptake of the Landing, which is understandable. It is a bit frustrating to know that it can (and, for some, already does) radically improve the learning and working experience for staff and students alike, providing social presence, control, and a massive range of learning opportunities and activities that go far beyond anything possible in closed course containers or generic tools like mailing lists and project sites, but that we only see a ‘mere’ 7000+ users, 400+ groups, dozens of courses, as well as scores of posts and thousands of external visitors every day!  I have always taken the view that critical passion trumps critical mass every time. That is what keeps the Landing going and that is what will sustain it for the long haul. It’s a slow but steady burner that keeps getting better and more useful with every single post and comment, and the word is spreading: deeper, more sophisticated use is notably rising, diversity is increasing, and people are visiting longer and more frequently. For a system developed on a shoe-string, with very little central funding or support, it has done pretty well for itself for well over 5 years and I hope and expect it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. And it does continue to evolve – you can expect to see ongoing improvements, not just tweaks but major gains in functionality, over the coming months, and we are working on a major upgrade to the underlying software framework at the same time that should enable even more improvements. With any luck we might even eventually get a bit more support from central pockets that might really let it fly but, even without much of that, the site grows in importance and value all the time.

Address of the bookmark:

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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