Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Is there anybody out there?

Those of you who are regular readers of our blogs will know that we have been busy developing an MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy to be delivered totally online. In order for this to happen many of us have been engaging in web 2.0 applications to facilitate our programme development but also to engage in learning experiences that we will be asking our students to undertake. To this end I have enrolled on an online programme which week by week has introduced me to some extremely interesting and useful tools for both learning and social networking.
It has become clear to me that the common theme underpinning all of these is the need to know if anyone is out there and the importance of acknowledging each other. Engaging in an online community can only really be effective if you know there is a community out there. Under usual circumstances we engage with others through gestures, tone of voice - or by presence (or indeed absence). On line these things cannot be noted - therefore it is extremely hard to know if anyone is listening, agreeing or indeed disagreeing. We have had over 2000 readers of our blog posts - yet very few of you have left a trace. That first step can be daunting - make a comment -write what you feel - it doesn't have to change the world, it doesn't have be an essay - just let us know you're out there. Click on "comment" at the end of this (or any other) post and up will pop a window for you to type in your comment. Give it a go - it may be the first step of a whole new learning experience for you - and if all else fails - it can be evidence of an aspect of your CPD to demonstrate engagement in discussion with peers both nationally and internationally!!!
Happy commenting...


Andy Craik said...

stumbled across the blog by searching for "salford" & "Occupational" in Google.

I've got a part-time place on the OT course starting in September and am trying to get a handle on what i've let myself in for.

looks a good blog. i'll put it in my favourites immediately.


Angela said...

Hi Andy
Good to hear from you. Well done on securing your place for Sept - may I suggest that you're letting yourself in for lots of hard but rewarding work!!
We also have a group on Facebook (Occupational Therapy at Salford University)if you want to have a look and feel free to join - the more the merrier

Graeme said...


Graeme here. I have made comment on your blog before and I agree with you of the frustration of seeing lots of visitors but no comments. I have developed two online course for Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytech and I will keep in touch when I get feedback from students as to what went well and what didn't .

Angela said...

Hello again Graeme
Thanks, we'd be very interested to hear how your on line courses go when you get the evaluations in.

adiemus said...

I'm like you - loads of visitors to my blog, but very few comments. Sometimes it feels a wee bit like working in a vacuum!
BUT when teaching using the web (which I've done now for 5 years), it's a whole different ballgame - loads of discussion and debate and dialogue.
So I do think that when it's part of a structured learning experience, there is more interaction, but when it's voluntary (like my blog), it's less likely that people will comment.
And to be honest, I'm aware that I often read 'interesting stuff' on the web, but don't often comment - except when I feel some kinship with the people blogging!

Angela said...

Hi adiemus
thanks for your comment. I have to admit that I am not always good at leaving comment on other's blogs - although like you I would hope that I add comment if a post has been particularly inspiring/helpful/thought provoking.
It can be really difficult to put into words what one is thinking - and a strange dichotomy between anonymity from your audience (unless part of a structured learning event) on the one hand and potential "immortality" on the other as once your words are out there they are very difficult to retract. But I do feel that the more I visit other's blogs and comment - the easier it gets. Hopefully your comment will encourage others to add to the discussion too?
Many thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks Angela - and yes, I'm sure others will add comments soon!

Anonymous said...


I'm afraid I'm one of those who reads your blog and hasn't commented. I have however given you a mention in the Intute Health and Life Sciences blog: http://www.intute.ac.uk/healthandlifesciences/blog/, following your thought provoking post on Second Life.


Angela said...

Hi David
Thanks for reminding us of our previous posts. Sometimes it's easy to move onto the next thought and maybe not pursue those that are worthy of exploration. Thanks also for the mention on your blog - I think it may be time to enter a bigger arena with the debate on Second Life - watch this space!!

Merrolee said...

Angela - an interesting posting - and I too get frustrated with number of visitors versus no of comments (but guess I'm guilty of not posting at moment). I do wonder if there is a critical mass and that we haven't yet got enough OT's out there perusing?? I see so much discussion on some of the education blogs and wonder why we can't get to the same level with OT's - do we not have meaty enough issues? Are we not vocal enough? Or is there just not enough of us out there reading and commenting???

Anyway hopefully this will change post our presentation at COT/BAOT conference?

Angela said...

Hi Merrolee
I think you ahve a point there, it would seem that there are limited numbers of OTs engaging in this form of communication and discussion. It would be good to try to raise the profile of the benefits it can have as an aide to reflection, lifelong learning and indeed as evidence of CPD. I too need to be more consistent in maintaining an on line presence. Let's hope the conference will begin to raise the profile further.

Anne Marie said...

Thought this would be a good place to say hello to your blog which I have just found today.
I'm a doctor but a nice one:)And an educator.