English Historical Review: At Home and Under Fire: Air Raids and Culture in Britain from the Great War to the Blitz , by Susan R. Grayzel
University becomes first institution to offer traditional graduate course with open components
OXFORD, Miss. – This spring, the University of Mississippi will become the first university to offer traditional graduate course with open elements through online collaborations with two cutting-edge groups, opening up new avenues to provide free education opportunities on the meaning, application and impact of “openness” in the digital world.
The two collaborations are with Peer2Peer University’s School of Open, which uses volunteers to develop and run online courses, offline workshops and in-person training programs, and Open Educational Resources University’s WikiEducator platform. OER University, or OERu, is an international consortium of universities working to create affordable pathways to formal university credit using open educational resources.
The new graduate-level course, ”Topics in Higher Education – Open Educational Resources and Practices” (EDHE 670) will be taught by Robert Cummings, director of the UM Center for Writing and Rhetoric and associate professor of English. Cummings will lead UM students with learners from around the world in a two-week module covering open educational resources, or OER, in collaboration with OERu; and a six-week module in which students will learn to collaborate on Wikipedia articles, in association with the School of Open.
“University of Mississippi graduate students in the School of Education will prepare for their careers with this unique opportunity to engage the emerging global field of open educational resources,” Cummings said. “UM students will not only learn about OER, its origins and its role in the classrooms of the future, but they will have the opportunity to work with developers and theorists – both as fellow students and emerging practitioners – in a synchronous, global classroom of enrolled students and unenrolled learners.”
The course will build on Cummings’ research into the educational and cost-saving benefits available through the use of OER and commons-based peer production, such as the use of Wikipedia to teach writing. In the course, UM students will have an opportunity to participate in open educational practices while simultaneously learning the theory and history behind them.
Open educational practices have offered unprecedented learning opportunities in recent years, both inside and outside of traditional learning institutions. For instance:
- A Brooklyn College student in the Wikipedia Education Program restructured and improved a Wikipedia article on costume design, receiving feedback and guidance from peers around the world and from instructor Amy Hughes while simultaneously improving a learning resource available to the general public.
- Adrianne Wadewitz, a writing instructor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and longtime Wikipedia contributor, has assigned her students to copy edit and improve Wikipedia articles, allowing them to learn about the importance – and the sometimes unexpectedly political nature – of nuance in writing.
- Dr. Lisa Gualtieri guides her students at the Tufts University School of Medicine in engaging effectively online, motivated by the concern that online information and interactive mobile applications relevant to her field often are not informed by academic expertise.
Through partnerships with the global organizations OERu and School of Open, two modules of EDHE 670, constituting about half the course – “Open Content Licensing for Educators” and “Writing Wikipedia Articles (WIKISOO)” – will be free and open to the general public.
“Open education signals a return to the core values of the academy, namely, to share knowledge freely,” said OERu founder Wayne Mackintosh, who teaches the “Open Content Licensing for Educators” module. “Working together, we achieve far more than working alone. This course is an exemplar of open collaboration widening learning opportunities for all.”
The ability to engage and collaborate across geographical borders, through ongoing online projects such as Wikipedia, presents opportunities that didn’t exist a few years ago.
“In its 12-year history, Wikipedia has enabled hundreds of thousands of people around the world to collaborate in developing a widely used educational resource,” said Pete Forsyth of WikiStrategies, who teaches the Wikipedia component of the course. “Wikipedia is important not merely as a publication, but also as a vibrant learning community, and as a collection of highly effective collaborative processes. Wikipedia offers many valuable case studies in effective online collaboration, both in connection with and independent of formal academic study.”
The OER university consortium was launched recently by its 31 member universities at the Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Full-time, one-year placements supported by AmeriCorps
OXFORD, Miss. – The North Mississippi VISTA Project at the University of Mississippi is looking for dynamic individuals to serve as Volunteers in Service to America. Each of these full-time, one-year placements is supported by AmeriCorps with a modest living allowance, health benefits and an education award, which can be used for graduate school or to repay qualified student loans.
The five positions, starting in February 2014, will be based in Hernando, Holly Springs, Okolona and Oxford. All applications for the positions must be received by Dec. 15.
The North Mississippi VISTA Project works in 23 counties to build sustainable systems that connect the university and its resources to low-income communities in the region. VISTAs are deployed to nonprofit organizations and schools seeking to develop or expand educational programs that serve low-income children and adults.
“Those who take these positions will make real contributions to the people of Mississippi and gain valuable experience in education,” said Stephen Monroe, UM director of the project.Read the story …
ASHP national clinical skills competition set for Dec. 7-8
OXFORD, Miss. – Two University of Mississippi pharmacy students have been selected to compete in a national clinical skills competition at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists‘ Midyear Clinical Meeting, coming up Dec. 7-8 in Orlando, Fla.
“Words cannot describe how excited we are,” said Jennifer Hockings, an Olive Branch native and student in her third professional year of pharmacy school. “This is one of the highlights in my pharmacy education so far. It is an honor to be able to represent the School of Pharmacy at a national competition.”
Hockings and Laney Owings, also in her third professional year of pharmacy school, are advancing to the national competition after being selected as winners of a local clinical skills competition in October.
The local competition consisted of 11 teams of two students in either their third or fourth professional year. The teams were given a patient case, with two hours to evaluate and develop a treatment plan.
Hockings and Owings received a case describing a 28-year-old female who was admitted to the hospital for treatment of a deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
UM-USM institute uses state-of-the-art equipment in oil spill studies
OXFORD, Miss. – Autonomous underwater vehicles used for oil spill research in the Gulf of Mexico are the focus for this month’s public science forum organized by the University of Mississippi Department of Physics and Astronomy.
The fall semester’s fourth meeting of the Oxford Science Cafe is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 19 at Lusa Pastry Cafe, 2305 West Jackson Ave. Arne R. Diercks, AUV manager in the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology, will discuss “A Dive into the Deep Gulf of Mexico: NIUST’s Deep Sea AUVs.” The program is free and open to the public.
“NIUST (a collaboration between UM and the University of Southern Mississippi headquartered at the UM Field Station) operates two autonomous underwater vehicles, Eagle Ray and Mola Mola,” Diercks said. “Primarily tasked with performing seafloor surveys at depths down to 2,000 meters, the vehicles are used in support to study the effects of the 2010 Macondo Oil Spill after the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon drilling platform, one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history.”Read the story …
Their mission: Neutralize threats posed by blood-feeding, disease-carrying insects
OXFORD, Miss. – Wherever U.S. troops are deployed, they must guard not only against their country’s human foes but also whatever Mother Nature throws at them from her well-stocked arsenal.
Her weapons include a barrage of blood-feeding arthropods – mosquitoes, lice, sand flies, ticks, mites, stable flies and bed bugs – and the diseases they transmit. Among the chief threats are malaria, yellow fever, typhus, dengue fever, encephalitis and leishmaniasis.
America’s war against these insect and disease threats is being fought by a squad of unlikely soldiers serving in the Deployed War-Fighter Protection, or DWFP, research program under the leadership of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, or AFPMB. Its mission is to provide an arsenal of new weapons to U.S. troops, so they can protect or defend themselves from insect and disease attacks.
Some of the most productive soldiers in this “war on bugs” are scientists in the Thad Cochran Research Center at the University of Mississippi, home to the university’s National Center for Natural Products Research, or NCNPR, and the Natural Products Utilization Research Unit, or NPURU, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, or USDA-ARS.