Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Catching up...

The last few weeks have been very busy. Nothing like a bout of marking to mess up your basic schedule! Now that marking is out of the way, normality is slowly returning. Still, there are things to do, and blogging tends not to be the one with the highest priority.

In my Frameworks module, the podcasting was the thing to suffer most from marking. A colleague told me that one of her AST students was sad about it, and I feel somewhat bad myself. I will try and get another podcast put together this week. In the meantime I set the students a task that involved them making their own podcasts, and slowly the results are coming in. Some are really good! They will be made available on the course blog, finally a way to get some activity going there. With any luck, students will not only post their podcasts, but also listen to each others and comment on them.

Language Foundation is slowly ticking along, and finally we're getting to the point where students feel it making 'click' during the grammatical analyses. They are hard work, but by constantly practicing them I believe students will better understand how they work, and feel more self-confident. Only the exam will tell, of course!

Then, almost out of the door is a research project proposal. Only a few things to sort out, and then the big question will be if there is enough money still around within the AHRC to fund it. This leads me back to my main gripe with the current model of research funding: the effort that has gone into this project proposal could have been spent on doing quite a lot of the actual work. Add to that the time spent by university admin people checking the figures, and by the AHRC administrators, and the academic reviewers, etc, and you will find that you probably have spent more money altogether on that proposal then it would cost to just do it. And that is assuming it will get funding, otherwise all that money would simply be wasted.

I can see that this doesn't work with your average science project, even if not all of them cost as much as the Large Hadron Collider, but many smaller humanities projects should just be funded directly. Cut the red tape, avoid the frustration of having your proposals rejected, and put some trust in your academics!

Enough ranting for today, still some things to do before today's list is empty.

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