Speculative Diction: Degrees of Certainty

In the Canadian press there was a lot of discussion about the “skills gap” in the weeks preceding the federal budget announcement, so I wrote this post (from March 27, 2013) about the way the discussion is informed by the politics of funding and the increased amount of risk that universities are expected to manage.


Speculative Diction: War of attrition – Asking why PhD students leave [July 17 2013]

After finishing up a bibliography of sources on graduate education, I wanted to write a post about some of the things I’ve read on the topic. Since there had been recent articles about attrition and supervision, in this post I point out the link between them, citing some of the literature on PhD non-completion and its relationship to factors like academic and social integration, professionalization opportunities, and support/mentorship from faculty members.

Speculative Diction: MOOCs, access, & privileged assumptions [June 19 2013]

In this blog post I compare the rhetoric of accessibility that occurs in arguments for MOOCs, to the kinds of examples chosen to represent this – in the context of an existing literature on higher education accessibility.

Shortly after this was published, I attended Worldviews 2013 and was a member of a panel that discussed “Who are the MOOC users?” On the panel I made a number of the same points that you’ll find in this blog post. I wrote a follow-up post available here.

Speculative Diction: Risk, responsibility, and public academics [July 3 2013]

This blog post addresses the way that early-career academics feel encouraged to engage in public or interactive communication, yet find that the professional assessment of these activities is still fairly low – and that the professional “risk” isn’t the same for everyone.

On July 18 2013, this piece was re-posted on the LSE Impact Blog titled “More attention should be paid to the risks facing early career researchers in encouraging wider engagement”.