sue watling

Following on from OU course blog post 1  the sum total of work in week 2 is close to zero. It would be easy to blame the lack of online communication. If I were an analogue learner I might find it alien to use a virtual environment, but accustomed to group collaboration through the OU forums, just me and my A4 printed pages are feeling a bit lonely.

There’s little stimulation from printed text. This is when the power of multimedia hits home but through its absence rather than its presence. I listen to the OU cd-rom but it’s only audio; I miss not just the visuals of video but the simple interaction with my laptop.  Listening is all too passive. I want to be involved in my learning. All I can do is read and make notes which is way too texty, I’m a ‘words’ person but here I am surrounded by them and the learning isn’t happening.

So I’ve started drawing mind maps; breaking up the mass of text into more visual learning environments; the shapes and colours on the page really seem to help. Here are the main theorists: Saussure (pink square) who started the whole theory of language as a cultural phenomenon. Lacan (purple circle) who applied Saussure’s structuralism to his own brand of psychoanalysis devising the concept of the Symbolic and the Other but unable to explain the state of pre-awareness. Althusser (orange rectangle) applied structuralism to his Marxism through Ideological State Apparatus (ISAs), the means by which capitalist norms are consented to and reproduced. Finally Foucault (blue ellipse) who has us all situated within discursive practice, externally mediated by the institutions of the state which are disguised mechanisms of control – Phew! You wouldn’t believe how much chunking all the information into separately coloured shapes is helping. I wonder if a mind map will be acceptable as an alternative mode of assessment!

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