I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

Developing an online EAP course and e-learning resources at HiOA

One of the fun things I've started working on recently is developing a MOOC-esque course at HiOA, as way of supporting  students (and staff) with their academic writing and using English for academic purposes (EAP).

It started off as just a plan to create an institution-wide resource bank to help the shared and collaborative development of teaching resources (mostly because I wanted to make my life a little easier and stop people reinventing the wheel), but it quickly became a more ambitious project aimed at producing a structured course which will use video lectures, guided forum discussions and text analysis exercises as a guide through the writing process and the production of theses and research papers.

I'm still working on getting more financial support, but there's lot of interest from both staff and students in the course and I'm pleased to say that it's starting to gather momentum. I'm hoping to start creating and testing sample video lectures and materials over the summer, in preparation for testing them on a guinea pig group of masters students in the Autumn semester, and a collaboration with a colleague at the Noragric Writing Centre at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Universitetet for miljø- og biovitenskap; UMB) is already in the pipeline.

I presented the project, which is very much still in the planning stage, at the NFEAP 2013 summer seminar, which I helped organise and host at HiOA last week.

I've lots of ideas for what we can do, but the success or failure of the project will depend on making something interesting, useful, and hopefully a little fun, too. I'm under no illusions that it's an ambitious project, and, given that I'm very much a novice when it comes to the pedagogy and the tech, I'm more than a little nervous about how things are going to go, but the nerves are definitely dwarfed by the excitement.

The use and impact of online tools and  technologies, MOOCs and virtual learning environments on higher education is a hotly contested topic but there is no shying away from the fact that all aspects of our lives are becoming increasingly digitised, and 'blended learning', which uses traditional and technology-mediated teaching methods, is not the special consideration it used to be a few years ago but the reality of the modern classroom and lecture theatre. 

Book review: Skepsis: Guide to kritisk tenkning

Latest random selection of tweets about interesting things