Surviving a PhD – 10 Top Tips…

Yes, finished is better than perfect …

The Thesis Whisperer

This post is by Dr Alex Hope, a  Lecturer in Sustainable Development and Project Management at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom and was originally post on his blog. Alex is also on Twitter where he tweets about sustainability, academia, PhD advice and life. I hope you will head on over there and check out what he has to say!

I was awarded my PhD in January this year following a successful viva in November 2011, so thought I would try and summarise my experiences over the last 3-4 years and see if I could come up with some key points of advice from start to finish…

Tip 1 – Academics need you: Most are keen to speak to any potential student who has a good research idea as a good record of successful PhD supervisions is essential to build a successful academic career. Don’t be afraid to approach a…

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2. Blogging in the Classroom

A great post about using blogging in classrooms.

Techie Teachers' Tricks

(Our class blog had 10,000 visitors in its  first 2 months-its link on the right)

Blog Post Agenda:


  1.      Blogging release forms
  2.      Blogging platforms
  3.      The role of your blog
  4.      Initial lessons
  5.      Ideas for blog posts
  6.      Assessing blogs


In an era when collaboration is such a handy option, both teachers and students should find ways to get the most out of it because, just like Vygotsky said, people learn from each other and learning arises from social interactions. I acknowledge the fact that just like I learn from other adults, children can learn from each other. In this era of speed, people don’t have time to reinvent…

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12 metacognition-modelling strategies for the foreign language classroom

A wow blog post about how to promote metacognition among your students ….

The Language Gym


Metacognitive skills are arguably the most important set of skills we need for our journey through life as they orchestrate every cognitive skill involved in problem-solving, decision-making and self-monitoring (both cognitive and socio-affective). We start acquiring them at a very early age at home, in school, in the playground and in any other social context an individual interacts with other human beings. But what are metacognitive skills?

What is metacognition?

I often refer to metacognition as ‘the voice inside your head’ which helps you solve problems in life by asking you questions like:

  • What is the problem here?
  • Based on what I know already about this task, how can I solve this problem?
  • Is this correct?
  • How is this coming along?
  • If I carry on like this where am I going to get?
  • What resources should I use to carry out this task?
  • What should come first? What should come…

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Why should I blog?

It’s been so long since I last posted on my blog. Yes, I am still publishing about online courses, webinars, and conferences. But, this doesn’t matter to a writer who continuously looks for a little bit creativity inside. I talk about writing some reflections that bring my own thoughts and touches to life. Blogging is not  just compiling some posts and organizing them chronologically. 

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Top Ten Prompts to Inspire Creative Writing

Really, I loved these prompts to inspire my students to write creatively.

Writing The Fire

If you’re a writer, an artist, musician or creative soul of any kind you’ve probably had those days when you just can’t produce anything worth… anything. The harder you try, the less effective you become and you get yourself into a ridiculously concrete mental block. It’s tough to pull yourself out of this phenomenon, and many times the feeling has negative effects in the rest of your life too.

As writers, we’ve found that completing writing prompts not only helps us get a fresh perspective in our writing, they open our minds in a myriad of other ways. The mental fog clears, and suddenly there are windows where there were once only walls.

These prompts our a few of our group’s favorites– and a few have even turned into some of our most beloved pieces. Give them a try, let us know how it goes, and we might even feature…

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Chat on the Fly using

Thanks to Kaushalya Mandaliya, I managed to embed a live chatroom on my blog. You can create your own using [talk·eeo]. It  is a web chat that is open to anyone and channels are owner-free. It seems so easy to use and embed into websites and blogs. I love to use it with my students.They always need instant feedback when working on new projects. However, the public feature is not secure. Anyone can join the discussion and write their messages. The only way to create a little bit private chatrooms is to choose complex names using numbers, letters and character, so spammers can’t see them easily. This tool is a little bit new and of course they will add more features in the future. Let’s wait and hope! Continue reading

Check THREE Promising Courses by Coursera

Coursera launches many courses on September 2013. There are just three courses that catch my attention. My only criterion of choice is watching the instructors’ introductory videos. You will not believe it. I know that these short videos are not enough to judge the quality of the whole experience, but they have a very great impact on learners before starting their journey of learning. Please check this great article by Sarah Linden to know more about the reasons behind using video introductions rather than text-based ones when creating your online courses. Kindly explore each course info and choose what you need and add to your expertise:

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